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THE CUBAN REVOLUTION. Political Science 4396 Dr. Arthur K. Smith Fall Semester 2006. Cuba. Central America and the Caribbean. Prevailing Myths About the Cuban Revolution.

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The cuban revolution l.jpg


Political Science 4396

Dr. Arthur K. Smith

Fall Semester 2006

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Prevailing Myths About the Cuban Revolution

● The Ernesto “Che” Guevara version: “That a handful of bearded rebels with a rural peasant base singlehandedly took on and defeated a standing army, thereby overthrowing the dictator and bringing the revolutionaries to power.”

● That 1959 represented a “watershed” year for the Cuban Revolution, a break with the past rather than the culmination of more than six decades of virtually continuous struggle.

● That Fidel Castro “had his hands in all of the major and minor decisions of the 26th of July Movement during the insurrection and was responsible for all of its failures and successes.”

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Questions to be considered:

● What are the historical antecedents of the Cuban Revolution?

● Did M-26-7 prevail in 1958 primarily through

guerrilla warfare, or were other tactics equally

crucial to victory?

● What has been the role of the United States in shaping

Cuban political and economic history?

● What role will the U.S. play in the post-Fidel era?

● How best to understand the role of Fidel Castro as

Cuba’s revolutionary leader?

● How best to understand the recent “temporary” transfer

of power to Raul Castro?

● What role has been and will be played by the Cuban

exile community?

● What is likely to happen after Fidel’s death?

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Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800

● Structure of Spanish Colonial Administration

● Spain’s conquest of the New World

● Contrast with England’s colonization of

North America

● Role of Cuba in Spain’s colonial economy

● Mercantilism

• Dominant economic system from about the 16th through the 18th centuries

• Rise of the nation-state in Europe

• Fueled rise of imperialism

● From about 1531 to 1660, Spain extracted from its LA colonies

some 181 tons of gold and 16,000 tons of silver (official figures)

● Effects on Spain’s politics and economy

● Inflation, undermined aristocracy, strengthened powers of

monarchy, retarded growth of independent commercial class

• Havana’s role in Spain’s mineral exploitation of Latin America

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Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800 (2)

● Peninsulares vs. Criollos in Spanish colonial America

● Decline of mining, rise of plantation economy

● Importation of African slaves

● Spain’s restrictive policies for Cuba from 16th through 19th


● Occupation of Havana by the English in 1862

• The world context: England, France, Spain, and the United States

at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century

● Industrial revolution in England, expansion of world trade

● American and French Revolutions, the Enlightenment

● Slave uprising in Sainte Domingue, Hispaniola (Haiti)

● Legitimacy crisis in Spain and Portugal

• Napoleonic wars

● Three kinds of legitimacy

● Traditional

● Charismatic

● Rational-Legal

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Cuba in the Early Spanish Colonial Era, 1492-1800 (3)

● Insularity of Cuba from LA wars of independence (Simon Bolivar

and Jose de San Martin)

• Effects of these events on Cuba

• Cuba became a refuge for displaced peninsulares and immigrants

from Spain

• Before proceeding with examination of Cuba in the 19th century,

review Introductory Chapter in Julia Sweig’s Book

● “Prevailing myths” to be examined and evaluated:

● The Ernesto “Che” Guevara version: “That a handful of bearded

rebels with a rural peasant base singlehandedly took on and

defeated a standing army, thereby overthrowing the dictator

and bringing the revolutionaries to power.”

● That 1959 represented a “watershed” year for the Cuban

Revolution, a break with the past rather than the culmination

of more than six decades of virtually continuous struggle.

● That Fidel Castro “had his hands in all of the major and minor

decisions of the 26th of July Movement during the insurrection

and was responsible for all of its failures and successes.”

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Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1898

● Cuba in the 19th Century: Rise of the Sugar Culture

● Great Power Politics:

● Pax Britannica

● U.S. “Manifest Destiny”

● The Monroe Doctrine

● Cuba’s attractiveness to the U.S. (refer to map)

● Offer to buy Cuba from Spain, the Ostend Manifesto

● Decline of Spain as an Imperial Power

● Emergence of the United States as a Great Power

● Influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan

● Social Darwinism

● The “First Rebellion” in Spain’s Cuba, 1868-1878

● Grito de Yara (1868)

● Cuba Libre

● Jose Marti

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Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1903 (3)

● 1878 Settlement by Spain led to shaky peace

● Promised reforms, amnesty, emancipation of slaves

(finally fulfilled in 1886)

● Growth of trade in sugar & tobacco with U.S.

● Trade agreement cancelled by Spain in 1894

● Hurt sugar growers in Cuba, caused resentment in

the U.S.

● Final war of independence, 1895-1898

● Roles of Jose Marti, Antonio Maceo, Calixto Garcia

● General Valeriano “Butcher” Weyler

● Reconcentrados, free fire zones

● Forces provoking American intervention

● Economic, strategic, humanitarian

● The “Yellow Press”

● Sinking of the USS Maine (February 15, 1898)

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Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1908 (4)

● Spanish-American War

● “Remember the Maine”

● War declared on April 11, 1898

● The Teller Amendment

● Theodore Roosevelt, the “Rough Riders”

● The Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898)

● Contrast between U.S. & Cuban historical perspectives

on the war

● American Military Rule, 1898-1902

● Conditions in Cuba were deplorable

● Benevolent reconstruction, Dr. Leonard Wood

● Debates in both Cuba & U.S. about future relationship:

● Annexation vs. Independence

● Elections of 1900 in the U.S.

● TR as war hero, Republican candidate for VP

● Assassination of McKinley, rise of TR

● Constitutional Assembly in Cuba (1900)

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Cuba in the Late Spanish Colonial Era, 1800-1903 (5)

● The Platt Amendment (Secretary of State Elihu Root)

● Limits on Cuban sovereignty, naval stations, U.S. right

to intervene “for the preservation of Cuban

independence, the maintenance of a government

adequate for the protection of life, property, and

individual liberty.”

● Adopted by U.S. Congress as rider to army appropriations

act of 1901

● Added to new Cuban constitution in June 1901

● Election of 1st President of Cuba, Tomas Estrada Palma

● End of U.S. military rule (May 1902)

● Beginning of U.S. Protectorate (1902-1934)

● Estrada Palma’s first term, 1902-1906

● Good start, trade treaty of 1903 with U.S.

● 20% reduction in tariff duties for Cuban sugar

● U.S. settles on only Guantanamo Bay as naval base

● Traditional Cuban corruption moderated

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Growth of the Sugar Culture and the U.S. Protectorate, 1902-1925

● Framework for political analysis

● Power contenders

● Power capabilities

● Political currencies

● Three types of legitimacy

● Role of the military in Latin American countries

● Golpes de estado

● Rise of U.S. policy of “Gunboat Diplomacy”

● Diplomatic recognition of new governments

● De jure vs. de facto recognition

● Recognition used as a power tactic by U.S. governments

● Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine

● Panama Canal

● 1st Test of Platt Amendment in 1906

● Estrada Palma’s “Moderates” vs. “Liberals” (Jose

Miguel Gomez, Alfredo Zayas)

● TR sent William Howard Taft, then appointed Charles Magoon as

governor to supplant the elected president

● New elections in 1909 brought Gomez to power

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Growth of the Sugar Culture and the U.S. Protectorate, 1902-1925 (2)

● Rise of venality after 1909, repeated U.S. interventions to maintain order

● Pattern of U.S. protectorate established

● President Mario Garcia Menocal (1913-1921) continued


● Fraudulent reelection in 1917 (U.S. troops put down

revolt by opposition)

● Cuba followed U.S. in declaring war on Germany in


● U.S. bought Cuban sugar during WWI, but prices

collapsed after war ended

● The “Dance of the Millions”

● Economic collapse, all Cuban-owned banks failed

● Alfredo Zayas elected president in 1921 in midst of

continuing economic turmoil

● Gen. Enoch Crowder sent by U.S. in “painless intervention”

● Economic recovery until 1923, when Crowder left

● Quick return to corruption

● Election of Gerardo Machado in 1925

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The Machado Years, 1925-1933 1902-1925 (2)

● Promising beginning for Machado Government

● Diversified economy, public works, easy loans from

New York banks

● Era of “Dollar Diplomacy” replaced “Gunboat Diplomacy”

● But Machado built his own corrupt political machine

● Reelected in 1928, but opposition grew

● University of Havana played major role in opposition

● ABC society of some 40,000 members

● Machado “porrista” thugs, reign of terror

● Public order deteriorated, but U.S. President

Hoover resisted calls for intervention

● The Great Depression set in and deepened throughout

most of the world

● New U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933)

● The “Good Neighbor” policy of FDR replaced “Dollar Diplomacy”

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The 1902-1925 (2)Machado Years, 1925-1933 (2)

● Sumner Welles sent by FDR as ambassador to Cuba to

apply pressure on Machado

● ABC called a general strike in August 1933, Cuban

army leaders demanded changes

● Machado took flight to Bahamas

● Provisional government brokered by Welles, but

lasted only three weeks

● Overthrown by the “revolt of the sergeants”

● Tradition of military “golpes de estado” in LA

● Sergeant Fulgencio Batista deposed officer corps

and seized power, promoted himself to colonel

and army chief of staff

● Batista appointed Professor Ramon Grau San Martin

as Provisional President

● Grau lasted only 4 months (U.S. withheld recognition)

● de facto vs. de jure recognition

● But Grau decreed end of Platt Amendment as law in Cuba

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The Revolt of the Sergeants and the Rise of Fulgencio Batista, 1933-1944

● Platt Amendment then formally abrogated by U.S. (1934)

● Batista ruled Cuba from behind the scenes from 1934-1940

● Succession of seven puppet presidents

● Notably Carlos Mendieta, Miguel Mariano Gomez, and

Federico Laredo Bru

● Cuban economy shaky during 1930s

● Impact of worldwide depression

● General strike in 1935, but Batista’s army suppressed it

● Batista’s behind-the-scenes dictatorship characterized

as “mild, suave, and sweet”

● Social reforms under Laredo Bru

● Women’s suffrage, sugar cooperatives, trade

unionization (Confederation of Cuban Workers)

● U.S. presence lessened, but rising anti-

Americanism among intellectuals

● Rise of Fascism in Europe, the “New Deal” in

the U.S.; Spanish civil war

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The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War Years, 1945-1952

● Constituent Assembly elected in November 1939

● Constitution of 1940 was a very progressive document

● Cross between presidential and parliamentary systems

● Prime minister responsible to president & congress

● No immediate reelection of president (4 year term)

● Civil liberties, worker’s rights, unions, agrarian reform,

industrialization, Cubanization of the national economy

● Batista elected President in 1940, supported by his

Democratic Socialist coalition and the PSP

● Opposed by Grau San Martin (Autenticos)

● Batista a strong, democratic, popular president from 1940-44

● Cuba declared war on Axis Powers on Dec. 9, 1941

● Recognized USSR in 1943

● U.S. provided aid, plus U.S. purchased entire sugar crop

at favorable prices

● Zafra averaging about 5 million tons annually

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The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War Years, 1945-1952 (2)

● Batista was a masterful politician at this time

● Actually gave Cuba the best government it had ever had

● Public works projects, support of army, upper and middle classes,

organized labor, Communists

● Role of COMINTERN in 1930’s and 1940’s

● PSP was strongly tied to Moscow and the USSR

● Cuban intellectuals still disaffected, but isolated

● But Batista took care to enrich himself (commissions, kick-backs)

● In 1944, he allowed free elections and turned over power to Grau

San Martin and the Autenticos

● Batista went to live in Florida

● Grau’s government from 1944-48 was a big disappointment

● Set new records for graft and corruption

● Havana became a mecca for U.S. tourists, gambling, prostitution,

narcotics, mafia

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The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War Years, 1945-1952 (3)

