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Cuban Revolution: Success Or Failure?

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Cuban Revolution: Success or Failure?

A revolution is known as being an activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation. Cuba during the decade of the 1950's experienced this type of rebellion in search for an enhanced and better-developed society, independent of all outside domination. Cuban citizens were at a point where they needed to be free and be able to enforce the constitution established in 1940, which included amendments stating that Cuba should be a "democratic republicÐ'...shall not conclude or ratify pacts or treaties that in any form limit or menace national sovereignty or the integrity of the territory," and such. I chose this topic because there has been so much controversy surrounding the Cuban Revolution and I wanted to see first hand whether or not it was a good idea or not.

In the late 1950's the current president, Fidel Castro commenced the revolution in Cuba. He, a leader of the student movement, as well as his followers that opposed the Batista regime, "rebelled against the former president, in pursuit of a better and improved Cuba" (Trento). Under Fulgencio Batista, Cuba was a very backward country, in Castro's eyes and he believed that it was in need for a revolution. He wanted to eliminate things such as gambling and prostitution and wanted to bring about new political ideas (Sherrow). Castro organized several movements, such as the one called, "The Twenty Sixth of July," for this purpose.

During the time of the elections in 1952, Batista gained control over the government and became a dictator. The Orthodox Party, which was lead by Castro, at that time, became illegal as soon as Batista became the ruler of the island. Batista declared that "there would be no elections, for he was the only person in charge of Cuba" (Goldston). Castro immediately became aware of this corruption occurring in Cuba and he knew that he had to take action. When this occurred, the Orthodox Party transformed from a political party to a revolutionary party. Castro believed that there could be two possible outcomes for this revolt. The first that they would succeed in overturning Batista's regime and would immediately lose power of the island and the second that they would fail and aside from being imprisoned or executed, at least they would get their cause known throughout Cuba (Goldston). It did not matter to them whether or not they would succeed. "They were prepared to die in pursuit" (W).

When Castro and his followers began their mission, Batista's private police and army soon discovered them. The group was then imprisoned in a small island. That did not stop Castro from aiming for his goal. There, he still held meetings, regarding ways of rebelling against Batista. Here was where Castro decided to name his movement, "The Twenty Sixth of July," since that was the first day that Castro and his men went out, in search of their freedom. It was almost like an ascending ladder towards sovereignty.

Fidel Castro and his followers later began a series of successful attacks against the Batista government (Sherrow). At first the United States did not agree with Castro in any way and refused to help his cause, financially or otherwise. But a few years later, in an attempt for Castro to portray all of the wrongdoings of the Cuban government, the United States finally "placed an embargo on all arm deliveries to the Fulgencio Batista government" (Goldston). "The Twenty-Sixth of July" movement helped, in that sense. The United States finally did not support the Batista regime, which meant that Batista would soon lose all of his authority. The rebels seized control of the Cuban government, Batista was forced to flee the island, the United States recognized and supported the new government, Castro executed the Batista followers, and he set up new reforms (Sherrow).

Fidel Castro achieved his purpose in terms of the revolution but whether or not it was a success is still in question. One opinion, from one of Castro's allies in the revolution, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, was that it was going to be a success for several reasons. The revolution portrayed that "popular forces are capable of triumphing over the army, and it is not necessary to wait for all of the right conditions to be favorable to the revolution to appearÐ'..." (Trento) Castro and his fellow "guerrilleros" were a significantly smaller group than the army, but their desire for transformation made them so much stronger. Also, without any international help, it would seem like they would not be able to win this battle, but they did. As it is known, "it is not quantity but quality that matters."

On the downside, Castro turned Cuba into a communist society, with the Soviet Union's help. In 1976 a new constitution was developed. In a way this act seemed hypocritical because the rebels had clearly stated that they wanted Cuba, under Batista's regime to abide by the 1940 constitution. Castro later said that the 1940 constitution was "too old and outdatedÐ'...that constitution, has been left behind by this revolution" (Perez). Nevertheless, this new constitution stated that, "Cuba is governed by one political party-the Partido Comunista de Cuba-Communist Party of Cuba" (Sherrow). The government controlled everything, even though Castro



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