Cuba: What Political Influences Was Fidel Castro Exposed To?

Before I go into comparing and contrasting the ideas behind the two revolutions, I feel like it would help to give some background information about the ideas behind the two revolutions. After answering the questions for both of the revolutions I will be going into comparing and contrasting.

This post will be answering the first question: What ideologies were the leaders of each revolution exposed to?

To understand the ideas that Fidel Castro [the primary leader who led the revolution in Cuba] was exposed to it helps to know in what government system he was exposed to and what influences he had.

Background

Sine 1930 it became clear that Cuba was slowly moving into a revolution. Rebellion of the working class was becoming common among society. There were many groups fighting for an honest government and fair treatment of all. Fidel grew up in such a country where many Communistic Parties were fighting for a just government and where they were ruthlessly countered and tortured by the capitalistic government.Throughout the working class, Fidel was known as the lawyer who fought for the oppressed and the mistreated. So it was only natural for Fidel to want to use his skills to promote and support the slowly surfacing revolution. Fidel joined the the 1952 elections through the Orthodox Part, a Communist party. However when General Batista staged a coup and declared himself as the provisional president, or president coming into rule temporarily without general consensus, all hope for a proletarian revolution diminished. Fidel saw the only way to bring justice was through violent means.

Batista’s Cuba

The Cause of Social Classes

Right before Fidel Castro led the revolution, Cuba was ruled by Batista. Batista came to power twice, once in 1940 and once again before Castro overthrew his regime. Batista was a capitalist himself and he ruled Cuba in a Capitalistic manner. The reason as to why he did this was because he wanted to ‘fit in’ with the elites of Cuba and he wanted increase his personal fortune, for obvious reasons. He didn’t seem to care about the working class and let the ones that can be succesful be succesful. This was unfair as this only allowed people born into the ‘good life’ reach success. Those born into poverty without education and opportunities were almost always stuck there. This created a massive gap between the classes, almost separating the country itself.

Influences At University

Communism

Fidel attended the University of Havana, a university that had many different political ideologies and political parties. What caught Castro’s attention was the Orthodox Party which had its believed in ‘economic independance, political liberty, social justice and an end to corruption.’-(Castro and the Cuban Revolution, page92)

Che’s Influence

Che's Twist To Communism

Che Guevara was born into a republican family, so as a young kid he was brought up with viewpoints of fairness and democracy. His parents’ house had 3000 something books and Karl Marx was the author among the many books he read at home, so definitely he was influenced by Communist ideas. Che was given a worthy education. In 1951 Che set out on a motorcycle journey and he was shocked by the extreme poverty that was present. He concluded that this poverty was the direct consequence of Capitalistic governments. He had formed a dream or rather a fight against such poverty and his idea of getting rid of poverty was to directly reform the system of governing from Capitalism to Communism, like he learned in books of Karl Marx. When Che and Fidel met in Mexico, Che had said that the cause Fidel was fighting for was the cause that he had been looking for. Che helped shape Fidels political beliefs. With the help of Che, Castro had a well molded view of Marxism that could fit into Cuban society. In summary Che further educated Castro on Marxism. Che also advocated Guerilla warfare, a tactic that helped troops fight a bigger and better equiped opposition. Che played a key role in training the 81 men in Mexico to fight with Guerilla tactics.

The exposure of Ideologies definitely influences the ideology that someone would want impose in a country. Fidel Castro was exposed to Capitalism through the leadership of presidents in Cuba, he was exposed to Communism from his University and Communism with the addition of Che’s ideas. What makes the difference is the ideology Fidel Castro wanted to impose on Cuba and why?

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