● By 1947-48, Cuba seemed to be coming apart

● Students at University of Havana rioted, armed themselves

● Political assassinations were common

● Emergence of Fidel Castro

● Father Angel Castro, from Galicia (Gallego) b.Dec. 4, 1892,

emigrated to Cuba in 1912

● Worked for United Fruit Company, started own hacienda—10,000

acres in Oriente

● Married, but fell for housemaid Lina Ruz

● Six children with Lina Ruz;, Fidel b. Aug. 13, 1926

● Rustic upbringing, athletic, sometimes violent, brawling; Catholic

schools in Santiago and Havana

● To University of Havana in fall 1945 to study law

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The Constitution of 1940, WWII, and the Post-War Years, 1945-1952 (4)

● Elections of 1948 (Carlos Prio Socarras vs. Senator Eduardo Chibas & two

other candidates)

● Autenticos vs. Ortodoxos

● Prio won a plurality of the votes

● Corruption became even worse, especially Prio himself

● But Cuban economy growing (sugar, Korean War, tourism)

● Buildup to national elections of 1952

● Growing sentiment for Batista to return to power (elected to Senate)

● Chibas growing in popularity, but dramatic suicide on radio show

● Roberto Agramonte became Ortodoxo candidate, Batista likely

to lose the election

● Cuartelazo of March 1952, Camp Columbia

● Prio Socarras deposed

● Elections cancelled

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Fulgencio Batista’s Second Coup, 1952 1945-1952 (4)

● Batista’s return to power initially greeted with widespread relief

● U.S. recognized new government some two weeks later

● But old progressiveness quickly devolved into dictatorship

● Press muzzled, university closed, congress dissolved, military law


● Link with Meyer Lansky and the U.S. mafia, which invested in

hotels, gambling, prostitution

● Role of frustrated intellectuals such as Fidel Castro

● Student factions, growing violence and government repression

● Broader context of dictatorships in Latin America

● The Bogatazo in Colombia (April 1948) and Fidel Castro

● Jorge Eliecer Gaitan assassinated, period of La Violencia, Gustavo

Rojas Pinilla (1953-57)

● Rafael Leonidas Trujillo (Dominican Republic, 1930-61)

● Cayo Confites expedition

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Fulgencio Batista’s Second Coup, 1952 (2) 1945-1952 (4)

● Marcos Perez Jimenez (Venezuela, 1948-58)

● Juan Domingo Peron in Argentina (1943-55)

● Manuel Odria in Peru (1948-56) and APRA

● Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay (1954-89)

● Anastasio Somoza Garcia in Nicaragua (1933-56)

● Getulio Vargas in Brazil (elected 1950-54, but former military

dictator from 1930-45)

● But there were a few bright spots in L.A. for democratic reform

● Chile and Mexico changed governments regularly

through elections

● The Bolivian Revolution of 1952 (Victor Paz Estenssoro and

the MNR)

● Jose “Pepe” Figueres and the National Liberation Party (PLN)

in Costa Rica

● Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (1950-54)

● The “Caribbean Legion”

● Role of the Organization of American States (OAS)

● U.S. policy of “containment” of communism

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The Moncada Raid, 1945-1952 (4)July 26, 1953

● Fidel Castro’s political ambitions as an Ortodoxo

● Frustrated by Batista’s coup

● Turned to violent overthrow of government as only remaining

route to power

● Planning and Organization of the Moncada Raid

● Fidel’s budding “movement” of disaffected and marginalized Cubans

● “Fidelistas” grew to a movement of about 1,200 by June 1953

● Raising money, gathering armaments

● Ideology? Communist?

● Charismatic legitimation, mantle of Marti

● Stance of PSP as Fidelista movement grew

● Focus on Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba

● Planned as early as February 1952 with Abel Arcos

● Hope was that dramatic and heroic feat would spark nationwide uprising

● Romantic, “Morir por la Patria es Vivir”

● 165 men and two women, Batistiano uniforms

● But everything went wrong from the start, army troops rallied

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The Moncada Raid, 1945-1952 (4)July 26, 1953 (2)

● Fidel gave order to retreat, escaped with about 18 others to

Sierra Maestra

● Those captured were tortured and most were executed

● Moncada raid was a military failure but a political success

● Brutality of Batista regime was crystalized for nation to see

● Fidel catapulted into leadership role on grander scale

● As dust settled, Fidel and Raul gave themselves up

● Brought to trial in September 1953 (some 24 conspirators in all)

● Fidel defended himself, cross-examined accusers

● Lengthy summation included his justification for the Moncada attack and

his political agenda

● Manifesto called for restoration of the Constitution of 1940

● Ownership of land by tenants, sharecroppers, and squatters

● Right of workers to share of profits of business enterprises,

including sugar mills and plantations

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The Moncada Raid, 1945-1952 (4)July 26, 1953 (3)

● Confiscation of property that had been secured through

graft and fraud

● Castigated foreign ownership of land (esp. United Fruit


● Rejected absolute freedom of enterprise, guarantees for investment

capital, law of supply and demand

● Castro’s speech held out a bright and shining vision of the future

● “History will absolve me”

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956

● Fidel sentenced to 15 years, Raul to 13,

20 others given 10 years

● Boniato Prison on the Isle of Pines

● While in prison, Fidel continued to work on his Manifesto

● More radical than Ortodoxos, but far short of Communist

● Fairly well treated as a political prisoner, allowed to communicate with

wife Mirta and lover Naty Revuelta and to maintain unity among his

imprisoned followers

● Meanwhile, Batista increasingly confident, held elections in 1954

● Batista himself the only legal candidate

● Even allowed release of Fidel and his Moncada raid comrades from

prison in May 1955 as part of deal with Ortodoxo Party

● Fidel dallied briefly in Havana, then left for voluntary exile in Mexico City

● Mexico in the 1950s under President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines and the PRI

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (2)

● Immediately focused on organizing M-26-7

● Forged linkages with important Cuban exiles, including Carlos

Prio Socarras

● But already jockeying for leadership of anti-Batista forces

● Already focused on landing in Oriente in tradition of Marti

● M-26-7 in Mexico City quickly grew to about 70 followers

● Rigorous paramilitary training, organization into cells

● Met Che Guevara in July 1955

● Fidel and Che complemented each other as revolutionaries

● Raul Castro, Alberto Bayo (veteran of Spanish civil war), and

Frank Pais completed core group of leaders

● Pais least well known, but perhaps most important after Fidel

● His ANR (Accion Nacional Revolucionaria) became the

in-Cuba wing of M-26-7

● Role was to mount diversionary uprising in Santiago during

planned landing in Oriente

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (3)

● By fall 1955, Fidel was actively raising money for M-26-7

● Visits to Cuban exiles in New York, Tampa, New Jersey

● There was in April 1956 an abortive military coup against Batista

● Easily put down, but effect was to eliminate from Batista’s army

its most professionalized officers (mostly trained in U.S.)

● Followers of Prio Socarras assaulted army barracks in Matanzas

● Fidel watched from afar, pleased at these failures

● In July 1956 Fidel met with Jose Antonio Echeverria, leader of

anti-Batista group Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE)

● Formed in 1955, middle- and upper-middle-class youths

● Idealistic, pro-democracy, but supported violent overthrow

of Batista

● Fidel met with Prio Socarras in McAllen, Texas, and won

financial support

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (4)

● Events in Fidel’s personal life

● Ex-wife Mirta Diaz-Balart remarried

● Fidel concerned about his son “Fidelito,” then six years old

● Naty Revuelta bore him a daughter in March 1956

● Affairs with various other women

● Death of Fidel’s father, Angel, in October 1956

● Purchase of the Granma, aged 38-foot yacht in Tuxpan, Mexico,

in early November

● M-26-7 group filtered in to Tuxpan, about 88 in all

● Granma set out for Cuba on November 25, dangerously overloaded

● Stormy passage to Oriente, rampant seasickness, voyage delayed

● Batista was aware of M-26-7 plans

● On November 30, Fidel learned of failure of Frank Pais’s

diversionary attack in Santiago

● Landing on December 2

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (5)

● On December 5, after having moved inland some 22 miles, the M-26-7 landing party was ambushed by Cuban army

● Most were killed, about 12 survivors scattered, including

Fidel’s top leadership (Che was slightly wounded)

● Survivors reunited after about 11 grueling days in the rugged

Sierra Maestra

● Now the real guerrilla struggle began

● Early raid on army outpost at La Plata was successful

● Word quietly and slowly got out to Fidelistas, and the band of

guerrillas started to grow

● Strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare

● Unconventional, asymmetrical

● Numerous successful examples known at that time, among


● China (Mao Tse-tung, mid-1940s)

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (6)

● Yugoslavia (Josip Broz Tito in early 1940s)

● Viet Nam (General Vo Nguyen Giap, early 1950s)

● Mexico (Emiliano Zapata, mid 1910s))

● Nicaragua (Augusto Cesar Sandino, late 1920s))

● Cuba’s own war of independence against Spain (1895-98)

● Political vs. military victory

● Measures of success are different

● “Hit and run” tactics

● Avoidance of set-piece battles against conventional forces

● Common setting: Rural vs. urban

● Support of peasants (or campesinos) is crucial

● Roles of propaganda and terrorism

● Purpose: To de-legitimize regime and create conditions

for its fall

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Castro’s Imprisonment, Exile in Mexico, and Return to Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)

● Question: Was Cuba a modern, transitional, or underdeveloped country in 1957-58?

● Metaphor of growth:

● Heuristic

● But possibly teleological or deterministic

● Example: Karl Marx’s economic determinism

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958

● What was Cuba like in early 1957?

● Dimensions of political (as contrasted with economic) modernization

● Secularization

● More than simply independence of the political from religious—

how people conceive their role in the process of change

● Integration

● Individuals owe primary allegiance to nation, rather than religion,

tribe, or region

● Social Mobilization

● Individuals and groups actively seek ways to resolve problems

● Participation

● People conceive of political action

● Institutionalization

● Activity channeled through political institutions and accepted


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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (2)

● Dimensions of economic modernization

● Industrialization, urbanization, education

● Concept of economic and political dependency (“Dependency Theory”)

● Means of production (land, labor, capital, technology)

● Primary vs. secondary products

● Doctrine of comparative advantage in international trade

● Efficiency lies in specialization

● But specialization in primary products means specialization in

land and labor rather than in capital and technology

● Rostow’s “Revolution of Rising Expectations”

● Cuba in the 1950’s not as backward or as underdeveloped as has been often portrayed, especially in comparison to the rest of Latin America

● By 1953 census, about 60 percent of labor force in

nonagricultural occupations

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (3)

● Third in LA in average daily consumption of food (after Argentina and Uruguay)

● Ranked near top in LA in number of radios and television sets

● Foreign ownership of sugar mills was in steady decline, from 66 in 1939

to only 36 in 1958

● By contrast, Cuban-owned sugar mills increased from 56 to 121 in the

same period

● Cuban-owned percentage of total sugar production had increased from

22% to 62%

● By 1958, Cuba’s per capita income was among the highest in LA

● Comparable worldwide to Italy, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania

● Cuban workers in cities enjoyed relatively good pay and benefits

● But agricultural workers were worse off, underemployed and seasonally

unemployed because of sugar culture

● Cuba was fairly highly urbanized, with nearly 60% living in cities

● Status of education was inadequate but improving

● Literacy rate of about 78% in 1953, ranking Cuba 4th in Latin America

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (4)

● In social structure, Cuba marked by steady growth of middle class

(professional, semi-professional, managerial, and proprietary


● In relation to total population, Cuba’s middle class among

strongest in L.A.

● On average, then, Cuba generally ranked quite high among L.A.


● But average rankings concealed wide disparities and inequalities

● In summary, the picture of Cuba in late 1950s as a backward,

poverty-ridden land was not completely accurate, especially in

relation to L.A.

