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What role did Fidel Castro play in the Cuban Revolution? Show more Show less
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Fidel Castro was the Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976 and the President of Cuba from 1976 to 2008. Castro led the 1959 Cuban Revolution, which ousted the U.S backed military-dictator Fulgencio Batista. Under Castro, Cuba became a single-party communist state in which most industries were entirely nationalized. Castro played various roles in the Cuban Revolution and the formation of Cuba's economic and political system, with many of his educational and healthcare related reforms still being evident in the nation's current government.

Cuban Economy Show more Show less

To what extent did Fidel Castro transform the one-crop economy of Cuba?
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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]

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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/

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 01:55 UTC

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