Hierdie dag in die geskiedenis: 01/01/1959 - Batista Gestuur deur Castro

Hierdie dag in die geskiedenis: 01/01/1959 - Batista Gestuur deur Castro

In hierdie videogreep "This Day in History" leer u oor verskillende gebeure wat op 1 Januarie plaasgevind het. Sommige van hierdie gebeure sluit in die inwerkingtreding van die emansipasieverkondiging en die opening van Ellis Island. David Dinkins word ook die eerste Afro-Amerikaanse burgemeester van New York en diktator Batista word deur revolusie uit Kuba gedwing.


Hierdie dag in die geskiedenis: Castro verbied verkiesings, verklaar die Kuba -sosialistiese land

Ses-en-vyftig jaar gelede het die Kubaanse revolusionêre leier, Fidel Castro, veelpartyverkiesings verbied en Kuba tot 'n sosialistiese nasie verklaar.

Castro spreek honderdduisende Kubane toe tydens 'n parade op 1 Mei (lees sy toespraak in Engels hier) en identifiseer homself openlik as 'n Marxist-Leninis en begin 'n dekades lange Koue Oorlog met die Verenigde State.

'As meneer Kennedy nie van sosialisme hou nie, hou ons nie van imperialisme nie,' het Castro gesê met verwysing na die destydse president John F. Kennedy. 'Ons hou nie van kapitalisme nie.'

Die verkondiging op 1 Mei kom net 'n maand na die mislukte inval deur die Kubaanse ballinge in die VSA, die sogenaamde Bay of Pigs-operasie.

Die invalsmag van 1300 man het by Bahia de Cochinos geland, maar is vinnig verpletter. Die daaropvolgende dae het duisende anti-Castro-rebelle in tydelike tronke opgesluit, wat honderde later tereggestel is.

Castro het in 1959 aan bewind gekom nadat hy 'n suksesvolle opstand teen diktator Fulgencio Batista en sy regering gelei het.

Van die begin af was die Verenigde State bekommerd dat Castro te links is in sy politiek. Hy het agrariese hervorming geïmplementeer, buitelandse oliemaatskappye se onteiening onteien en uiteindelik beslag gelê op alle eiendom in Kuba.

Hy het ook noue diplomatieke betrekkinge met die Sowjetunie gesluit, en die Russe verleen spoedig ekonomiese en militêre hulp aan die Karibiese nasie.

Teen Januarie 1961 het die Verenigde State die diplomatieke betrekkinge met Kuba verbreek.

Dekades later in 2014 (lank na die ontbinding van die voormalige Sowjetunie) het die voormalige Amerikaanse president Barack Obama die volle diplomatieke betrekkinge met Kuba herstel. Die VSA het 'n ambassade in Havana vir die eerste keer in meer as 'n halfeeu geopen toe Obama belowe het om 'die boeie van die verlede los te sny' en een van die laaste spore van die Koue Oorlog op te vee.

Die historiese ooreenkoms het 'n blywende dooiepunt tussen die twee lande verbreek, gedeel deur 144 kilometer water en dekades van wantroue en vyandigheid wat dateer uit die dae van die aanklag van Theodore Roosevelt in San Juan Hill tydens die Spaanse Amerikaanse Oorlog wat onafhanklikheid aan Kuba gebring het.

Die besoek van Obama in 2016 was daarop gemik om die nuwe verhouding tussen Washington en Havana te versterk. 'N Paar jaar tevore, in 2008, tree 'n verouderde en ongesteld Fidel Castro amptelik af en gee sy broer, Raul, die krag.


Die VSA erken die Kubaanse regering, 7 Januarie 1959

Op hierdie dag in 1959, ses dae nadat revolusionêre magte 'n diktatuur in Kuba onder leiding van Fulgencio Batista omvergewerp het, erken die Verenigde State die nuwe voorlopige regering in Havana. Hierdie stap het nie die kommer binne die administrasie uit die weg geruim dat Fidel Castro, wie se rebellemagte Batista verdryf het, moontlik kommunistiese neigings het nie. Washington was egter aanvanklik van mening dat dit met die nuwe regime kan saamwerk en Amerikaanse belange daar kan beskerm.

Die val van Batista se pro-Amerikaanse diktatuur het gelei tot die vorming van 'n voorlopige regering onder leiding van Manuel Urrutia, 'n liberale advokaat en politikus. Maar na ses maande bedank Urrutia, met verwysing na sy beleidsverskille met Castro, en emigreer na die Verenigde State.

Earl Smith, die Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Havana, het vermoedens uitgespreek oor Castro se doelwitte. Maar John Foster Dulles, wat as president van die staat gedien het onder president Dwight Eisenhower, het Smith se kommer ontwrig. Hy het Eisenhower aangeraai om die Urrutia -regering te erken, aangesien dit, soos Dulles dit stel, blyk te wees "vry van kommunistiese besmetting" en geïnteresseerd is in "vriendelike betrekkinge met die Verenigde State."

Die betrekkinge tussen Kuba en die Verenigde State het egter gou versuur. Washington het op 3 Januarie 1961 diplomatieke betrekkinge met Havana verbreek, met verwysing na beperkings wat die Kubaanse regering opgelê het op die vermoë van die Amerikaanse missie om sy diplomatieke en konsulêre funksies uit te voer.

Castro se pogings om eiendomme in Amerikaanse besit te nasionaliseer sonder voldoende vergoeding en sy steeds nouer ekonomiese en politieke bande met die Sowjetunie het seine van die Withuis na die intelligensiegemeenskap gestuur om voor te berei op die verwydering van Castro.

Hierdie poging het in April 1961 gebeur toe president John F. Kennedy 'n plan goedgekeur het om Kuba binne te val, met behulp van 'n ballingskap wat deur Amerika opgelei is. Die landings by die Bay of Pigs het misluk, wat gelei het tot 'n diplomatieke koue rilling tussen die twee nasies wat tot vandag toe voortduur.


Hierdie dag in die geskiedenis

Vandag is Vrydag, 26 Julie, die 207ste dag van 2019. Daar is nog 158 dae oor die jaar.

