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THE CUBAN REVOLUTION

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Title: THE CUBAN REVOLUTION


1
THE CUBAN REVOLUTION
  • Political Science 4396
  • Dr. Arthur K. Smith
  • Fall Semester 2006

2
Cuba
3
Central America and the Caribbean
4
Prevailing Myths About the Cuban Revolution
  • ? The Ernesto Che Guevara version That a
    handful of bearded rebels with a rural peasant
    base singlehandedly took on and defeated a
    standing army, thereby overthrowing the dictator
    and bringing the revolutionaries to power.
  • ? That 1959 represented a watershed year for
    the Cuban Revolution, a break with the past
    rather than the culmination of more than six
    decades of virtually continuous struggle.
  • ? That Fidel Castro had his hands in all of the
    major and minor decisions of the 26th of July
    Movement during the insurrection and was
    responsible for all of its failures and
    successes.

5
Questions to be considered
  • ? What are the historical antecedents of the
    Cuban Revolution?
  • ? Did M-26-7 prevail in 1958 primarily through
  • guerrilla warfare, or were other tactics
    equally
  • crucial to victory?
  • ? What has been the role of the United States in
    shaping
  • Cuban political and economic history?
  • ? What role will the U.S. play in the
    post-Fidel era?
  • ? How best to understand the role of Fidel Castro
    as
  • Cubas revolutionary leader?
  • ? How best to understand the recent temporary
    transfer
  • of power to Raul Castro?
  • ? What role has been and will be played by the
    Cuban
  • exile community?
  • ? What is likely to happen after Fidels death?

6
Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800
  • ? Structure of Spanish Colonial Administration
  • ? Spains conquest of the New World
  • ? Contrast with Englands colonization of
  • North America
  • ? Role of Cuba in Spains colonial economy
  • ? Mercantilism
  • Dominant economic system from about
    the 16th through the 18th centuries
  • Rise of the nation-state in Europe
  • Fueled rise of imperialism
  • ? From about 1531 to 1660, Spain extracted from
    its LA colonies
  • some 181 tons of gold and 16,000 tons of
    silver (official figures)
  • ? Effects on Spains politics and
    economy
  • ? Inflation, undermined aristocracy,
    strengthened powers of
  • monarchy, retarded growth of
    independent commercial class
  • Havanas role in Spains mineral
    exploitation of Latin America

7
Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800
(2)
  • ? Peninsulares vs. Criollos in Spanish colonial
    America
  • ? Decline of mining, rise of plantation
    economy
  • ? Importation of African slaves
  • ? Spains restrictive policies for Cuba
    from 16th through 19th
  • centuries
  • ? Occupation of Havana by the English in
    1862
  • The world context England, France, Spain, and
    the United States
  • at the end of the 18th century and beginning
    of the 19th century
  • ? Industrial revolution in England, expansion
    of world trade
  • ? American and French Revolutions, the
    Enlightenment
  • ? Slave uprising in Sainte Domingue,
    Hispaniola (Haiti)
  • ? Legitimacy crisis in Spain and Portugal
  • Napoleonic wars
  • ? Three kinds of legitimacy
  • ? Traditional
  • ? Charismatic
  • ? Rational-Legal

8
Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800
(3)
  • ? Insularity of Cuba from LA wars of
    independence (Simon Bolivar
  • and Jose de San Martin)
  • Effects of these events on Cuba
  • Cuba became a refuge for displaced
    peninsulares and immigrants
  • from Spain
  • Before proceeding with examination of Cuba in
    the 19th century,
  • review Introductory Chapter in Julia Sweigs
    Book
  • ? Prevailing myths to be examined and
    evaluated
  • ? The Ernesto Che Guevara version
    That a handful of bearded
  • rebels with a rural peasant base
    singlehandedly took on and
  • defeated a standing army, thereby
    overthrowing the dictator
  • and bringing the revolutionaries to
    power.
  • ? That 1959 represented a watershed
    year for the Cuban
  • Revolution, a break with the past
    rather than the culmination
  • of more than six decades of virtually
    continuous struggle.
  • ? That Fidel Castro had his hands in all
    of the major and minor
  • decisions of the 26th of July Movement
    during the insurrection
  • and was responsible for all of its
    failures and successes.

9
Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1898
  • ? Cuba in the 19th Century Rise of the Sugar
    Culture
  • ? Great Power Politics
  • ? Pax Britannica
  • ? U.S. Manifest Destiny
  • ? The Monroe Doctrine
  • ? Cubas attractiveness to the U.S. (refer
    to map)
  • ? Offer to buy Cuba from Spain, the
    Ostend Manifesto
  • ? Decline of Spain as an Imperial Power
  • ? Emergence of the United States as a Great
    Power
  • ? Influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan
  • ? Social Darwinism
  • ? The First Rebellion in Spains Cuba,
    1868-1878
  • ? Grito de Yara (1868)
  • ? Cuba Libre
  • ? Jose Marti

10
Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1898
(2)
11
Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1903
(3)
  • ? 1878 Settlement by Spain led to shaky peace
  • ? Promised reforms, amnesty,
    emancipation of slaves
  • (finally fulfilled in 1886)
  • ? Growth of trade in sugar tobacco
    with U.S.
  • ? Trade agreement cancelled by
    Spain in 1894
  • ? Hurt sugar growers in Cuba,
    caused resentment in
  • the U.S.
  • ? Final war of independence,
    1895-1898
  • ? Roles of Jose Marti, Antonio
    Maceo, Calixto Garcia
  • ? General Valeriano Butcher
    Weyler
  • ? Reconcentrados, free fire
    zones
  • ? Forces provoking American
    intervention
  • ? Economic, strategic,
    humanitarian
  • ? The Yellow Press
  • ? Sinking of the USS Maine
    (February 15, 1898)

