Analyze the global impact of the communist revolution and Fidel Castro's leadership.Consider especially the exportation of revolution, the domestic and foreign policies of the Castro administration, the impact on Cold War superpower relationships, and the impact on US foreign policy.


Domestic Policies


Methods use to maintain power

Like any dictatorship it has a strong police force, however apart from this it has different small civilian bodies of control to make sure no opposition exit within the normal people( in decrease order):

- committees of defense of the revolution(CDR): the most important one to collect information and control the common people. They are very well organized, one in each street. Having a committee president and secretaries. They are in charge creating and updating information about each member of the street they are in charge(political beliefs, luxuries they have, their work...) organize “volunteer work”, are in charge of the indoctrination courses making sure everybody attends...Also decides and make sure how should go to the rallies ( they make a list and take attendance when they are at the rally)
The members collect the information in their street, then the information is given to the sector, and past to the municipality, the state, the country( up to the central committee in the Havana) . The daily report is given at 3 pm and then the different groups and they are process and analysed.
  • Federation of Cuban Women
  • the Unions
  • union of communist young people
  • union of pioneers of cuba
  • the “Oficoda”
  • department of the urban reformation
  • Law of Danger

Information found: http://www.venezuelanet.org/A%20Los%20Venezolanos%20IV.htm ( if you want to know about each one in detail...)



Exportation of Revolution


Angola

Angola was one of the main countries involved with Cuba's efforts to export the revolution, and create a new communist society for the Third World. Angola was much the same as the initial Cuban revolution, as it started out with gurrilla forces overcoming an imperialist oppressor. There were initially three factions responsible for the Angolan revolution, includeing the USA backed National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), the radical National Union for the Total Independence for Angola (UNITA), and the Socialist Popular Movement for the Independence of Angola (MPLA). All three groups led an initial revolution against the Portuguese, who initially controlled Angola. Mainly acting as gurrilla forces, against the Portuguese's much larger army, the revolutionary forces cooperated in an attempt to free Angola from outside influence. During that time, in Portugual, a military coup took place, which upset the current government and replaced it with a democratic one. This new government had little interest in Angola, and granted the country it's independence in 1974. Following the success of their revolution, conflict broke out between the victourious forces, as to who would take over the leadership of Angola. Initially supposed to be a democratic affair, violence broke out between the three parties, and Angola became immersed in a civil war. With chaos and war breaking out from all over the country, liberation movements began calling for aid. The first country to offer aid to the Socialist MPLA was Castro's Cuba, pledgeing troops, training, and medical support. Following soon after was the Soviet Union, under Brezhnev, contributing vast amounts of weapons, and supplies, as well as transportation for the Cuban soldiers. As Soviet interest in the region became apparant, the United States quickly followed through with their policy of containment, and contributed almost $3 000 000 in aid to the FNLA. Neither Soviet or American troops actually fought on Cuban soil, but instead made use of proxies, namely the FNLA, MPLA, and Cuban troops. Cuba supplied almost 36 000 military personell over the course of the course of the conflict, as well as large numbers of medical, construction, and engineering workers, to assist the MPLA in it's struggle to rebuild the country. Cuban forces were poorly trained, and not really prepared for a modern war on unfamiliar turf. It is suggested up to a third of the forces sent to Cuba were killed. In the end, disorginization in the American Senate, and a lack of support for the effort in Africa led to the American withdrawl of support for the FNLA, and the imenent collapse of the movement that occuredd soon afterward. With the FNLA defeated, the Socialist MPLA were able to secure the position of the ruling government of Angola, and a new socialist society in the Third World. Cuban forces remained in Angola for a number of years afterwards, to ward of remaining factions of opposition, such as the UNITA, and help train MPLA forces in defense of the country. Cuba also initiated a great number of socialist reforms, and began the process of preparing the country for Cuban style socialism. Global impacts made by Castro's intervention in Angola include: The establishment of a Socialist party in Africa, and the export of raw materials from that country to other communist powers, namely the USSR. Another impact can be seen through the defeat of the USA in a campagin during the Cold War, breaching their policy of containment, and limiting their Sphere of Influence. Further impressions made by communist Cuba is their show of support for communism world wide, giving rise to other revolutionary parties, and placing Castro as one of the great leaders of international communism.

