Cuba Article Reading and Lecture Notes
Cuba Article Reading and Lecture Notes Pols 328
Popular in Politics of Developing Nations
Popular in Political Science
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Date Created: 04/30/16
Cuba - Article Cuba was one of the only Latin American countries to adopt revolutionary communism as it's model of political development o This led them through many radical transformations in their social structure and economy Revolution can be looked at as an ongoing experiment on achieving mature statehood Chronic economic difficulty and incredible political durability were the two biggest things that marked the Cuban revolutionary period History and Background o Cuba is located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the United States 11.2 million inhabitants with a growth rate of 1 percent, which helps employment and poverty as their population has not grown rapidly like other developing countries Demographics: mulattos ,whites, and blacks make up all of the ethnic differences in Cuba; whites taking up the most percentage of the population Most live in cities or urban areas o Cuba was discovered in 1492 by Columbus but lacked resources and indigenous populations, so it was sparsely populated and left alone until about the 1800s Catholic Church and encomiendas from the Spanish slowly subdued the indigenous Catholic church's ideals, spirituality, and culture began to infiltrate Cuba's culture as a whole o Cuban economy revolved around sugar cane, as they had the right temperature and terrain to harvest it It became a way to earn money for importing foodstuffs, foreign goods, textiles, and machinery Steered Cuban government towards a focus and dependency on foreign trade o Cuba was unaffected by things going on the mainland so stayed under fierce control of the Spanish Independence Struggle 1868 - 1901 o In the 1860s, new thinking came along that caused Cuban citizens to challenge the Spanish crown Some wanted to use force, while other groups such as the Reformist Party developed in 1862, wanted more moderate reforms such as representation in Spanish Cortes and liberal trade policies o Rebel party was led by Carlos Manuel de Cespedes a wealth planter and patriot Political divisions among the rebels weakened their cause o Nationalism fueled the rebel cause as well as the desire to free Cuba from colonial domination Rebels doomed from the start with the lack of external help, money, and the deaths of many of their leaders including Cespedes Spanish deposited thousands of troops and their best general to lead the Spanish forces in Cuba 500,000 people total died in the struggle and the war cost Spanish 300 million dollars Cuba and Spain signed an armistice in 1878 that resulted in tension between the crown and Cuba as well as the rebel forces as people still wanted full independence o Increase in United States trade investment in Cuba placed external and internal pressures on the colonial regime Importation of sugar, tobacco, molasses, and some industrial goods into the United States led the Cuban economy towards dependence on sugar cane and its derivatives Additionally, Jose Marti rose as a new leader with a better vision of political emancipation and nationalism Separatists were in a better position in the 1880s than they were in the 1860s as slavery had been abolished and the rebels had more organization Marti was the founder of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and the principal civilian of the war effort Represented a younger generation of Cubans committed to the liberation of the country Marti believed the war was brutal but necessary to achieve independence o War waged on for three years before U.S. intervention in 1898 U.S. Congress passed a resolution giving President McKinley authority to stop the hostilities in Cuba but also gave up the opportunity for sovereignty over them once Spain was driven out U.S. occupation lasted until 1902 and may have created a legacy of resentment as U.S. intervention prevented Cuba from attaining a complete victory by themselves over Spain Platt Amendment passed in 1901 made Cuba a protectorate of the U.S. instead of a sovereign nation Caused more resentment U.S. economic investment continued to grow as the United States gave themselves preferential treatment regarding sugar and a reduction of tariffs on exports into Cuba Some in Cuba felt that this was essential for development while others felt this was an infringement Political Development and Prerevolutionary Cuba o Political competition was dominantly between the Liberal and Conservative parties at first Patronage was the name of the game and administrative corruption was common Elections were viewed cynically and rigged Politics was for personal gain Reformist groups advocated for the opposite Honest democratic rule Political cleansing No corruption and fair elections, intellectual ideologies o Gerardo Machado elected as president in 1924 but because a sort of dictator during his reelection in 1928 Great depression in 1930 greatly affected the economy Cuba fell into a period of violence, terrorism, and political and economic instability Countless protests were enacted by students, professional classes, labor classes, etc. Military ended up ousting Machado after seeing the instability Military holds high authority, however its military competence is questionable as it is