Castro - rise to power and ideology


International Baccalaureate History Note on Castro - rise to power and ideology, created by Ella-mentary on 14/12/2015.
Note by Ella-mentary, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Ella-mentary over 8 years ago

Resource summary

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Key points Key Figures Jose Martí - saw US imperialism as a threat to Cuban independence. Former the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC) in 1892 and began the Second War of independence in 1895. He inspired much of Castro's ideology in his early years. Machado - became leader of Cuba in 1925 by election, and dictator of Cuba between 1927 and 1933, when he fled to the USA as a result of unrest. Grau - became president in 1933 (following a short period of de Céspedes as president) and promises social reform, but is forced to step down in 1934 as a result of US corporations worrying about the proposed changes (e.g. higher wages, lower prices, etc.). Reelected in 1944 as leader of the Partido Auténtico, and ruled until 1948. Batista - working class army sergeant who became president of Cuba between 1940 and 1944, and again between 1952 and 1959. Castro Guevara Key Events1953 - Attack on the Moncada army barracks.Key Policies The Platt Amendment. 26 July Movement.

RISE TO POWER Timeline 1868 - First War of Independence (Ten Years War) begins. 1895 - Jose Martí begins a Second War of Independence. 1898 - USA defeats Spain in Spanish-American War; Cuba is ceded to the USA. 1901 - The US Platt Amendment. 1902 - Cuba becomes independent, under 'US protection'. 1927 - Machado's dictatorship begins. 1933 - Machado flees - de Céspedes becomes president; Sergeants' coup takes place, led by Batista; Grau becomes president. 1934 - Batista increases power; Grau steps down; opposition is repressed. 1940 - New constitution is passed; Batista is elected president. 1944 - Batista is succeeded by Grau. 1952 - Batista heads another coup. 1953 - Castro launches an attack on the Moncada army barracks. 1955 - Castro goes to Mexico; 26 July Movement is formed. 1956 - Castro's band of revolutionaries lands in Cuba; guerrilla war begins in the Sierra Maestra mountains. 1958 - Batista's unsuccessful offensive; Batista resigns. 1959 - Castro enters Havana. Information A strong independence movement developed in the 19th century - the First War of Independence [1868-1878] failed. The Second War of Independence was led by Jose Martí, "the Apostle of Cuban independence". 1898 - (looked like the rebels were winning) USA declares war on Spain (Spanish-American War) - Spain defeated and forced to give up Cuba in December 1898. 1901 - Platt Amendment - USA claimed the right to intervene in Cuba's affairs. 1902 - new republic of Cuba granted formal independence - insisted that the new Cuban constitution include the Platt Amendment [the US militarily intervened four times between 1902 and 1921]. Machado elected in 1925, and becomes dictator in 1927. He resigns and flees to the USA in 1933 as a result of increasing unrest. A provisional pro-US government is set up, but protests and strikes continue. On 4 September, army NCOs staged a coup (the 'sergeants' revolt', led by Batista) and a new Provisional Revolutionary Government is set up, led by Grau, with students and other civilian leaders. The USA refused to recognise the new government because of its proposed reforms. Batista, who had significant control of the army, had talks with the US and was encouraged to use his power to impose a president and a government that would protect US economic and political interests in Cuba. Batista's support was transferred to Colonel Carlos Mendieta, and the reforms were ended. Batista and the army led Cuba from behind the scenes throughout the 1930s - led to the term 'puppet presidents'. There was massive opposition as student protests resumed in 1934-35. A general strike was called in March 1935, but collapsed after a few days. Martial law was imposed, and huge repression took place. Grau formed the Partio Revolucionaria Cubano Auténtico (the Auténticos) and the communists were renamed the Partido Socialista Popular (PSP) - they agreed to co-operate with Batista. A new constitution was passed in August 1940, and Batista was elected as president in October. Due to economic problems, Grau and his Auténticos party came to power in 1944 - Batista continued to rule from behind the scenes until 1952. Corruption continued throughout Grau's government, due to Batista's power, and reforms were abandoned - this disappointed many Auténticos wanting social reforms -> Chibás formed the more radical PRC Orthodoxo (the Ortodoxos) in 1947. Elections of 1948 are won by the Auténticos again - one of the most corrupt and undemocratic governments in Cuban history. Prior to the 1952 election, Batista leads another coup and the elections are cancelled. Batista rules until 1959, although he promised an election in 1954, which he won unopposed. Castro's involvement 26 July 1953 - attack on the Moncada army barracks, led by Fidel and Raúl Castro. It was a failure and many were killed, and the rest put on trial. At the trial, Fidel gave his 'History will absolve me' speech. The brothers were among many prisoners released in May 1955, in an attempt to improve Batista's public image. They began to form the 26 July Movement - in July, he and his supporters decided to go to Mexico. The started training at the beginning of 1956, and left on the Granma on 25 November 1956. The attack was a complete failure (a planned rebellion was crushed almost immediately; they landed in the wrong place two days late; Batista's forces were waiting for them), and only 16 escaped. They retreated to the Sierra Maestra mountain range, where they began to develop guerrilla warfare. Their attacks become increasingly successful and they began to attract recruits from the local population. Herbert Matthews reported Castro's successes, which encouraged opposition to Batista and brought in more recruits. Frank País headed the 'civic resistance movement' of the 26 July Movement - to get support from workers and liberal middle-class professionals in the cities.