Verjaarsdae: Sanger Darlene Love is 78. Rolling Stones se sanger Mick Jagger is 76. Filmregisseur Peter Hyams is 76. Aktrise Helen Mirren is 74. Aktrise Susan George is 69. Olimpiese goue medalje -skater Dorothy Hamill is 63. Akteur Kevin Spacey is 60. Aktrise Sandra Bullock is 55. Akteur Jeremy Piven is 54. Akteur Jason Statham is 52. Aktrise Kate Beckinsale is 46. Akteur Gary Owen is 46. Aktrise Bianca Santos is 29.

In 1775 het die kontinentale kongres 'n poskantoor gestig en Benjamin Franklin aangestel as sy posmeester -generaal.

In 1953 begin Fidel Castro sy opstand teen Fulgencio Batista met 'n onsuksesvolle aanval op 'n weermagbarakke in die ooste van Kuba. (Castro het Batista in 1959 verdryf.)

In 1956 het die Italiaanse reder Andrea Doria van New England afgesink, ongeveer 11 uur nadat hulle met die Sweedse redery Stockholm gebots het, het minstens 51 mense gesterf.

In 1990 het president George H.W. Bush het die Wet op Amerikaners met Gestremdhede onderteken.

In 2002 het die Republikeinse Huis, 295-132, gestem om 'n enorme departement van binnelandse veiligheid te skep in die grootste herorganisasie in dekades.

In 2014 hervat Hamas vuurpyle op Israel nadat hy sy aanbod om 'n humanitêre skietstilstand te verleng, verwerp het, die jongste terugslag in internasionale pogings om 'n einde aan die Gaza-oorlog te onderhandel.

In 2016 het Hillary Clinton die eerste vrou geword wat deur 'n groot politieke party by die Demokratiese Nasionale Konvensie in Philadelphia vir die president genomineer is.

In 2017 het president Trump op Twitter aangekondig dat hy transgenders nie 'sal aanvaar of toelaat' om in die Amerikaanse weermag te dien nie. (Na 'n regstryd het die departement van verdediging 'n nuwe beleid goedgekeur waarin die meeste individue in hul geboortegeslag moet dien.)

Verlede jaar, toe 'n sperdatum deur 'n federale regter aangebreek het, het die Trump -administrasie gesê dat meer as 1,800 kinders wat van hul gesinne aan die grens met Mexiko geskei is, herenig is met ouers en borge wat nog honderde uitmekaar bly.


26 Julie

In 1775, Benjamin Franklin het Amerika & rsquos se eerste posmeester-generaal geword.

In 1788, New York het die 11de staat geword wat die Amerikaanse grondwet bekragtig het.

In 1908, Prokureur -generaal Charles J. Bonaparte het beveel dat 'n mag van spesiale agente opgestel moet word wat 'n voorloper van die Federale Buro vir Ondersoek was.

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman onderteken die Wet op Nasionale Veiligheid, met die oprigting van die National Military Establishment, wat later die naam van die Departement van Verdediging gekry het.

In 1952 het Koning Farouk I van Egipte het afstand gedoen vanweë 'n staatsgreep onder leiding van Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In 1953, Fidel Castro het sy opstand teen Fulgencio Batista begin met 'n onsuksesvolle aanval op 'n weermagbarakke in die ooste van Kuba. Castro het Batista in 1959 verdryf.

In 1956, die Italiaanse voering Andrea Doria sink uit New England, ongeveer 11 uur nadat hy met die Sweedse voering gebots het Stockholm minstens 51 mense sterf.

In 1971, Apollo 15 is van Cape Kennedy op Amerika gelanseer en rsquos se vierde bemande sending na die maan.

In 1986, ontvoerders in Libanon het eerwaarde Lawrence Martin Jenco vrygelaat, 'n Amerikaanse gyselaar wat byna 19 maande lank aangehou is.


Vandag in die geskiedenis: Fidel Castro het sy opstand teen Fulgencio Batista begin

'' N Lewe wat foute maak, is nie net eerbiediger nie, maar ook nuttiger as 'n lewe wat jy doen sonder om iets te doen. ' George Bernard Shaw (gebore op hierdie datum in 1856, oorlede 1950).


Vandag is Saterdag, 26 Julie, die 207ste dag van 2014. Daar is nog 158 dae oor die jaar.


Vandag se hoogtepunt in die geskiedenis:


Op 26 Julie 1775 word Benjamin Franklin Amerika se eerste posmeester-generaal.


In 1788 word New York die 11de staat wat die Amerikaanse grondwet bekragtig het.


In 1882 het die Richard Wagner -opera 'Parifal' 'n première in Bayreuth, Duitsland.


In 1908 het die Amerikaanse prokureur -generaal Charles J. Bonaparte beveel dat 'n mag van spesiale agente opgerig moet word wat 'n voorloper van die Federale Buro vir Ondersoek was.


In 1912 word die produksie van Edison Studios 'What Happened to Mary', een van die eerste, indien nie die eerste nie, fliekreeks, vrygestel met Mary Fuller in die titelrol.


In 1947 onderteken president Harry S. Truman die Wet op Nasionale Veiligheid, wat die National Military Establishment (later hernoem na die Departement van Verdediging) gestig het.


In 1952 sterf die presidentsvrou van Argentinië, Eva Peron, op 33 -jarige ouderdom in Buenos Aires. Koning Farouk I van Egipte het afstand gedoen vanweë 'n staatsgreep onder leiding van Gamal Abdel Nasser.


In 1953 begin Fidel Castro sy opstand teen Fulgencio Batista met 'n onsuksesvolle aanval op 'n weermagbarakke in die ooste van Kuba. (Castro het Batista in 1959 verdryf.)


In 1956 het die Italiaanse vaartuig Andrea Doria van New England afgesink, ongeveer 11 uur nadat 'n botsing met die Sweedse vaartuig Stockholm, ten minste 51 mense gesterf het. Die Egiptiese president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, het die Suez -kanaal genasionaliseer.