12
Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1908
(4)
  • ? Spanish-American War
  • ? Remember the Maine
  • ? War declared on April 11, 1898
  • ? The Teller Amendment
  • ? Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough
    Riders
  • ? The Treaty of Paris (December 10,
    1898)
  • ? Contrast between U.S. Cuban
    historical perspectives
  • on the war
  • ? American Military Rule, 1898-1902
  • ? Conditions in Cuba were deplorable
  • ? Benevolent reconstruction, Dr.
    Leonard Wood
  • ? Debates in both Cuba U.S. about
    future relationship
  • ? Annexation vs. Independence
  • ? Elections of 1900 in the U.S.
  • ? TR as war hero, Republican
    candidate for VP
  • ? Assassination of McKinley,
    rise of TR
  • ? Constitutional Assembly in Cuba
    (1900)

13
Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1903
(5)
  • ? The Platt Amendment (Secretary of State Elihu
    Root)
  • ? Limits on Cuban sovereignty, naval
    stations, U.S. right
  • to intervene for the preservation of
    Cuban
  • independence, the maintenance of a
    government
  • adequate for the protection of life,
    property, and
  • individual liberty.
  • ? Adopted by U.S. Congress as rider
    to army appropriations
  • act of 1901
  • ? Added to new Cuban constitution in
    June 1901
  • ? Election of 1st President of Cuba, Tomas
    Estrada Palma
  • ? End of U.S. military rule (May 1902)
  • ? Beginning of U.S. Protectorate
    (1902-1934)
  • ? Estrada Palmas first term, 1902-1906
  • ? Good start, trade treaty of 1903 with
    U.S.
  • ? 20 reduction in tariff duties for
    Cuban sugar
  • ? U.S. settles on only Guantanamo
    Bay as naval base
  • ? Traditional Cuban corruption
    moderated

14
Growth of the Sugar Culture and the U.S.
Protectorate, 1902-1925
  • ? Framework for political analysis
  • ? Power contenders
  • ? Power capabilities
  • ? Political currencies
  • ? Three types of legitimacy
  • ? Role of the military in Latin
    American countries
  • ? Golpes de estado
  • ? Rise of U.S. policy of Gunboat Diplomacy
  • ? Diplomatic recognition of new
    governments
  • ? De jure vs. de facto recognition
  • ? Recognition used as a power tactic
    by U.S. governments
  • ? Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine
  • ? Panama Canal
  • ? 1st Test of Platt Amendment in 1906
  • ? Estrada Palmas Moderates vs.
    Liberals (Jose
  • Miguel Gomez, Alfredo Zayas)
  • ? TR sent William Howard Taft, then
    appointed Charles Magoon as
  • governor to supplant the elected
    president
  • ? New elections in 1909 brought Gomez to
    power

15
Growth of the Sugar Culture and the U.S.
Protectorate, 1902-1925 (2)
  • ? Rise of venality after 1909, repeated U.S.
    interventions to maintain order
  • ? Pattern of U.S. protectorate established
  • ? President Mario Garcia Menocal (1913-1921)
    continued
  • corruption
  • ? Fraudulent reelection in 1917 (U.S.
    troops put down
  • revolt by opposition)
  • ? Cuba followed U.S. in declaring
    war on Germany in
  • 1917
  • ? U.S. bought Cuban sugar during
    WWI, but prices
  • collapsed after war ended
  • ? The Dance of the
    Millions
  • ? Economic collapse, all
    Cuban-owned banks failed
  • ? Alfredo Zayas elected president in
    1921 in midst of
  • continuing economic turmoil
  • ? Gen. Enoch Crowder sent by U.S.
    in painless intervention
  • ? Economic recovery until 1923,
    when Crowder left
  • ? Quick return to corruption
  • ? Election of Gerardo Machado in 1925

16
The Machado Years, 1925-1933
  • ? Promising beginning for Machado Government
  • ? Diversified economy, public works, easy
    loans from
  • New York banks
  • ? Era of Dollar Diplomacy replaced
    Gunboat Diplomacy
  • ? But Machado built his own corrupt
    political machine
  • ? Reelected in 1928, but opposition
    grew
  • ? University of Havana played
    major role in opposition
  • ? ABC society of some 40,000
    members
  • ? Machado porrista thugs,
    reign of terror
  • ? Public order deteriorated, but
    U.S. President
  • Hoover resisted calls for
    intervention
  • ? The Great Depression set in
    and deepened throughout
  • most of the world
  • ? New U.S. President Franklin Delano
    Roosevelt (1933)
  • ? The Good Neighbor policy of FDR
    replaced Dollar Diplomacy

17
The Machado Years, 1925-1933 (2)
  • ? Sumner Welles sent by FDR as ambassador to
    Cuba to
  • apply pressure on Machado
  • ? ABC called a general strike in August
    1933, Cuban
  • army leaders demanded changes
  • ? Machado took flight to Bahamas
  • ? Provisional government brokered by
    Welles, but
  • lasted only three weeks
  • ? Overthrown by the revolt of the
    sergeants
  • ? Tradition of military golpes
    de estado in LA
  • ? Sergeant Fulgencio Batista
    deposed officer corps
  • and seized power, promoted
    himself to colonel
  • and army chief of staff
  • ? Batista appointed Professor
    Ramon Grau San Martin
  • as Provisional President
  • ? Grau lasted only 4 months
    (U.S. withheld recognition)
  • ? de facto vs. de jure
    recognition
  • ? But Grau decreed end
    of Platt Amendment as law in Cuba

18
The Revolt of the Sergeants and the Rise of
Fulgencio Batista, 1933-1944
  • ? Platt Amendment then formally abrogated by
    U.S. (1934)
  • ? Batista ruled Cuba from behind the scenes from
    1934-1940
  • ? Succession of seven puppet presidents
  • ? Notably Carlos Mendieta, Miguel
    Mariano Gomez, and
  • Federico Laredo Bru
  • ? Cuban economy shaky during 1930s
  • ? Impact of worldwide depression
  • ? General strike in 1935, but
    Batistas army suppressed it
  • ? Batistas behind-the-scenes dictatorship
    characterized
  • as mild, suave, and sweet
  • ? Social reforms under Laredo Bru
  • ? Womens suffrage, sugar
    cooperatives, trade
  • unionization (Confederation of
    Cuban Workers)
  • ? U.S. presence lessened, but rising
    anti-
  • Americanism among intellectuals
  • ? Rise of Fascism in Europe, the New
    Deal in
  • the U.S. Spanish civil war

