Castro notes 4
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Date Created: 02/10/15
4 Domestic Policies and their impact What were the main features of Castro s economic policies The early years 1959 68 Agriculture march 1959 Minimum wage for sugar cane cutters May 1959 Land reform introduced W Agrarian reform act broken up into small units 40 of farmland expropriated larger ranches and plantations to be run as state farms Landowning classes opposed also US companies and those who owned large estates Compensation was inadequate was a complaint July 1960 USA decided to destroy cuban sugar industry by cutting sugar quota castro then nationalized all major US properties In nov USA decided to ban on all exports to cuba Sov union agreed to purchase cuban sugar at favourable rate of 6 cents a pound til 1970 New government s policies reduced unemployment there was a labor shortage production began to fall Mass mobilization for work in sugar fields and other sectors of economy Industry After 1959 real wages nonagricultural workers rose sharply rents reduced up to 50 March 1959 utility companies taken over and prices reduced April 1960 signing of trade agreements soviet crude oil delivered to Cuba foreign owned oil refineries refused to process it Castro nationalized them in June 1960 13 oct 1960 cuban firms socialized his policies necessary for national security and economic planning 1959 cuban economy declined threatening the fulfilment of social policies for health housing and edu By end of 1960 economic structure of cuba changed 80 of industry was under state control state enterprises producing 90 of cuba s exports Nov 1959 Guevera made director of National Bank Feb 1961 became minister of industries Central state ministries established w central planning board In 1961 Juceplan was instructed for a plan for 1962 and draft for four year plan 1962 65 Rise in consumption for poorer sections of society better food and housing access April June 1963 castro visited sov union assistance given to cuba to concentrate on sugar once again by early 1968 emerging economic crisis signs The Soviet Camp 1968 90 Agriculture 1960 1990 sugar production grew by 40 industry employing over 375000 people by late 1980s Dissatisfation led to falling yields 1966 new deal W soviet union Cuba agreed to provide 5 mil tonnes in 1968 and 1969 W guaranteed price Harvests of 1968 and 1969 only yielded 37 million tonnes Castro launched a plan to raise sugar harvest for 1970 to 10 million tonnes battle for sugar lasted from nov 1969 1970 Failed to reach unrealistic target by castro 85 tonnes of sugar reached almost double the usual yield Following year production was 59 million tonnes Improved production maintained during 1970s Afte 70 cuba helped by soaring price of sugar in the world market 80 of cuba s eports let castro s government successfully undertake new policies and directions 1980 met state quotas farmers allowed to sell surplus in markets prices no longer regulated 1986 new economic problem led to rectification campaign newly legalized private farmer s markets closed Industry 1968 Cuba dependent on sov union 1970 cuban economy in debt to sov bloc castro then turned to soviet economic advisors and olf cuban communists By nov 1971 cuba integrated into sov camp supply of soviet oil July 1972 cuba joined comecon The council for mutual economic assistance economic and trading union of communist states Dec castro signed 15 year econ agreement increased soviet subsidy to cuban economy increasing price paid for sugar deferring all debt payments for 15 years new investment credits Brezhnev years 1972 82 cuban economy increasingly reorganized along soviet lines soviet advisers helped cuban government establish a new planning system system of direction and planning of the economy adoption of its first five year plan in 1975 designed to industrialize the island by helping state enterprises become self financing developing decentralization and efficiency introducing profit and incentives third party congress in 1986 castro argued that cuba still lacked comprehensive national planning for economic development More centralized command economy 1985 new ruler of soviet union Determined to cut down sov support for cuban econ april 1989 made visit to Havana and aim to restore greater balance of trade between the two countries requirement for cuba to pay for soviet goods W US dollars By 1989 Cuba felt impact of changes and effect of collapse of east euro communist regimes 1989 to 1991 Cuban imports of petroleum products from sov union dropped 60 All former East euro states cancelled economic assistance programs and reduced trade W cuba 1989 to 1991 sov union reduced economic subsidies W collapse of sov union at end of 1991 subsidies cancelled The special period and beyond 1990 present Agriculture Cuba s economy dependent on soviet union less affected by world prices Economic problems W collapse of East euro communist states and soviet union Cuba was once again dependent on world market and its price uctuations March 1990 farmers urged to use draught animals and food rationed workers from factories that got closed sent to country to grow food Special period ended in 1996 but sugar economy s fallback gone Industry After 1975 few of planned targets for increased productivity had been met real economic growth modest Reliant on sov union imported 80 machinery from sov sov purchased 63 of sugar 95 citrus an 73 of nickel Oil supplies from sov union dropped dramatically Removed crucial role played by soviet bloc in keeping cuban econ a oat March 1990 gas water and electricity cut off for short periods throughout country Poder popular the economic crisis wasnt resolved at expense of workers con ict bw govt and unions limited first reforms decree law 140 of aug 1993 made US dollar legal tender in Cuba Sept decree law 141 re introduced self employment tourism strongly promoted Cuba s largest earner in foreign currency Torricelli act in 1992 and Helms burton Act in 1996 to tighten trade sanctions on Cuba EU countries objected failed to stop cuba from expanding world trade 2003 new programme of anti market re centralization introduced How successful were Castro s economic policies The Early years 1959 68 Agriculture Sugar productions disrupted by managers eeing to us during 59 61 Attempts at agricultural diversification away from sugar created more problems The 63 sugar harvest was worst since second war agric In general had similar problems 64 sov union signed first of a series of long term agreemends better and stable prices for sugar guaranteed sugar prod increased from 63 level of 38 million tonnes Industry problems in industry In 62 cuban econ collapsed Castro s govt froze prices bring in rationing for most consumer products resources fairly distributed fair distribution of food was first for