In 1964 is die president van Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa, in die federale hof in Chicago skuldig bevind aan bedrog en sameswering in die hantering van 'n vakbondspensioenfonds. Ses medebeskuldigdes is skuldig bevind aan sameswering. Die Organisasie van Amerikaanse State het sanksies teen Kuba ingestel.


In 1971 is Apollo 15 van Kaap Kennedy gelanseer op Amerika se vierde bemande sending na die maan.


In 1989 bereik Mark Wellman, 'n 29-jarige parapleeg, die top van El Capitan in Yosemite (yoh-SEHM -uh-tee) Nasionale Park nadat hy homself oor nege dae op 'n keer op die granietklip gehaal het.


In 1990 het president George H.W. Bush onderteken die Amerikaners met Gestremdhede Wet.


Tien jaar gelede: Die 44ste nasionale byeenkoms van die Demokratiese Party het in Boston onder buitengewoon streng sekuriteit 'n parade van sprekers geopen, waaronder oudpresident Bill Clinton, George W. Bush as president aangewys het wat die ekonomie verkeerd hanteer het en die oorlog teen terreur onderdruk het. Mohammed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb, 'n Egiptiese diplomaat wat drie dae lank in Irak deur militante in gyselaar gehou is, is na suksesvolle onderhandelinge vrygelaat.


Vyf jaar gelede: Sarah Palin tree op as goewerneur van Alaska om 'n boek te skryf en 'n regs-van-middel-koalisie te bou, maar laat haar langtermyn politieke planne onduidelik. Alberto Contador het die Tour de France vir die tweede keer in drie jaar gewen. Lance Armstrong het die derde plek behaal. Rickey Henderson en Jim Rice is saam met wyle Joe Gordon in die Baseball Hall of Fame opgeneem. Choreograaf en danser Merce Cunningham is op 90 -jarige ouderdom in New York oorlede.


'N Jaar gelede: Ariel Castro, die man wat drie vroue in sy huis in Cleveland gevange gehou het en hulle 'n dekade van verkragtings en mishandeling onderwerp het, het skuld erken op 937 aanklagte in 'n ooreenkoms om die doodstraf te vermy. (Castro het later in die tronk selfmoord gepleeg.) 'N Gewapende man het in 'n woonstelkompleks in Hialeah, Florida, in die wiele gery en ses mense vermoor voordat hy deur die polisie doodgeskiet is. Die miljardêr -olieman in Texas, George P. Mitchell, wat as die vader van fracking beskou word, sterf in sy huis in Galveston, op 94 -jarige ouderdom. La Jolla, Kalifornië.


Vandag se verjaarsdae: Aktrise Marjorie Lord is 96. Akteur James Best is 88. Aktrise-sanger Darlene Love is 73. Sanger Brenton Wood is 73. Rockster Mick Jagger is 71. Filmregisseur Peter Hyams is 71. Aktrise Helen Mirren is 69. Rock musikant Roger Taylor (Queen) is 65. Aktrise Susan George is 64. Olimpiese goue medalje-skaatser Dorothy Hamill is 58. Akteur Kevin Spacey is 55. Rock-sanger Gary Cherone (sher-OWN ) is 53. Aktrise Sandra Bullock is 50. Die rock-sanger Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 49. Akteur Jeremy Piven is 49. Rapper-reggae-sanger Wayne Wonder is 48. Akteur Jason Statham (STAY -thum) is 47. Akteur Cress Williams is 44. TV-gasheer Chris Harrison ( The Baccalaureus Die Bachelorette) is 43. Die aktrise Kate Beckinsale is 41. Rock musikant Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 40. Gospel / Kontemporêre Christelike sanger Rebecca St. James is 37. aktrise Francia Raisa is 26. Christelike rock musikant Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 25.


Gedagte vir vandag: ''n Lewe wat gemaak word deur foute te maak, is nie net eerbiediger nie, maar ook nuttiger as 'n lewe om niks te doen nie.' George Bernard Shaw (gebore op hierdie datum in 1856, oorlede 1950).


Aanhalingsinligting

Op 9 April 1959 stel die National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Amerika se eerste ruimtevaarders aan die pers bekend: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr. , Alan Shepard Jr. en Donald Slayton. Die sewe mans, almal militêre toetsvlieëniers, is sorgvuldig uit 'n groep van 32 kandidate gekies om aan deel te neem Projek Mercurius, Amerika se eerste bemande ruimteprogram. NASA beplan om in 1961 met bemande baanvlugte te begin.

Op 4 Oktober 1957 behaal die USSR die eerste oorwinning van die "ruimtewedloop" toe dit die eerste kunsmatige satelliet ter wêreld gelanseer het, Spoetnik, in die aarde se wentelbaan. In reaksie daarop het die Verenigde State sy verskillende militêre en burgerlike ruimtepogings gekonsolideer in NASA, wat hom daartoe verbind het om die Sowjets te beman vir bemande ruimtevlug. In Januarie 1959 begin NASA met die keuring van ruimtevaarders, kyk na die rekords van 508 militêre toetsvlieëniers en kies 110 kandidate. Hierdie getal is willekeurig in drie groepe verdeel, en die eerste twee groepe het by Washington aangemeld. As gevolg van die hoë vrywilligersgraad, is die derde groep uitgeskakel. Van die 62 vlieëniers wat vrywillig aangebied het, is bevind dat ses sedert hul laaste mediese ondersoek te lank geword het. 'N Aanvanklike reeks geskrewe toetse, onderhoude en oorsigte oor mediese geskiedenis het die aantal kandidate verder tot 36 verminder.

Die laaste 32 kandidate het na die Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, gereis, waar hulle volledige mediese en sielkundige ondersoeke ondergaan het. Die mans was egter so gesond dat slegs een kandidaat uitgeskakel is. Die oorblywende 31 kandidate het daarna na die Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, gereis, waar hulle die mees uitmergelende deel van die keuringsproses ondergaan het. Vir ses dae en drie nagte is die mans onderwerp aan verskeie martelinge wat hul verdraagsaamheid teenoor fisiese en sielkundige spanning getoets het. Onder ander toetse moes die kandidate 'n uur in 'n drukkamer spandeer wat 'n hoogte van 65 000 voet gesimuleer het, en twee uur in 'n kamer wat tot 130 grade Fahrenheit verhit is. Aan die einde van 'n week het 18 kandidate oorgebly. Uit hierdie manne moes die keurkomitee ses kies op grond van onderhoude, maar sewe kandidate was so sterk dat hulle uiteindelik op die getal besluit het.