19
The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War
Years, 1945-1952
  • ? Constituent Assembly elected in November 1939
  • ? Constitution of 1940 was a very
    progressive document
  • ? Cross between presidential and
    parliamentary systems
  • ? Prime minister responsible to
    president congress
  • ? No immediate reelection of
    president (4 year term)
  • ? Civil liberties, workers rights,
    unions, agrarian reform,
  • industrialization, Cubanization of
    the national economy
  • ? Batista elected President in 1940,
    supported by his
  • Democratic Socialist coalition and
    the PSP
  • ? Opposed by Grau San Martin
    (Autenticos)
  • ? Batista a strong, democratic, popular
    president from 1940-44
  • ? Cuba declared war on Axis Powers on
    Dec. 9, 1941
  • ? Recognized USSR in 1943
  • ? U.S. provided aid, plus U.S.
    purchased entire sugar crop
  • at favorable prices
  • ? Zafra averaging about 5 million
    tons annually

20
The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War
Years, 1945-1952 (2)
  • ? Batista was a masterful politician at this
    time
  • ? Actually gave Cuba the best government it
    had ever had
  • ? Public works projects, support of
    army, upper and middle classes,
  • organized labor, Communists
  • ? Role of COMINTERN in 1930s and
    1940s
  • ? PSP was strongly tied to
    Moscow and the USSR
  • ? Cuban intellectuals still
    disaffected, but isolated
  • ? But Batista took care to enrich himself
    (commissions, kick-backs)
  • ? In 1944, he allowed free elections and
    turned over power to Grau
  • San Martin and the Autenticos
  • ? Batista went to live in Florida
  • ? Graus government from 1944-48 was a big
    disappointment
  • ? Set new records for graft and
    corruption
  • ? Havana became a mecca for U.S.
    tourists, gambling, prostitution,
  • narcotics, mafia

21
The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War
Years, 1945-1952 (3)
  • ? By 1947-48, Cuba seemed to be coming apart
  • ? Students at University of Havana rioted,
    armed themselves
  • ? Political assassinations were common
  • ? Emergence of Fidel Castro
  • ? Father Angel Castro, from Galicia
    (Gallego) b. Dec. 4, 1892,
  • emigrated to Cuba in 1912
  • ? Worked for United Fruit Company,
    started own hacienda10,000
  • acres in Oriente
  • ? Married, but fell for housemaid
    Lina Ruz
  • ? Six children with Lina Ruz,
    Fidel b. Aug. 13, 1926
  • ? Rustic upbringing, athletic,
    sometimes violent, brawling Catholic
  • schools in Santiago and
    Havana
  • ? To University of Havana in
    fall 1945 to study law

22
The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War
Years, 1945-1952 (4)
  • ? Elections of 1948 (Carlos Prio Socarras
    vs. Senator Eduardo Chibas two
  • other candidates)
  • ? Autenticos vs. Ortodoxos
  • ? Prio won a plurality of the votes
  • ? Corruption became even worse,
    especially Prio himself
  • ? But Cuban economy growing (sugar,
    Korean War, tourism)
  • ? Buildup to national elections of 1952
  • ? Growing sentiment for Batista to
    return to power (elected to Senate)
  • ? Chibas growing in popularity, but
    dramatic suicide on radio show
  • ? Roberto Agramonte became Ortodoxo
    candidate, Batista likely
  • to lose the election
  • ? Cuartelazo of March 1952, Camp
    Columbia
  • ? Prio Socarras deposed
  • ? Elections cancelled

23
Fulgencio Batistas Second Coup, 1952
  • ? Batistas return to power initially greeted
    with widespread relief
  • ? U.S. recognized new government some two
    weeks later
  • ? But old progressiveness quickly devolved
    into dictatorship
  • ? Press muzzled, university closed, congress
    dissolved, military law
  • declared
  • ? Link with Meyer Lansky and the U.S.
    mafia, which invested in
  • hotels, gambling, prostitution
  • ? Role of frustrated intellectuals such as
    Fidel Castro
  • ? Student factions, growing violence and
    government repression
  • ? Broader context of dictatorships in
    Latin America
  • ? The Bogatazo in Colombia (April
    1948) and Fidel Castro
  • ? Jorge Eliecer Gaitan
    assassinated, period of La Violencia, Gustavo
  • Rojas Pinilla (1953-57)
  • ? Rafael Leonidas Trujillo
    (Dominican Republic, 1930-61)
  • ? Cayo Confites expedition

24
Fulgencio Batistas Second Coup, 1952 (2)
  • ? Marcos Perez Jimenez (Venezuela,
    1948-58)
  • ? Juan Domingo Peron in Argentina
    (1943-55)
  • ? Manuel Odria in Peru (1948-56) and
    APRA
  • ? Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay
    (1954-89)
  • ? Anastasio Somoza Garcia in
    Nicaragua (1933-56)
  • ? Getulio Vargas in Brazil (elected
    1950-54, but former military
  • dictator from 1930-45)
  • ? But there were a few bright spots in
    L.A. for democratic reform
  • ? Chile and Mexico changed
    governments regularly
  • through elections
  • ? The Bolivian Revolution of 1952
    (Victor Paz Estenssoro and
  • the MNR)
  • ? Jose Pepe Figueres and the
    National Liberation Party (PLN)
  • in Costa Rica
  • ? Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala
    (1950-54)
  • ? The Caribbean Legion
  • ? Role of the Organization of
    American States (OAS)
  • ? U.S. policy of containment of
    communism

