Cuba's Politics

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Cuba`s Politics

While the isle of Cuba was initially discovered on October 27, 1492 during one
of Columbus first voyages, it wasnt actually claimed by Spain until the
sixteenth century. However, its tumultuous beginnings as a Spanish sugar
colony provides an insightful backdrop into the very essence of the countrys
political and economic unrest. From its early revolutionary days to the
insurrectional challenge of the Marxist-Leninist theories emerged the
totalitarian regime under Fidel Castro in present day Cuba. Cuban colonial
society was distinguished by the characteristics of colonial societies in
general, namely a stratified, inegalitarian class system; a poorly
differentiated agricultural economy; a dominant political class made up of
colonial officers, the clergy, and the military; an exclusionary and elitist
education system controlled by the clergy; and a pervasive religious system.1
Cubas agrarian monocultural character, economically dependant upon sugar
cultivation, production and export severely restricted its potential for growth
as a nation, thereby firmly implanting its newly sprouted roots firmly in the
trenches of poverty from the very beginning of the countrys existence. In
1868, Cuba entered in to The Ten Years War against Spain in a struggle for
independence, but to no avail. Ten years of bitter and destructive conflict
ensued, but the goal of independence was not achieved. Political divisions among
patriot forces, personal quarrels among rebel military leaders, and the failure
of the rebels to gain the backing of the United States, coupled with stiff
resistance from Spain and the Cubans inability to carry the war in earnest to
the western provinces, produced a military stalemate in the final stages.2 The
war had a devastating effect on an already weak economic and political
infrastructure. The defeat, however, did not hinder the resolution of the Cuban
proletariat for an independent nation. In the words of one author, The Cubans
ability to wage a costly, protracted struggle against Spain demonstrated that
proindependence sentiment was strong and could be manifested militarily. On the
other hand, before any effort to terminate Spanish control could succeed,
differences over slavery, political organization, leadership, and military
strategy had to be resolved. In short, the very inconclusiveness of the war left
a feeling that the Cubans could and would resume their struggle until their
legitimate political objectives of independence and ...