Fidel Castro: Machiavellian or not?
Literature has always influenced human thinking, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince as a guidebook on how to acquire and maintain political power. Machiavelli refers to different types of leadership styles, as well as successes and failures of many historical figures. Not all the leaders of today have actually read this book; nevertheless, they do follow Machiavellian Principles without even knowing it. The observations of successful leaders that Machiavelli made are still apparent in the modern world and prove that history truly does repeat itself. Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader, is a perfect example of a leader that is considered effective based on Machiavelli’s principles. Fidel Castro is “Machiavelli’s Cuban Prince”. (1) Chapter 17 of The Prince deals with a common question for a leader: What is better, to be loved or feared? Machiavelli states that people will easily be disloyal to the love for their leader, but if you are feared, it will be much more difficult to quickly challenge a leader that is feared. Fidel Castro’s leadership techniques prove that he very much tries to gain the affection and love of his people, but ultimately fear is what gives him power over them. In 1961 1,400 Cuban exiles, supported by the CIA, made an ineffective shot at invading Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. They assumed the invasion would inspire other Cubans in the population to rise up and overthrow Castro. To everyone’s surprise the Cuban population supported Castro. (2) Castro’s military assure his physical power over Cuba and Castro has been expert at using the customary Cuban fear of the “Miami Cubans” and the detested “Americanos” to overpower his people and keep them aligned. His people fear him and the power he has over them is what in the long run keeps him with that power. This same trait is what was discussed by Machiavelli in Chapter 17 and proves how Castro exemplifies what Machiavelli considers to be an...
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