How did Cuba manage to end up a communist state in 2020?
Cuba was founded by the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The society developed after Spain colonized in the 16th and 17th centuries. Cuba awakened in the 19th century because of the growth of the US as an independent country and because of the collapse of a Caribbean country named Haiti. Cuba transformed from a useless, sleepy country to a country producing mass amounts of sugar. Because of the increased Spanish taxation and despotism, a war between Spain And Cuba happened in the 19th century. A harbor located in Havana exploded which ultimately lead the US to come to the war. And lead to Spanish-American War. Long story short, America won it and the U.S started occupying Cuba.
Cuba is a country that had many harsh dictators over the years, one of them being a guy named Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a major figure in the Cuban Revolution. But, what are the principal achievements of the Cuban revolution? What are its failures? Would Cuba be better off without the Cuban Revolution?
In 1924, Fulgencio Batista, US-backed 5th president of Cuba, takes control of Cuba and starts turning Cuba, mostly Havana into a luxury tourist location for tourists while not caring about his own people and leaving them suffer in poverty and killing them in police crackdowns. Political violence and corruption increased drastically and that was when Cuba became a haven for crime syndicates. This was when a lawyer named Fidel Castro got mad. Castro put together a group of 138 men and attacked an isolated barracks at Moncada because he needed weapons and recognition. However, this worked out terribly, Most of his men were killed and the ones that were not killed were captured including himself and his brother Raul. This turned out to be great because the public trial made the public opinion change in favour of himself because he argued about how bad of a democratic country they were in. He and his men were sentenced to 15 years of prison but was left in just 2 years because Batista was under international pressure. After leaving prison, Castro and Raul left to Mexico to make new plans and get new men. There, they met Che Guevara, an Argentinean doctor. Meanwhile, it was total chaos in Cuba. Increasing unemployment lead to an increased amount of anti-Batista riots. Batista responded by becoming more oppressive which lead to even more anti-Batista riots. Castro and his men bought a yacht named Granma and in November 1956, he set to Cuba along his 82 men. Unfortunately, The Cuban government knew that they would come and attacked them on sight and some were able to run safety in the mountains. In the mountains, they got new men and starting launching attacks on military targets. Also, foreign journalists were allowed to visit which made them worldwide known and was crucial for their Revolution. Meanwhile, it was the same in Cuba, people were really mad at Batista, and even some rebel groups launched attacks on him. Batista was really pissed which made him send a large army to the mountains to capture Castro in 1958. But again, they couldn’t fight against Castro’s army and lost. And even some switched sides to him. This was the perfect moment to push back, Che Guevara took one part of the army and went to Santa Clara and Castro went with reinforcements just in case. While they were going to their waypoint, they were largely welcomed by households and towns. This was a strong indication of the fall of Batista’s regime. Batista was done and fleed and in January 1959 Castro and his team entered Havana. They took the power of Cuba and got rid of all remaining of Batista. And killed all of Batista’s supporters. There were many repressive laws and people started to get scared which led many people to flee into the USA. Castro took the lands that the US took and he closed all the luxury tourist locations. And started making schools and hospitals. This made America go crazy, and they went to Cuba in 1962 with the hopes of aiding Cuban exiles. This was called the Bays of Pigs Invasion and it was a total disaster. After this incident, Castro announced the state’s status. Cuba was now the Socialist Republic. He also went to seek alliance with the Soviet Union which led to The Cuban Missile Crisis. Basically, the Soviet Union armed Cuba with missiles become US armed Italy And Turkey with missiles and the US was mad and they made a naval blockade and then the Soviet Union was mad because of that, and people all thought that it was going to be ww3 but in the end, they got into a good situation. Happy ending right? No. Castro started being more democratic and started being really oppressive. He had forced labour camps and didn’t let anyone freedom to speak or leave. They banned LGBT too. But do not worry, this is not what he only did. He oversaw land distribution, he established universal education, and increased Cuba’s literacy rate to 96%. But productivity dropped severly when he replaced pay raises with moral certificates. He took control of the newspapers because he thought that it was the toys of the oligarchy. Meanwhile, Che Guevara wanted to spread revolution worldwide but nobody cared and he was captured by the Bolivian Government in 1967 and killed. People were mourning his death and his story inspired many young activists.
In conclusion, Cuba was desperate, they needed a change, they were controlled and because of that they accepted everybody else, but unfortunately, that one guy was also terrible and they ended up in a loop. Did Castro And Guevara die as a hero or was he already a villain? Should we care about a Revolution by its ideals or its outcomes?