The Caribbean Island of Cuba became a republic after its liberation from Spain at the hands of the USA. American presence, both in military, financial and diplomatic terms however continued as a means of providing stability and solvency to the island nation. The Cuban President’s were incompetent and unpopular with the general populace, thus, producing revolt. From 1925 onwards, although technically still a democratic republic, the country became an elite dictatorship with an army officer named Fulgencio Batista, having seized control of the Cuban army, pulling the strings from behind the curtains.
The government remained corrupt and incompetent with a rising sense of resentment amongst the general population on their state of affairs. Following 1940, he was the official President of the country until his departure from office in 1944. In 1952, he seized power again and ruled by decree until 1955 when he was elected President in an election with only himself as the candidate. To mark his victory, the new President issued an amnesty for political prisoners and opponents.
One of the prisoners was Fidel Castro, who had been jailed for his involvement in the 26th of July incident in 1953, whereby he had led a column of men to ambush the Cuban military installations at the Moncada Barracks. Castro wasted no time in resuming his revolutionary activities and in 1956, accompanied by Argentine Ernesto “Che’ Guevara, launched an invasion of Cuba, setting sail with his followers from the coast of Mexico.
... study there. Soon after his enrollment, riots broke out and President Kennedy ordered three-thousand federal troops to restore order. Two people ... great President. He was a well liked President and almost everyone loved him. He handled some foreign affairs well like the Cuban missile ... In 1961, Cuban exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. They were promised military aid from the US by President Kennedy ...
Initially, the rebels were crushed by Batista’s forces but the well organized defense of the guerilla headquarters in the Sierra Maestra Mountains sent the wrong signals to Batista’s forces. Fledging support for the rebels also made matters worse with constant guerilla attacks against Cuban army installations and personnel leading to a fall in moral within the Cuban military ranks. With a demoralized army, Batista panicked as the prospect of a full fledged civil war became imminent and fled the country, allowing Castro to march easily into Havana and form government.
America was deeply aligned with Batista’s government all along the way as American businesses had deep rooted interests in the island nation. There is evidence that Castro’s invasion of Cuba in 1956 could have been funded by the CIA, although these claims remain unsubstantiated. However, given the fact that Batista’s increasingly authoritarian actions were a cause of much embarrassment for democratic Washington, it could be believed that there might have been funding with an attempt to “tame” Batista and soften his dictatorial style.
Major American involvement came in 1961, when Cuban exiles trained by the American CIA launched an invasion of Cuba to topple Castro’s government but were defeated at the hands of the Castro’s army within three days. This event came to be known as “the bay of pigs invasion”. The revolution survives till today having succeeded in the provision of idealistic social development targets, although the economy remains small and largely dependent on sugar cane exports. BOLIVIA
After centuries of Spanish colonial rule, Bolivia gained independence and became an autonomous republic in 1825, having had to fight a bloody war with colonial Spain. While great leaps were made in socio economic development, the indigenous population remained poor and following the Chaco War (1932-1935) where the country suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Paraguay, resentment against the traditional ruling class grew further as the loss of life and territory was humungous. Following the Chaco war, The Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) was created.
It represented the middle-class and had a Marxist approach modified for a nationalist and socialist agenda. The party was part of the military civilian regime of Gualberto Villarroel from 1943 to 1946 but was soon expelled from the country by opponent forces. The MNR then staged a brief and bloody civil war in 1949 against the Bolivian government but failed to make any breakthrough. It was in the elections of 1951, that the MNR finally hit jack pot. Having won the elections, it was denied the right to Presidency by the Opposition parties who claimed that the elections were rigged.
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Following months of protests, agitation and civil unrest, not to mention the various attempts by the MNR leadership to stage a coup, events took a new turn when MNR revolutionaries together with the La Paz police force took control of La Paz, the de facto capital of the country. What followed was a bloody, half hearted battle on the side of the Bolivian army. Mass deflections and poor moral gave the MNR a victory and a chance to form government. During its 12 years in power, the MNR was responsible for bringing universal adult suffrage to Bolivia, put land reforms into practice and promot rural education.
The largest tin mines were nationalized in 1952. However, the most remarkable feat of the revolution was the fact that it incorporated the indigeneos population into the normal way of life. US policy remained largely neutral in Bolivia’s case. The US had war in the Korean Penensuila to deal with at that time. However, the overthrow of the MNR by the Bolivian army in 1964 is sometimes refered to as a CIA backed initiative, suggesting that American policy was largely anti MNR, even if neutral from the outset. CHILE
Chile gained independence from colonial Spain in 1810, when it was established as an autonomus republic. It was in 1970 that Chile made history of sorts when it elected by a narrow margin a Marxist government under President Salvador Allende. Whereas all previous communist governments in the world had emerged from chaos and upheavel, the population of Chile legally elected their communist government. The government, however, comprised various left wing groups and Allende suffered from his inability to bring stakeholder conflict resolution.
