Communism is a political and social movement that aims for a classless state where the means of production is owned jointly by the society. The government is the overall owner of the means of production and ensures the masses share in the distribution of wealth. Cuba is a country which embraced communism ideologies as a way of life. Fidel Castro was the prime minister from 1959 to 1978. He ruled the country as president from 1978 to 2008 then handed the presidency to his brother. He had a great impact in Cuba and will always be one of the leaders who will be greatly remembered.
Fidel Castro is a revolutionary politician who converted his country into a one party state with socialist or communism values. Fidel Castro is a man who entered into power in Cuba fifty years ago with attitudes towards the American government. In Cuba, the Communist system was introduced by Fidel Castro when he started the Cuban revolution in 1953 with rebel attacks that caused the president at that time, Fulgencio Balista, to flee the country. Cuba was a former colony of America. Fidel Castro greatly disliked the Americans seeing them as imperialistic. The power of the country was in the hands of a few rich people known as the elite.
The country had also not experienced political stability for a long time. The rich people were the whites while the poor were Afro- Cuban. There was also a very high gap between the rich and the poor. The workers on the farms had tried to form trade unions but had been unsuccessful. There was a lot of anti-American resentment because of the mentioned reasons.
At the time Fidel Castro came into power the country relied heavily on the sugar plantations. The market was not diversified. These plantations were mainly controlled by foreigners who were mostly Americans. The markets for the sugar were also tied to America. From 1959 Fidel moved the country towards a communist regime. Fist of all he nationalized the American companies. These were the telephone companies, oil refineries and the private companies. By October that year all the American companies had been taken over by the government (Perez, 111).
Fidel wanted the government to have total political control. He arrested thousands of people who spoke against the Cuban government. The human rights groups and many Cubans had spoken out against his practices. He also took away the freedom of the press. He also led the country to have disagreements with America. Fidel supported revolution against the US and West in other countries. He supported the Marxist rebel group in Angola. He assisted in bringing in a Socialist government in the country of Nicaragua. This caused the US to place embargos on the country to retaliate these Cuban government changes. Economically, Fidel tried to increase the productivity of the industries in the country. He failed though because there was mismanagement and corruption in the companies
Cuba’s communism is a country characterized by several features. It is a one party state. The government wants to be seen as the only body speaking the truth and does not support different ideologies. The economy is controlled by the state. The formal education is also controlled by the State giving the ability to engage in mass persuasion of the public. The social life that the people are living tends to be politicized such that whatever one does is interpreted politically.
The government by having control on formal education is able to achieve dominance in the country. After the US refused to support Cuba due to its anti-American tactics, the country turned to the Soviet Union. The Cuban and USSR economies were intertwined such that the USSR paid very high prices for the sugar of the Cubans while Cuba paid lower prices than the prevalent world prices for oil from USSR. Due to this the government kept increasing the production of sugar and did not diversify the economy with other agricultural and manufacturing products.
After the Soviet collapse IN 1991 the country was greatly affected as the cost of producing the sugar was higher than the prevailing world prices. This caused the GBP of the country to fall by a third. The growth rates continued to fall despite the government’ attempts to improve the country’s economy. The Soviet Union had enabled the government to provide the people with subsidized products however after its collapse the free health care system deteriorated so badly such that even basic medicine became unavailable.
Unemployment increased as the State cut its jobs ratio to the public. This led to the civilians turning to the black market and other illicit trades (Paolo, 685).The gap between the poor and the rich increased. The government in the 1990s allowed the privatization of a few companies so that it could deal with the employment and the consumer shortages. The churches, sects and human rights groups spoke up to the government demanding reforms in politics (Jorge, 44).
In 2003 the government wary of these outspoken voices, arrested 75 of the independent journalists and librarians in order to suppress any complaints against the government. Fidel gave
his brother and other elites ability to control state properties. Fidel was pursuing a classless, socialist and non-materialist economy so he refused to introduce a free market economy in the market. However what the country needs are reforms that will greatly restrain the power of the government and institute a market based economy. The people no longer desire to engage in political demonstrations as they are politically tired and disenchanted. Fidel wanted to mould the youth to cause them to be the communist ideal men. He therefore used education, mass media and membership in the Union of the Young Communists.
Fidel even rebuilt the tourist industry to help stabilize the economy however by the year 2002 the economy was slowing down again. In 1993 the government had allowed self-employment in the microfinance companies to provide new employment opportunities. By the year 1997 the microfinance companies had grown to 200,000. When the government saw this they introduced obstacles to the formation of the microenterprises such that the number fell to 150,000. There is a lot of corruption as most of the materials sold on the black market have been stolen from state corporations. Individuals have deals with the government contacts on the goods available in the black market (Daniel & Siegelbaum, 84).
Currently Raul Castro is the president of Cuba having been proposed by his elder brother Fidel Castro. He was voted in as president by the legislature. In Cuba it is a one party system. There are no other political parties. The Cuban people from the year 1959 to 1992 were not given the right to vote for the members of the legislature. There is no national voting for the President or the Prime Minister. Only in 1992 were other political parties allowed to exist but they cannot conduct rallies or publicize their existence.
Fidel Castro proposed the next president in a bid to still control what is going on the country. He wanted to ensure that what he started was being continued by the next person.
The country of Cuba however should not have adopted communism since it needed a free market economy in order to encourage foreign investment and diversification in the market.
Kaufmann, Daniel and Paul Siegelbaum. “Privatization and Corruption in
Transition Economies,” Journal of International Affairs, 50.2(1997): 80–94. Print.
Jorge, Perez-Lopez. “Waiting for Godot: Cuba’s Stalled Reforms and
Continuing Economic Crisis”. Problems of Post-Communism, (2001): 44–45. Print.
Perez, Louis. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, New York: Oxford University
Press. 1998. Print.
Mauro, Paulo. “Corruption and Growth”. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110 (1995): 681–