● But relative to U.S. and Western Europe, Cuba was clearly


● In per capita income, Cuba ranked far below Mississippi, the

poorest state

● And below all Western European nations except Portugal

● Wealth and land ownership concentrated in the hands of the few

● And Cuba had its share of major problems

● Economy sluggish, growth in GNP was slow

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (5)

● Overreliance on sugar (75-80% of Cuba’s exports)

● U.S. citizens owned or controlled many public utilities, much of

the banking system, and about 36 percent of sugar industry

(albeit U.S. share was in steady decline)

● Cuba’s trade overwhelmingly was with U.S. (about 60%)

● But while the perception was much higher, U.S. financial

interests controlled only six percent of the gross Cuban GNP

● Cubans had a love-hate relationship with the U.S.

● Despised U.S. materialism, its pragmatism, and its historic

influence in Cuban affairs

● Many Cubans ashamed of what Havana had become by 1950s

● But Cubans also desirous of sharing in the profits that U.S.

investments and tourists brought

● And copying American ways and customs (e.g., slang words,

baseball, even racial prejudice)

● Cubans so prosperous that Cuban tourists spent more in

the U.S. than U.S. tourists spent in Cuba

● U.S. support of Batista dictatorship was not set in concrete

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (6)

● My point: The Cuban Revolution was born not so much out of grinding

poverty, racial inequalities, economic underdevelopment, or

U.S. imperialism

● As out of the fact that development of a more modern Cuba

was not proceeding fast enough to satisfy people’s rising

expectations, especially among middle class

● Cuba was a “transitional” nation that had “taken off” toward


● Dimensions of political modernization: Uneven progress

● Secularization

● Integration

● Social Mobilization

● Participation

● Institutionalization

● Tensions in society exacerbated by a tradition of aggressive

nationalism with a strong anti-Yanqui twist

● A particularly violent revolutionary tradition

● Influence of Cold War conflicts elsewhere in the world

The 26 th of july movement in the sierra maestra and in the llano 1956 1958 7 l.jpg
The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (7)

● Why is it important to understand this?

● The “Myth” of the Cuban Revolution promulgated by

Castro, Guevara, and others (e.g., C. Wright Mills,

Jean Paul Sartre, Leo Huberman, Regis Debray, Paul

Sweezy, to mention a few)

● Cuba was widely portrayed as an island inhabited by a largely

rural population living in misery and filth, illiteracy, and


● Whose conditions of life were so abysmal that the country

simply exploded under the leadership of Fidel Castro

to create a new social order through revolution

● The facts belie much of the myth, and the truth is much

more complicated

● But while the period from 1953-1958 was prosperous,

Batista’s dictatorship was becoming progressively more

tyrannical and brutal

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (8)

● Never had Cubans been richer—at least, those who held office, who

were granted concessions, who owned land and good businesses

● And among the richest was ex-sergeant Fulgencio Batista

● Under Batista, Cuba had virtually everything—except liberty

● The opportunity to participate in politics was closed to all but the

few batistianos

● Meanwhile, back in the Sierra Maestra, the fidelistas were working at

guerrilla warfare

● Basic strategy (January 1957-February 1958) was to attack army

posts, withdraw immediately, then prepare ambush for the pursuing

army troops

● The M-26-7 rebel band grew slowly, with most new recruits coming

not from guajiros but rather from among young urban students and


● Mostly from Santiago and recruited by Frank Pais

● Pais had been arrested and jailed after the abortive uprising scheduled

to coincide with the Granma landing, then was acquitted (May 1957)

● Very few guajiros recruited to fight, but support of the guajiros was cultivated

with land reform and as source of food and supplies

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (9)

● Turning point came when Frank Pais sent Herbert Matthews to Castro

in the mountains in February 1957

● Veteran New York Times war correspondent

● Fortuitous, Matthews “the right man at exactly the right time”

● Matthews’ three stories in New York Times revealed that Fidel was not

only alive but was actively engaging Batista’s army

● Fidel adept at “guerrilla theatre” during Matthews’ visit

● Romantic portrayal by Matthews caused a sensation in U.S.,

but also in Cuba

● Batista scoffed at fidelista threat, and PSP publicly denounced Castro

● M-26-7 leaders agreed to complement Sierra activities with urban underground

● Frank Pais played the role of coordinator

● More than Fidel, Pais was the actual architect of organization and

national strategy for M-26-7

● Sierra and Llano tactics worked in concert

● Activities in the Sierra were dependent on Llano for virtually everything

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (10)

● M-26-7 resisted alliances with other leading anti-Batista groups

● M-26-7 portrayed as something new and independent

● Again, the goal of strategy during this period: Nationwide general strike,

supported by armed struggle in both the Sierra and the Llano

● Cells were organized in all six provinces, but Pais was headquartered

in Santiago

● Llano employed a strategy of sabotage through urban guerrilla warfare

to prepare the way for the planned general strike

● M-26-7’s relationship with the PSP (i.e., the Communists) was delicate

● Many M-26-7 members were anti-Communist, “democratic left”

● PSP had been closely linked to Batista since 1930s

● But if the objective was to be a general strike, PSP cooperation was

vitally needed

● PSP exercised much control over labor unions in CTC

● M-26-7’s relationships with the Autenticos (OA, still led by Prio Socarras) and the

Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE) were even more difficult

● But on March 13, 1957, both of these rival groups staged an assault

on Batista’s palace in Havana

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (11)

● More than 40 killed, including Jose Antonio Echeverria, the leader of the DRE

● Thus a major potential rival to Fidel was removed

● M-26-7 profited from this in various ways, including weapons

● Government crackdown after the assault on Batista’s palace

Repression of dissidents damaged both OA and DRE

● At the same time, another organization, called the Joint Civic Institutions (CIC),

was rallying many professional groups in opposition to Batista and

to the elections he planned for 1958

● Appearance of the Manifesto of the Sierra Maestra

● Published in Bohemia magazine on July 28, 1957

● Fidel was the primary author, but Frank Pais was influential in

striking a moderate rather then radical tone

● Building tactical coalition with Raul Chibas, Felipe Pazos,

Roberto Agramonte, Justo Carrillo (Ortodoxos-Historicos)

● Key element of the Manifesto at this time: M-26-7 granted power to the CIC to

name a provisional government

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (12)

● Rejected elections as a solution until Batista overthrown

● But the Manifesto set free elections and constitutional goverment

as central post-Batista goals

● Elections were to be held within one year after Batista’s defeat

● Called for formation of the Civic Revolutionary Front to bring about

Batista’s downfall

● Manifesto set forth a post-overthrow program of reforms that closely reflected

longstanding platform of Ortodoxo party

● Manifesto was effective in discrediting the elections planned for 1958 as a

competing strategy for ending Batista’s rule

● Roles of women such as Celia Sanchez, Vilma Espin, Haydee Santamaria

● Celia was Fidel’s lover and a key organizer/strategist

● Vilma (later to become Raul’s wife) was a staunch communist and key

plotter against Pais as Fidel’s rival for power within M-26-7

● Pais (only 23 years old) was betrayed from within M-26-7 and assassinated by

Batista’s police in Santiago (late July 1957)

● Spontaneous and widespread mourning, work stoppages in Oriente

● Government overreacted with repression

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (13)

● Pais’s death cleared way for Fidel to assert not only his undisputed leadership of


● But also the supremacy of the Sierra strategy over that of the Llano

● The August 5 general strike was organized by ND leaders

● Abortive, not supported by PSP

● September 5 naval mutiny in Cienfuegos, easily suppressed by Batista’s army

● Effect was elimination of most M-26-7 allies within military

● During fall 1957, M-26-7 sowed terror across Cuba by burning cane fields

● Meanwhile, the remains of the DRE opened up a guerrilla front of its own

in Escambray mountains in central Cuba, with some 800 members

● Poorly coordinated, eventually not very effective

● And Raul Castro opened up a second front in Oriente in March 1958

● Very effective militarily, carried out some 247 actions against Cuban army through

the end of December

● Raul also resorted to political kidnappings as terror tactic

● Including busload of 47 U.S. sailors returning to base at Guantanamo

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (14)

● U.S. support of Batista was now becoming ambivalent

● U.S. imposed an arms embargo in March 1958

● State Department concluded that Batista must go

● Attracted by the transitionist plan outlined in the Sierra Manifesto

● “Pact of Miami” and the “Cuban Liberation Junta”

● The PSP also decided to hedge its bets, sending younger members

to join M-26-7 in guerrilla warfare

● PSP leader Carlos Rafael Rodriguez traveled to Sierra in May/June and

remained there with Fidel

● M-26-7 llano leaders called for a nationwide general strike on April 9, 1958

● Strike failed, even though it nominally had Fidel’s support

● In May 1958, Batista ordered a major offensive, sent 10,000 troops

to Oriente with air force bombers

● Army suffered some tactical defeats, some defections among its troops

● U.S. pressure forced Batista to stop use of bombing

● In effect, the U.S. government was abandoning Batista to his fate

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The 26 Cuba, 1953-1956 (7)th of July Movement in the Sierra Maestra and in the Llano, 1956-1958 (15)

● On August 7, Cuban army began a disorderly retreat, marking

beginning of final stage of the insurrection

● Guerrillas of M-26-7 now about 800 in number, and had been reorganized

into four “columns”

● First and second columns, commanded respectively by Fidel and Raul,

stayed where they had been in the Sierra

● Third, commanded by Che Guevara, went to the Escambray

mountains in Las Villas province

● Fourth, led by Camilo Cienfuegos, sent to Pinar del Rio, at the

western tip of Cuba (but never arrived, and actually fell in with Che)

● Oriente province was now virtually completely under rebel control

● And forces under Che and Camilo Cienfuegos threatened to

cut the island in two in Las Villas province

● As fall 1958 progressed, the Cuban army melted away from desertions

● By December 1958, both the U.S. government and Batista’s army leaders

realized that Batista had to go

● On December 31, city of Santa Clara (Las Villas) fell to Che and Camilo

● And Fidel’s column was laying siege to Santiago

● That same night, Batista fled the island

● Victory for Fidel and the M-26-7 was at last at hand

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I

● Why did Castro win?

● Five basic reasons

1. Military action

2. The revolutionary potential of the island

3. Programmatic content of the Sierra Manifesto (promise of

liberal democracy)

4. Castro’s personal characteristics and his effective elimination

of potential rivals for power outside M-26-7

5. Lack of support for Batista across spectrum of power contenders

● Fidel began an unhurried victory march from Santiago to Havana

● Che and Camilo had already moved forces into Havana on January 1

● Occupied La Cabana Fortress and Camp Columbia

● Mobs roamed Havana, trashing hotels and casinos

● On January 8, Fidel rode in on a tank to a hero’s welcome

before a crowd of more than a million wildly cheering Cubans

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 2 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (2)

● Without regard for earlier pledge to have the CIC (Joint Civic Institutions)

appoint a provisional government, Castro quickly assumed power to rule by


● Often used mass meetings in the square in Havana, lengthy speeches,

and rhetorical pleas for mass approval

● Unfettered by any legal or constitutional limitations

● Even before Castro arrived in Havana on January 8, M-26-7 announced

a new government headed by Judge Manuel Urrutia LLeo as provisional president

● “Revolutionary Cabinet” (formed under Art. 40 of the 1940 Constitution)

● Fidel as CinC of the armed forces

● Roberto Agramonte (Ortodoxo) as foreign minister

● Osvaldo Dorticos (PSP) became minister in charge of drafting

revolutionary laws

● Others: Armando Hart (Education), Jose Miro Cardona (Prime

Minister), Luis Orlando Rodriguez (Interior), Angel Fernandez

Rodriguez (Justice), Manuel Ray (Communication), and Faustino

Perez (Recovery of Misappropriated Funds)

● Except for Agramonte & Dorticos, no one named from rival opposition groups

● U.S. formally recognized the new government on January 5

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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (3)

● Despite appearances of a provisional government in accord with the

Constitution of 1940, Fidel Castro very much in charge from the outset

● In effect, there were two governments in operation

● Fidel took over top three penthouse floors of the Havana Hilton

● Governed through public speeches, radio and television addresses,

and claims of popular mandates

● Grafted “Code of the Sierra Maestra” onto existing Cuban law to

legalize capital punishment

● Then on January 22, 1959, Fidel launched a series of public

show “trials” of Batistiano war criminals

● Crowds shouted “Paredon,” i.e., “to the execution wall”

● U.S. public opinion, favorable at first when Batista overthrown,

was revulsed by the ongoing spectacle of kangaroo trials

and executions

● Catharsis for Cuban people, also decimated military officer corps

● Retrials of 43 earlier acquitted airmen indicative of strategy

● M-26-7 leadership began to split over issues such as trials,

planning for the elections that had been promised within one year

● Struggle between Communists and democratic leftists

with Castro usually siding with the Communists

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 4 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (4)

● Three basic and interrelated issues had to be faced

1. What was to be the political structure of the revolution?

● Could fundamental revolutionary changes be carried out through

the promised liberal democracy, or was a dictatorship necessary?