25
The Moncada Raid,July 26, 1953
  • ? Fidel Castros political ambitions as an
    Ortodoxo
  • ? Frustrated by Batistas coup
  • ? Turned to violent overthrow of
    government as only remaining
  • route to power
  • ? Planning and Organization of the Moncada Raid
  • ? Fidels budding movement of disaffected
    and marginalized Cubans
  • ? Fidelistas grew to a movement of
    about 1,200 by June 1953
  • ? Raising money, gathering armaments
  • ? Ideology? Communist?
  • ? Charismatic legitimation, mantle of
    Marti
  • ? Stance of PSP as Fidelista movement
    grew
  • ? Focus on Moncada army barracks in Santiago de
    Cuba
  • ? Planned as early as February 1952 with
    Abel Arcos
  • ? Hope was that dramatic and heroic feat
    would spark nationwide uprising
  • ? Romantic, Morir por la Patria es
    Vivir
  • ? 165 men and two women, Batistiano uniforms
  • ? But everything went wrong from the
    start, army troops rallied

26
The Moncada Raid,July 26, 1953 (2)
  • ? Fidel gave order to retreat, escaped
    with about 18 others to
  • Sierra Maestra
  • ? Those captured were tortured and most
    were executed
  • ? Moncada raid was a military failure but a
    political success
  • ? Brutality of Batista regime was crystalized
    for nation to see
  • ? Fidel catapulted into leadership role
    on grander scale
  • ? As dust settled, Fidel and Raul gave
    themselves up
  • ? Brought to trial in September 1953
    (some 24 conspirators in all)
  • ? Fidel defended himself,
    cross-examined accusers
  • ? Lengthy summation included his
    justification for the Moncada attack and
  • his political agenda
  • ? Manifesto called for restoration of the
    Constitution of 1940
  • ? Ownership of land by tenants,
    sharecroppers, and squatters
  • ? Right of workers to share of profits
    of business enterprises,
  • including sugar mills and
    plantations

27
The Moncada Raid,July 26, 1953 (3)
  • ? Confiscation of property that had
    been secured through
  • graft and fraud
  • ? Castigated foreign ownership of land
    (esp. United Fruit
  • Company)
  • ? Rejected absolute freedom of
    enterprise, guarantees for investment
  • capital, law of supply and demand
  • ? Castros speech held out a bright and
    shining vision of the future
  • ? History will absolve me

28
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956
  • ? Fidel sentenced to 15 years, Raul to 13,
  • 20 others given 10 years
  • ? Boniato Prison on the Isle of Pines
  • ? While in prison, Fidel continued to
    work on his Manifesto
  • ? More radical than Ortodoxos, but
    far short of Communist
  • ? Fairly well treated as a political
    prisoner, allowed to communicate with
  • wife Mirta and lover Naty Revuelta and
    to maintain unity among his
  • imprisoned followers
  • ? Meanwhile, Batista increasingly confident,
    held elections in 1954
  • ? Batista himself the only legal candidate
  • ? Even allowed release of Fidel and his
    Moncada raid comrades from
  • prison in May 1955 as part of deal with
    Ortodoxo Party
  • ? Fidel dallied briefly in Havana, then left
    for voluntary exile in Mexico City
  • ? Mexico in the 1950s under President
    Adolfo Ruiz Cortines and the PRI

29
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (2)
  • ? Immediately focused on organizing M-26-7
  • ? Forged linkages with important Cuban
    exiles, including Carlos
  • Prio Socarras
  • ? But already jockeying for leadership of
    anti-Batista forces
  • ? Already focused on landing in Oriente
    in tradition of Marti
  • ? M-26-7 in Mexico City quickly grew to
    about 70 followers
  • ? Rigorous paramilitary training,
    organization into cells
  • ? Met Che Guevara in July 1955
  • ? Fidel and Che complemented each
    other as revolutionaries
  • ? Raul Castro, Alberto Bayo (veteran of
    Spanish civil war), and
  • Frank Pais completed core group of
    leaders
  • ? Pais least well known, but perhaps
    most important after Fidel
  • ? His ANR (Accion Nacional
    Revolucionaria) became the
  • in-Cuba wing of M-26-7
  • ? Role was to mount
    diversionary uprising in Santiago during
  • planned landing in Oriente

30
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (3)
  • ? By fall 1955, Fidel was actively raising money
    for M-26-7
  • ? Visits to Cuban exiles in New York, Tampa,
    New Jersey
  • ? There was in April 1956 an abortive military
    coup against Batista
  • ? Easily put down, but effect was to
    eliminate from Batistas army
  • its most professionalized officers
    (mostly trained in U.S.)
  • ? Followers of Prio Socarras assaulted army
    barracks in Matanzas
  • ? Fidel watched from afar, pleased at these
    failures
  • ? In July 1956 Fidel met with Jose
    Antonio Echeverria, leader of
  • anti-Batista group Student
    Revolutionary Directorate (DRE)
  • ? Formed in 1955, middle- and
    upper-middle-class youths
  • ? Idealistic, pro-democracy, but
    supported violent overthrow
  • of Batista
  • ? Fidel met with Prio Socarras in
    McAllen, Texas, and won
  • financial support

31
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (4)
  • ? Events in Fidels personal life
  • ? Ex-wife Mirta Diaz-Balart remarried
  • ? Fidel concerned about his son
    Fidelito, then six years old
  • ? Naty Revuelta bore him a daughter in
    March 1956
  • ? Affairs with various other women
  • ? Death of Fidels father, Angel, in
    October 1956
  • ? Purchase of the Granma, aged 38-foot yacht in
    Tuxpan, Mexico,
  • in early November
  • ? M-26-7 group filtered in to Tuxpan, about
    88 in all
  • ? Granma set out for Cuba on November 25,
    dangerously overloaded
  • ? Stormy passage to Oriente, rampant
    seasickness, voyage delayed
  • ? Batista was aware of M-26-7
    plans
  • ? On November 30, Fidel learned of
    failure of Frank Paiss
  • diversionary attack in Santiago
  • ? Landing on December 2

32
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (5)
  • ? On December 5, after having moved inland some
    22 miles, the M-26-7 landing party was ambushed
    by Cuban army
  • ? Most were killed, about 12 survivors
    scattered, including
  • Fidels top leadership (Che was
    slightly wounded)
  • ? Survivors reunited after about 11
    grueling days in the rugged
  • Sierra Maestra
  • ? Now the real guerrilla struggle began
  • ? Early raid on army outpost at La Plata was
    successful
  • ? Word quietly and slowly got out to
    Fidelistas, and the band of
  • guerrillas started to grow
  • ? Strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare
  • ? Unconventional, asymmetrical
  • ? Numerous successful examples known at
    that time, among
  • them
  • ? China (Mao Tse-tung, mid-1940s)