Nadat hulle bekend gemaak is, het die "Mercury Seven" oornag bekendes geword. Die Mercury -projek het egter vroeë terugslae beleef, en op 12 April 1961 wentel die Sowjet -kosmonaut Yuri Gagarin om die aarde tydens die eerste bemande ruimtevlug ter wêreld. Minder as 'n maand later, op 5 Mei, is ruimtevaarder Alan Shepard met 'n suborbitale vlug suksesvol in die ruimte gelanseer. Op 20 Februarie 1962, in 'n belangrike stap vir die Amerikaanse ruimteprogram, het John Glenn die eerste Amerikaner geword wat om die aarde wentel. NASA het die Sowjets in ruimteprestasies bly volg tot in die laat 1960's, toe NASA se Apollo -program die eerste mans op die maan sit en dit veilig na die aarde terugbesorg het.

In 1998, 36 jaar na sy eerste ruimtevlug, reis John Glenn weer die ruimte in. Glenn, toe 77 jaar oud, was deel van die Space Shuttle Discovery-bemanning, wie se 9 dae lange navorsingsmissie op 29 Oktober 1998 van stapel gestuur is. Onder die bemanning se ondersoeke was 'n studie van ruimtevlug en die verouderingsproses.


Een van die verwarrende raaisels van die middel van die twintigste eeu is waarom Kuba, 'n ryk eiland met lang en noue bande met die Verenigde State, 'n kommunistiese staat geword het. Dit het dit op 'n ongekende en onverwagte manier gedoen - sonder Sowjet -militêre hulp, sonder 'n vernietigende burgeroorlog (sterftes tydens Castro se revolusie teen Batista het waarskynlik nie tweeduisend bereik nie), en sonder die leiding van die Kuba se kommunistiese party, wat ten beste 'n 'n geringe rol in die gevegte soos daar was. Volgens Latyns -Amerikaanse standaarde was Kuba verder ekonomies nie agteruit nie. Wat die inkomste per capita betref, was sy inderdaad so ryk soos enige ander land in Latyns -Amerika behalwe Venezuela en Argentinië, en op sommige maniere - soos in haar kommunikasienetwerk - was sy meer gevorderd en tegnologies gesofistikeerd as Venezuela. Uiteindelik was sy so nou verbonde aan die Verenigde State as wat dit moontlik was sonder om eintlik deel te wees van die Unie - byvoorbeeld die Kubaanse peso en die Amerikaanse dollar, wat al jare lank op pari verruilbaar was.

Daar was beslis 'n donker kant van die lewe in Kuba voor Castro. Die politieke geskiedenis van die eiland gedurende die geslagte wat gevolg het op die verkryging van onafhanklikheid van Spanje in 1898, is gekenmerk deur verkiesingsbedrog, korrupsie en aanvalle van tirannie. Politieke gangsterisme was algemeen. Die ekonomie was grootliks afhanklik van die handel in suiker, wat, terwyl dit baie verryk het, 'n groot minderheid van die bevolking chronies onder werkloos, werkloos of arm laat. Gesondheids- en opvoedkundige fasiliteite was onvoldoende in Havana, die hoofstad, en was dikwels nie op die platteland nie. Nie die regbank of die staatsdiens was vry van politieke manipulasie en intimidasie nie. Die verhouding tussen die blankes en die swart- en mulatt -minderheid was ongemaklik en het in die 1950's erger geword. Die diktator van laasgenoemde jare, Fulgencio Batista, het polisie -brutaliteit en militêre korrupsie en ondoeltreffendheid toegegee. 'N Tipiese verhaal van Batista se laaste dae het betrekking op een van sy kommunikasies, wat aangekondig het dat hy twaalf uur per dag saam met sy generaals deurbring om die oorlog teen Castro te voer. Trouens, hy en sy bevelvoerders het die tyd weggejaag om canasta te speel.

Deels as gevolg van nadelige veranderings in die wêreld se suikermark en deels as gevolg van die groei, sedert die wêrelddepressie, van sterk, venale en beperkende vakbonde, het die land se ekonomie gestagneer. Die vakbonde word gereeld daarvan beskuldig dat hulle die modernisering van die suikerbedryf terughou: Julio Lobo, die laaste groot suikerhandelaar van ou Kuba, het byvoorbeeld 'n rietmasjien vir twee jaar by die doeane laat uitstel en moes dit uiteindelik terugstuur na die Verenigde State. Alhoewel die vorige geskiedenis van Kuba die aanvaarding van tegniese innovasies vinnig na die uitvinding daarvan was (Kuba het 'n stoommasjien in 1798 en spoorweë in 1833 gehad), was die land gedurende die paar jaar voor Castro se toetreding tot krag een van Latyns -Amerika se minste uitnodigende vooruitsigte vir buitelandse beleggings.

Tog maak sulke swakhede nie noodwendig 'n land 'n maklike prooi vir kommunisme nie. Venezuela het soortgelyke uiterste rykdom en armoede gehad in 1959. Sy vertrou meer op olie vir haar stabiliteit as Kuba op suiker, en sy het minder ervaring met demokrasie as wat Kuba gehad het. Maar toe Pérez Jiménez, haar laaste diktator, in 1958 val, kon die Venezolaanse bevolking vasstel wat die doeltreffendste demokrasie in Latyns -Amerika geword het. 'N Stagnante ekonomie veroorsaak gewoonlik nie 'n rewolusie nie. Verder was die Kommunistiese party in Kuba nie sterk of avontuurlustig nie. Die leiers van die middeljarige ouderdom lyk nie ontevrede oor wat blykbaar hul afstand tot die mag was nie. Kommunisme in 1959, veral nadat Chroesjtsjov drie jaar tevore die misdade van Stalin verduidelik het, was 'n gebruikte mag.

