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Fidel Castro’s belief of a Cuba libre was not only his; many Cubans envisioned an independent Cuba, ‘A Cuba that could have been’. Plenty felt the urge to raise their voices and prove their discontent and patriotism to the world, but what could have been remained a silent whisper. Furthermore illiteracy and ignorance encircled a big chunk of society one which could not comprehend the causes and effects of such a term as ‘imperial’. In Thomas G. Patterson’s Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Nixon is quoted expressing that Castro is "either incredibly naive about communism or under communist discipline." (Paterson 257) His assumption was most probably correct "Pazzo recalled that Castro did not want to appear as one more Latin American leader ‘sold out’ to imperialism." (Paterson 257) Cuba’s history is revealed in numerous writings like Marifeli Perez-Stable’s The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course and Legacy ,and other documents which will be used to support the idea that Cuba was not a victim of it’s own rebellion, but one of a ‘wrong leader’, if one might say, and a harsh and complicated past. In addition the United States’ imperialism caused that many succeed and even more undergo horrendous treatment, illiteracy and inadequate lifestyles for the US own benefit. This caused the Cuban revelation, so why still ask why.
In Perez-Stable her antagonism towards the United States is fairly obvious. The US was controlling a huge amount of Cuba’s income. Cuba needed the income to rebuilt the farms and mills after the Depression. The United States gave the capital necessary to reconstruct but remained in charge of the land. During this time 75% of the land was held by 8% of the farms.
"US capital promoted economic reconstruction but undermined national control of the economy. Trade reciprocity favored US imports,weakened existing industries, and discouraged new ones. More than 350 Cuban-owned establishments closed their doors early in the 20th century"
She also quotes Manuel Rionda, a planter who wrote: "So the Cubans, the real Cubans, do not own much." It’s an unpleasant thought that after so much blood shed and so many patriots that gave their lives to free themselves from an authoritarian and also dictatorial government (Spanish rule), they must continue to work and sacrifice for a government disguised as democratic and almost perfect. When they are truly parasites that only mean to deindustrialize Cuba and are as authoritarian as the rest.
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The United States was growing as a powerful nation and also challenged by an oppository Communist government. Although Paterson states that the US had no time for Cuba, one would think that Cuba is a main conflict only ‘90’ miles away from the US southern coast. US took a fatherly role towards the world on unknown territory, for example: Vietnam, Palestinia,Cuba, etc., all these Paterson use as excuses for the US neglect towards Cuba. When Castro started the insurrection his tiny army appeared to threat no one. The United States felt no need to act against a ‘back-door harassment’. Paterson writes "The United States lost to him because it could not control or crush this strong leader or stem the cascading popular support that his movement generated." (Paterson 245) But it is questionable why such a magnanimous nation as the United States have no power over Fidel.
A beautiful island saturated with bars, prostitution, gambling, etc. A middle class was rising fast, an industrial Cuba was born. There were 185,000 state employee, 260,00 office workers and states personnel, 90,000 managers and administrators, 85,000 professionals, 500,00 urban workers, etc. Cuba was not poor, but prosperity mainly happened in La Havana. If we compare and contrast urban and rural Cuba its reason to rebel was more than sufficient. For example 80% of urban Cuba had water in their homes while only 5% in the rural parts. This was the main cause for the insurrection, only one city out of thousands was doing well. Castro was extremely aware that ’four hundred thousand families in the country lived cramped into barracks and tenements without even the minimum sanitary requirements’ (Castro’s Revolution 4)
The United States supported Fulgencio Batista although his corruption and Dictatorship ruined many in Cuba, why would they care, he was a puppet for the US government. It is possible that this is why the United States fell off.
‘US interests were so intertwined with practices and institutions the Cuban people detested. Out of these sufferings came Fidel Castro, an educated Cuban sickened of such inequality in his society with the courage to oppose modern society. He carried the silence of others who did not dare to speak, acting for those who did not dare to act. Traveling he gathered tactics to cause an impact in Cuba, and so he did on the 26th of July of 1953, little by little the masses started acknowledging and following him. His desire was to embody the spirit of the ancestors who fought for a free Cuba and spreading it through the masses.
"Never forget that this province which has a million and a half inhabitants today, provides without a doubt the best resistance and the most patriotic men of Cuba. It was this province that continued the fight for independence for thirty years and paid the highest tribute in blood sacrifice and heroism." (Castro’s Revolution 1)
In "Castro’s Revolution" Fidel Castro: History Will Absolve Me, Castro seems to be a heroic leader planning to lead the masses towards fighting for the equality they deserve. After having immense corruption with the Batista regime the Cuban mass only desired social justice and an honest government which Castro promised. He created laws for the misfortunate promising that if they fight with courage the outcome shall be great. Castro clearly opposes Capitalism since " the capitalist insist that the workers remain under a Claudian yoke." (Castro’s Revolution 4) opposing the Capitalist meant fighting, going to jail, possibly dying, but also killing the innocent. He bravely says "sentence me. I don’t mind. History will absolve me.
Those Cubans who oppose Castro are not quite visible although we can assume that those benefiting from capitalism are the guilty ones. An immense feeling of nationalism embraced the Cuban nation and a sense of responsibility towards the ancestors was born. A struggle for an independent nation rapidly arose with a promising and intelligent leader.
The unity with the Soviet Union was only to argue that Cuba can choose and can be independent, although their economic need might have been the only cause.
We should praise and acknowledge the fact that Castro was able to contradict the world’s system. A system that has us all under a spell. Capitalism has worked for many years and we who benefit from it are grateful to this system. There are billions who lie at the other end starving and being the victims of our decisions. Castro’s regime turned dictatorial and power turned him against many of his beliefs. But he is not hiding, and that deserves respect. How many more has our nation killed and kept from us is unknown, and this is they way Capitalism is, deceiving. Castro was a patriot and one who found enough followers to succeed. His idea of making a nation equal for all was a great one, but one that failed. But Cuba is still Cuba Libre, or is it. It’s now prisoner of a militant regime also authoritarian. Castro’s weapon turned deadly, but we must ask each other why. He is battling the world, a communist in the middle of a whole hemisphere of democracy. Our question should be: How much longer until The United States decides to throw a Nuclear bomb on Cuba?