an organization based on loyalties, not merit o Once again, United States intervenes to stabilize the political regime while keeping their own interests protected Caused more economic dependence on the United States and again a frustration with the failure of democratizing politics Social Democracy and Authoritarianism 1940s-1950s o After 1933 Cuba fell into an authoritarian regime followed by a weak conservative ruling o Economic dependence on the US meant that domestic capital still played an important role Became increasingly involved in the sugar industry, taking more ownership o The 1940s marked a threshold of political development with the formation of a democratic and progressive constitution Agreement between the democratic left and communist right Universal suffrage and freedom of political organization Civil rights and abolished the death penalty Educational, labor, political and agrarian reform policies were put in place to help progress Cuban society Reforms were curbed over the years in some areas due to widespread violence and gangsterism o The constitution was both aimed at the traditional class and the working class The nation simply drifted apart, as the state wasn’t supported by a traditional oligarch nor a dominant class o Castro would come to power after the insurrection of the Batista regime in 1958 Castro was neither a dictator nor part of the communist party Cuban Revolution o Moderate degree of modernization was reached by the 1950s Literacy rates, urban populations, the middle class, and life expectancies increased o Peasants still had a quality of life below ideal o The success of the revolution can be attributed to political factors rather than socioeconomic Failure of the prerevolutionary governments to create legitimate rule left the regime vulnerable o Mid 1960s revolutionary reform had become successful in education, structural political reformation, class structure and property ownership Education was restructured to be highly centralized and was treated as a key aspect of political socialization Public health was greatly improved and many services were offered for free under the government Regime change was a top to bottom restructuring instead of reform through elections Daily life became highly political for all citizens Institutionalization and Crisis o 1976 a new socialist constitution was formed outlining the powers of provincial and key national institutions o Economy A new economic system called the System and Direction of Economic Planning framed politics in the 2970s that took into account thing like efficiency, prices, rationality, and other economic mechanisms Wage differentials, taxes, production norms, monetary controls Economy was more focused on consumer demands rather than voluntarism In the 1990s Cuba declared a special period of peace and austerity after the collapse of the Soviet Union Economic hardships followed as all subsidies were no longer available GDP and consumption fell harshly Catastrophic collapse of the sugar industry sent the Cuban economy into a tailspin Oil was unavailable and energy resources were very, very low Cuban economy was unprofitable and uncompetitive Tourism and money sent to relatives by exiles were making up most of Cuban hard currency President Bush's policies put forth in the 2000s limited both of these realms, further putting the Cuban economy down o Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) FAR embodies the struggle for independence during the rebellion and guerilla warfare led by Fidel Castro FAR has the highest degree of legitimacy, loyalty, honesty, prestige in regards to historical background In the 1980s after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR, the FAR was again put at the center of the state The people looked to it to stabilize the economy and state security Created a phenomena of civic-soldiers Military men that govern a huge portion of the civic and military sectors After the special period the FAR was looked at to help the state through this crisis Economic modernization was largely started and developed through the Cuban military o Cuban Communist Party Has gone through significant party transformations since the 1960s Was never really the vanguard of the revolution, but got their power from their loyalty to Fidel Mid-1980s the PCC declined due to the end of the Cold War and Fidel's dismantling of the SDEP and implementation of economic centralization Party was never the legitimate source of political power in Cuba, so the decline did not bother Fidel too much o Governmental Framework Council of Ministers Highest authority Can conduct foreign relationships and trade Draft bills and maintain internal security Council of State Policymakers Exercises executive initiative National Assembly Basically a rubber stamp of approval Not very powerful o International Scale Anti-American and anti-imperialist viewpoint Major goal was to spread Marxism-Leninism to other parts of the world Sometimes sent troops and missionaries to other countries to do this This sometimes led to war and violence Supported many guerilla movements in nearby LA countries and states By the 1990s policies had changed and Cuba preferred state to state relations Their ambitious foreign policy was significantly downsized Wanted diplomatic allies Venezuela became a huge ally Supplied Cuba with 53000 barrels of oil per day Over the course of a decade this equated to about 6 million dollars for Cuba which allowed them to increase their amount of teachers, doctors, etc. Late 1990s, reestablished ties with Colombia and Chile and created ties with the European Community U.S. and Cuban relations continued to be tense as the U.S. tried to implement regime change in Cuba Restrictions on travel and trade Embargo o Fidel to Raul Raul Castro takes over Cuba in succession to his brother in 2006 Immediately made important personnel changes, naming many new revolutionary leaders Changed the leaders and structure of government assemblies The FAR was once again central in state security and the economy Although downsized a little, still fiercely loyal to the regime Tries to implement economic reforms in 2010, but none work very well Economic growth still seems almost nonexistent o Cuban resiliency Although Cuba has and still faces huge hardships regarding its government, its resiliency can be attributed to nationalism and a fierce loyalty to the regime and the country Social stability and elite cohesion in the current age is proving to be two key things that are keeping the regime of Raul Castro (Fidel's younger brother) alive Cuba: Lecture Notes Thursday, April 21, 2016 Cuba and the United States US inserts itself in the civil war within Nicaragua From dollar diplomacy to good neighbor Violent and destructive; direct aerial bombing from the United States Showed that Dollar Diplomacy wasn’t working, and the backlashes of it Wasn’t working The Platt Amendment b/w US and Cuba as a condition to Cuba's independence ] Would allow US intervention in order to preserve independence Gerardo Machado Brought security and protected foreign investors Cuba was one of the only nation in the Western Hemisphere to adopt Communism as its foundation for political development 1903, Cuba becomes an independent state The Main initiated the Spanish war Sugar The Revolution Spanned from 1952-1960 Transition of political leadership within Cuba From on dictatorship to the next 1952, Castro runs for Congress Castro jailed after Moncada Assault Moncada Barracks in 1953 Complete failure Castro brought to trial and he was given his first chance to rise into the spotlight He was a trained lawyer, provided him an opportunity to make a speech 5 hour speech in his defense as a publicity stunt Hs own visions for a constitutional democracy, the ills of the regime Was not a communist vision This was very important for the rest of the revolution; as it became the basis of the ideals 1955 general amnesty and he was released from jail Went to Mexico with the purpose of starting a movement 26th of July Movement Coming back to Cuba on the Granma yacht Was going to be an uprising, had to get there on a specific day Wanted to end the Bautista Regime Complete failure, Bautista regime were waiting for them Revolution was not a clean-break change, but a continuity of development and reforms Bautista assaulted at the presidential palace Narrowly escapes Castro hides out in the Sierra Maestro Mountains Rugged, jungle terrain Why didn’t the Batista Regime just ignore him? The mountains were not strategically important Wanted to take him out for their image Castro wanted to lure them in with guerilla tactics Jose Marti Still regarded as a hero Important in Cuban history, but not part of the communist party Fought against Spanish imperialism for Cuban Independence Cuban government Teaches younger generations of Cuban history and government through comic books and propaganda Stamps as well were used to influence people on certain popular figures The Literacy Campaign Thousands of teachers went out to the countryside to educate the youth that had no access to it Uniforms were worn by the teachers to link the movement to the revolution Used propaganda books One of the biggest accomplishments of the revolution Education After the literacy campaign more schools were built Health care After the revolution, another huge accomplishment was health care The economy tanked and people were very sick and hungry; needed doctors Urban Farm Economy tanked due to the stoppage of soviet subsidies People could gain access to food Hard to get food from the countryside into the cities No easy transportation Cuban Housing - Redevelopment Every citizen in Cuba was allotted housing Business buildings and old mansions were converted into apartment buildings State owns the properties and given to individuals Can sell but have to sell it for the original price, can trade the property as well National Assembly Approval of all of the bills put forward from the Council of State National Assembly has 612 members A lot of turnover Members from all walks of life Very powerless, no policymaking powers Noncompetative elections; only one person runs Council of state has 31 members Municipal level has more than one candidate running City council No campaigning in Cuba How do individuals find out about candidates Local representative of the communist party come up with resumes of each candidate so that citizens can make their decisions on who to vote for Cuban Poverty Salaries in Cuba are barely anything compared America Earn about 30 dollars a month depending on careers Barely enough to scrape by Many need food rations or government subsidies just to live U.S. Interests US is very influential economically in Cuba
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