Was dit miskien die Verenigde State wat verantwoordelik was vir wat in 1959 en daarna in Kuba gebeur het? Aangesien hierdie standpunt wyd gegrond is, moet dit onder twee hoofde oorweeg word: eerstens die impak van die Verenigde State op Kuba gedurende die sestig jaar tussen die Spaans-Amerikaanse oorlog en die revolusie van Castro en tweedens die onderlinge verhouding tussen die twee lande tydens die tweede diktatuur van Batista (1952–1958) en die eerste twee jaar van Castro se bewind (1959–1960).

Gedurende die eerste derde van die twintigste eeu het die Verenigde State Kuba so deeglik oorheers dat die eiland in alle opsigte behalwe die naam 'n Amerikaanse protektoraat was. Voor 1898, terwyl die eiland nog 'n Spaanse kolonie was, het die Verenigde State die belangrikste handelsvennoot van Kuba geword en ongeveer dertig miljoen dollar in haar ekonomie belê. Amerikaanse ingryping in die Kubaanse rebellie teen Spanje, van 1895 tot 1898, het onverbiddelik tot die Spaans-Amerikaanse oorlog gelei, maar tydens die stemming vir die oorlog het die Amerikaanse senaat bepaal dat hy nie die Amerikaanse besetting van Kuba na vyandighede wou hê nie. Tog het die gedagtes verander, en na die vrede wat die vryheid van Kuba uit Spanje verseker het, het die Verenigde State aangedring op drie jaar militêre besetting. Kuba het eers in 1902 'n nominaal onafhanklike republiek geword. Selfs dan het die Platt -wysiging van die Amerikaanse aanvaarding van Kubaanse onafhanklikheid, ingevoer deur die Republikeinse senator Orville Platt van Connecticut, die Verenigde State die reg gegee om onder sekere omstandighede militêr op die eiland in te gryp: as burgeroorlog op die eiland uitgebreek het en as Kuba nie skoon en vry van gevaarlike siektes gehou word nie. Die Platt -wysiging het ook beperkinge gelê op die vermoë van die Kubaanse regering om skuld aan te gaan en verdragte met 'n derde mag aan te gaan, en het die Verenigde State in staat gestel om vlootbasis op die eiland te vestig - wat dit in Guantânamo gedoen het om die Panamakanaal te beveilig. Hierdie terme was net so ernstig vir Kuba as dié wat die verdrae van Versailles en St. Germain in 1919 teen Duitsland en Oostenryk opgelê het - en was net so sterk gegrief.

'N Kubaanse konstituerende vergadering het die Platt -wysiging aanvaar as deel van die eerste grondwet van' onafhanklike 'Kuba. In 1906 het die Verenigde State voordeel getrek uit sy regte ingevolge die wysiging, en nog drie jaar besetting het gevolg. Die Verenigde State dreig om in 1912 en 1917 weer in te gryp, elke keer met direkte gevolge vir die interne politieke aangeleenthede van Kuba. In die 1920's het generaal Enoch Crowder, die Amerikaanse gesant na Havana, die volle bevoegdheid gekry om die finansies van Kuba te herorganiseer, en in dieselfde dekade erken en ondersteun die Verenigde State generaal Gerardo Machado, selfs toe hy homself 'n diktator gemaak het. Hierdie ondersteuning eindig in 1933, toe Sumner Welles, president Franklin D. Roosevelt se nuwe ambassadeur in Kuba, gehelp het om Machado se val te inspireer. Die jaar daarna het Welles gehelp met die omverwerping van 'n progressiewe Kubaanse regering onder dr. Grau San Martin, wat die weg voorberei het vir 'n nuwe, slegs gedeeltelik bedekte tirannie onder generaal Batista.

Die Platt -wysiging is in 1934 afgeskaf, maar tog sou die Verenigde State nie huiwer om hul eie kandidaat tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog op Kuba af te dwing as dit nodig geag word nie. Dit was nie nodig nie: generaal Batista (wat in 1940 tot president verkies is-redelik eerlik) was moontlik 'n 'suf', maar hy was 'ons' ', volgens FDR se woorde. Die dreigemente van Amerikaanse ingryping duur langer. Waarskynlik het die FBI geweet van, en moontlik aangemoedig, 'n voorneme om dr. Grau San Martin in sy tweede presidentskap in 1947 omver te werp.

Die Verenigde State het intussen 'n ekonomiese posisie op die eiland opgebou, net so belangrik as die politieke. Belegging in suikerfabrieke het Amerikaanse ondernemings teen die 1920's beheer oor 60 persent van die Kubaanse suikerproduksie gegee. Amerikaanse maatskappye het ook groot grondbesit gehad. Kubaanse tabak is deur Amerikaanse handelaars bemark. Amerikaanse ondernemings, of hul Kubaanse filiale, beheer elektrisiteit, telefone en ander openbare dienste. Kuba was selfs soms verteenwoordig in diplomasie wat suiker beïnvloed deur Amerikaanse burgers met Kubaanse belange. Die Amerikaanse oorheersing oor die Kubaanse kulturele lewe was byna ewe sterk.

'N Paar voordele vir Kuba het natuurlik gevolg uit hierdie noue verhouding. As dit nie vir Amerikaanse ingryping in 1898 was nie, sou Kuba nie so gou van Spanje vry geword het nie. Die Amerikaanse belangstelling in Kuba het die Kubaanse lewenstandaard teen 1925 verhoog tot die helfte van die Verenigde State teen 1925. Amerikaanse militêre dokters met die besettingsmagte het die verowering van geelkoors moontlik gemaak, vir baie geslagte die plaag van Havana (al was dit 'n Kubaanse van die Skotse afkoms, dr. Carlos Finlay, wat eers ontdek het dat geelkoors deur muskiete gedra word). Die bou van 'n Amerikaanse spoorweg langs die eiland was 'n prestasie waaruit Kuba altyd sal baat. Amerikaanse beleggings in suikerfabrieke is uitgevoer met 'n ysterbeslissing om wins te maak en om suiker in die Verenigde State te verseker tydens oorlog, maar hierdie beleggings het die Kubaanse ekonomie verander en dit die vorm gegee wat dit nou het. Die noue kontak wat deur die hoërklas-Kubane in Noord-Amerika tot stand gekom het, het ook beteken dat hul kinders maklik in die Verenigde State opgevoed kon word.

