Analysis of Fidel Castro's Legacy

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History will judge Fidel Castro as he is; a villain and a hero, a revolutionary as well as a dictator. He will be honored as the liberator and reformer of Cuba, and cursed as an eventual tyrant himself; his actions have warranted him a mixed legacy in the eyes of his people and of the world. Castro began as the charismatic rebel and leader of the M-26-7, fighting against Batista’s cruel regime; a hero in the eyes of the Cubans. Leading a group of young radicals, Castro instituted an attack on the Moncado Barracks to draw national attention to their cause. Though the attack was a failure, it was the beginning of a long and bloody battle fought over Cuba. From 1956 to 1958, Fidel Castro united all of Batista’s opponents under one banner and finally overthrew Batista, taking his place as Cuba’s leader. Later, other South American countries, inspired by the successful rebellion in Cuba, would struggle to overthrow their trammels as well. Cuba’s revolution reinvigorated the Cuban people and provided new hope for equality and freedom for the frustrated Cuban people. After taking control, Castro instituted multiple reforms to better the lives of the average working Cuban. In a huge effort to reduce inequality, the Cuban government nationalized many industries and provided Cubans with either jobs or unemployment compensation. The government’s shift to a socialist path gave the people universal education, free health care, social security, insurance, and sick leave, a marked improvement from Batista’s rule. Castro didn’t stop there. By 1960, the government had instituted multiple social reforms to lower utility rates and housing rents, abolish legal discrimination, and increase wages. In a slew of new laws and regulations, Castro managed to make life easier, even better for the Cuban people. The changes that Cuba’s new, socialist government brought on improved the quality of life of many Cubans, and many look up to him as a great leader and icon of Cuba’s long sought...
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