Cuba's Flight

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Cuba’s Flight: From Revolution to Freedom

Tahlia Brooks

Professor John Wallace

SOC312

Post University

Abstract

For many immigrants, the reason for leaving their home country behind was to find and live a better life elsewhere. In this research paper the history, reason, and effect of the immigration wave of Cubans during the mid to late 1900’s will be discusses as well as the residual effects on both Cuban and US governments. The goal of this research paper is to inform the reader of the importance of the Cuban presence and culture in the US and triumph throughout.

Cuba’s Flight: From Revolution to Freedom

The conditions for the mass immigration of Cubans were created in the late 1950s, when a Marxist revolution brought Fidel Castro to power. (Healey, 2010-2011 p. 374) The Cuban Revolution was a revolt against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who was finally ousted January 1, 1959. Before the 1950s, there was not much immigration from Cuba to the US, even during times of labor shortages. ( Perez, 1980, p.256)

The U.S. government of President Dwight D. Eisenhower was concerned at the direction which Castro's government was taking, and in March 1960, Eisenhower allocated $13 million to the CIA in order to plan Castro's overthrow. This was the fore note to the invasion known as the Bay of Pigs. Following his victory in the 1960 United States presidential election, John F. Kennedy was informed of the invasion plan and gave his assent to it. The Bay of Pigs Invasion, known in Hispanic America as La Batalla de Girón, was an unsuccessful military invasion of Cuba. The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro's administration, which proceeded to openly proclaim their intention to adopt socialism.(Kellenr, 1989, pp.69-70, Szulc, 1986, p. 450) The US government was embarrassed and went on note with a quote from the president saying "I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear."(US President John F. Kennedy, 1963)

Cuba’s Flight: From Revolution to Freedom

What would drive a strong economic based group from their native home? The answer is the Castro regime, a government that later reformed along communist lines becoming the present Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965. (Beaubien, 2009) Castro’s government was openly anti-American and America (through Bay of Pigs) was anti- Castro. During the beginning for the Castro regime many affluent citizen of Cuba lost their wielding hand in politics and economic growth making ongoing business harder and harder to maintain. This sparked the first wave of Cubans to the United States. (Healey, 2010-2011 p 374)

Another large wave (an estimated 125,000 people) of Cuban immigration occurred in the early 1980s with the Mariel boatlifts (named after the port Mariel where most were departed) most of the "Marielitos” were people wanting to escape from communism, and have succeeded in establishing their roots in the US. Fidel Castro sent some 20 thousand criminals directly from Cuban prisons, as well as mentally ill persons from Cuban mental institutions, with the alleged double purpose of cleaning up Cuban society and poisoning the US. Those people were labeled "undesirables"...
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