Maar hierdie noue assosiasie het ook beteken dat die Verenigde State 'n al te nuttige sondebok in Kuba was toe dinge verkeerd loop. Die Verenigde State word gewoonlik blameer vir die korrupsie van die verkiesings, vir die totstandkoming van Machado's en Batista se diktators, vir werkloosheid en vir armoede. Vanuit die Kubaanse oogpunt word Amerikaanse gedrag daar dikwels gekenmerk deur 'n neerbuigende meerderwaardigheid teenoor plaaslike politici, kultuur en tradisies, wat selfs (of veral) irriterend was as dit geregverdig was. Terwyl baie Amerikaners na Kuba gegaan het en geglo het dat hulle voorspoed bring, het ander idees van belastingontduiking, filistinisme en geldroof saamgeneem. 'N Aansienlike deel van die redelik groot Kubaanse middelklas het dépaysé geword: nie net is mense uit daardie klas in die Verenigde State opgelei nie, maar hulle het ook hul ballingsjare deurgebring, tydens die era van diktatuur, in die Verenigde State en selfs as hulle nasionalisme verkondig. , Het Kubaanse politici hul mense gereeld voorberei om 'n lening van die Amerikaanse regering te vra.

Kubaanse nasionalisme het dus natuurlik 'n anti -Amerikaanse wending geneem. Die voordele wat die Amerikaners gebring het, is maklik vergeet. Kubane in 1898 het aangevoer dat die Verenigde State hulle met die oorwinning oor Spanje bedrieg het; hulle val die Platt -wysiging aan en elke nuwe voorval van ingryping of dreigende ingryping skep nuwe golwe van wrok. Geskiedkundiges aan die Universiteit van Havana het aan studente gesê dat elke geleentheid vir nasionale wedergeboorte deur 'dollar -diplomasie' in die wiele gery is. In hierdie tradisie is Castro en die intellektuele van sy generasie gebore.

Die anti-amerikanisme van Kubaanse nasionalistiese intellektuele het in die 1950's sterk gebrand, maar teen daardie tyd was die Platt-wysiging lankal dood en was die Amerikaanse ekonomiese oorheersing van die land baie minder opvallend as twintig jaar tevore. Maar nasionaliste bly dikwels stil by die verkeerde dinge in die verlede, en Sumner Welles se behandeling van dr. Grau San Martin word onthou asof dit eers gister gebeur het. (Grau San Martin, toe hy uiteindelik sy amp bereik het, het sy posisie skandelik misbruik om homself en sy vriende te verryk, maar hy verteenwoordig nog steeds die herinnering aan Kuba in 'n revolusie wat die Verenigde State in 1934 verraai het.)

As 'n mens dus die sweep van die Kubaanse geskiedenis sedert die begin van die eeu in ag neem, kan die Verenigde State in 'n sekere sin beskou word as die onbewuste outeur van die kommunistiese revolusie in Kuba. Die revolusie was soos 'n kinderwoede oor 'n afgeurde voog wat in 1898 by die werklike ouers, die Spanjaarde, oorgeneem het na 'n oorlog van dubbelsinnige implikasies. Maar op kort termyn, in die jare voor die revolusie van Castro, het die Verenigde State 'n baie minder duidelike rol gespeel.

Die Verenigde State was, sover bekend, nie betrokke by Batista se tweede staatsgreep in 1952 nie, maar Amerikaanse intelligensie was daarna aktief in Kuba. Die CIA het byvoorbeeld Batista gehelp met die oprigting van 'n antikommunistiese agentskap in die Kubaanse regering, die BRAC (Bóro Para Represión de las Actividades Comunistas). 'Ek was die vader van die BRAC,' het Arthur Gardner, die Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Kuba van 1953 tot 1957, in 1962 aan my gesê. Kolonel Jacobo Arbenz se nasionalistiese, maar deur kommuniste gesteunde regering in Guatemala. Che Guevara, die Argentyn wat later een van Castro se mees toegewyde volgelinge was, was op daardie stadium in Guatemala, en hy het duidelik sy eie duidelike, harde gevolgtrekkings gemaak oor wat die Amerikaanse reaksie op 'n nuwe nasionalistiese revolusie elders in Latyns -Amerika kan wees of die Karibiese Eilande. Intussen was Batista tot 1958 'n gunsteling kliënt van Amerikaanse sakelui en van baie beleidmakers in Washington.

Die houding van die Amerikaanse regering ten opsigte van Castro se beweging teen Batista was aanvanklik dubbelsinnig. Aan die een kant was daar amptenare wat geglo het dat Castro altyd 'n kommunis was en daarom so gou as moontlik vernietig moes word. Hierdie groep was ambassadeur Gardner, sy opvolger, Earl T. Smith, wat ambassadeur was van 1957 tot 1959 en admiraal Arleigh Burke, die Amerikaanse hoof van vlootoperasies. Gardner het in 1957 aan Batista voorgestel dat hy Castro in die geheim probeer vermoor in die heuwels, waar die burgeroorlog reeds begin het. Alhoewel Batista geantwoord het: 'Nee, nee, ons kon dit nie doen nie, ons is Kubane', was Castro in die Sierra Maestra ten minste een poging, en vermoedelik het Batista dit gedoen.

Maar baie lede van die Amerikaanse regering het 'n ander kant ingeslaan: Roy Rubottom, assistent -minister van buitelandse sake vir Latyns -Amerikaanse aangeleenthede, het groot verwagtinge vir Castro gehad, net soos die direkteur van die staatsdepartement van die kantoor van die Karibiese en Mexikaanse aangeleenthede, William Wieland. Hierdie vriendelike houding is gedeel deur sommige amptenare in die CIA. Die tweederangse verteenwoordiger van die CIA in Havana het inderdaad 'n oop stryd gehad met ambassadeur Smith oor die vraag of Castro in 1957 'n kommunis was, of nie, sowel as JC King (hoof van die Wes-Halfrondsake van die CIA ) en Lyman B. Kirkpatrick (inspekteur -generaal van die CIA) was 'n tyd lank hoopvol dat Castro 'n liberaal sou wees.