33
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (6)
  • ? Yugoslavia (Josip Broz Tito in early
    1940s)
  • ? Viet Nam (General Vo Nguyen Giap,
    early 1950s)
  • ? Mexico (Emiliano Zapata, mid
    1910s))
  • ? Nicaragua (Augusto Cesar Sandino,
    late 1920s))
  • ? Cubas own war of independence
    against Spain (1895-98)
  • ? Political vs. military victory
  • ? Measures of success are different
  • ? Hit and run tactics
  • ? Avoidance of set-piece battles
    against conventional forces
  • ? Common setting Rural vs. urban
  • ? Support of peasants (or campesinos) is
    crucial
  • ? Roles of propaganda and terrorism
  • ? Purpose To de-legitimize regime and
    create conditions
  • for its fall

34
Castros Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and
Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)
  • ? Question Was Cuba a modern, transitional, or
    underdeveloped country in 1957-58?
  • ? Metaphor of growth
  • ? Heuristic
  • ? But possibly teleological or
    deterministic
  • ? Example Karl Marxs economic
    determinism

35
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958
  • ? What was Cuba like in early 1957?
  • ? Dimensions of political (as contrasted
    with economic) modernization
  • ? Secularization
  • ? More than simply independence of
    the political from religious
  • how people conceive their role in
    the process of change
  • ? Integration
  • ? Individuals owe primary allegiance
    to nation, rather than religion,
  • tribe, or region
  • ? Social Mobilization
  • ? Individuals and groups actively
    seek ways to resolve problems
  • ? Participation
  • ? People conceive of political
    action
  • ? Institutionalization
  • ? Activity channeled through
    political institutions and accepted
  • rules

36
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (2)
  • ? Dimensions of economic modernization
  • ? Industrialization, urbanization, education
  • ? Concept of economic and political dependency
    (Dependency Theory)
  • ? Means of production (land, labor, capital,
    technology)
  • ? Primary vs. secondary products
  • ? Doctrine of comparative advantage in
    international trade
  • ? Efficiency lies in specialization
  • ? But specialization in primary products
    means specialization in
  • land and labor rather than in capital
    and technology
  • ? Rostows Revolution of Rising Expectations
  • ? Cuba in the 1950s not as backward or as
    underdeveloped as has been often portrayed,
    especially in comparison to the rest of Latin
    America
  • ? By 1953 census, about 60 percent of
    labor force in
  • nonagricultural occupations

37
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (3)
  • ? Third in LA in average daily consumption of
    food (after Argentina and Uruguay)
  • ? Ranked near top in LA in number of
    radios and television sets
  • ? Foreign ownership of sugar mills was in steady
    decline, from 66 in 1939
  • to only 36 in 1958
  • ? By contrast, Cuban-owned sugar mills
    increased from 56 to 121 in the
  • same period
  • ? Cuban-owned percentage of total sugar
    production had increased from
  • 22 to 62
  • ? By 1958, Cubas per capita income was among
    the highest in LA
  • ? Comparable worldwide to Italy, Hungary,
    Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania
  • ? Cuban workers in cities enjoyed relatively
    good pay and benefits
  • ? But agricultural workers were worse
    off, underemployed and seasonally
  • unemployed because of sugar culture
  • ? Cuba was fairly highly urbanized, with nearly
    60 living in cities
  • ? Status of education was inadequate but
    improving
  • ? Literacy rate of about 78 in 1953,
    ranking Cuba 4th in Latin America

38
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (4)
  • ? In social structure, Cuba marked by steady
    growth of middle class
  • (professional, semi-professional, managerial,
    and proprietary
  • groups)
  • ? In relation to total population, Cubas
    middle class among
  • strongest in L.A.
  • ? On average, then, Cuba generally ranked quite
    high among L.A.
  • countries
  • ? But average rankings concealed wide
    disparities and inequalities
  • ? In summary, the picture of Cuba in late 1950s
    as a backward,
  • poverty-ridden land was not completely
    accurate, especially in
  • relation to L.A.
  • ? But relative to U.S. and Western Europe,
    Cuba was clearly
  • underdeveloped
  • ? In per capita income, Cuba ranked far
    below Mississippi, the
  • poorest state
  • ? And below all Western European nations
    except Portugal
  • ? Wealth and land ownership concentrated
    in the hands of the few
  • ? And Cuba had its share of major problems
  • ? Economy sluggish, growth in GNP was slow

39
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (5)
  • ? Overreliance on sugar (75-80 of Cubas
    exports)
  • ? U.S. citizens owned or controlled many
    public utilities, much of
  • the banking system, and about 36 percent
    of sugar industry
  • (albeit U.S. share was in steady decline)
  • ? Cubas trade overwhelmingly was with
    U.S. (about 60)
  • ? But while the perception was much
    higher, U.S. financial
  • interests controlled only six percent
    of the gross Cuban GNP
  • ? Cubans had a love-hate relationship with the
    U.S.
  • ? Despised U.S. materialism, its pragmatism,
    and its historic
  • influence in Cuban affairs
  • ? Many Cubans ashamed of what Havana had
    become by 1950s
  • ? But Cubans also desirous of sharing in the
    profits that U.S.
  • investments and tourists brought
  • ? And copying American ways and customs
    (e.g., slang words,
  • baseball, even racial prejudice)
  • ? Cubans so prosperous that Cuban
    tourists spent more in
  • the U.S. than U.S. tourists spent in
    Cuba
  • ? U.S. support of Batista dictatorship was not
    set in concrete

