Cuba Essay, Research Paper
The political and economic system known as Communism is being use in many countries today. Communism is having a lot of influence in our world today. One of the countries that have Communism as their government is Cuba. The reasons communism came to power in Cuba and when and how will be discussed as well, if it working or not.
The theories in communism started with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marx did not believe that the problems of industrialization could be solved by reforming capitalist society. He believed that a new economic and social system should be developed. He based all his theories on scientific analysis of history. Karl and Engels ideas were published in the Communist Manifesto. They had four main ideas:
1. Class Struggle – Communist believe that every society is divided into two groups, which are in constant confrontation. These two groups are the bourgeoisie (the capitalist) and the Proletariat (the working class)
2. Communist Revolution – Communist believe that the bourgeoisie will never willing give up their power. The situation of workers will become so desperate that they eventually will join together and start a violent revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie.
3. Exploitation of workers – the rich prosper from the labor of their workers, leaving them with the just the minimum needed to survive. Because of this Marx believed it was necessary to abolish private property. He believed that after the revolution, economic production would be in the hands of the state. Class distinction will disappear.
4. Dictatorship of the Proletariat – Workers will establish a society in which they jointly own the means of production. “Workers of All Countries Unite.” All citizens will be equal, sharing the fruits of their labor. Class struggles will end. Government will become unnecessary and “wither away.”
Despite Marx influence on economic thoughts scholars found faults in his philosophy and revolution never came. But Marx revolutions did occur in Russia, China, and Cuba but instead of the government withering away it became stronger.
Cuba lies at the western end of the Antilles chain of Caribbean islands its capital is Havana. The island’s economy made only slow progress during the early colonial period with Spain until the eighteenth century. In 1762 the British were able to capture Havana. They returned the city to Spain in exchange for Florida. But during their short stay the British opened up a new Market for their merchants and helped launch Cuba’s export. In 1791 when Haiti’s sugar industry was destroyed, Cuba took over the role as the largest producer of sugar in the Caribbean. In 1818 a royal decree opened Cuban ports to international trade and fueled the sugar boom further.
The speed of economic development was matched by the growing frustration among the Creoles (people of Spanish decent born on the island) and the peninsulares (born in Spain). The peninsulares controlled the trade and were guaranteed the administration’s top jobs, leaving the Creoles with no say in the running of the government.
Many of the wealthiest Creoles bourgeoisie favored reform, but not necessary a revolution. Jose Marti was the first man to define exactly what the independence movement should be fighting for, not just self-rule but democracy and social justice. He advocated racial equality. He founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC). Americans brought property in Cuba at bargain prices since the Ten Years War left the Cuban Planters poor. They soon dominated the sugar industry, and by 1895 more than 90% of Cuba’s sugar went to the U.S. The USA declare war on Spain in 1898 and won and on December 10, 1898 the Treaty of Paris was signed behind the backs of the islanders and transferred power of Cuba to the United States. Washington allowed the Cubans to elect their own government. On May 20 1902 Cuba was declare a Republic and had their first president.
American monopolies corned almost every sphere of activity. They controlled electricity generation and owned the railways. By the 1920’s U.S companies produced more than half the annual crop. The large estates created to meet the U.S appetite for sugar squeezed small Farmers out. Other crops and industry were neglected, forcing Cuba to import everything from tomatoes to cars supplied by the US. Business bank accounts swelled while ordinary Cubans to endured increasing poverty.
There was a rising anger at the corruption of politicians. Gerardo Machado won the presidency in 1924 with his slogan “honesty in government.” He started out reasonably well but later introduced Cuba to its first brutal military dictatorship. The Communist part called a general strike in 1933,
Colonial Fulgencio Batista with the help of the communist party won the presidential elections in 1940. He imposed the harshest dictatorship Cuba had seen. He abolished the constitution, dissolved Congress, and crushed the opposition ruthlessly. Thousands died in the violence, but that did not discourage support from Washington
Cuba enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America but wavered on the edge of social collapse. Misery reigned in the countryside while Havana glittered. The Cuban capital was one of Latin America’s most sophisticated cities and a saying for hedonism the world over.
Fidel Castro was a Revolutionary leader. He leads an attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago. He is arrested and later released and he leaves for Mexico. On 1956 Castro and 81 revolutionaries returned to Cuba aboard a yacht and launch guerrilla insurgency from the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Finally Batista flees Havana and army surrenders. Castro’s new government introduces countrified reform and other radical change.
On April 1961 the Bay of Pigs occur. This is when the U.S tried to invade Cuba since Cuba confiscated all American assets. Two months later Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist (communist). With Cuba facing complete isolation with U.S they had no option but to find another protector. The situation was easily solved. Russia was the answer. Anyone that was not with the revolution was consider as traitors and was arrested. Trade unions were disbanded and the government controlled the media. There is spies among the people to see who’s with the revolution or not, the ones that are not are reported to the authorities. Cubans started working extra hours not for extra money but for the honor in doing this for their own country.
A new constitution, approved by a referendum in1976, recognized Marxism-Leninist as the state beliefs and the communist Party as the only legal political organization in the country. Fidel Castro’s position as head of state became constitutional. Osvaldo Dorticos, puppet president since 1959, retired.
The government can not afford to admit that its economic policies are not working. It handless public declaration on the state of the economy carefully. Castro clearly feels fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of creating private wealth. Income tax was introduced in January 1996, which wiped out many private businesses. Unemployment which were abolished in the 1960’s, has returned to Cuba.
Marx would be utterly dismayed and disappointed with the progress in Cuba for his main idea is to have all the citizens satisfied and to have no government in control. He wanted everyone to unite together. All the good aspects of the principles of communism have not been followed making the government of communism a bad one.