Allende’s problems intensified as he went along. His nationalization of major industries scared away private investment and created dissent amonsgt portions of the population. His problems were further aggravated by capitalist plots and US hostility, esp by the CIA. Allende still took matters at the forefront and continued reforms to the economy and the social sector, demanding international aid and recognition to help him implement his plan for the social and economic development of Chile along socialist lines.
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While he had many supporters, his opposition was also plenty. While Allende struggled to keep the pieces together in the face of internal coalition bickering, resent amongst portions of the population and US hostility, the opposition and the army merely hoped that Allende would lose the 1973 election and allow for a more centrist President to take power. However, this was not to be as Allende’s government survived the 1973 election, with millions amongst the population voting for Allende a second time.
Following a constitutional crisis and widespread economic woes and allegations that Allende would soon turn the country towards dictatorship, the military intervened and overthrew his government on September 11, 1973. As a woman Revolutionary As a woman revolutionary in the Cuban revolution, one of the things I would have done differently would have been to secure closer ties with America for economic reasons, instead of becoming a tool in the cold war. Closer relations with America would not imply a compromise on Marxist principles.
It would rather imply an act of logical sense as America is geograpgically close to Cuba and its products are in high demand there. Closer ties with the USSR and the East European Communist bloc make less sense as these countries were geographically distant. In a way, closer economic ties with the USSR have a higher opportunity cost. Appeal of Marxist thought in Latin America Marxist thought has had a profound effect on Latin American politics. As early as the 1920’s, Marxist movements were springing up in various countries. The reasons are simple.
Rising poverty, deplorable conditions of the indigenous Indian population at the hands of the ruling class (of Spanish descent), economic and social backwardness and corrupt and/or incompetent governments forced people to seek alternative ways at addressing the issues at hand. It was these conditions that fueled Marxist thought in Latin America. For many countries, the concept of equality appealed further then ever as they saw the present system merely as an extension of the colonial system, with the capitalist mindset at play.
Slavery in Latin America America was probably the first continent were slavery began its origins, and definitely was the last one to abolish this evil practice. The Latin American region was the first one to be populated in from the North and South American continent. The first slaves, who were brought to the America, were brought by the European settlers. Today, their descendants form significant ...
Equality of income, rights and stature in society was a totally new concept and presented a welcome change from capitalist individualism. Lack of freedom under strict military governments and persecution at the hands of intelligence agencies as a result of political motivations made matters worse. Furthermore, Marxist ideology to seize the opportunity and to fight for ones right further fueled anger amongst an already resentful population. Revolution provided an opportunity for the hard pressed populace to vent their anger at incompetent governments. Another important factor at play was hostility to the USA.
The USA was seen as a powerhouse of capitalism and US business interests in Latin America were no secret to the local population. The USA had done little to support the population against their incompetent leaders and the perception of the USA was thus that of a Capitalist agent bent on world dominance. The success of Marxism in the USSR esp. it’s powerful transition from a petty backward country to a world economic and military super power standing eye to eye with the USA provided much food for thought. With the exception of Cuba, communism never really found its deep roots in any country in Latin America.
True the Allende Presidency in Chile, the MNR regime of Bolivia from 1952-1964 and the present day regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela are near examples, it is worth mentioning that these have been mere off shoots of Marxist theory, aiming to bring changes to the original theory and apply them in a more local context. Thus, generally, Marxist thought has provoked a more centre left approach amongst the population of Latin America. It is also worth mentioning that the impact of Marxist thought on Latin America has been so profound that many of the leading figures that the theory is synonymous with are derived from this region.
Fidel Castro became a symbol of defiance for the Capitalist West. Allende is renowned for his foray into democracy through democratic elections, bring communism to a country through peaceful means Similarly, Che Guevara is today not only a symbol of communist ideals of using force to attain their goals but is also recognized as the undisputed founder of modern Guerrilla warfare, a tactic, still utilized by communists and non communists alike to this day in their fight against imperialism, capitalism and injustice.
This is an Essay that I wrote for World History Research* Throughout history there were many countries exploited by means of invasion. During the age of colonization, Europeans imposed many things on the Latin American territory that have had an extensive, disturbing effect on the indigenous community. Europeans invaded and controlled much of South America and the Caribbean islands by means of ...
Watson, Jack. Success in 20th Century World Affairs. London: John Murray, 1991. Adam Hart -Davis. World History – A visual guide. London: Longman , 2007. Smith, Alison. Mastering 20th Century World Affairs. London: Longman, 1991. Selected Readings from The History Channel Website <www. Historychannel. com>