Many questions were raised in the support of Angola by Cuba. It is often asked why a small island in the Carribean would have any interest in helping a Third World country halfway across the world. Many reasons have been speculated as to the reasons of Cuban intervention, ranging from economic interests, to acting as a proxy of the USSR in the Cold War to the the expansion of socialism world wide. The most obvious reason as to why Cuba supported the MPLA in Angola would be as a supporting proxy to the Soviet Union. The USSR contributed limited man power during the conflict, and aside from some weapons and other supplies, the Soviet Union contributed comparibly little to the Angola campaign as opposed to other proxy wars during that time period. Many historians see the Cuban support as little more than Soviet influence on one of it's proxies in order to spread communism world wide, and help gain the resources of raw material rich Angola. But considering the fact that Castro pledged support to the MPLA before Soviet aid was offered makes a strong case for the operation to be mainly one of Cuban exportation of communism. The Soviet Union and Cuba began their joint effort in the campaign mainly over transportation to Angola, using Soviet resources that were not available the smaller country. Through the initial support of the campaign by Castro, it can be argued that the Angola was actually more of a Cuban effort to export communism, as opposed to a Soviet attempt to increase their sphere of influence. Another benifit for Cuba from their support of the MPLA comes from the economic advantages through the export of raw materials that were given to Cuba in return for their support. Cuba gained approximatly $600 000 000 worth of oil in exchange for their aid. Due to the USA's embargo on the nation, this influx of resources, and possible market through friendly relations can be seen as a great gain for communism. A final benifit from the Angola campaign came from the boost in popularity it gained for Fidel Castro. To maintain the Cult of Leadership, and upkeep his image as a revolutionary, spreading communism to the Third World, his support for the Angola campaign gave a great boost in popularity on the home front, and united the people of Cuba in the common cause of spreading the greatness of communism to the world, as an internationalist movement. The entire Angola campaign was undertaken for a variety of purposes. It's goals and achievements made a little country like Cuba a major player on the world stage. Set up to support the communist party of Angola, the entire campaign was a joint effort by communist countries of the Soviet Union and Cuba to export communism, and spread the ideology throughout the world. Through the underlying political benifits that came as a result of the Cuban aid of the MPLA, Fidel Castro was able to spread his style of ideology to the Third World, increase his image and popularity on the home front, and gain valuable economic benifits for his country, the Angola campaign is a huge example of Fidel Castro's policies of exporting communism, and the huge repercussions such action had on the world stage.



Fidel Castro's Relationship with the US and the USSR until end of Cuban Missile Crisis:
Before the Cuban Revolution, the USA and Cuba already had a shaky relationship. Within Cuba, there was a split between the Cuban elite, with allegiance to the Spanish empire, who wanted to preserve their wealth, and the threatening Cuban pro-independence movement. This split eventually led to the Ten Years War in which a compromise was reached. However, Cuba did changed little and the war started again in 1895. When the pro-independence movement was about to win, the U.S. army entered the war to save the Cubans from Spain. However, their true intentions was to protect the 50 million dollars of investment in the island and to secure the Carribean for a future canal and they were able to make a U.S. marine by the name of General Wood into the first president of independent Cuba.

The Cuban independence movement was not very happy with this arrangement and when the US passed the Platt Amendment to make Cuba a proctetorate, Cubans were clearly not happy as the US exerted control over them. Thus, the US-Cuban relationship was very shaky even before the Cuban Revolution for the US dominance over the Cuban domestic affairs was viewed as unacceptable by Cubans. During the Cuban Revolution, in order to protect their influence in Cuba, the US supported Batista's troop yet, Castro will be able to topple down Batista's corrupt regime. Thus, the tensions between Cuba and the United States increased because of Castro's defiance of the US.

