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Week 10: 'Third World' Revolutions: China and Cuba

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HIST 1150
Brian Mc Dougall

Week 10 Third World Revoltions China and CubaCubaSocial Revolution PreCastroCuba achieved Latin Americas most successful social revolution By the 19th Century Cuba was a producer of cane sugar and secondarily tobacco By 1960 Cuba produced almost 13 of the worlds sugar Cubans were under Spanish domination at the time however began to resent it and were closer to the US than Spain anyway After a couple Cuban rebellions 18681878 and 18951898 US intervention forced Spain to grantCuba independence in 1898 Cuba was now independent under US occupationThe US encourage Cubans to draft a new constitution 1901 giving Washington extensive rights Hence the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay US investment in Cuba grew from 50 million in 1896 to 15 billion in 1929Cubas dependence on sugar however had major political and social effects This is because sugarcane is harvested annually and only needs to be planted every 525 years therefore it only employs workers for 3 months a year Most rural Cubans were workers whose main concern was wages and by the 1930s there was much migration from countryside to urban slums Population grew rapidly during this time and by 1950 almost 40 of Cuban loved in citiesCuban workers rural and urban were ready for political mobilization Washington had no hesitation in allowing a dictatorship that would collaborate with US interestsBatista dominated Cuban politics through 1958sometimes as President sometimes using others as his puppet presidents This was a period of corruption violence and cynicismCastro and the RevolutionFidel Castro was born in 1927 and therefore grew up in the Batista era He mounted his first attack on the regime in 1953 It was a unsuccessful assault on provincial army barracks He was sent to prison and amnestied in 1955 when he fled to Mexico to plan a comeback In December 1956 he returned to CubaThe Batista regime brutally alienated people while Castros Guerrillas learned to operate among them without alienating
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