History of the Americas - Castro and Cuba

Ideology Timeline 1953 - Manifesto of the Revolutionaries of Moncada to the Nation is published; Castro makes his 'History will absolve me' speech. 1956 - Castro writes a letter publicly announcing the 26 July Movement. 1958 - Caracas Pact; communist PSP begins co-operation with the 26 July Movement. 1959 - Castro's movement takes power; Castro announces suspension of elections; Agrarian Reform Act. 1960 - Trade deal is signed with Soviet Union; US oil companies in Cuba refuse to refine Soviet crude oil; Castro nationalises US refineries; US reduces quota for Cuban sugar; Soviet Union agrees to buy the surplus; main US businesses in Cuba are nationalised; Castro makes his 'First declaration of Havana' speech; all remaining US companies are nationalised; first US trade embargo on exports to Cuba. 1961 - Castro proclaims Cuba's socialist revolution; failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion. 1962 - Castro moves against the Escalante faction of the communist PSP; [October] Cuban Missile Crisis. 1976 - New constitution to establish Poder Popular is approved; meeting of the new National Assembly. 1993 - first direct elections to the National Assembly. InformationCastro's ideology pre-1959 Inspired by Martí and then the 1930s student protest movements (e.g. Joven Cuba formed by Anonion Guiteras). July 1953: Manifesto of the Revolutionaries of Moncada to the Nation (stressed independence from foreign control and social justice based on economic modernisation). October 1953 speech: "History will absolve me" (2nd manifesto). The Five Revolutionary Laws: 1) Return power to the people by reinstating the constitution of 1940. 2) Land rights for all those holding (or squatting on) less than 67 hectares. 3) Workers in large industries and mines to have 30% share of the profits. 4) Sugar planters to have 55% share of the profits from their production. 5) Action to stop corruption - property confiscated from those found guilty of fraud would be spent on workers' pensions, hospitals, asylums, and charities. Manifesto 1957-58: offered broad outlines of policies and reforms rather than a coherent programme Cubiana - the collective national interests of Cuba (social and economic modernisation)/.

Impact on the Americas General suspicion from the US, as a result of radical social changes implemented in 1959-60, and changes within the new government. Impact on the USA Hostility between the two nations as a result of US assets being seized following several economic and military actions against Cuba, and Castro's rhetoric becoming more radical. Eisenhower broke off relations and established a trade embargo. April 1961 - Kennedy supported the Bay of Pigs invasion - which failed - drove Cuba towards an open alliance with the USSR and humiliated the USA. The USSR put missiles in Cuba - nearly led to an air strike and an invasion in Cuba in 1962. Due to the presence of a communist state close to mainland USA, the US started to support anti-communist regimes in the Americas - while Castro wanted to support revolutions similar to his own in the region, his government intervened in countries in Africa and the Americas to support liberation movements. Economic reliance shifted from the USA to the USSR. Impact on Latin American countries Many Latin American states objected to Cuban interference in their affairs - Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS), and official trade sanctions were imposed - pushing Cuba further into the sphere of Soviet influence. Cuban intervention lessened following Guevara's death. Gradually, Latin American states restored economic and diplomatic contacts. Castro helped to negotiate a peace between rebels and government forces in Colombia in 1975. Continued to support revolution in Nicaragua - success in 1979. Advised the Nicaraguan leader throughout the 1980s. Against Castro's advice, free presidential elections were held in 1989, and the US-backed candidate won. Wanted to support the communists in El Salvador - helped the various radical groups unite; provided weapons and training to the revolutionary Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). Collapse of communism and difficult economic conditions in the 1990s restricted Cuba's impact in the Americas.

Historiography Collapse of the Batista regime Balfour - Batista's regime collapsed "because it was corrupt and barbarous"; failure to retain the support of any social elites led to reliance on communist-led trade unions and organised labour. Castro promised to reduce corruption appealed to the working classes. Growing brutality by the police force and economic crisis further damaged Batista's image - and led to public pressure on the USA to withdraw support for Batista. Failed to address social inequity and corruption, and the relaxing of press restrictions prior to the 1954 elections meant that opponents could openly challenge the legitimacy of his regime. Growing international awareness of Batista's brutal regime through pro-Castro articles (Herbert Matthews) led to the ban of US arms sales to Cuba. Eventually led to US support for Castro. Great Man Theory - Castro's success was a result of personal qualities as well as social conditions

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