The United States thus presented a divided front toward Castro. He, in turn, was able to employ, to good effect, these divisions among both American policymakers and various molders of public opinion. A notable example was his use of the visit to Cuba of Herbert Matthews, a high-minded correspondent of the New York Times , in February, 1957. Castro saw Matthews in a remote part of the mountains and persuaded him that he was a moderate, nationalist reformer and that he had much more of a following than was really the case. Matthews’ reporting was friendly to Castro and helped to create in the United States widespread sympathy for the rebellion. That sympathy, in March, 1958, enabled Rubottom and his friends in the State Department to ensure an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba, an action as important for its psychological effect upon Batista as for its actual disservice to the Cuban army. Until then, Batista had assumed that the United States automatically would support him even if he used against his internal enemies American arms that had been supplied to him for “hemisphere defense.”

By the end of 1958, Batista’s position had begun to disintegrate, due largely to the corruption and inefficiency of his army rather than to the military skill of Castro—though it would be foolish to underestimate Castro’s ability to make the most of a propaganda advantage in Cuba. The U.S. government made an attempt to get Batista to resign and hand over power to a junta of generals, which, in the words of the CIA’s Kirkpatrick, seemed then to offer the United States “the best possibility of bringing peace” and avoiding “a blood bath.” The task of trying to persuade Batista to agree to this plan was entrusted to William Pawley, an American with long-established business interest in Cuba (he had founded Cubana Airlines and was a personal friend of Batista’s). Pawley’s mission failed, possibly because Rubottom had told him to avoid saying that he was acting in the name of President Eisenhower. A week later, however, Ambassador Earl Smith, with the greatest personal reluctance, told Batista that the United States government judged he had no alternative save to leave, that the State Department thought he could now only be a hindrance to its hastily devised plans for a transition. Batista agreed, partly because he now had a great deal of money outside of Cuba, and partly because his heart was not in the fight, though he complained at the same time that the United States was carrying out still another act of intervention—and one which did, indeed, seem like a repetition of Sumner Welles’s intervention in 1933 against Machado.

Before Batista finally left Cuba, one of his generals, Cantillo, tried to reach an armistice with Castro and even attempted to make himself the leader of a caretaker government. At the same time, the CIA was busy bribing the jailer of another officer, Colonel Ramón Barquín, a nationally respected enemy of Batista, to let him out of prison so he could assist in the formation of a new government. These and other last-minute plans all came to nothing. Batista’s army was crumbling fast, and public enthusiasm for Castro and his allies was growing enormously, as Barquín and Cantillo in the end recognized. Batista left Cuba in the early morning hours of January 1,1959. The U.S. government then realized that it had to choose between allowing Castro to take power and “sending in the Marines.” The latter course was favored by Admiral Burke and probably by Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA, but nothing was done. In the meantime, men and women from Castro’s organization took over the maintenance of public order in the Cuban cities. Castro himself was in Havana by January 8, 1959. A new, progressive government was formed. In the beginning, Castro did not figure in this. Even when he did take over as prime minister, in February, the majority of the members of his government were well known to be liberals.

American reactions continued to be ambiguous, but in the Eisenhower administration those willing to give Castro the benefit of the doubt were predominant. The new ambassador to Havana, Philip Bonsai, concluded before arriving in Havana in February that “Castro was not a communist” and, at a meeting of the U.S. ambassadors in the Caribbean region on April 11, 1959, commented privately that Castro was a “terrific person, physically and mentally, he was far from crazy [and] he was not living on pills.” Most press comment in the United States early in 1959 thought much the same.

There was, of course, some expressed hostility to the new Cuba in the United States, and Castro exploited it to strengthen his position with the reawakened Cuban public opinion. For example, when Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon and various American newspapers and newsmagazines protested against the public trial of Batista’s police, Castro suggested that their opposition constituted another variation on the theme of intervention. He also made the most of his visit to the United States in April, 1959, as the guest of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, to arouse further support for himself among the American people. Many Americans were even angry that President Eisenhower refused to meet him on that occasion, preferring to leave the task to Vice President Nixon.

The transition in Cuba from an open to a closed society, after that visit, came fast. In early 1959 Castro was still talking of the desirability of an “entirely democratic revolution.” The Cuban revolution would be as “autochthonous as Cuban music,” with no place for extremists or communists. In May, 1959, however, a classical agrarian reform, taking over large estates and giving land to squatters and peasants, was promulgated. This inspired a curt but polite U.S. note of protest, demanding compensation for all dispossessed landowners, Cuban and American alike. The reform caused a political upheaval in the countryside, though accounts of what happened are hard to find. Certainly it was then that the first resistance to Castro began to be organized by Cubans of the Right. Some politicians began to criticize Castro for failing to call elections. But Castro himself was busy directing abortive expeditions against the dictatorships in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Haiti.

In May, also, Castro dismissed several liberal ministers from his cabinet and had his first clash with the Cuban judiciary over a habeas corpus case. A month later the chief of the Cuban air force fled to the United States and told the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate that communism was beginning to take over in Cuba. A few weeks after that, in mid-July, Castro hounded out of office his own nominee as President of Cuba, Judge Manuel Urrutia, accusing him of treason and anticommunist expressions. Others who, like Hubert Matos, the military chief of the province of Camagüey, continued to criticize communism in public were shortly afterward arrested. Most of the other liberal cabinet members were then dismissed or were cowed into humiliating betrayals of their old faiths. The attitude of those who remained in office, like that of many liberals caught up in other revolutionary circumstances, is easy to condemn but important to judge objectively. The Cuban liberals who stayed with Castro in 1959 (like Raúl Roa, the Foreign Minister Osvaldo Dorticós, President of Cuba for many years Armando Hart, the Minister of Education and Regino Boti, the Minister of Economics) were clearly men whose dedication to liberal ideology was not as firm as was their previously submerged desire for a strong nationalist state, which would break absolutely with a past in which none of them personally had been very successful.