Then, after the Cuban Revolution that was fought for national independence and self-determination, Castro lays out his platform that closely resembles a Communist system of control and political structure and as a result, the US was afraid that a Communist regime would threaten the security and the economy of their country when Communism spreads. These fears will be made to reality when Castro executes the top agents of Batista, allegedly American,and nationalizes American economic sectors in Cuba which results in $850 million of losses. Castro showed the US that he is capable of defying them through this actions. Even though Castro was well-received by the American populace during his visit to the US, Nixon and the American officials, full of suspicion and presumptions, did not received Castro warmly as Nixon declares publicly that Castro is a threat to the US. Motivated by these fears, President Eisenhower imposed economic sanctions on Cuba, authorized the CIA to begin planning the assassination of the Cuban leader and invested $13 million in training Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. Thus, because of his defiance, the US is intent on overthrowing his government and as a result, Cuba hit a downturn in its economy. With this downturn, Castro's political control was being threatened and he knew that the only logical response to defending against a superpower was to appeal to another superpower, the USSR.

Quickly, Castro and Khrushchev became allies as the Soviet Union began to buy sugar from Cuba and lend Cuba economic and military aid. This Cuban-Soviet relationship was considered a victory for the Soviet and US was furious. The US retaliated and they issued a trade embargo on Cuba and pulled out the US ambassador to Cuba. These events signalled the deterioration of US-Cuban relations which then leads to the Bay of Pigs invasion in an attempt to secure their American sphere of influence. However, this invasion completely failed and this event epitomized the Cuba's successful defiance of the USA. As a result, Cuba-Soviet relations became closer and led to more trade agreements between the Soviet Bloc and Cuba and Castro gained more domestic political support. However, tensions between Cuba and the USA were at an all-time high as the USA tries to isolate Cuba from South America through the Alliance for Progress that invited South American countries to trade with the USA. With these events, the tension between the USA and the Soviet Union worsened and Castro was able to benefit from this rivalry, economically and politically.

The Cuban Missile Crisis affected Cuba negatively. In order to increase his influence in the Western bloc, the USSR installed missiles in Cuba, without Castro's consent and US retaliated by putting Cuba in a "quarantine", by blocking all trade routes in Cuba. Angry that Khruschev and Kennedy did not consult him during this tense period and feeling that he has been reduced to a pawn, Fidel Castro wanted to get out of this superpower rivalry. Despite being guaranteed of its independence and national security, Castro felt betrayed and was inspired to form the Non-Aligned Movement, which had a significant impact in reducing the nations involved in the superpower rivalry. Later, Castro gave voice to the nations of the Third World in the United Nations and defend environmental and human rights internationally as he denounced the Vietnam War and US intervention in Grenada. However, we can not forget that Castro supported radical and terrorist groups that upheld socialist and communist ideals. Because of these radical and terrorist groups, many poor people died, the same people he is trying to represent. Also, Castro does not uphold human and environmental rights in his own country.

Thus, Castro played a huge part in the superpower rivalry between the US and the USSR but made a larger impact in the formation of the Non-Aligned movement, defense of human and environmental rights and became a voice of the Third World Nations.


http://www.cubagob.cu/otras_info/historia/i_revolucion1.htm
http://www.csupomona.edu/~jmvadi/PLS444/Cuba.html
Madden, Paul, Fidel Castro: World Leader
The Columbia Encyclopedia

Links

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1984/STP.htm Cuban impacts on Angola vs Soviet impacts
http://books.google.ca/books id=u_0yE0vcBQoC&pg=PR1&lpg=PR1&dq=cuba+intervention+angola&source=web&ots=7FIGpzrxJQ&sig=y5InlHMgqQwoudM03GPwzhuW6SY&hl=en#PPP1,M1 Excerpts from book: Cuban Intervention in Angola
http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_14/issue_03/travel_03.html General Overview of Cuban campaign in Angola