2. Could a viable revolutionary regime be formed solely from the

non-Communist elements of M-26-7?

● Or was it necessary to have the organizational skills and

alliance of the PSP?

3. Would the U.S. tolerate a regime bent on revolutionary change

in Cuba?

● Despite negative impacts on U.S. business interests and diplomacy?

● The new regime’s basic shift to the left was notable almost immediately

● Why did it happen this way?

● Was Castro always a Communist?

● Does the answer lie in Castro’s perverse personality?

● What is clear is that he had been deeply committed to fundamental

social and economic change in Cuba for many years

● Apparently Castro made two early decisions

1. His desired reforms could not be carried out gradually, but rather

had to be done rapidly

2. It was his personal destiny to bring these changes to Cuba

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 5 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (5)

● From July through November 1959, Castro relied increasingly on members

of the PSP

● PSP offered several things that Castro needed

● Strong sense of organization and discipline, and a packaged ideology

● Belief in a hierarchical power structure

● Powerful international allies, especially the USSR

● Castro learned from the experience of the Arbenz government in


● U.S. business interests were going to be adversely affected by reforms

● U.S government therefore was likely to intervene

● A strong ally outside Cuba was needed to counterbalance the U.S.

● The pace of revolutionary changes in Cuba in 1959-60 was extraordinary

● How was it possible? Four factors seem especially relevant:

1. Fidel’s great aura and charisma

● Cubans disposed to follow him wherever he wanted to go

2. Economic structure of the island itself

● Cuban workers (both in industry and in sugar production) already organized

3. Cuba’s unusually nationalist and radical traditions

4. No established institutions in Cuba were strong enough to challenge Castro

● Military, landed oligarchs, Church all were weakened

● Revolutionary Government enjoyed virtual monopoly of power

after January 1, 1959

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 6 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (6)

● The regime’s major socioeconomic changes combined three fundamental goals

1. Income expansion

2. Income redistribution

3. Structural change

● Agrarian reform was decreed in May 1959 with creation of INRA

● Redistributive, set maximum size of holdings at 402.6 hectares (995 acres)

● “Vital minimum” of 27 hectares (66.7 acres)

● Reform law did not outlaw private property

● And most land devoted to sugar production was to be held collectively

● Pace of redistribution was rapid

● About 3.8 million hectares distributed by mid-1961

● Results were mixed

● Production was significantly lowered

● Shift from market-oriented agriculture to subsistence

● Need for rationing

● But consumption was more equitable

● And agricultural workers much better off

● Unemployment eliminated, eight-hour workdays, job security

● Second agrarian reform law promulgated in 1963 (TBD later)

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 7 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (7)

● Economic diversification and industrialization

● Conversion of some sugar fields to other crops

● Largely unsuccessful, detrimental effect on economy

● Strategy of industrialization through import substitution

● Focus on light industries making consumer goods

● Financed with loans from USSR, PRC, and Eastern Europe

● Also largely unsuccessful, abandoned in 1963

● Problems: Shortages of experienced managers, skilled workers,

and raw materials, poor planning, unavailability of replacement parts

● Much more costly to manufacture than to import goods

• Effects of U.S. trade embargo

● Diversion of capital from cities to countryside

● Ideologically driven, but counter-intuitive and economically


● Urban workers disadvantaged in some ways, but benefited

from rent controls, new education and health programs

● Cordon de la Habana was a safety valve

● Education and health systems were nationalized

● TBD later

● Conflicts quickly apparent within the new government

● February 15, 1959 resignation of PM Jose Miro Cardona

● Replaced by Fidel Castro himself

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part i 8 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part I (8)

● Government’s management of Cuban economy was inept

• Che Guevara played a major role in central planning

● Inherited an economic recession at outset of 1959, including depleted

national treasury and $50 million budget deficit from 1958

● Peso depreciated in value from $1 dollar to 30 cents by February 1959

● World price of sugar already in decline

● By June 1959, sugar price reached lowest level since 1941

● Cuba’s BOP deficit, already running about $100 million annually,

was projected to double

● Foreign capital investments rapidly declined

● Tourism, especially from U.S., also in sharp decline

● U.S. government demanding prompt and adequate compensation for all

expropriated property

● By June 1959, Castro’s revolution came to an early turning point

● Three basic choices:

1. Reverse the course of reforms and return to “orthodox” economics of

free enterprise system

2. Face a counterrevolution as unrest spread

3. Turn sharply to the left, with greater authoritarianism and centralized

economic controls

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part ii l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II

● The revolution could go in one of only two directions, forward or backward

● Hard core leadership committed to basic reforms

● Decision was to move to the left

● Was it inevitable?

● But moderates from within M-26-7 were left with no place to go

● On July 16, 1959, Fidel fired his hand-picked man as Provisional

President (Manuel Urrutia Lleo)

● Replaced him with a Communist, Dr. Osvaldo Dorticos

● Meanwhile, during 1959 the Cuban government began to confiscate property

of foreign corporations and of both foreign and Cuban private citizens

● Initially done in the name of agrarian reform, but over next several years it

expanded to include virtually everything of economic value

● At same time, intensive anti-U.S. campaign was launched

● Fidel’s speeches, radio and television

● Non-Communist members of M-26-7 began to protest some of these measures

● Dealt with harshly—either executed, jailed, or exiled

● Huber Matos sent a letter to Fidel, resigning his post because of his

opposition to communism

● Labeled a counter-revolutionary (gusano) and given a 30 year jail


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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (2)

● Camilo Cienfuegos simply disappeared

● Concerned over lack of progress toward promised elections

● Official story: A plane crash

● Most think he was murdered, but unlike Matos, Cienfuegos is still

celebrated even today as a hero and martyr

● Cuban government became a one-man operation

● Elections and restoration of constitutional government no longer mentioned

● During last half of 1959, Castro moved to create a single-group

society in Cuba, following a general Marxist pattern

● Based on a unified elite

● Curtailment of social diversity

● Creation of a unified mass movement based on Fidel’s charisma

● Imposition of a national discipline

● But the ideological nature of the revolution not yet fixed

● Its development during 1959-1962 was conditioned in part by mix

of internal and external pressures

● As disaffected groups turned to counterrevolution and terrorism,

government turned to repression and police state activities

● “Reign of terror” phase began in October 1959 with revival

of revolutionary tribunals

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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (3)

● Castro’s political thought was still evolving during this time

● Pre-1959 thought has been characterized “as a muddled and

complicated mixture of Marti, Marx, Rousseau, and St. Thomas

Aquinas” (recall his Catholic parochial school education)

● C.A.M. Hennessey: “Revolutions are sustained by utopian visions;

without these, they are but rebellions. The visions may be those

of nationalist mythologies or socialist ideologies. It is the unusual

interweaving of such threads which has given Castro’s Revolution

its unique texture.”

● Discuss

The revolution takes power january 1959 december 1960 part ii 4 l.jpg
The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (4)

● By mid-1960, for all practical purposes, a totalitarian state had been created

● Contrast authoritarianism with totalitarianism

● Power of government used to take over or illegalize all other

organizations in the country

● PSP members occupied nearly all important positions

● Opposition newspapers and magazines were silenced

● Opposing political parties forced underground

● Growing number of Cubans headed for exile in Miami

● Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) were forming

● Anti-Americanism became increasingly vocal

● Chants of “Cuba si, Yanqui no!” by masses in Havana

● Castro’s visit to U.S. in April 1959 was a spectacle

● U.N. speech, visit to U.S. Congress, meeting with VP Nixon

● Beginning attempts to export the revolution to other L.A. countries

● American press now highly critical of Castro, U.S. Congress becoming

critical of Eisenhower’s “watch and wait” policy

● U.S. presidential election campaigns in 1960, Nixon vs. Kennedy

● Predominance of foreign policy issues

● Cold War, the alleged “Missile Gap,” containment of communism

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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (5)

● U.S. and Cuba now in a descending spiral of reciprocal antagonism

● By the end of 1960, most foreign-owned property in Cuba had been

expropriated (or confiscated, if you will)

● Process of reorganizing the economic system was well underway

● Results were mixed (poor planning, inexperience, utopian enthusiasm)

● Cuban exodus into exile began in earnest

● Eisenhower administration’s “Save the Children Program” in 1960

brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the U.S.

by April 1961 (Operacion Pedro Pan)

● Most expected the period of exile would be brief, based on anticipation

of impending U.S. intervention

● And U.S. was indeed thinking seriously about it

● U.S. suspended Cuba’s share of sugar quota in July 1960, imposed a

two-way embargo on trade

● USSR began to buy Cuban sugar and provide economic and military aid

• When U.S.-owned oil refineries refused to process Soviet oil shipments,

Castro nationalized (expropriated) the refineries

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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (6)

● In its closing months of 1960, the Eisenhower administration

authorized CIA to organize exiles

● Concept based on successful overthrow of Arbenz regime in

Guatemala in 1954

● President Kennedy inherited the plan in late January 1961

● Youthful JFK had campaigned as a determined “Cold Warrior”

● In December 1960, the U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Cuba

● The stage was now set for the new Kennedy administration to

decide what to do about the Cuba problem

● What were the U.S.’s options?

