The revolution in Cuba was not a result of economic deprivation, nor becauseof high expectations in the economy, it was the political factors andexpectations which evoked the civilians to revolt. The Cuban economy wasmoving forward at the time before the rebellion but the dominant influenceof the sugar industry made the economy “assymetrical” and encouraged no”dynamic industrial sector”. Because of the dependance on sugar, theunemployment rate ranged between 16 and 20% rising and falling with sugarprices, ebbing and flowing as the season changed.
The rural wage levelswere incredibly unsteady and unpredictable; the standard of living was low. Dependance on the sugar industry did not retard the economy of Cuba, justthe wages of its workers. It was the leaders of the nation who reapedprofit from this dependance, and it was the leaders of the nation whoinsisted 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 weknow it, broke down: the large middle class did not assert democraticleadership, there was no social militancy in the working class ranks, andthe people found order preferable to disarray. Batista could no longerlegitimize his regime .Order now
Failure in the elections of 1954 showed thediscontent of the people, and failure in communications with the UnitedStates illustrated its discontent. Finally, opposing forces confrontedBatista’s power: there were street protests, confrontations with thepolice, assault, sabotage, and urban violence. This began the revolutionin Cuba. America, with its stubborn ideas and misjudgements of character, forcedCastro to turn to the Soviets for alliance and aid. When Castro visitedthe United States in April, 1959, there were different respectedindividuals holding different views of him and his future actions.
Nixonbelieved Castro to be naive, some others thought him a welcome change fromBatista, still others called him an “immature but effective leader, withouta well formed view of how to lead a revolutionary movement and not overlyconcerned with abstract of philosophical matters” (p. 55). Why, then, didthe United States impress nit-picky ideals like “there should not becommunists in the Army or in labor”, or “Cuba’s approach to the Batistatrials is totally unacceptable, too casual, too nonchalant” on this”forming” leader? Castro was like an inexperienced murderer with a gun inhis hand: any rustle in the background could set off his nervous triggerfinger causing death, destruction, and liaisons with the U. S.
S. R. WhenAmerica expressed dislike of the trial procedures Castro was holding, ofcourse he (Castro) would try to prove he was able to run his country byhimself and snub the U. S. ambassador. The United States had so muchinvested in Cuba that it was stupid to think that Cuba could not retaliatewhen the U.
S. cut off sugar imports. America was just too sure of itselfthinking it could get away with criticism and acts like that when an”immature” leader was in control. Cuba was not totally dependant on theUnited States and proved itself so. If Cuba could not find help andsupport in America, it sought elsewhere for those who smiled on its actionsand ideals. Castro found friends in Russia; the United States made thisso.
Succeeding and failing have alot to do with judgement. For the UnitedStates, the revolution was a failure because the result was a communistnation in the Carribean. For the revolutionarie s in Cuba, the revolutionaccomplished many of their goals: capitalism was abolished and socialisminstalled eroding class distinctions and eliminating private property, theworking conditions improved, women’s rights improved, labor unions wererecogniz ed, the military became more modern and advanced, political orderwas restored, the status of the country improved from dependant toindependant, and many more. For the people of Cuba, therefore, therevolution can be viewed as a success (if communism ca n be seen asacceptable), but for America, the result was a failure. Latin America is one of the poorest and underdeveloped sections of theworld.
Because of this fact, it is difficult for its nations to compete andthrive in the world market with modern nations as they struggle toindustrialize and improve their status. Capitalism, as a basis for aneconomy, means that each man has to struggle to make a living, that eachman may fail and starve, and that each man may get a lucky break andthrive. We saw this struggle of the lower classes clearly in Mexico duringtheir industrialization. With communism, a man may not become of greaterstatus than he is born with, but then again that status is no better thanhis neighbors; this man is, however, guaranteed a certain amount of land,for example, and a certain home and a certain salary. To the poor, thosethreatened by the extreme of starving, this idea is very appitizing.
To anation undergoing change, where there are many poor and these poor co uldget hurt by the industrialization, communism is appealing in every way. The United States has to learn that it is not in total control. Wecannot go around condemning countries which hold procedures different thanour own. The developing count ries in Latin America must struggle througheconomically and politically hard times to reach their own maturity; thismeans experimentating with different styles of government to find out whichis best for the specific country. If America wants democrac y to reignover the Carribean, Central, and South America, it should make the ideaappealing, show these countries that it can work.
America should supportstrong democratic leaders, encourage capitalistic moves they (thecountries) make, and advise the nations when they need or ask for it. Mexico is an example where democracy worked, in Cuba, it didn’t. Forcewill get us nowhere in preventing the spread of communism, either willcutting 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 itinto alliance with the Soviets. If America is supportive and acts like afriend–not a dictator–these nations will develop naturally and see thatdemocracy is the best for them.