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Cuba is a very unique country with regards to government and politics. It is distinctive not only in its being the last communist country in Latin America, but also due the fact that it has and is continuing to undergo major changes with regards to government policy. Through analysis of the five criteria for democracy, and scrutiny of systems theory, political scientists can see that Cuba is on the path to momentous political change due to its rapidly deteriorating, soviet modeled, communist government.

Before breaking down the components of the criteria for democracy and systems theory as they apply to Cuba, it is important to briefly consider the aforementioned countries history. Cuba’s current government began after President Batista was overthrown in a violent coup led by Fidel Castro in 1959. In 1961 Castro formally declared Cuba a socialist state; it is now recognized simply as a totalitarian communist state (US State dept, 3/25/10). While the Cuba does have a written constitution allotting civil rights, it for all intents and purposes, negates these liberties by declaring that, “any citizen attempting to prevent the growth of socialism” is exempt from said rights (US State dept, 3/25/10). The constitution also identifies the Cuban Communist Party as the only party with legal legitimacy. As one may have already inferred from these stringent governmental laws, the economy is also controlled entirely by the communist party, this however is one of the interesting points in the analysis of the Cuban political the system as a large portion of the government employed workforce is soon to be fired in favor of a move to the private sector (The Economist, Nov. 2010). At the time of the US state departments report on Cuba, eighty-t...

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... five criteria for democracy as presented by Charles Hauss, Cuba failed miserably in competitive elections and rule of law, on the other hand while certainly far from industrialized democracies, recent developments hint at the potential for improvements in civil rights and the prevalence of capitalism. As far as systems theory is concerned in Cuba, it is almost impossible until improvements are made In the aforementioned civil rights criterion. Finally as it compares to other communist countries, Cuba is showing signs of travelling the path of the USSR and facing collapse as Perestroika begins and the regime is restructured. All things considered, Cuba has become an immensely intriguing country for political scientists in recent years as it has begun several transitions toward far greater democratization than it had ever experienced under its former leader.

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