● International context one of deepening Cold War between U.S. and USSR

● Bipolar world of the 1960s

● Castro’s early policy toward the U.S. had two basic goals

1. Rid Cuba of U.S. business interests

2. Avoid U.S. military intervention that would end his revolution

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The Revolution Takes Power, January 1959-December 1960, Part II (7)

● U.S. had three major objections to the Castro government

1. Its seizure of American-owned businesses without adequate


2. Its sponsorship of invasions of other Latin American countries

● Che’s interpretation of guerrilla warfare as exportable

• Expeditions in 1959 included Dominican Republic,

Nicaragua, Haiti, Panama, and Guatemala

• Blatant, amateurish, unsuccessful

• July 26, 1960: First Latin American Youth Congress held in


• Indoctrination, training in subversion, guerrilla techniques

3. The growing threat of a Soviet military presence on the island

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962

• Meanwhile, the Cuban political apparatus was rapidly evolving

• In 1961, Castro fused the PSP and the M-26-7 into the Integrated

Revolutionary Organization (ORI)

• The next year, 1962, he purged many old-line PSP leaders

(Anibal Escalante) for lack of revolutionary zeal

• In 1963, Castro replaced the ORI with the United Party of the

Socialist Revolution (PURS)

● And purged still more old-line Communists

• Then in 1965, he proclaimed the new Cuban Communist Party (PCC)

• Castro as Prime Minister, CinC of Cuban armed forces,

First Secretary of PCC, and top member of the Politburo

• Castro tightly controlled membership in the PCC

• By end of 1960’s, PCC had about 55,000 Cubans

(out of a population of nearly 8 million)

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (2)

● The Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) invasion in April 1961

● Thinly disguised U.S. invasion by proxy

● By this time, exile numbers were growing rapidly

● About 26,000 had fled Cuba by June 1959

● Second wave of nearly 84,000 during 1960

• Total of about 250,000 by October 1962

● Political dissidents and the dispossessed, but also managers,

professionals that Cuban economy could ill afford to lose

● Emigrants stripped of their wealth before they were

allowed to depart

● Many quickly sought revenge against Castro

● Some exiles had organized themselves into paramilitary groups in south Florida

● Omega 7 and Alpha 66 conducted commando raids on Cuba’s coast

● About 12,000 found employment within CIA to take part in covert actions

around the globe, including Cuba

● Some enlisted in plots to assassinate Castro

● Role of RFK, U.S. mafia (Sam Giancana)

• “Operation Mongoose”

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (3)

● Brigade 2506 comprised of nearly 1,400 exiles under command of

Jose Perez San Roman

● Staged and trained by CIA, principally in Nicaragua

● Plan was for an amphibious invasion supported by air strikes

● To be coordinated with uprisings throughout Cuba

● Based on flawed assumption that Castro’s support by Cuban

people was minimal, and that he was ruling through military

and police repression

● Information about the plan leaked out, and Castro’s forces

were ready

● Known dissidents on the island rounded up in advance

and held

● Amphibious assault by Brigade 2506 met strong prepared

resistance on the beachhead

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (4)

● President Kennedy anguished over what to do, but finally withdrew

U.S. naval support and refused to commit the U.S. air support

needed to save the brigade

• U.S. thus abandoned Brigade 2506 to its fate

● JFK acknowledged U.S. role, accepted personal responsibility

● USSR’s Nikita Khruschev read situation as demonstrating

JFK’s weakness and indecisiveness

• Subsequent negotiations to free the prisoners

• Deal was an embarrassment to Kennedy Administration

• 1,113 exiles finally ransomed, $53 million in medicines, tractors

• Bay of Pigs was followed by JFK summit meeting with Krushchev in Vienna

• Issue of Berlin, growing Cold War tensions

• JFK announced “Alliance for Progress” in August 1961

• Promised $20 billion in aid to Latin America over a ten-year period

• Fidel’s December 1, 1961 speech

• “I am a Marxist-Leninist . . .”

• Effect was to commit USSR to Cuba’s support

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (5)

● U.S. diplomatic efforts to build L.A. coalition against Castro

● January 1962 Punta del Este Conference of OAS foreign ministers

● Decision to “exclude” Cuba from inter-American system

• Vague grounds that Marxism-Leninism “incompatible” with

ideals of democracy

● Opposed by Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Bolivia

• Haiti provided decisive vote for required two-thirds majority

• 13 Latin American countries had already broken diplomatic relations

with Cuba and expelled Cuban embassy staffs

● USSR and Cuba then decided to install MRBMs and IRBMs secretly in Cuba

● What were their respective motivations and goals?

● Modest number of 1,000- and 2,200-mile range missiles

could not really counterbalance the overwhelming U.S.

superiority in long-range ICBMs

● But emplaced suddenly in Cuba in 1962, they accomplished a number of

purposes for both the USSR and Cuba

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (6)

• JFK made dramatic televised speech to the nation

● U.S. went to DEFCON 2 for the first and only time in the Cold War

● Array of options open to U.S.

● Outright military invasion considered and rejected

● What were the challenges and risks to the U.S.?

● U.S. could have accepted missiles in Cuba as change to the status quo

● What were the challenges and risks of this option?

● Trade-off of U.S. missiles in Turkey for USSR’s removal of those in Cuba

● Why not?

• U.S. finally agreed solution was U.S. naval “quarantine” of Cuba

• Blockade an act of war under international law

● But U.S. could make reference to longstanding Monroe Doctrine

● And U.S. had clear tactical superiority through its navy in

area of operations

● Reliance on conventional weaponry, avoidance of nuclear response

● Backup plan was to invade Cuba with U.S. troops if necessary

● However, risk of Soviet conventional response in Berlin

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (7)

● How did it all play out?

• Castro was outraged by his exclusion from negotiations

● JFK’s announcement of naval quarantine on October 22, 1962

● Thirteen days of intense crisis atmosphere

• AKS personal experiences with Soviet ships and submarines

● U.S. actually stopped and boarded two Soviet flag ships, allowed them to pass

● October 26 slowdown of Soviet shipping

● Dual purpose

● Bought time, also allowed submarines to catch up to escort ships at sea

● Work of making missiles operational in Cuba going forward

● U.S. diplomatic offensives in the U.N. and in the OAS mobilized support for its actions

● Ambassador Adlai Stevenson in U.N.

● Two conflicting messages from Kruschchev received by JFK on October 26

● 1st message relatively soft, offered removal of missiles in return for U.S.

end of quarantine and assurances that U.S. would not invade Cuba in the future

● 2nd message more harsh in tone, accused U.S. of creating the crisis and

demanded U.S. remove missiles from Turkey in return for Soviet removal of

missiles from Cuba

● RFK remark: “We are eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other side just blinked.”

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (8)

● JFK decided to accept the first message, ignore the second

● But in the negotiations that followed

● Kruschchev agreed to remove missiles from Cuba

in return for U.S. withdrawal of missiles from Turkey

● And Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba

● Soviet withdrawal of missiles to take place under U.N. supervision

● Castro, furious at having no role in the agreement, would not permit

U.N. to supervise

● Soviet withdrawal of missiles from Cuba left nagging doubts

● Kennedy-Kruschchev understanding was never formalized in written

agreement, nor ever verified by U.N.

● In 1970, U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger asserted that

U.S. non-invasion pledge was therefore voided

● Kissinger claimed that USSR confirmed his interpretation

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (9)

● In aftermath of crisis, Cuba remained a focal point of tension

● Kruschchev promised to defend Cuba against attacks and increased

both economic and conventional military aid

● While U.S. under JFK continued CIA’s attempts to assassinate Castro

• However, evidence that came to light only recently suggests that Castro

and JFK were trying to work out a meeting of their representatives

in Havana

• In early November 1963, McGeorge Bundy proposed enticing

Castro with economic aid as likely to be more successful

U.S. policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow him

• Castro had already signaled interest through

ABC correspondent Lisa Howard

• JFK interested in sending William Atwood (deputy to Amb. Stevenson

at U.N.) to Havana clandestinely to meet with Castro, but only

with “plausible deniability”

• Possibility fell apart 17 days later when JFK was assassinated

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The U.S. Takes Action, II (7)January 1961-October 1962 (10)

● After JFK was assassinated in November 1963, President Lyndon

Johnson basically froze Cuban-American relations

• No evidence that LBJ was interested in rapprochement with Castro

● U.S. pursued policy of isolating Cuba in western hemisphere, trade embargo

● In February 1964, U.S. seized two Cuban fishing boats in U.S. waters

● Castro retaliated by cutting water supply to Guantanamo

● U.S. sharply reduced number of Cubans working on the base

• Reciprocal hostility and antagonism through mid-1970s

● U.S.-Soviet relations became more stable after nuclear test ban treaty in 1964

● From 1964 through mid-1970s, U.S. turned its attention

away from Cuba and from Latin America in general

● U.S. Focused instead on war in Vietnam, civil rights

struggles, and Watergate scandal

● So what was accomplished in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962?

● Who won, the U.S. or the USSR?

● Did Castro emerge better off or worse off than before?

Creating the socialist state 1963 67 l.jpg
Creating the Socialist State, 1963-67 II (7)

● By 1963, Cuba had traded dependency on the U.S. for dependency

on the USSR

• Soviets provided oil at deflated prices, bought Cuban sugar at inflated prices

• Castro accelerated transition to Marx’s utopian communism

● Eckstein: “where social relations were to be egalitarian, where people

were to be committed to the collective good, and where distribution

was to be based on need.”

• Creating the “new socialist man” (Che’s vision)

• Moral vs. material incentives

• Government expanded free social services

• Education, medical care, social security, day care, housing

• Access to services more equitable, need-based

• Social distinctions and privileges abolished

• Urban workers and professionals shifted to seasonal agricultural


• New agrarian reform law promulgated in 1963

• Brought 76 percent of total land area of Cuba and 63 percent

of arable land under government ownership

• Deprived workers on state collective farms of private plots

that were allotted to them with great fanfare in 1959

• Productivity dropped still further

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Creating the Socialist State, II (7)1963-67 (2)

● Castro’s “Push for communism” was ideologically driven, but also pragmatic

• Need to refocus agricultural economy on production for export

• New emphasis on sugar production

• USSR was buying only 36-56 percent of production

• Cuba wanted to earn foreign exchange from selling the remainder

of its sugar crop on the world market

• Need to finance the strategy of import substitution in industry

● Collateral advantage: Moral incentives reduced overall wage requirements

• Goal of increasing sugar production was partially realized

• Zafra had reached a low of less than 4 million metric tons in 1963

• Gradually increased to all-time high of 8.5 million metric tons in 1970

• Expressed as percentage of Cuban GNP, sugar rose from

16 percent in 1963 to 25 percent in 1970

• But USSR, while supportive in terms of economic and military aid, was

highly critical of some aspects of Castro’s “Push for communism”

• Soviets especially opposed Castro’s efforts to export the revolution

• Era of “détente” with the U.S., new Soviet policy of “peaceful coexistence”

• Kruschchev replaced by less flamboyant Leonid Brezhnev in October 1964

• Friction emerging over the role and activities of Che Guevara

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Creating the Socialist State II (7)1963-67 (3)

• Soviets also objected to Cuban economic policies that retarded growth and

thus increased Soviet burden of providing economic aid

• “New socialist man” drive (also linked to Guevara) viewed as utopian, unrealistic

• Diversion of urban labor to seasonal agriculture was inefficient and

resulted in decline of productivity in urban economy

● The “new socialist man” emphasis on moral incentives was clearly not working well

• Cuban workers resisted

• Absenteeism, malingering, foot-dragging, black market activities

• Resentment of loss of material incentives, dislike of cane-cutting

• Guajiro opposition to land expropriations and collectivization

• Underground economy flourished, but covertly (by definition)

• Food rationing, shoddiness of Soviet comsumer goods

● Che Guevara’s role in managing the economy started to decline as early as mid-1963

• Che removed as head of sugar industry

• President Osvaldo Dorticos, old-line PSP member and an economist, named head of

Central Planning Council

• By end of 1964, Che relegated to positions of only symbolic importance

• Head of Cuban delegation to U.N. Conference on Trade and Development

in Geneva, March 1964

• But neither Che nor Fidel openly criticized the other

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Creating the Socialist State, II (7)1963-67 (4)

• Che turned to revolutionary adventures elsewhere

• Africa, Congo crisis in 1965

• Departed for Bolivia in fall of 1966, started guerrilla activities there in March 1967

• Poor choice of venue (Bolivians already had social revolution under MNR in 1952)

• Bolivian military improved rapidly under CIA and Green Beret training

• No apparent help from Fidel or from Bolivian Communists

• Che captured and executed on October 9, 1967

● Meanwhile, the Cuban economy continued to decline

• Reforms introduced in 1964 gradually failed

• Production of tobacco, vegetables, dairy products, poultry, beef, and pork

all dropped steadily through 1967

• Sugar increased, but not rapidly enough and at costs to all other parts

of the economy

• Rampant worker absenteeism, low productivity in manufacturing sector

• Castro trying to do too much himself, to be everywhere, to make

all important and even unimportant decisions on economy

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Creating the Socialist State, II (7)1963-67 (5)

