Us Imperialism and the Cuban Revolution

Topics: Fulgencio Batista, Cuba, Fidel Castro Pages: 12 (4073 words) Published: September 11, 2011
Cuba, which exemplified a prime example of Spanish imperialism, saw an increasing rate of dissatisfaction with Spanish rule amongst its people. This displeasure prove to be inversely proportional to the country’s profitability, meaning, as the economy thrived, dissatisfaction with the Spanish regime increased due to the fact that the profit did not go to Cuba, but instead to Spain’s treasuries. It was this dissatisfaction and Spain’s inability to provide pivotal developmental support which saw the introduction of the United States as a dominant force in Cuban society, based on Ramon Ruiz analysis in ‘Cuba: The Making of the 1959 Revolution’. According to Campbell and Cateau, the United States became active in Cuba through providing input, purchasing the majority of Cuban produced sugar and vast investment in the country’s sugar and tobacco industries as well as the railroad, banking, electricity and telephone services. The United States' first attempt at imperial expansion can be traced back to 1898. Feeling the effects of economic recession and depression up to 1897(see appendix A for definition and explanation of the economic depression), many felt the future security of the U.S. capitalist system rested heavily on expansion, not only on the North American continent but even into the Caribbean. Given the United States 'agenda to expand its territorial boundaries their involvement in Cuba, beginning at the Spanish-Cuban-American war(see appendix B for definition and context of war), comes as no surprise. The implications of the United States' involvement in Cuba, however, have been quite considerable. The argument that the U.S. imperialism was the primary cause of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, therefore, bares some amount of weight. The United States ' presence in Cuba , the de facto power they wielded over that country's economy and politics , was one of the major forces that drove the Cuban people to rebellion and fuelled the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro.

The research aims to support the notion that the primary catalyst of the Cuban Revolution was the United States’ imperialism during the 20th century. This hypothesis will be thoroughly examined using historical references from primary sources such as speeches, and secondary sources including analyses from prominent historians, from both a pro and a con standpoint enabling an objective conclusion to be drawn.


Beginning in 1894, nationalist sentiments arose in Cuba not only among the elites and colonists, but even among the working class. All desired to see a liberated Cuba, free from the colonial control Spain had long wielded over the island. According to Spalding this struggle “represented a class war as well as an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist one.”[1] The struggle between the European colonial power and its colony was heated but up to 1898 seemed no where near resolution. Popular sentiments among the United States populace were that U.S. intervention in the struggle between Spain and Cuba was necessary. Simons argues that the United States’ perspective was that “the Spanish presence in the Western hemisphere was an impediment to economic expansion of the US.”[2] It is with this that the United States entered the struggle. The Cuban people of course may have assumed that U.S. intervention in the war had no strings attached. But the U.S. government saw such intervention as a way of advancing its “Manifest Destiny” (see appendix C for definition of Manifest Destiny). As Cordero highlights “… the principle of Manifest Destiny and the pursuit of economic expansion made Cuba a target of opportunity.”[3] Lazo believes that U.S. involvement in other nations’ affairs is inevitable because of “the great power which it wields by virtue of its prestige, wealth, and strength”[4]. At the time of the Spanish-Cuban war, the U.S. was just rising to super-powerdom and thus successfully...

Bibliography: Daniel, Jean. “Two Interviews: Castro’s Reply to Kennedy Comments on Cuba”. The New York Times. (New York, Eastern Edition), (December 11, 1963), p. 1.
De La Fuente, Alejandro. “A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth Century Cuba”, Envisioning Cuba series, (Chapel Hill and London, University of North Carolina Press), 2001. pp. 44-58.
Falcoff, Mark. “The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy”, The National Interest, Inc., (1995)
Fannie Clifton, "Some Brixey and Clifton History." The Brixey Bulletin (Garland, Texas, Brixey-Wylie Press), 2:4 (Fall 1992), pp
Garcia-Perez, Gladys Marel. Insurrection and Revolution: Armed Struggle in Cuba, 1952-1959, (Boulder, CO: London, Lynne Rienner Publishers), (1998), pp 98-126.
Ibarra, Jorge. Prologue to Revolution: Cuba, 1898-1958. (Boulder, CO: London: Lynne Rienner Publishers), (1998), pp 6-24, 112-131.
Landau Saul, “Understanding revolution: a guide for critics, - in Cuba”, Monthly Review Foundation, Inc., (1987)
Lazo, Mario
Skelly, Jack . “Fidel After 40 - Fidel Castro 's rise to power”, News World Communications, Inc., (1999)
Spalding, Hobart
Whitney, Robert. “State and Revolution in Cuba: Mass Mobilization and Political Change, 1920-1940”, Envisioning Cuba series. (Chapel Hill and London, University of North Carolina Press), (2001), pp 64-72.
Economic Depression (1893)
The Depression of 1893 can be seen as a watershed event in American history
Appendix B
Spanish-Cuban-American War (1898)
Appendix C
Manifest Destiny (1844)
Appendix D
Platt Amendment (1901)
Appendix E
July 26 Movement (1953)
[2] Geoff Simons, Cuba from Conquistador to Castro (New York: St Martin’s Press), (1996), p. 73.
[3] Lt. Colonel María Cordero. The United States and Cuba: Past Present and Future. (Miami, Florida, University of Miami), (April 2000), p. 20.
[4] Mario Lazo. American Policy Failures In Cuba: Dagger in the Heart.(New York City: Twin Circle Publishing Company), (1968), p. 87
[5] Jorge Ibarra
[6] Jean Daniel. “Two Interviews: Castro’s Reply to Kennedy Comments on Cuba”, The New York Times. (December 11, 1963), (New York, Eastern Edition), par 6.
[7] Gladys Marel Garcia-Perez. Insurrection and Revolution: Armed Struggle in Cuba, 1952-1959. (Boulder, CO, London: Lynne Rienner Publishers), (1998), p. 118-124.
[8] Robert Whitney. “State and Revolution in Cuba: Mass Mobilization and Political Change, 1920-1940”, Envisioning Cuba series. (Chapel Hill and London, University of North Carolina Press), (2001), p. 66
[9] Alejandro De La Fuente
[10] Geoff Simons. Cuba from Conquistador to Castro (New York, St Martin’s Press), (1996) p. 212.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Cuban Revolution
  • The Cuban Revolution Essay
  • The Cuban Revolution Essay
  • The Cuban Revolution Essay
  • Cuban Revolution Essay
  • Cuban Revolution Essay
  • Cuban Revolution Essay
  • Cuban Revolution Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free