Fidel Castrol once boasted, “I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating…because it causes war, hypocrisy and competition.” It has been this hypocritical search for capitalism that has been one of the major causes for the immigration of so many Cubans to America. On January 1, 1959 the Cuban Revolution had begun as a successful armed revolt led by Fidel Castro’s “26th of July Movement,” which overthrew the U.S.–backed Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. In order to fully grasp the context and impact of Fidel’s Revolution, we must examine migration of Cubans to United States during post Castro succession, and the different waves of Cubans who emigrated under specific, but differentiating pretenses. By that we must take into consideration the original wave being distinct from the second wave, and second wave being different from the third, etc. As stated, this distinction is important not only because each had a wildly different impact on the United States, but each wave also differed in terms of what was to become of Cubans entering the United States. This break down can be placed into three main categories: historical context of the first migration, implications of this migration on the United States, and how the original migration has affected subsequent Cuban immigrants to date, in terms of policy, assimilation, culture, etc. As for the focus for this analysis, it is important to not only understand how the Cuban Revolution impacted immigration to the United States following Fidel Castro’s succession of Fulgencio Batista, but also how this immigration affected specific aspects of the American population, culture and future influxes in Cuban migration during this era.
General Fulgencio Batista was Cuban President, dictator, and military leader closely aligned with and supported by the United States. He served as the leader of Cuba from 1933-1944, and 1952-1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution. Under Batista, Cuba became profitable for American business and organized crime. Havana became the “Latin Las Vegas,” a playground of choice for wealthy gamblers, and very little was said about democracy, or the rights of the average Cuban. Opposition was swiftly and violently crushed, and many began to fear the new government. Seeing that there was no voice for the people a young Fidel Castro began as a Democratic leader, who fought Batista’s government for injustice, and abuse. Wanting to end the abuse, he became a guerrilla rebel leader, organizing different attacks against Batista’s government. Until finally he organized the final attack with other government leaders, the guerrilla supporters, and Raul Castro, his brother. Unfortunately Fidel Castro made empty promises to Cuba’s population, and they supported him. Cuba was filled with ignorance as Castro planned behind their backs. He became Cuba’s leader, becoming worse than Batista, as he turned the government one hundred percent communist. He executed every Batista underdog and divided lands, food, businesses into equal parts with everyone there. Also the first property he cut into pieces was one belonging to his parents. This was not a people revolt; Fidel Castro was after the power for himself and not the people. Fidel Castro considered that alcohol, drugs, gambling, homosexuality and prostitution were major evils. He saw casinos and night clubs as sources of temptation and corruption and he passed laws closing them down. The Cuban wealthy saw this as threat against their wealth and made the decision to leave Cuba making them the first wave of exile.
The first wave, which occurred in two parts are divided into ‘those who wait,” and “those that escape.” “Those who wait,” were the first to leave, it occurred right after the Cuban revolution of 1959, they came with the ideas that the new government...