• Castro tried to exploit Che’s idealism and martyrdom

• Little impact in addressing Cuba’s problems, but Che grew as revolutionary

icon in U.S. and Europe

• In 1997, Che’s body was exhumed in Bolivia and returned to Cuba for a

hero’s burial

• Footnote: During this time Fidel was involved with a woman named Dalia Soto del Valle Jorge

• Affair began in 1962 0r 1963

• By early 1970s, Dalia had borne five children, all boys, all with name “Alejandro” somewhere

• Sons all educated in USSR, like Fidelito

• Dalia remained very much in the background, unlike Raul’s wife Vilma Espin

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Los Diez Millones, 1967-70 II (7)

• With much drama, Castro called for a 10 million metric ton zafra in 1970

• Combination of economic need and new moral crusade

• Cumulative debt to USSR rising rapidly

• Need to generate capital for investments in improving

quality of life

• Mobilization of some 1.2 million workers from other sectors of the

economy to join the usual 300,000 or so cane cutters

• Attracted thousands of young would-be revolutionaries from

around the world

• The “Venceremos Brigade”

• Achieved 1970 zafra of 8.5 million tons (with some borrowing from

zafras of 1969 and 1971)

• Failure had disastrous effects on Cuban psyche and other

economic sectors

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Los Diez Millones, 1967-70 (2) II (7)

• But Castro openly admitted failure in his July 26, 1970 speech

• Blamed failure on excessive centralization and

bureaucratization by PCC and state organizations,

at expense of mass organizations and workers

• Castro even offered to resign

• 1970 marked a turning point in the course of the revolution

• Government reorganization, more democratization

• A “retreat to socialism,” going “back from the future”

• Reopening to capitalism, “market socialism”

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90

• Government reorganization involved significant increase in Soviet aid,

but at a price for Castro

• His freewheeling personal efforts to manage the economy

were sharply reduced

• New emphasis on professional management with thousands of

Soviet technicians, engineers, economists brought in

• Central planning, command economy

• Three new government ministries formed, Finance Ministry


• More prominent role of Carlos Rafael Rodriguez (old-line PSP member)

• PCC became less of a personalist arm of Castro, with more

structure and formal hierarchy

• PCC held its first congress in 1975, produced a new Constitution of 1976

and a presidential form of government

• National and municipal “assemblies of people’s power”

• Municipal assemblies gave appearance of greater popular

participation in government

• Power to elect delegates to National Assembly and to

appoint judges to local courts

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (2)

• Each municipal assembly was also given authority over local schools,

health services, sports facilities, and transportation enterprises

• Also given responsibility for local retail operations, consumer services,

and factories producing for local (not national) consumption

• Membership in PCC expanded to more than 200,000 by 1975, then to 487,000 by mid 1980s

• But party was restricted to administrative functions, coordination

• Concurrently, roles of mass organizations were expanded

• FMC (Federation of Cuban Women)

• 1976 Constitution codified new concern for women’s rights

• Goal of expanding role of women in work force

• Day care facilities expanded

• Equal rights in marriage, employment, earnings, education

• Gender discrimination outlawed

• CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution)

• CTC (Confederation of Cuban Workers)

• Reorganization increased membership to 867,000 in 26,000 new

local unions

• Mass organizations focused on local social problems, expansion of volunteerism

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (3)

• But all these changes were basically cosmetic

• Castro remained the dominant figure, the “Lider Maximo,” with brother Raul

• No tolerance for dissent, opposition silenced and repressed

• Greater focus on role of the Cuban military (Revolutionary Armed Forces, FAR) in

defending the revolution, both at home and abroad

• Under Soviet tutelage, FAR became modernized and professionalized

• Officers trained in USSR, Eastern European countries

• Served Castro’s foreign policy goals (TBD later)

• Fundamental changes in economic policy

• Material incentives replaced moral rewards

• Workers paid more if they achieved productivity goals

• Exemplary workers given preferential access to scarce consumer goods

• 1971 anti-loafing law, later incorporated into 1976 Constitution

• All Cuban men between 18 and 60 required to perform productive labor

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (4)

• Major changes in economic policy were driven in part by demands from the USSR

• Frustrated by Cuban waste of its economic assistance during the “push for communism,”

including balance of payments credits and subsidies for sugar, petroleum, and nickel

• Soviets insisted on implementation of the Economic Management

and Planning System (SDPE)

• Introduced market reforms, expanded autonomy for state enterprises

• Farmers’ free markets, prices set by supply and demand

• New emphasis on data collection, cost accounting

• The reorganization worked to some extent

• Productivity and exports increased

• Aided by increase in the world price for sugar in 1970s, which offset decline in the annual

zafra after the failure of los diez millones

• But world price for sugar remained volatile

• Price hit 30 cents/pound in 1974, but fell again to 8 cents/pound in 1977

• Cuban economy actually grew at annual average rate of 5.7% from 1971-80

• Sugar still accounted for the bulk of Cuban exports (65 % of total in mid-1980s)

• Also by mid-1980s, USSR accounted for 64 percent of Cuba’s total exports and 62 percent

of its imports

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (5)

• The combination of sustained economic growth and political stability enabled Cuban

government to meet many of its egalitarian goals

• Redistribution of land, rent reduction, rationing of scarce consumer goods, health benefits

• By late 1980s, Cuban achievements in education, nutrition, and health services

were notable

• Literacy rate rose to 96%, among highest in Latin America

• Elementary and secondary school enrollments increased to 3.3 million children

• University enrollments expanded far beyond pre-1959 levels

• Focus changed from humanities, social sciences, and law (i.e., government


• To sciences, engineering, architecture, and agriculture

• Health professions expanded dramatically

• Sharp decline in infant mortality, deaths from communicable diseases

• But despite some areas of success, Cuba still not a worker’s paradise by any means

• Severe housing shortage, exacerbated by exploding birth rate

• Return of material incentives increased inequities in standards of living

• Men resisted the changing roles of women, despite 1974 Family Code Law mandating

that men share in household responsibilities

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (6)

• Despite economic and social gains, discontent was simmering

• Number of political prisoners rose dramatically, from 20,000 to perhaps

40,000 by early 1980s

• World economic conditions not favorable to continued economic progress in Cuba

• Stage was set for the 1980 “Mariel boat-lift”

• Incident at Peruvian embassy, Cuban asylum seekers (April 1, 1980)

• Castro misread significance, declared open opportunity

• Situation rapidly got out of hand, more than 10,000 on embassy grounds

• Castro announced that if people wanted to leave, they could do so

• Exiles provided massive flotilla of pleasure and fishing boats from Florida

• Port of Mariel was opened for emigrants to leave

• Castro also opened Cuban jails and insane asylums, transported inmates

to Mariel fore embarkation

• U.S. President Jimmy Carter opened U.S. to receive new wave of exiles

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (7)

• Kissinger had briefly tried to create an opening to Cuba in mid-1970s

• Rejected by Castro in favor of new revolutionary adventure in Angola

• The Mariel incident was exploited by both Havana and Washington to embarrass

the other

• Boatlift carried approximately 125,000 Cubans to Florida before ending in September

• Marielitos were mainly Afro-Cubans, many practiced Santeria, had few job skills

• Not easily absorbed into overwhelmingly white exile community in south Florida

• Also resented by both Flroida’s Anglos and Blacks

• Some 26,000 had prison records, but mostly for political crimes

• Perhaps 4,000 to 5,000 were hard core criminals

• Most Marielitos were eventually absorbed (found jobs, obtained educations, learned


• In 1987, U.S. and Cuba reached accord providing for deportation back to Cuba of

“excludables” (criminals and mental patients)

• U.S. agreed in return to accept up to 27,000 new Cuban immigrants annually

• Later suspended by U.S. under President Reagan

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Pragmatism, Orthodox Soviet Economics, and New Dependency, 1970-90 (8)

• By mid-1980s, Cuban community in south Florida had become a permanent fixture

• Transplanted Cuban culture in area around Calle Ocho

• Cubans became a dominant force in Florida and U.S. national politics

• Vast majority still harbor strong anti-Castro feelings

• Resonated with new U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s strident anti-communism

• Militant exile groups flourished in 1980s, especially the Cuban American National

Foundation (CANF), headed by Jorge Mas Canosa

• Reagan administration suspended tourist travel to Cuba from U.S.

• Tourists from U.S. had reached some 40,000 per year

• New rules allowed only diplomats, journalists, scholars, individuals on family visits

• Also limited amount of money that could be repatriated to Cuba (I$1,200/year)

• USIA established Radio Marti (May 1985), with CANF given significant role in


• In 1989, President George H. W. Bush added TV Marti

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 1970-90 (8)

• Castro’s interest in advancing the cause of revolution around the world

continued despite his “retreat so socialism” at home

• At the end of the 1960s, Cuba stood virtually alone aside from Soviet support

• Isolated by the U.S., ostracized by rest of Latin America (except Mexico)

• By contrast, ten years later, in 1980, Cuba enjoyed high international stature

• Far out of proportion to its size and economic strength

• Principally the result of Soviet economic and military aid

• USSR caught in a “prisoner’s dilemma”

• For a while, Castro’s new economic pragmatism was also reflected in

Cuban foreign policy

• Castro visited Chile in November 1971 as guest of Marxist government

of Salvador Allende

• Fidel acknowledged that the road to socialism could take many forms,

including free elections

• Followed a more temperate policy in Latin America until 1979

• Despite Allende’s overthrow in 1973 through a military coup (with CIA help)

• Moderation resulted in restoration of diplomatic relations with

ten Latin American countries

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (2) 1970-90 (8)

• Also defended USSR as a non-imperialist country at 1972 meeting of

the Nonaligned Movement in Algiers

• Relations with USSR under Brezhnev gradually warmed as Cuba took Soviet side

in Castro’s leadership in the Nonaligned Movement

• Castro identified with Michael Manley after his 1976 election in Jamaica, and

provided aid

• And applauded General Omar Torrijos’s defiance of the U.S. in Panama

• But despite Castro’s temporary moderation about exporting revolution in

Latin America, he was more active in other parts of the world

• Focused attention on various national wars of national liberation

going on in Africa and the Middle East

• Cuba sent new advisory and training missions to Sierra Leone,

South Yemen, Equatorial Guinea, and Somalia

• Reports of Cuban troops in Syria during 1973 Yom Kippur war with Israel

• In October 1975, Castro sent some 20,000 Cuban troops to Angola

to assist the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MLPA)

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (3) 1970-90 (8)

• Angola, a former colony of Portugal, was under invasion from South Africa

• Some debate whether Castro’s action was inspired or even

supported by USSR

• But logistically, Cuban actions in Angola could not have been sustained

without Soviet military aid

• Three years later, in 1978 and with massive Soviet military aid, Cuba sent some

15,000 troops to Somalia and Ethiopia

• Action directly served Soviet foreign policy objectives in the Horn of Africa

• In addition to these military adventures, Cuba provided developmental

assistance to a number of Third World countries during the 1970s

• Mainly through people (doctors, teachers, agricultural specialists) sent

to selected Asian, African, and Caribbean countries

• Fairly low-budget gestures, but efforts showcased Cuba’s achievements

in these fields under socialism

• Earned goodwill for Cuba and enhanced Castro’s leadership of the Nonaligned


• Cuba hosted that organization’s Sixth World Summit in Havana

in September 1979

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (4) 1970-90 (8)

• Even Cuba’s relations with the U.S. warmed somewhat during the 1970s

• Anti-hijacking agreement signed in 1973

• High-level secret discussions in New York and Washington from November 1974

to November 1975 under U.S. President Gerald Ford

• Role of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

• Discussions terminated by U.S. after Cuban invasion of Angola

● Cuba rejected improving relations with the U.S.

