Essay Sample On Fidel Castro
A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past. Fidel Castro stated during his speech before he stormed a military base and went to prison. Fidel Castro’s key role in the Cuban revolution is what led to his time as a dictator, and ultimately led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Fidel Castro’s revolutionary beginnings started when he was a law understudy at The University of Havana (Nair). In 1952, the young and excited lawyer ran for The Cuban House of Representatives, unfortunately due to the current leader and dictator of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista, the election never took place. When legal means couldn’t get rid of the dictatorship Batista had produced, Castro took part in riots that broke out in Bogota, Columbia (“Fidel Castro Political”). Castro was furious and In 1953 Castro formed a rebel force to try and take down Batista and on July 26, 1952, In a suicidal fit of rage Castro stormed the Moncada military barracks with 160 men. When Castro was on trial, the Cuban people who lived in the slums and were poverty stricken considered him a hero for trying to take down the dictatorship that has formed (Paget 3). He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but in 1955 was freed in a political amnesty. He and his brother Raul Castro, went to Mexico to continue their crusade against Batista (“Fidel Castro Political'') While there they met a young Argentina doctor named Che Guevara (Who would end up becoming one of Fidel’s strongest allies and closest friends (Paget 3). After a year and a half of collecting guns, money, and soldiers, Castro and his comrades decided to get ready to head back to Cuba. They purchased a leaky wooden boat for $20,000 called “Granma” (Paget 3). There were 82 armed members of the “26th of July Movement,” that hopped on the boat and headed for Cuba. With the small army they had and Che with him, Castro and his compatriots decided to emerge from the stronghold and fight against Batisa’s U.S. backed army. Despite Castro's army of 800 guerrillas they were able to defeat Cuba’s 30,000 army, and on January 1, 1859, after two years of fighting Castro was able to overthrow Batista and his regime.
It was Castro’s time to lead Cuba, in 1959 the first communist nation in the western hemisphere was formed and it was headed by the Castro brothers. Castro believed that Gorbachev’s reforms were harmful to the socialist principles, so he rejected them and decided to stick with what he believed was right. Castro’s main goal was to stand against the “imperial” world. Castro created a dictatorship so he could have power over all aspects of Cuba. Castro’s alliance with the Soviet Union began with a visit to Havana shortly after the revolution. Castro’s resistance against the U.S.A began when he ordered every U.S. owned company to be owned by the government and give them no compensation (Nair). During the early stages of his reign Castro made education and health facilities free and available to all Cubans, also employment was guaranteed to all Cuban citizens. Cuba’s economy was declining fast, so in order to prevent this Raul and Fidel they allowed foreign investment in hotels and resorts. Due to heated arguments with the U.S. and the possible start of the 3rd World War, Castro decided to put the country into high alert (“Castro and Cold War”). Castro then declared that the Reagan administration is “a reactionary extremist clique.” Though during that emergency period, Castro was still able to keep a lid on dissent. Castro remained completely in charge until 1976, when the new constitution created a National Assembly, in which Castro also became the president of their counsel. In 1979, the Sandinistas' had a huge victory over their dictator and became an ally and partner of Fidel. On New Years day the Soviets had invaded the non-aligned country, Afghanistan (“Castro and Cold”). That action was against Castro’s foreign policy. Despite the ties Castro had formed with the Soviet Union, he had become one of the leaders of the non-aligned countries. Throughout all of Castro's reign he was never able to make the socialist economy he forged work. As a result of the economic decline Cuba was experiencing, Castro decided to allow economic liberalization and free market activities. Castro also spent six billion dollars in economic assistance, but even that didn’t work. Castro’s anti american rhetoric began to soften, due to the Soviet Union doing the same. “Cuban and American officials met secretly at La Guarida Airport and at the Hotel Pierre to work out a rapprochement.” After the meeting and agreement Castro lifted the limitations forcing people to stay, letting those who wanted to leave Cuba, leave. Castro was trying to help Angola, but he faced a tough choice: help Angola fight, or keep relations with the United States. Castro chose to help Angola and decided to go against the United States. After the fall of the Soviet Union Cuba’s economy was destroyed. In 2003 Castro was confirmed as president for five more years. Now that was president for five more years he could help out El Salvador and Guatemala with the emerging insurrection. On July 31, 2006 Fidel was forced to temporarily hand over power to his younger brother, Raul Castro, so that he could recover from the surgery he had undergone, and in 2008 after 50 years of being leader Fidel passed down his power for good, and Raul Castro became president of Cuba.
Castro’s anti-American rhetoric was so strong that in the 60s’ Castro almost started world war three with the United States. On April 17, 1961 John F. Kennedy decided to launch a secret operation called “The bay of Pigs.” The operation was an attempt at Castro’s life, but they were crushed and suffered a devastating blow. There were actually a few more attempts made, but none of them proved fruitful. Castro’s triumph over the United States helped solidify his rule and, in October of 1962, In the much deadlier area of nuclear weapons, Castro wanted to challenge Kennedy. The agreement between the Soviet Union and Cuba was a threat to the United States so in return, the U.S.A. asked all american companies to stop refining Cuban oil. After that Cuba’s economy was crippled, and in order to stay afloat and to get back the U.S. Castro decided to ally with the Soviet Union. With the new alliance Castro declared himself a Marxist- Leninist and hid behind the Soviet Union. Shortly afterward, it was discovered that Castro had secretly allowed the Soviet Union to develop nuclear missile sites. Castro sent a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Crusher telling him to use the missiles and offer up Cuba if necessary, but Khrushchev had already made a secret agreement with J.F.K that he would remove the missiles, but in return the U.S. couldn’t invade Cuba. Though in the end, Castro was the real winner, the U.S couldn’t invade Cuba anymore.
Fidel Castro’s key role in the Cuban revolution is what led to his time as a dictator, and ultimately led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.