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Cuba From independence to modern times. Cuba: Relative Location.

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Presentation on theme: "Cuba From independence to modern times. Cuba: Relative Location."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cuba From independence to modern times

2 Cuba: Relative Location

3 Independence  Long after Mexico and Central America gained independence, Cuba was still ruled by the Spanish  During the late 1800’s, the people there rebelled many times; however, they were unable to gain independence on their own  In 1898, the United States declared war on Spain  This resulted in the Spanish – American War

4 The Spanish – American War Motivations of the United States 1. Help the people of Cuba and Puerto Rico gain freedom from Spain 2. Protect the many U.S. owned sugar cane plantations on the islands  After one year of fighting, Spain lost it’s colonies in the Americas  Puerto Rico became a U.S. dependency  Cuba became an independent country

5 Time of Dictatorship  After independence, Cuba had a series of dictators  A dictator is a person who has complete control over a country’s government  Cuba’s dictators were careful to stay friendly with the United States and they welcomed U.S. businesses and tourists  During this time period, The United States was Cuba's main trade partner  Havana, Cuba’s capital, offered tourists luxury hotels and casinos  Most Cubans; however, remained poor

6 Time of Dictatorship  The Cuban people often protested against these dictators  In the 1950’s, Cubans who were angry at the government found a leader for their cause  He was a young lawyer named Fidel Castro  Castro had been imprisoned in 1953 for leading an attack on the government. He was released and fled to Mexico where he organized opposition to the government.  Returned to Cuba in 1956 to lead the opposition.

7 Fidel Castro (1959)

8 Revolution takes Hold  Born in 1927 to a wealthy family, Castro was known for being a dynamic speaker  In college, he developed a deep interest in politics  By late 1956, Castro’s opposition forces had established headquarters for their revolution in the mountains of southeastern Cuba

9 Revolution takes Hold  A few at a time, Cubans began to join Castro’s small army  As the rebel army grew in size, they won several battles against government troops  As the revolution grew stronger, Cuba’s dictator, Fulgencio Batista, fled the country on January 1 st, 1959  Fulgencio Batista (1938)

10 Revolution takes Hold  On January 8 th, 1959, Castro and his followers marched triumphantly into Havana  More than half a million Cubans greeted them joyfully  In a speech to the crowds, Castro promised that Cuba would have no more dictators  The revolution had succeeded, Castro became the new commander-in-chief of Cuba’s army  By July 1959, Fidel Castro had taken full control of Cuba’s government

11 Castro takes control

12 Cuba in the Cold War  Castro took power in Cuba during the Cold War- a period of conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union  Fidel Castro needed the friendship of a powerful country and the Soviet Union was eager to have Cuba as an ally  Why do you think that was?  The Soviet Union began large scale trade with Cuba  They also provided Cuba with weapons

13 Cuba Becomes Communist  The Soviet Union practiced an economic and political system known as Communism  Under this system, the government plans and controls a country’s economy; in effect the government owns the country’s farms, factories and businesses  Soon, Castro began to adopt Communist policies for Cuba’s economy

14 Cuba Becomes Communist  Castro’s government took over the big sugar cane plantations, many of which had been owned by U.S. companies  His government then took over U.S. banks, oil refineries and other businesses on the island  How did the U.S. respond to Communism in Cuba?

15 Cuba Becomes Communist  In return, the United States, led by President John F. Kennedy, cut off all trade with Cuba  While the Soviet Union was powerful, it traded oil, grain and machinery to Cuba for sugar  Most of these products are worth more than sugar, so the Soviet Union was, in large part, supporting Cuba’s economy John F. Kennedy

16 Cuba Becomes Communist  Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba has struggled to maintain its Communist way of life without Soviet aid  Economic problems since the 1990’s have affected many aspects of Cuban life, including education and health care  Lack of fuel for buses and cars prevented some children from getting to school  Food shortages have caused malnutrition  Today, most Cubans are poor and struggle daily to provide for their families

17 Castro as Dictator  Despite promising to not become a dictator, that is exactly what he became  He Redistributed land so that no one owned more than a certain amount  He Imprisoned people that spoke out against him  He controlled all radio, newspaper and television stations. (Censorship of media) Criticism of the government is illegal  From 1959 to 2008, Fidel Castro remained head of state without ever being elected

18 Raul Castro  In 2008; due to illness, Fidel’s younger brother, Raul Castro took over and now serves as dictator  Although he has introduced some economic reforms, Cuba remains the western hemispheres only communist nation

19 Human Rights in Cuba  Cuban law limits freedom of expression, assembly, movement and press  It is illegal to leave the country without permission  Everything in newspapers, television and radio is heavily censored by the government  Human rights organizations have accused the Cuban government of torture, arbitrary imprisonment and unfair trials  Basically, Cuban citizens lack a lot of the basic human rights that we enjoy

20 Cuba’s Economy  What is Cuba’s most important product?  Sugar  The yearly sugar cane harvest is a key event for Cuba’s economy, sugar is their main trade commodity  Tourism is also important to the economy of Cuba

21 Wrap Up  Who helped Cuba gain it’s independence from Spain?  Who was in control of Cuba’s government from 1959 to 2008?  What was the “Cold War”?  What is “Communism”?  How did the U.S. react to Communism in Cuba?  What is Cuba’s most important product?


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