• Contacts resumed in 1977 after Jimmy Carter elected U.S. President

• Several new agreements worked out with Cuba

• Fishing and territorial rights in the Florida straits

• Establishment of diplomatic “interest sections” in each other’s capitals

• But efforts on both sides to normalize relations floundered on issues that dated

back to 1959

• Castro wanted U.S. to lift its trade embargo, and Carter refused

• Castro wanted U.S. to abandon its naval base at Guantanamo Bay,

and Carter refused

• U.S. demanded that Cuba agree to compensate U.S. owners of properties

nationalized during the revolution, and Castro refused

• U.S. also demanded that Cuba withdraw its troops from Angola,

and Castro refused

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (5) 1970-90 (8)

• Events in 1979 and 1980 brought the process of rapprochement with the U.S.

to a halt

• Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 contributed to a rehardening

of U.S. relations with Cuba

• And a loss of Castro’s influence in the Nonaligned Movement when he endorsed

Soviet actions in Afghanistan

• Reinforced image of USSR as imperialistic, with Cuba as its willing tool

• Mariel boatlift in spring of 1980 further contributed to Castro’s loss of prestige

throughout the Third World

• In March 1979, Maurice Bishop ousted the right-wing government in Grenada

• Cuba had played no role in Bishop’s coup, but quickly sent military aid,

security advisers, doctors, and eventually troops to shore up the Bishop regime

• New airport on Grenada to be built by Cubans with a 10,000 foot

runway that could accommodate largest of Soviet military aircraft

• Cuban activities in Grenada now were attracting concern by the U.S.

under President Reagan

• Construction of new airport was deemed threat to U.S. security

• Plight of American students studying medicine in Grenada

• Bishop was assassinated in October 1983, causing chaos, and U.S. then launched

an invasion of the island to restore order and protect U.S. citizens

• U.S. and Cuban troops in direct confrontation for first time

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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (6) 1970-90 (8)

• Brief conflict in Grenada demonstrated competency of Cuban troops,

but also served notice to Communist guerrillas in Central America

that U.S. would not allow further socialist advances in the region

• And later that year, Cuba increased its aid to the FSLN movement

under Daniel Ortega and his fight against Somoza in Nicaragua

• In addition to supporting the FSLN in Nicaragua, Castro was

busily assisting guerrilla groups in El Salvador and Guatemala

• Reagan administration reacted by supporting a “proxy war”

by the Contras in Nicaragua

• U.S. also provided aid to military regimes in neighboring

El Salvador and Honduras

• “Iran-Contra” scandal within Reagan Administration

• Sandinistas eventually prevailed in Nicaragua (temporarily), but

Central America remained a focal point of the triangular relationship

between U.S., Cuba, and USSR throughout the 1980s

• Beginning in 1988, Castro sent a modest amount of aid to General

Manuel Noriega’s government in Panama

• Plus advisors to train Noriega’s armed forces

• But U.S. invaded Panama in December 1989, and overthrew


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Exporting the Revolution, 1970-90 (7) 1970-90 (8)

● Then came the “final blow,” the Nicaraguan elections of

February 25, 1990

• Violeta Chamorro, a 60 year-old woman, defeated

Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega

• With Castro’s defeats in Grenada, Panama, and

then Nicaragua,

● Castro’s efforts to export the revolution in the

Caribbean were left in shambles

• And with rapidly declining Soviet support for his

activities in Africa as well as in Latin America,

Castro’s efforts to export his revolution came

virtually to an end

• Some mischief and meddling have continued, but at

low levels by historical standards

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End of the Cold War and of 1970-90 (8)the Soviet Protectorate, 1989-92

• USSR under Premier Mikhail Gorbachev was moving toward Glasnost

and Perestroika

• Soviet-Cuban relationship began to drift apart as a result

• Gorbachev visit to Havana in April 1989

• Addressed Cuba’s National Assembly, lectured Cubans on

need to adjust to new economic realities

• Castro unmoved, but USSR began to devise and implement

plans to put its economic relationship with Cuba on a

more equitable basis

• Castro reacted in ways that further strained Cuba-USSR


• Downplayed teaching of Russian in Cuban schools, blocked advancement for

Cubans educated in USSR

• Also increased its reselling of Soviet oil abroad to earn foreign

exchange to finance trade with Germany and Japan

for high tech goods not available from USSR

• USSR collapsed in August-September 1991

• Gorbachev ousted

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End of the Cold War and of the Soviet Protectorate, 1989-92 (2)

• New government of Russia initially reaffirmed its ties to

and support of Cuba

• But this was mainly rhetoric, and Russian aid quickly fell off

• All Russian aid came to an end with the trade agreements that

were scheduled to terminate on December 31, 1991

• USSR/Russia could no longer prop up the Cuban economy, and

no other foreign provider was immediately identifiable

• Flow of oil, machinery, equipment, spare parts, and

consumer goods essential to continued functioning

of Cuban economy dried up

• Ending of Cuba’s relationship with USSR gave rise to a new

debate in Washington over how best to deal with Cuba

• Hard-liners wanted to toughen U.S. policy to hasten

Castro’s downfall

• Moderates advocated softening of policy, and U.S. movement

toward normalization of relations with Cuba

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End of the Cold War and of the Soviet Protectorate, 1989-92 (3)

• Hardliners prevailed

● U.S. presidential election-year politics underway in 1992

• Election pitted President George H.W. Bush against

Democrat Bill Clinton

• Rep. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) introduced legislation in

Congress to tighten the economic embargo

• Play to Cuban exile community

• Candidate Bill Clinton endorsed it, forcing President Bush to follow suit

• Congress obliged, the bill became law as the “Cuban Democracy Act”

• The new law prohibited trade with Cuba by U.S.-owned

companies in third countries

• Blocked access to U.S. ports by ships that had made recent visits to

Cuban ports

• However, after his election President Clinton did not

vigorously apply the law

• Other countries (Canada, the EEC) viewed legislation as

infringement on their sovereignty

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006

• But Clinton did tighten U.S. policy later in August 1994 in response to mass

exodus of Cubans

• Without Soviet aid, Cuba’s economy tumbled in the “Special Period”

• Severe shortages, rationing, long lines for staple goods like rice, beans, lard

prompted widespread despair

• Clinton continued to vacillate between hard-liners and moderates until 1994

• Republican takeover of U.S. Congress under Newt Gingrich in November 1994

• Hard-liners came into control over U.S. policy toward Cuba

• Senator Jesse Helms (R, N.C.) as chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee

• Representative Dan Burton (R, Ind.) as chair of the Western Hemisphere

Subcommittee of the House Committee on International Affairs

• The Helms-Burton Bill (“The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act”)

further tightened economic sanctions toward Cuba in 1995

• Granted owners of U.S. properties nationalized by Cuba since 1959 the

right to sue in U.S. courts any foreign persons or companies that invested

in those holdings

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (2)

• Denied U.S. visas to citizens of foreign countries who had engaged in the sale

or use of confiscated U.S. properties in Cuba

• Banned from U.S. ports all foreign-owned ships that had called at Cuban ports

during the previous 180 days

• Threatened to withhold from the IMF and the World Bank an amount of

funds equal to any credits such an entity might advance to Cuba

• Threatened to reduce U.S. aid to Russia or former Soviet states by an

amount equal to any military or intelligence assistance they might provide to Cuba

• Finally, provided that U.S. would provide up to $8 million to assist with elections

and democratization of Cuba

• After a diplomatic push by the Clinton Administration, European Union adopted

a resolution to pressure Castro to improve his human rights record as a

pre-condition for economic assistance to Cuba

• Initially, neither President Clinton nor a majority in Congress favored the Helms-

Burton Bill

• But in February 1996, Cuban air forces shot down two civilian airplanes

operated by a Cuban exile group in Miami, allegedly in international

waters over the Florida straits

• Congress then passed, and Clinton then signed, the Helms-Burton Bill

and it became law

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (3)

• The passage of the Helms-Burton Bill caused world-wide uproar and protest

• Canadians, Europeans, and Latin Americans charged that the measures contained

in the Bill amounted to illegal intrusions on their sovereignty

• When EEC threatened in 1997 to take their case to the World Trade Organization,

Clinton suspended application of the legislation

• Concurrently, pressure grew from U.S. businesses that they were losing out to

foreign firms on business opportunities in Cuba

• Many U.S. business executives (app. 175 of 500 Fortune 500 companies) were

visiting Cuba in anticipation of new opportunities

• In January 1997, a Clinton Administration report entitled “Support for a Democratic

Transition in Cuba” offered $8 billion in economic aid for a post-Castro government

in Cuba

• Supported by several anti-Castro exile groups (but not Jorge Mas Canosa’s


• Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in January 1998

• The Pope called for an end to the 36-year-old U.S. embargo and made a plea for

world assistance to the poor of Cuba

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (4)

• The Pope’s visit to Cuba resonated in the U.S.

• Even with Sen. Helms, who authored a $100 million bill in Congress

to provide food and medical aid to needy Cubans

• The bill envisioned using the Roman Catholic Church as the distributor

of aid on the island

• Clinton endorsed the bill, as did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

• However, Castro rejected the idea (possibly because it would have empowered the

Roman Catholic Church in Cuba)

• He announced that Cuba did not want humanitarian aid, only an end to the

U.S. embargo

• In March 1998, U.S. announced a proposed shift in U.S. policy that would allow

Cuban Americans to fly directly from the U.S. to Havana once a year

• And to remit up to $300 every three months to relatives on the island

• Moreover, U.S. proposed to ease restrictions and paperwork on U.S.

shipments of food and medical supplies to Cuba

• Again, Catholic bishops and Democrats in Congress applauded

• But members of the so-called Cuba Lobby denounced the proposed

program as an end-run around Congress

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (5)

• Sen. Helms, U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Lincoln

Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) strongly opposed

• In the face of such opposition, the Clinton Administration backed


• But the Pope’s visit to Cuba had laid the foundations for other

diplomatic successes by Castro

• Several more Latin American countries reestablished diplomatic

relations with Cuba in late spring of 1998 (Dominican Republic,

Guatemala, Honduras)

• Prompted Argentina and Brazil to consider doing the same

• At the Second Summit of the Americas in April 1998,

representatives of Canada, Barbados, and Mexico floated

the idea of seeking Cuba’s readmission to the OAS

• After the Summit, Canada’s PM Jean Chretien visited Cuba

• Then the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva rejected

a U.S. proposal to continue monitoring human rights abuses in Cuba

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (6)

• The Cuban exile community, especially in South Florida, has remained

a political force to be reckoned with in the U.S.

• Estimated in 2001 to total some 650,000 Cuban Americans

• A contradiction: CANF (Cuban American National Foundation) led by

Jorge Mas Canosa strongly supported U.S. efforts to strangle Castro’s

government economically while also endorsing the funneling

of some $3.0 billion by Cuban exiles since 1991 to their relatives

on the island

• Two other Cuban exile groups were at odds with CANF, “Cambio

Cubano” and the “Cuban Committee for Democracy”

• Both groups acknowledged that Castro had betrayed the

Cuban Revolution

• But both were critical of U.S. economic embargo, claiming it will

result in political and economic chaos on the island

• And both opposed CANF’s hard line and Mas Canosa’s personal

ambition to govern a post-Castro Cuba

• Jorge Mas Canosa died in November 1997, but the CANF

continues a relatively hard-line role

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (7)

• Elian Gonzalez incident in November 1999

• Five-year-old boy saved from raft in Florida Strait by U.S.