40
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (6)
  • ? My point The Cuban Revolution was born not
    so much out of grinding
  • poverty, racial inequalities, economic
    underdevelopment, or
  • U.S. imperialism
  • ? As out of the fact that development of a
    more modern Cuba
  • was not proceeding fast enough to satisfy
    peoples rising
  • expectations, especially among middle
    class
  • ? Cuba was a transitional nation that had
    taken off toward
  • modernization
  • ? Dimensions of political modernization
    Uneven progress
  • ? Secularization
  • ? Integration
  • ? Social Mobilization
  • ? Participation
  • ? Institutionalization
  • ? Tensions in society exacerbated by a
    tradition of aggressive
  • nationalism with a strong anti-Yanqui
    twist
  • ? A particularly violent revolutionary
    tradition
  • ? Influence of Cold War conflicts
    elsewhere in the world

41
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (7)
  • ? Why is it important to understand this?
  • ? The Myth of the Cuban Revolution
    promulgated by
  • Castro, Guevara, and others (e.g., C.
    Wright Mills,
  • Jean Paul Sartre, Leo Huberman, Regis
    Debray, Paul
  • Sweezy, to mention a few)
  • ? Cuba was widely portrayed as an island
    inhabited by a largely
  • rural population living in misery and
    filth, illiteracy, and
  • exploitation
  • ? Whose conditions of life were so
    abysmal that the country
  • simply exploded under the leadership
    of Fidel Castro
  • to create a new social order through
    revolution
  • ? The facts belie much of the myth, and the
    truth is much
  • more complicated
  • ? But while the period from 1953-1958 was
    prosperous,
  • Batistas dictatorship was becoming
    progressively more
  • tyrannical and brutal

42
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (8)
  • ? Never had Cubans been richerat least, those
    who held office, who
  • were granted concessions, who owned land
    and good businesses
  • ? And among the richest was ex-sergeant
    Fulgencio Batista
  • ? Under Batista, Cuba had virtually
    everythingexcept liberty
  • ? The opportunity to participate in
    politics was closed to all but the
  • few batistianos
  • ? Meanwhile, back in the Sierra Maestra, the
    fidelistas were working at
  • guerrilla warfare
  • ? Basic strategy (January 1957-February
    1958) was to attack army
  • posts, withdraw immediately, then prepare
    ambush for the pursuing
  • army troops
  • ? The M-26-7 rebel band grew slowly,
    with most new recruits coming
  • not from guajiros but rather from
    among young urban students and
  • intellectuals
  • ? Mostly from Santiago and recruited
    by Frank Pais
  • ? Pais had been arrested and jailed
    after the abortive uprising scheduled
  • to coincide with the Granma
    landing, then was acquitted (May 1957)
  • ? Very few guajiros recruited to
    fight, but support of the guajiros was
    cultivated
  • with land reform and as source of
    food and supplies

43
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (9)
  • ? Turning point came when Frank Pais
    sent Herbert Matthews to Castro
  • in the mountains in February 1957
  • ? Veteran New York Times war
    correspondent
  • ? Fortuitous, Matthews the right
    man at exactly the right time
  • ? Matthews three stories in New York Times
    revealed that Fidel was not
  • only alive but was actively engaging
    Batistas army
  • ? Fidel adept at guerrilla theatre
    during Matthews visit
  • ? Romantic portrayal by Matthews caused a
    sensation in U.S.,
  • but also in Cuba
  • ? Batista scoffed at fidelista threat, and
    PSP publicly denounced Castro
  • ? M-26-7 leaders agreed to complement Sierra
    activities with urban underground
  • ? Frank Pais played the role of
    coordinator
  • ? More than Fidel, Pais was the actual
    architect of organization and
  • national strategy for M-26-7
  • ? Sierra and Llano tactics worked in
    concert
  • ? Activities in the Sierra were
    dependent on Llano for virtually everything

44
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (10)
  • ? M-26-7 resisted alliances with other
    leading anti-Batista groups
  • ? M-26-7 portrayed as something new
    and independent
  • ? Again, the goal of strategy
    during this period Nationwide general strike,
  • supported by armed struggle in
    both the Sierra and the Llano
  • ? Cells were organized in all six
    provinces, but Pais was headquartered
  • in Santiago
  • ? Llano employed a strategy of
    sabotage through urban guerrilla warfare
  • to prepare the way for the
    planned general strike
  • ? M-26-7s relationship with the PSP (i.e., the
    Communists) was delicate
  • ? Many M-26-7 members were anti-Communist,
    democratic left
  • ? PSP had been closely linked to
    Batista since 1930s
  • ? But if the objective was to be a general
    strike, PSP cooperation was
  • vitally needed
  • ? PSP exercised much control over
    labor unions in CTC
  • ? M-26-7s relationships with the Autenticos
    (OA, still led by Prio Socarras) and the
  • Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE) were
    even more difficult
  • ? But on March 13, 1957, both of these rival
    groups staged an assault
  • on Batistas palace in Havana

45
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (11)
  • ? More than 40 killed, including Jose
    Antonio Echeverria, the leader of the DRE
  • ? Thus a major potential rival to
    Fidel was removed
  • ? M-26-7 profited from this in
    various ways, including weapons
  • ? Government crackdown after
    the assault on Batistas palace
  • Repression of dissidents
    damaged both OA and DRE
  • ? At the same time, another
    organization, called the Joint Civic Institutions
    (CIC),
  • was rallying many professional
    groups in opposition to Batista and
  • to the elections he planned for
    1958
  • ? Appearance of the Manifesto of the Sierra
    Maestra
  • ? Published in Bohemia magazine on July
    28, 1957
  • ? Fidel was the primary author, but
    Frank Pais was influential in
  • striking a moderate rather then
    radical tone
  • ? Building tactical coalition with
    Raul Chibas, Felipe Pazos,
  • Roberto Agramonte, Justo Carrillo
    (Ortodoxos-Historicos)
  • ? Key element of the Manifesto at this
    time M-26-7 granted power to the CIC to
  • name a provisional government

