Cuba is one of the few countries across the Atlantic Ocean that became communist nations during the Cold War. Communism in Cuba was pivotal in how the Cold War was handled by the world’s most powerful nations. Cuba became a focal point as the Soviet Union, and the United States sought to outdo one another during the Cold War period. The impact of the communism policies in Cuba was not only felt in Cuba but in the whole world.
The first impact of the communist Cuba on the world powers was when Fidel Castro overthrew General Fulgencio Batista. Castro declared himself a dictator, and started converting Cuba into a communist nation. Initially, the USA had supported Castro as he embarked on his new reign as president. However, this changed the moment Castro embraced communism. The USA went as far as attempting to overthrow Castro through an American trained army called La Brigada. However, the La Brigada was easily crashed by the then strong Castro army at the Bay of Pigs. However, the USA did not send their army to Cuba. President Kennedy did not see it fit.
With America’s involvement at the Bay of Pigs minimal, Russia’s Nikita Khrushchev felt strengthening ties with Cuba would not be disputed by USA. The Soviet Union took this opportunity to install missile sites in the communist Cuba as a way of Soviet expansion. However, when the USA discovered, President Kennedy blockaded and threatened to invade Cuba if Russia continued to occupy Cuba. This resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was resolved when USSR left Cuba to stop the USA from invading Cuba.
After the Cuban Crisis, the ties between Cub and the Soviet Union became so strong that 75 percent of Cuba’s economic aid came from the Soviet Union. During the Cold war, the USA had imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. This left Cuba with no choice but to depend on the Soviet Union for economic help. This explains why after the cold war’s end, and the decline of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s economy also collapsed.
It is with the help of Cuba, a major ally to the Soviet Union, that the nuclear war thrived. Cuba’s strategic located close to USA helped USSR to pose a close threat to its rival. Cuba became an important center of focus in the world during the Cold War. After the Cuban revolution, Castro’s regime made Cuba a focal point to the Cold War. It is in Cuba that the severity of the war was felt most. Fidel Castro got involved in several failed rebellions in Guatemala, Venezuela and Bolivia. Due to this, Cuba became an isolated nation from its neighboring countries. Soviet Union was able to destabilize and pose its nuclear threat to USA with the help of Cuba.
The dictator approach used by Castro and other communist leaders also raised tension because capitalist nations were opposed to such leadership. Cuba represented everything that the Communist Soviet Union advocated. They supported and traded with communist states, violating the embargo declared by USA. Therefore, Cuba was like a battle ground where the communist Soviet Union and the Capitalist American powers showed their might. The Cuban Missile Crisis, the nuclear power threats and the economic policies are some of the showdowns that the world powers displayed in Cuba.
Horowitz, I. L., & Suchlicki, J. (2003). Cuban Communism: 1959-2003 (11 ed.). New York: Transaction Publishers.
Rai, R. (2003). History. New York: FK Publications.