Coast Guard, his mother having died at sea in attempt

to flee Cuba

• Under U.S. “dry foot, wet foot” policy, those who do not reach

U.S. soil, but are taken at sea, must be denied political asylum

and returned to Cuba

• However, Elian’s relatives in Florida claimed him, and the U.S.

news media made it a national story

• Fidel was at first slow to pick up on PR potential of Elian, but after he

caught on he made the most of Elian as a propaganda symbol

• Issue evolved into a contest between Castro and the Cuban exile communiity

• Castro won the contest, and Elian was finally returned to his father in Cuba

• U.S. elections of 2000 (George W. Bush vs. Al Gore) hinged on the outcome of a

critically close and hotly contested race in Florida

• Cuban Americans arguably provided the margin by which Bush was finally

“judged” to have won Florida’s electoral votes and thus the national election

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U.S. Intransigence and Cuban Defiance, 1992- (3)2006 (8)

• Bush was reelected in 2004, again with overwhelming

support from the Cuban American community in South


• And with control of both houses of the U.S. Congress

firmly in the hands of Republicans from 2004-06,

prospects for any substantial change in U.S. policy of

isolation toward Cuba were doomed

● But the new U.S. midterm congressional elections of November

2006 brought Democrats into control of both houses

of Congress

● Prospects for change in U.S.-Cuban relations may be

brightening somewhat

● Especially with Castro himself now in the background

and in apparently declining health

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (3)

• The Cuban economy underwent wrenching changes after the collapse

of the Soviet Union in 1991

• Foreign trade had accounted for nearly half the island’s annual GNP

• And the Soviet bloc accounted for some 85 percent of that trade

• The Cuban economy contracted by more than 30 percent in a matter

of a few months

• The impact was compounded by the U.S. decision under President Bush (41)

and later President Clinton to tighten the economic embargo

• Cuba was on its own, and its vulnerability to global market forces

was greater than ever before

• Cuba’s trade had been largely through COMECON (Council for Mutual

Economic Assistance), the organization of Soviet bloc countries

• The former COMECON countries now insisted on trade terms more

favorable to them and on financing trade through hard currencies

• In effect, the multi-country trade bloc of Communist solidarity dissolved

• Former trading partners Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia lost interest in

Cuba and other Third World Countries

• Turned instead to intra-European trade and pursuit of admission to

the European Economic Community (EEC)

• German reunification also ended aid from and trade agreements with

East Germany

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (2) (3)

• Sharply reduced oil deliveries meant that Cuba could no longer resell Soviet oil

on the world market for desperately needed hard currencies to finance imports

from Germany, Japan, and Canada

• Moreover, in 1990 the USSR stopped its shipments of arms to Cuba

• Aggregate military aid had amounted to more than $10 billion, all free and clear

• Compounding the loss of weaponry, Cuba could no longer count on the USSR

to defend it in case of attack by the U.S.

• Cuba assessed the cost to it of the collapse of the Soviet bloc at $5.7 billion in 1992 alone

• Put another way, Cuba lost some 70 percent of its foreign exchange purchasing power

in just three years

• China was the only remaining Communist country with which Cuba’s trade improved

• China became Cuba’s second most important trading partner in the 1990s

• But trade with China had to be financed in hard currency, no special break for

Cuba based on “Communist solidarity”

• Under President Bush (41), the U.S. changed the political pre-conditions that had been

announced for improving relations with Cuba

• Previously, the U.S. had insisted on Cuba severing its ties to the USSR and the

withdrawal of Cuban troops from Africa

• By the early 1990s, Cuban troops had long since been withdrawn from Africa,

Cuba’s economic and military ties to the Soviet Union were ended, and the U.S.

was on good terms with Russia

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (3) (3)

• But President Bush now added political reforms in Cuba as further

preconditions to normalization of relations

• Bush called for free elections, U.N. investigation into human rights

abuses, release of political prisoners, cessation of subversive

activities in Latin America

• But without giving in to any old or new U.S. preconditions, Castro

did his best to adjust to the new political and economic realities

• In late 1990, he called on Cubans to recognize a new “Special Period

in Peacetime”

• The so-called Special Period was really a euphemism for a siege economy

involving new and greater sacrifices to “save the Revolution”

• A new slogan, “Socialismo o Muerte”

• Very pragmatic reforms, drawing on capitalism where necessary

• Elevation of Carlos Lage, Exec. Secretary of the Council of Ministers, to be

in charge of directing the Special Period

• Importance of Lage now second only to Fidel himself (although Raul still

titularly second in command

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (4) (3)

• Reforms of the Special Period

• The “Food Program” to make Cuba as self-sufficient as possible

• Energy conservation, necessitated by loss of Soviet oil

• Transportation (reduced bus runs, cut number of taxis in half and

restricted them almost exclusively to tourists)

• Newspapers and magazines sharply reduced, television broadcast

time sharply cut back

• Stepped-up rationing of consumer goods, stringent price controls

• Standing in long rationing lines became a daily way of life

• Typical family spent at least 15 hours/week in lines

• Expansion of market-type reforms (a further “retreat from the


• Courted private foreign investment as never before, and in

nearly all sectors of the economy

• Exempted foreign investors from Cuba’s labor laws

• Allowed unlimited repatriation of profits for 10 years

• Allowable percentage of foreign ownership of enterprises

went from zero, then to 49 percent, then in some instances

to majority

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (5) (3)

• Foreign investment concentrated in hard currency sectors,

especially tourism (hotels, restaurants)

• Played up nostalgic image of “Old Havana”

• U.S. dollar openly served as the currency of tourism

• Opening of “dollar stores” not open to average islanders

• Cuba also established a highly advanced and successful

biotechnology industry, producing vaccines and other

drugs for export

• Competitive advantage based on low prices it charged

• But Castro remained committed to preserving social gains in education, health

care, and housing, despite new economic hardships

• Nevertheless, the economic changes of the Special Period

amounted (by default, not by design) to a significant

deindustrialization of Cuba

• Nearly half of all factories were shut down or very sharply

reduced in operations

• Lack of imported raw materials, spare parts, and oil

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (6) (3)

• Even the construction of Cuba’s highly symbolic

nuclear power plant had to be halted, despite having

consumed $1.2 billion in scarce Cuban funds

• Russia’s technical assistance was ended when it

insisted that Cuba pay in hard currency

• In addition to the economic reforms, the Special Period also

emphasized grass-roots level democratization and heavy emphasis

on historic nationalist symbols such as Jose Marti

• 1991 Congress of the PCC preceded by nationwide llamamiento

• Invitation to Cubans to voice their complaints (“kvetching”)

• Opening of PCC membership to religious believers

• PCC underwent a major turnover in mid-level leadership

• Fidel and Raul remained 1 and 2, respectively

• But roughly half of the PCC’s 225-person Central Committee

and of the 25-person Politburo were replaced

• On the government side, the Council of State also saw a 50

percent turnover

• Changes were intended to reduce bureaucratization and open the

way to a new and younger generation of Cubans

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (7) (3)

• Less than a year later, in 1992, the National Assembly approved

constitutional reforms

• Greater democratization, direct elections to People’s Councils

• Guaranteed property rights of foreign investors

• Freedom of religion, freedom of expression “in accordance

with the goals of a socialist society”

• Former references in the Cuban Constitution of 1976 to the

international socialist community and to the Soviet Union

were dropped

• December 1992 Municipal Assembly elections, February 1993

Provincial and National Assembly elections

• Very high voter participation, high turnover of incumbents,

generational shift

• Reforms extended to the military

• Compulsory military service reduced from three to two years

• Downsizing of FAR, redirection of troop efforts to growing

their own food

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (8) (3)

• But despite its promotion of democratic reforms and downsizing

of the armed forces, the Cuban government became even more

repressive of dissent

• Ministry of the Interior established “Rapid Response Brigades”

• “Actos de repudio” goon squads against political dissidents

• Extensive repression of artists and homosexuals

• Cubans reacted to the Special Period in most cases stoically,

but many tried to leave the island by any means possible in the

early 1990s

• Asylum at embassies in Havana, some obtained travel visas and

never returned to Cuba, others became balseros

• U.S. granted asylum to 2,557 balseros in 1992, then

3,656 in 1993

• President Clinton tightened U.S. policies regarding asylum in 1994

• Remarkably, Castro survived the “domino collapse” of the Communist

Soviet bloc and the extraordinary economic difficulties in Cuba

that resulted from it

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (9) (3)

• A “perfect storm” of challenges:

• Cuba in 1990 was at its peak of dependence on Soviet trade

• Conservative political upsurge in the U.S. brought the hard-

liners into control over U.S. policy toward Cuba, tightening

the embargo and rallying world opinion against human rights

abuses in Cuba

• World market value of sugar was below Cuban production costs

• World price of vitally needed oil was high

• “Dollarization” of much of Cuba’s economy followed the Special

Period in Peacetime

• Eroded the socialist moral order, undermined state control over

production and distribution

• Remittances from Cuban Americans brought in more dollars

than any single island export, including sugar

• Twice as much money as Cuba attracted in foreign investment

• Mainly supported family subsistence, but some

small businesses

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Economic and Political Change, 1992-2006 (10) (3)

• New inequalities and new social tensions

• Informal reconciliation at family levels between Cubans and

relatives in exile

• Emergence of a new benefactor in Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez

• Virtual gifts of Venezuelan oil now became (and have remained)

a major prop for Cuba’s economy

• Bush (43) Administration unveiled a new post-Castro transition

plan in 2004

● Timed to influence Cuban-American vote in 2004 presidential


● Little substantive change from previous tough stance

• But U.S. hard-liners (the so-called “Neo-Cons”) appeared

geared to prevent a transition of power to Raul Castro

● No real changes since then

● Questions to consider:

• Has the U.S. embargo of Cuba outlived its usefulness?

• What purposes does it now serve, and how effectively?

● Pervasive influence of U.S. electoral politics

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Cuba After Castro, (3)2006-?

• What is the historical relevance of the Cuban Revolution?

• Are Cubans more committed to Castro than to communism?

• Is the PCC now sufficiently institutionalized?

• What lessons from Eastern European countries may be


• On what does the power of the Cuban state rest?

• Peaceful leadership transition is the acid test.

• What will happen after Fidel Castro finally passes from the scene?

• An orderly transition of power to Raul?

• A more collective style of leadership, with Raul as “chairman of

the board”?

• An orderly transition of power to someone else within the PCC?

• Carlos Lage Davila, the “economic czar”

● Felipe Ramon Perez Roque, the Foreign Minister

• Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the National Assembly

● Ramiro Valdes, former Minister of Interior (“Darth Valdes”)

● Carlos Aldana, until 1992 acknowledged as the “third man”

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Cuba After Castro, (3)2006-? (2)

• A military coup conducted by younger officers of the FAR?

• A multi-party system that would allow participation by

Cuban Americans?

• Cuba has no leadership class trained to tolerate dissent

and committed to negotiation

• Experience of Eastern European countries after fall of communism

• Is a civil war likely?

• What will be the future course of Cuba’s relationship with the U.S.?

• Will the hard-liners remain in control in Washington?

• What will be the principal pressures and counter-pressures on

U.S. policy?

● What are the implications of the November 2006 elections?

● Are Democrats more likely than Republicans to seek better

relations with Cuba?

● In the short term (2006-08)?

● Longer term (beyond 2008)?

• What is the U.S.’s “enlightened self-interest” vis-à-vis Cuba?

• Are there any lessons to be drawn from the U.S. experience with

Viet Nam?

• What role may lie ahead for Cuba in the U.S. war against terrorism?

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Cuba After Castro, (3)2006-? (3)

• What steps should Cuba take in the coming years?

• How to (whether to?) integrate Cuba into new world economy?

• How to avoid reestablishing excessive dependency on the U.S. ?

• If Cuba does reintegrate itself into the world economy, what will

happen to the social gains under the Revolution?

• Women’s rights, gains of darker-skinned islanders, mass education,

health care, low rents, worker’s rights, etc.

• Is there a model elsewhere in the world that Cuba might follow?

● E.g., the People’s Republic of China?

● What does the future hold for the world’s few remaining Communist


● PRC, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos