H30V – CUBA IN THE 20TH CENTURY
LECTURER: PROFESSOR CARL CAMPBELL
5. What did Cuba gain or lose by its relations with the Soviet Union?
The Cold War set the opening for the development of the extraordinary relationship between Cuba and the Soviet Union. A contest between capitalism led by the United States and socialism led by the Soviet Union brought about a separation between Cuba and the United States and opened a new relationship and friendship between the Soviet Union and Cuba.
Cuba experienced both gains and losses as a result of its relations with the Soviet Union. One gain that Cuba experienced is highlighted in George Boughton’s Soviet-Cuban Relations. It was that of “the Soviet Union purchasing the majority of Cuba’s sugar production” (pp.438). Very little of Cuba’s sugar production was sold on the World Market so the Soviet Union purchasing the bulk of their sugar was very much a gain to them. Agreements were made between the two parties and this aided to stabilize the price of the sugar and also aided the Cuban government to anticipate earnings and do proper economic planning as a steady income was now in the picture. The fact that the Soviet Union was paying for Cuban sugar above the prevailing World Market price really served as a grave economic gain for Cuba. This is what generated the bulk of her income allowing her to survive as a somewhat ‘independent’ country and attempt to dig herself out of massive debt.
Another gain that Cuba experienced was the “low interest loans they were given to build factories” (Boughton, 440) and foster all types of industrialization. This was definitely a positive for Cuba because industrialization for any country is a positive economic move so Cuba gained this by the loans that were granted. Low interest loans were also granted to finance Cuba’s trade imbalance with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union also issued Cuba non-repayable grants. Jorge Dominguez in Cuba: Order and...