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What role did Fidel Castro play in the Cuban Revolution?
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Castro shifted from the one-crop economy and provided people with good living conditions

The Cuban government post 1959 inherited a sugar-based economy. Castro’s decisions to reform the economy to accommodate the changing social and political environment helped people have good living conditions in Cuba.

The Argument

Fidel Castro transformed the sugar-dominated economy of Cuba. Most of the sugar economy depended on relations with the United States; 80% of Cuban exports were sugar, and more than half of these exports were to the United States. When the U.S. imposed an embargo on Cuba, the economy was hit significantly. Castro’s brother, Raul, encouraged Fidel to turn to the Russians to make new relationships to help the economy. Cuba started to export sugar to Russia but at more volatile and less guaranteed prices. The one-crop economy was weak. Castro was determined to change the sugar economy and diversify the economy by focusing on industry, for example.[1] In 1991, Castro allowed some free-market after the Soviet Union dissolved. He wanted to ensure adaptability to the new situation to build a strong economy. Allowing some free-market was a big step in transforming the economy. Castro shifted from the sugar-dominated economy during his rule and made changes to improve the Cuban economy and standard of living.[2][3] Castro’s approach to the economy throughout his time may be unconventional. For example, salaries were as low as $25 a month. However, salary does not determine the standard of living in Cuba. About 85% of Cubans own their homes and rent is cheap. The government gives a basic food basket and keeps transportation, medicine, and bills at a low rate. Entertainment like the opera and cinema were also cheap. Cuba also had free education and free healthcare. The shift from a sugar economy and the rule of Castro helped people maintain a good standard of living. [4]

Counter arguments

The Cuban economy suffered greatly during Castro’s rule. Economic freedom was very limited and almost negligible. The government restricted people from growing their income. Cubans remained very poor under Castro’s government. The country almost reached the point of a famine after the fall of the Soviet Union. Cubans also were not allowed to freely enter the technology world, where most of the economy and jobs began existing and growing. All these results were due to the effect of Castro’s actions and his government on the economy.[5]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.scmp.com/business/article/2052134/cubas-sugar-exports-help-explain-rise-fidel-castro
  2. https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.depaul.edu/stable/40727812?seq=5#metadata_info_tab_contents
  3. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Fidel-Castro
  4. https://theconversation.com/cuba-is-poor-but-who-is-to-blame-castro-or-50-years-of-us-blockade-69528
  5. https://qz.com/846313/fidel-castro-cuba-under-castro-by-the-numbers/
This page was last edited on Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 01:55 UTC

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