cuba contrasted W other states in region marked by inequalities and mass poverty 63 imports of machinery for rapid industrialization decline in income from sugar balance of payments crisis replacement of money incentives for workers W moral incentives ineffective Paid same regardless effort or quality US embargo US supplied law materials and machine parts needed no alternative source 1963 industrial production fell 15 having grown by 04 the previous year The soviet camp 1968 90 Agriculture Production in cattle raising and forestry declined even fishing by 1970 economy in general crisis by 82 Cubas terms of trade w sov union 30 lower than in 1975 Result of lower sugar prices Industry during late 70s and 80s new management system introduced More autonomy to managers Higher wages bonuses for higher quality work Increased productivity and overtime economy prospered for half 70s then 75 85 good economic and industrial growth annual growth rate of 41 significant imporvement in early 0s By 82 hard currency debt reached 3 billion 1986 cuba record deficit of ober 199 million and foreign debt of 387 billion 69 higher than in 1985 Economic recession began in 1986 continued for rest of decade The special period and beyond 1990 present Agriculture 1990 cuba experienced economic disaster Mismanagement and shortages After 1993 free famers markets farmers free to directly sell to public restored good results 2000 markets established on almost every block wide variety of foods Areas of agric production weak Industry Cuba s import dropped 70 between 1989 and 1992 81 to 23 billion drop in earnings from sugar loss of external financing from sov union oil chemical fertilisers animal feedstuffs shortages Govt maintains rev s gains of free ed and free health no hospitals or schools closed after 1933 economy slowly improve One imp element was Hugo Chavez a great admirer of castro president of venezuela in 1998 Chavez signed trade deals w cuba 2000 first cuba venz agreement reached Considerable amounts of oil 2006 Cuba imported oil at preferential pricebelow average world market prices 2008 russia agreed to help fund oil production off coast of cuba What were the main social policies in Castro s cuba Living standards Redistribute wealth Providing jobs for those who are able to work goal of ending unemployment met prices of basic goods low while rationing ensured fair distribution improvement of living standards for rural poor was outstanding Healthcare Successful policy right of every cuban citizen free healthcare expanded rural areas Political and military mobilisations disrupted expansion of medical services 1981 infant mortality rate fell to 185 per 1000 while pre 1959 diseases associated w poverty greatly reduced Housing 1959 15 of rural inhabitants had running water 80 for urban 9 had electricity less successful on rev s part Inefficiencies in construction and construction materials industries insufficient production govnt gave higher priority to building of hospitals and schools 1960s housing units built dropped rose during first five year plan 1973 21000 units a high by 1980 declined again What were Castro s policies towards women ethnic and other minorities and religion Women Easier divorce free abortions subsidised family planning proportion of women in labor fource doubled over 30 years Guaranteed equal pay female numbers in edu FMC federation of Cuban women Equalize status of spouses in family Women s participation in politics less equal than in workplace Black people Before 1959 Castro s programmes and manifestos didn t mention the color question after 1959 improved treatment of black people became imp achievement of Castro March 1959 proclamation against discrimination speech campaign against racial discrimination rev govmt repealed pre 1959 laws that allowed or enforced racial discrimination Did not support black separatism blacks saw their living standards improve after 1959 support for castro greater among blacks leaders of 1959 rev white continued to fill top positions black still significantly under represented 1979 only 5 of 34 black ministers 4 black members of 14 of FCC and only 16 of 146 of central committtee 1986 party congress castro said priority to increase the black share of top political jobs Samesex relations in Cuba Homophobia exists today in some areas 1965 rev armed forces recruited gay men into UMAP work battalions For men who were unfit or refused to do military service Criticism in cuba 1971 govt described same sex relationships as incompatible w revolution Expelled from communist party and lost jobs overturned by supreme court in 1975 more liberal approach CNES changed attitudes and laws Religion Catholic church no deep roots in cuba End of 1990s out of 11 million only 150000 regularly attended Sunday mass Some sects had some growth at first cath leadership accepted leadership secularisation of edu reduction of church s role in govt changed that by end of 1959 radical turn taken by castro and fidelistaas tensions W church During 1980s Vatican Cuban and US catholic churches condemned US embargo on Cuba Pope John paul 11 criticized effects of neo liberal capitalist economics july 1992 amendmants to 1976 constitution declared state to be secular than atheist PCC let religious believers to join J an 1998 pope john paul 11 visited Cuba conducted four masses What impact has the cuban revolution had on education young people and the arts Education In 1959 ill educated July 1953 Castro promised reform of edu in speech to UN in 1960 would end illiteracy with a year 1961 the year of education rev govt took over all private and church schools achieved virtual universal attendance at primary schools 100000 volunter teachers recruited most teens target of US sponsored counter revs over 40 killed in terrorist attacks Taught over 1 million to read and write over 3000 schools built first year 300000 children attended for first time free edu to all Average levels of edu in labor force jumped to 6th grade level in 1974 census 8th grade by 1979 Differences in access to quality edu between urban and rural better than before but didnt end Improvements in higher edu limited strong bias towards technical edu engineering over humanities and liberal arts social sciences neglected Castro successfully carried real edu rev after 1959 Inspiration to other countries economic crisis castro insisted free edu and free medical care be preserved and untouched The media and the arts 1960 all mass media under govt control letters to editor pages was only way to criticism Specific problems not policy greater but limited freedom of expression and publication in arts and academic worlds for those who supported rev materials against rev or written by opponents not published within the rev everything against the rev nothing
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