46
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (12)
  • ? Rejected elections as a solution
    until Batista overthrown
  • ? But the Manifesto set free
    elections and constitutional goverment
  • as central post-Batista
    goals
  • ? Elections were to be
    held within one year after Batistas defeat
  • ? Called for formation of the
    Civic Revolutionary Front to bring about
  • Batistas downfall
  • ? Manifesto set forth a
    post-overthrow program of reforms that closely
    reflected
  • longstanding platform of
    Ortodoxo party
  • ? Manifesto was effective in
    discrediting the elections planned for 1958 as a
  • competing strategy for ending
    Batistas rule
  • ? Roles of women such as Celia Sanchez, Vilma
    Espin, Haydee Santamaria
  • ? Celia was Fidels lover and a key
    organizer/strategist
  • ? Vilma (later to become Rauls wife)
    was a staunch communist and key
  • plotter against Pais as Fidels
    rival for power within M-26-7
  • ? Pais (only 23 years old) was betrayed
    from within M-26-7 and assassinated by
  • Batistas police in Santiago (late July
    1957)
  • ? Spontaneous and widespread mourning,
    work stoppages in Oriente
  • ? Government overreacted with
    repression

47
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (13)
  • ? Paiss death cleared way for Fidel to
    assert not only his undisputed leadership of
  • M-26-7
  • ? But also the supremacy of the Sierra
    strategy over that of the Llano
  • ? The August 5 general strike was
    organized by ND leaders
  • ? Abortive, not supported by PSP
  • ? September 5 naval mutiny in Cienfuegos,
    easily suppressed by Batistas army
  • ? Effect was elimination of most
    M-26-7 allies within military
  • ? During fall 1957, M-26-7 sowed terror
    across Cuba by burning cane fields
  • ? Meanwhile, the remains of the DRE
    opened up a guerrilla front of its own
  • in Escambray mountains in central
    Cuba, with some 800 members
  • ? Poorly coordinated, eventually
    not very effective
  • ? And Raul Castro opened up a second
    front in Oriente in March 1958
  • ? Very effective militarily, carried
    out some 247 actions against Cuban army through
  • the end of December
  • ? Raul also resorted to political
    kidnappings as terror tactic
  • ? Including busload of 47 U.S.
    sailors returning to base at Guantanamo

48
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (14)
  • ? U.S. support of Batista was now becoming
    ambivalent
  • ? U.S. imposed an arms embargo in March
    1958
  • ? State Department concluded that Batista
    must go
  • ? Attracted by the transitionist plan
    outlined in the Sierra Manifesto
  • ? Pact of Miami and the Cuban
    Liberation Junta
  • ? The PSP also decided to hedge its bets,
    sending younger members
  • to join M-26-7 in guerrilla warfare
  • ? PSP leader Carlos Rafael Rodriguez
    traveled to Sierra in May/June and
  • remained there with Fidel
  • ? M-26-7 llano leaders called for a
    nationwide general strike on April 9, 1958
  • ? Strike failed, even though it nominally
    had Fidels support
  • ? In May 1958, Batista ordered a major
    offensive, sent 10,000 troops
  • to Oriente with air force bombers
  • ? Army suffered some tactical defeats,
    some defections among its troops
  • ? U.S. pressure forced Batista to
    stop use of bombing
  • ? In effect, the U.S. government was
    abandoning Batista to his fate

49
The 26th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra
and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (15)
  • ? On August 7, Cuban army began a disorderly
    retreat, marking
  • beginning of final stage of the
    insurrection
  • ? Guerrillas of M-26-7 now about 800 in
    number, and had been reorganized
  • into four columns
  • ? First and second columns,
    commanded respectively by Fidel and Raul,
  • stayed where they had been in the
    Sierra
  • ? Third, commanded by Che Guevara,
    went to the Escambray
  • mountains in Las Villas province
  • ? Fourth, led by Camilo Cienfuegos,
    sent to Pinar del Rio, at the
  • western tip of Cuba (but never
    arrived, and actually fell in with Che)
  • ? Oriente province was now virtually
    completely under rebel control
  • ? And forces under Che and Camilo
    Cienfuegos threatened to
  • cut the island in two in Las Villas
    province
  • ? As fall 1958 progressed, the Cuban army
    melted away from desertions
  • ? By December 1958, both the U.S. government
    and Batistas army leaders
  • realized that Batista had to go
  • ? On December 31, city of Santa Clara (Las
    Villas) fell to Che and Camilo
  • ? And Fidels column was laying siege
    to Santiago
  • ? That same night, Batista fled the island

50
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I
  • ? Why did Castro win?
  • ? Five basic reasons
  • 1. Military action
  • 2. The revolutionary potential of the
    island
  • 3. Programmatic content of the Sierra
    Manifesto (promise of
  • liberal democracy)
  • 4. Castros personal characteristics and
    his effective elimination
  • of potential rivals for power
    outside M-26-7
  • 5. Lack of support for Batista across
    spectrum of power contenders
  • ? Fidel began an unhurried victory march from
    Santiago to Havana
  • ? Che and Camilo had already moved forces
    into Havana on January 1
  • ? Occupied La Cabana Fortress and Camp
    Columbia
  • ? Mobs roamed Havana, trashing hotels
    and casinos
  • ? On January 8, Fidel rode in on a tank to a
    heros welcome
  • before a crowd of more than a million
    wildly cheering Cubans

51
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (2)
  • ? Without regard for earlier pledge to have the
    CIC (Joint Civic Institutions)
  • appoint a provisional government, Castro
    quickly assumed power to rule by
  • decree
  • ? Often used mass meetings in the square in
    Havana, lengthy speeches,
  • and rhetorical pleas for mass approval
  • ? Unfettered by any legal or
    constitutional limitations
  • ? Even before Castro arrived in Havana on
    January 8, M-26-7 announced
  • a new government headed by Judge Manuel
    Urrutia LLeo as provisional president
  • ? Revolutionary Cabinet (formed under
    Art. 40 of the 1940 Constitution)
  • ? Fidel as CinC of the armed forces
  • ? Roberto Agramonte (Ortodoxo) as
    foreign minister
  • ? Osvaldo Dorticos (PSP) became
    minister in charge of drafting
  • revolutionary laws
  • ? Others Armando Hart (Education),
    Jose Miro Cardona (Prime
  • Minister), Luis Orlando Rodriguez
    (Interior), Angel Fernandez
  • Rodriguez (Justice), Manuel Ray
    (Communication), and Faustino
  • Perez (Recovery of Misappropriated
    Funds)
  • ? Except for Agramonte Dorticos, no
    one named from rival opposition groups
  • ? U.S. formally recognized the new
    government on January 5

