American Involvement In The Cuban Revolution Essay

The revolution in Cuba was not a result of economic deprivation, nor because
of high expectations in the economy, it was the political factors and
expectations which evoked the civilians to revolt. The Cuban economy was
moving forward at the time before the rebellion but the dominant influence
of the sugar industry made the economy “assymetrical” and encouraged no
“dynamic industrial sector”. Because of the dependance on sugar, the
unemployment rate ranged between 16 and 20% rising and falling with sugar
prices, ebbing and flowing as the season changed. The rural wage levels
were incredibly unsteady and unpredictable; the standard of living was low.

Dependance on the sugar industry did not retard the economy of Cuba, just
the wages of its workers. It was the leaders of the nation who reaped
profit from this dependance, and it was the leaders of the nation who
insisted on keeping the nation the way it was. By the mid 1950’s, however,
the middle class had expanded to 33% of the population. Democracy, as we
know it, broke down: the large middle class did not assert democratic
leadership, there was no social militancy in the working class ranks, and
the people found order preferable to disarray. Batista could no longer
legitimize his regime . Failure in the elections of 1954 showed the
discontent of the people, and failure in communications with the United
States illustrated its discontent. Finally, opposing forces confronted
Batista’s power: there were street protests, confrontations with the
police, assault, sabotage, and urban violence. This began the revolution
in Cuba.

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America, with its stubborn ideas and misjudgements of character, forced
Castro to turn to the Soviets for alliance and aid. When Castro visited
the United States in April, 1959, there were different respected
individuals holding different views of him and his future actions. Nixon
believed Castro to be naive, some others thought him a welcome change from
Batista, still others called him an “immature but effective leader, without
a well formed view of how to lead a revolutionary movement and not overly
concerned with abstract of philosophical matters” (p. 55). Why, then, did
the United States impress nit-picky ideals like “there should not be
communists in the Army or in labor”, or “Cuba’s approach to the Batista
trials is totally unacceptable, too casual, too nonchalant” on this
“forming” leader? Castro was like an inexperienced murderer with a gun in
his hand: any rustle in the background could set off his nervous trigger
finger causing death, destruction, and liaisons with the U.S.S.R. When
America expressed dislike of the trial procedures Castro was holding, of
course he (Castro) would try to prove he was able to run his country by
himself and snub the U.S. ambassador. The United States had so much
invested in Cuba that it was stupid to think that Cuba could not retaliate
when the U.S. cut off sugar imports. America was just too sure of itself
thinking it could get away with criticism and acts like that when an
“immature” leader was in control. Cuba was not totally dependant on the
United States and proved itself so. If Cuba could not find help and
support in America, it sought elsewhere for those who smiled on its actions
and ideals. Castro found friends in Russia; the United States made this

Succeeding and failing have alot to do with judgement. For the United
States, the revolution was a failure because the result was a communist
nation in the Carribean. For the revolutionarie s in Cuba, the revolution
accomplished many of their goals: capitalism was abolished and socialism
installed eroding class distinctions and eliminating private property, the
working conditions improved, women’s rights improved, labor unions were
recogniz ed, the military became more modern and advanced, political order
was restored, the status of the country improved from dependant to
independant, and many more. For the people of Cuba, therefore, the
revolution can be viewed as a success (if communism ca n be seen as
acceptable), but for America, the result was a failure.

Latin America is one of the poorest and underdeveloped sections of the
world. Because of this fact, it is difficult for its nations to compete and
thrive in the world market with modern nations as they struggle to
industrialize and improve their status. Capitalism, as a basis for an
economy, means that each man has to struggle to make a living, that each
man may fail and starve, and that each man may get a lucky break and
thrive. We saw this struggle of the lower classes clearly in Mexico during
their industrialization. With communism, a man may not become of greater
status than he is born with, but then again that status is no better than
his neighbors; this man is, however, guaranteed a certain amount of land,
for example, and a certain home and a certain salary. To the poor, those
threatened by the extreme of starving, this idea is very appitizing. To a
nation undergoing change, where there are many poor and these poor co uld
get hurt by the industrialization, communism is appealing in every way.

The United States has to learn that it is not in total control. We
cannot go around condemning countries which hold procedures different than
our own. The developing count ries in Latin America must struggle through
economically and politically hard times to reach their own maturity; this
means experimentating with different styles of government to find out which
is best for the specific country. If America wants democrac y to reign
over the Carribean, Central, and South America, it should make the idea
appealing, show these countries that it can work. America should support
strong democratic leaders, encourage capitalistic moves they (the
countries) make, and advise the nations when they need or ask for it.

Mexico is an example where democracy worked, in Cuba, it didn’t. Force
will get us nowhere in preventing the spread of communism, either will
cutting off relations with countries who are still debating U. S. A. or U
. S. S. R. America has too many interests in Latin America to force it
into alliance with the Soviets. If America is supportive and acts like a
friend–not a dictator–these nations will develop naturally and see that
democracy is the best for them.


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