Cuban Revolution Extended Essay

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"To what extent were Fidel Castro’s policies consistent to his pre-revolutionary goals?

Abstract goes here

Introduction.

In 1959, Fidel Castro led a group of rebel forces to end and overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s regime in an effort to free the Cuban people from his tyrannous rule. For very many different political reasons this has been portrayed as an act of great injustice and hypocrisy in the modern world. A lot of this has of course been advocated primarily by the US due to the high level of political tension between the two nations that developed in the mid 1950s. Believing this conventional wisdom that Castro was simply an evil communist who oppressed his people and stripped them of their human rights is very dangerous because it makes it very easy to forget about all the positive aspects of his long reign. For example it is also very easy to forget that Castro’s struggle was in fact one towards freedom, independence and socialism as opposed to popular belief that it was more similar to the harsher and forceful Soviet Communism. This is why it is vital to stay critical and reflective when studying such a controversial topic like the Cuban revolution because there are in fact those who look at Castro as a divine saviour for having liberated the Cuban people from Batista’s tyrannous reign, and putting the small island back on the map. The main aim for this essay will be to determine why such a conventional wisdom has been formed about Cuba and Castro by comparing his pre-revolutionary goals and analysing how consistent they were to his post-revolutionary policies as well as by identifying some of the circumstances that might have led to these beliefs. By doing this it will be easier to come up with a conclusion about the validity of these assumptions and accusations about the Cuban leader. This essay will also attempt to maintain as high a degree of objectivity as possible and attempt to show no partisan alignment whatsoever. The policies that will be discussed are; economy, political structure, foreign affairs, military and education.

Economy:

Cuba’s economy both before and after the revolutionary was based very much on agriculture, mainly being the production of sugar. Prior to the revolution US business interests controlled 75% of the land and they also had control over 40% of the island’s sugar production. Castro saw this control of his land’s resources from foreign powers to be a big reason for the major difference in the social classes that he so passionately sought out to end. Not only was Cuba’s farmland and agriculture being quite blatantly exploited during Fulgencio Batista’s[1] reign, but a lot of different American companies were also being established during these times which were using the island’s resources and citizens for their own profits. This of course went against all the principles that Castro so passionately stood for; and as a result of this one of his main goals during the late 1950s as he was trying to end the Batista regime, was to reform this injustice and try to establish a more righteous and equal society on the island based on an economy that benefitted all of Cuba and not only the rich. It is of very popular belief that Castro had adapted a Marxist form of ruling already during the revolution; this however did not happen before 1961. This was going to be done by firstly changing their current corrupt economic system and nationalizing these destructive capitalistic companies and use these profits to help equally and fairly distribute and raise the economic level amongst the people. “The existing world economic order constitutes a system of plundering and exploitation like no other in history.” Castro, 2002.[2]

After Castro and the rest of the rebels successfully managed to end the Batista regime and once Fidel took over his role as sole leader of the island; it did not take very long before he proved to stay true to his word and carry out the reforms he’d promised to...
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