52
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (3)
  • ? Despite appearances of a provisional
    government in accord with the
  • Constitution of 1940, Fidel Castro very much
    in charge from the outset
  • ? In effect, there were two governments in
    operation
  • ? Fidel took over top three penthouse floors
    of the Havana Hilton
  • ? Governed through public speeches,
    radio and television addresses,
  • and claims of popular mandates
  • ? Grafted Code of the Sierra Maestra onto
    existing Cuban law to
  • legalize capital punishment
  • ? Then on January 22, 1959, Fidel
    launched a series of public
  • show trials of Batistiano war
    criminals
  • ? Crowds shouted Paredon, i.e., to
    the execution wall
  • ? U.S. public opinion, favorable
    at first when Batista overthrown,
  • was revulsed by the ongoing
    spectacle of kangaroo trials
  • and executions
  • ? Catharsis for Cuban people, also
    decimated military officer corps
  • ? Retrials of 43 earlier
    acquitted airmen indicative of strategy
  • ? M-26-7 leadership began to split over
    issues such as trials,
  • planning for the elections that had been
    promised within one year
  • ? Struggle between Communists and
    democratic leftists

53
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (4)
  • ? Three basic and interrelated issues had to be
    faced
  • 1. What was to be the political structure of
    the revolution?
  • ? Could fundamental revolutionary
    changes be carried out through
  • the promised liberal democracy, or
    was a dictatorship necessary?
  • 2. Could a viable revolutionary regime be
    formed solely from the
  • non-Communist elements of M-26-7?
  • ? Or was it necessary to have the
    organizational skills and
  • alliance of the PSP?
  • 3. Would the U.S. tolerate a regime bent on
    revolutionary change
  • in Cuba?
  • ? Despite negative impacts on U.S.
    business interests and diplomacy?
  • ? The new regimes basic shift to the left was
    notable almost immediately
  • ? Why did it happen this way?
  • ? Was Castro always a Communist?
  • ? Does the answer lie in Castros
    perverse personality?
  • ? What is clear is that he had been deeply
    committed to fundamental
  • social and economic change in Cuba for
    many years
  • ? Apparently Castro made two early
    decisions
  • 1. His desired reforms could not be
    carried out gradually, but rather

54
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (5)
  • ? From July through November 1959, Castro relied
    increasingly on members
  • of the PSP
  • ? PSP offered several things that Castro
    needed
  • ? Strong sense of organization and
    discipline, and a packaged ideology
  • ? Belief in a hierarchical power
    structure
  • ? Powerful international allies,
    especially the USSR
  • ? Castro learned from the experience
    of the Arbenz government in
  • Guatemala
  • ? U.S. business interests were
    going to be adversely affected by reforms
  • ? U.S government therefore was
    likely to intervene
  • ? A strong ally outside Cuba was
    needed to counterbalance the U.S.
  • ? The pace of revolutionary changes in Cuba in
    1959-60 was extraordinary
  • ? How was it possible? Four factors seem
    especially relevant
  • 1. Fidels great aura and charisma
  • ? Cubans disposed to follow him
    wherever he wanted to go
  • 2. Economic structure of the island
    itself
  • ? Cuban workers (both in industry
    and in sugar production) already organized
  • 3. Cubas unusually nationalist and
    radical traditions
  • 4. No established institutions in Cuba
    were strong enough to challenge Castro

55
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (6)
  • ? The regimes major socioeconomic changes
    combined three fundamental goals
  • 1. Income expansion
  • 2. Income redistribution
  • 3. Structural change
  • ? Agrarian reform was decreed in May 1959 with
    creation of INRA
  • ? Redistributive, set maximum size of
    holdings at 402.6 hectares (995 acres)
  • ? Vital minimum of 27 hectares (66.7
    acres)
  • ? Reform law did not outlaw private property
  • ? And most land devoted to sugar
    production was to be held collectively
  • ? Pace of redistribution was rapid
  • ? About 3.8 million hectares distributed
    by mid-1961
  • ? Results were mixed
  • ? Production was significantly lowered
  • ? Shift from market-oriented
    agriculture to subsistence
  • ? Need for rationing
  • ? But consumption was more equitable
  • ? And agricultural workers much better off
  • ? Unemployment eliminated, eight-hour
    workdays, job security
  • ? Second agrarian reform law promulgated in
    1963 (TBD later)

56
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (7)
  • ? Economic diversification and industrialization
  • ? Conversion of some sugar fields to other
    crops
  • ? Largely unsuccessful, detrimental
    effect on economy
  • ? Strategy of industrialization through
    import substitution
  • ? Focus on light industries making
    consumer goods
  • ? Financed with loans from USSR, PRC,
    and Eastern Europe
  • ? Also largely unsuccessful,
    abandoned in 1963
  • ? Problems Shortages of experienced
    managers, skilled workers,
  • and raw materials, poor planning,
    unavailability of replacement parts
  • ? Much more costly to manufacture
    than to import goods
  • Effects of U.S. trade
    embargo
  • ? Diversion of capital from cities to
    countryside
  • ? Ideologically driven, but
    counter-intuitive and economically
  • counter-productive
  • ? Urban workers disadvantaged in some
    ways, but benefited
  • from rent controls, new education and
    health programs
  • ? Cordon de la Habana was a safety
    valve
  • ? Education and health systems were
    nationalized
  • ? TBD later

57
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December
1960, Part I (8)
  • ? Governments management of Cuban economy was
    inept
  • Che Guevara played a major role in central
    planning
  • ? Inherited an economic recession at outset
    of 1959, including depleted
  • national treasury and 50 million budget
    deficit from 1958
  • ? Peso depreciated in value from 1
    dollar to 30 cents by February 1959
  • ? World price of sugar already in decline
  • ? By June 1959, sugar price reached
    lowest leve
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