preview

Resopnse To Revolution

Better Essays
Book Review

Response to Revolution

Response to Revolution, by Richard E. Welch Jr., is an honest and unbiased look at America’s policy towards Cuba during the Cuban Revolution. It covers the general history of and preconceived notions about the revolution in depth and gives ample attention to both sides of the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. In addition to this Welch analyzes the reactions of America’s various factions during the early years of the revolution. Upon taking this into a change of the status quo, and of one that only played the international game of politics on its own terms.

The general idea underlying Response to Revolution is the evolution of the U.S.’s opinion of the Cuban revolution from good to bad. Yet to understand this, the author shows that it is first important to understand the events and attitudes that took place between the U.S. and Cuba in the years between 1958-1961. At the onset of the Cuban revolution we find that the U.S. government supported the Batista regime and that while it was technically a democracy it reinforced bitter class differences. Eventually various factions united under Castro and the Batista government was overthrown. While the United States for the most part stayed out of this war and even cut off arm sales to Batista before his overthrow, Welch shows that by then it was to late for the U.S. to ever create a good relationship with Cuba. The reason for this is that the years of and U.S. dominated Cuban economy, combined with the troublesome Platt Amendment, fueled the fire of class differences and created in Castro’s mind a distrust of U.S. involvement in Cuba. However, while Castro’s anti-American stance no doubt hindered relations with the U.S., it was more the fault of the Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies reluctance to offer aid outright to Castro and accept change in Cuba. This unwillingness of Castro to adhere to the U.S. standard or democracy in turn led to unwarranted economic sanctions, which later led to Cuba’s need for Soviet economic support. “The U.S. government measures went beyond the retaliation warranted by the injuries American citizens and interests had up to that time suffered at Castro’s hands” (Welch 58). The author further contests that the problem was only furthered when Kennedy took the matter to be personal and put into act Eisenhower’s counterrevolution inva...

... middle of paper ...

...nited States’ policy towards Cuba in the years between 1958-1961 correct and well thought out? According to the book’s evidence and my personal observation of our current relationship with Cuba I would say no. The U.S. failed to see that its ideals and values were not shared by the entire world, and in Cuba’s case our values and economy lead to more social oppression that Communism would have. We as a nation were one of mixed emotions and our leaders who made decisions concerning Cuba were largely uneducated on the history and politics of Cuba, leading to a trend of bad relations. This in effect showed the U.S. to be a nation only concerned with its own interests, rather than the heroic liberator and protector of democracy. If I got anything out of all this I must say it was the realization that the U.S. as a nation was in fact no better than some of the nations I sought to ward off. In conclusion Response to revolution is an honest book that takes no sides and simply exposes the fact that the U.S. Policy towards Cuba during the Cuban Revolution was one that was not well though out, and ultimately ended any chance of reverting to favorable economic relations with Castro’s Cuba.
Get Access