Next, the truant former chief of Cuba’s air force flew over Havana in a U.S. B-25 bomber converted to a cargo carrier, dropping pamphlets on the city. Antiaircraft guns fired at his plane, and some of their shell fragments fell to the ground and killed a few Cubans—an event that heralded a several months exchange of insults between Cuba and the United States. In February, 1960, only a year after Castro had taken power, Anastas Mikoyan, Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union, arrived in Havana to conclude the first commercial arrangement between Russia and Cuba, and in March, President Eisenhower gave his approval to the training of Cuban exiles by the CIA for a possible invasion of the island. In the course of the first half of 1960, xthe independence of the judiciary, press, trade unions, and university was destroyed, and the flight of middle-class Cubans and liberals began in earnest. By then, a clash with the United States was inevitable.

In June, 1960, the Cubans asked U.S. oil refiners to process Russian, and not Venezuelan, oil. They refused. Castro retaliated by nationalizing the refineries. Eisenhower then cut off the U.S. sugar quota, an arrangement by which the United States bought a substantial portion of Cuba’s sugar at a price higher than that of the world market. In return, Castro expropriated the U.S. sugar mills and all public utilities owned by the United States in Cuba. Eisenhower responded with a ban on all U.S. exports to Cuba, save medicines and some foodstuffs. The Cubans immediately took over all the remaining large private enterprises. In January, 1961, the U.S. embassy was withdrawn. Something like a new civil war had broken out by this time in the hills of Escambray in southern Cuba. In April the CIA’s force of exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs. Immediately after the failure of that ill-starred invasion, Castro, on May 1, 1961, proclaimed Cuba a “socialist state” and decreed that there would be no more elections. The revolution, he announced, had given every Cuban a rifle, not a vote.

From this summary of events, despite the unfolding drama of 1960 and 1961, it will be seen that the real decisions concerning the direction the revolution would take were made in 1959, between May and October, and probably in June or July. Castro and Guevara on separate occasions mentioned that time as crucial, and it was then, also, that leading figures were first ousted or arrested for anticommunism. When the mere expression of anticommunism becomes a crime, it is a sure sign of what line a government wishes to pursue. By that time, the possibilities of achieving a humane or open regime in Cuba were over.

A proper interpretation of what happened, and why, must consider Castro’s personality, first and foremost. Castro had a strong hold over Cuban opinion in 1959, and his position as “maximum leader” of the revolution was unquestioned. Marxism belittles the role of individuals in history. But in the establishment of regimes based on Marx’s philosophy, individuals, from Lenin to Castro, have played decisive parts. Castro’s motives, therefore, need to be investigated, so far as it is possible, in examining why the revolution in Cuba took the course it did.

Some would say that this question presents no real problems. Earl Smith, Arthur Gardner, and some others thought that Castro had been a communist for years. William Pawley claimed to have heard Castro, during riots in Bogotá in 1948, proclaim on the Colombian radio: “This is Fidel Castro from Cuba. This is a communist revolution.…” This interpretation of Castro’s early loyalties has had corroboration from Castro himself. In a speech in Havana in December, 1961, he said that he had been an apprentice Marxist-Leninist for many years: “I absolutely believe in Marxism! Did I believe on 1 January [1959]? I believed on 1 January.…” More recently in a taped interview in Cuba with American television reporter Barbara Walters, in mid-1977, Castro said (though the section was excised from what was shown the U.S. viewing audience): “I became a communist before reading a single book by Marx, Engels, Lenin, or anyone. I became a communist by studying capitalist political economy.…When I was a law student in the third year at the University of Havana.…I became what could be called a Utopian communist. Then I was introduced to Marxist literature.…” In another U.S. television interview, shown by CBS on June 10, 1977, he recalled his meeting with Vice President Nixon in April, 1959, and said that at the time, “I was a communist. I personally was a communist.” In 1961, moreover, he had explained that if he had admitted in the Sierra Maestra how extreme his opinions really were, he would have been killed then and there.

Castro, therefore, had lent the support of his own authority to what may be described as a “conspiracy theory” in explanation of the Cuban revolution. Some other points can be added. For example, Fidel Castro’s brother and intimate adviser, Raúl, had been an overt member of the Cuban Communist Youth Movement since 1953. Fidel Castro had influential communist friends at Havana University between 1945 and 1948, most of whom did well in the communist regime after 1961 (for instance, Lionel Soto, in 1976 Ambassador to London and an adviser on Cuba’s African policy Flavio Bravo, Deputy Prime Minister in 1977 and Alfredo Guevara, for years head of the Cuban Film Institute). Though perhaps not actually a member of the Communist party, much less a Soviet agent (as some members of the FBI suggested), Castro—so the conspiracy theory runs—must always have been in touch with the party.

When the communist leaders in Cuba realized that Castro was likely to win the war against Batista, they began to help him and accordingly were welcomed into the large alliance over which he presided, and which they attempted to take over from the moment that he and they arrived in Havana. Naturally (again, according to the conspiracy theory), Castro welcomed communist support, and this was why, save for making a few liberal gestures in early 1959, he failed to create an organized movement, with membership and branches, or to name a day for elections, or even to clarify the attitude of his revolution toward the democratic Constitution of 1940.

Such a conspiracy theory, however, does not really explain Castro satisfactorily. In 1961 he had good reason to want to assure the communists that he had been a Marxist for many years, since at that time he was being challenged by old-time Cuban communists like Anibal Escalante. In 1977 he may have found it convenient to tell the world, and particularly the Third World, that he was a “utopian communist” in his university days, but at the same time, it is probable that he is not now averse to obscuring memories of exactly what he was doing at the university. Marxist or not, he was mixed up in the political gangsterism that stained the University of Havana at the time, and on a number of occasions between 1947 and 1949 he was implicated in murder charges. The Cuban Communist party in the 1940’s and 1950’s, moreover, was not an organization very attractive to a young man interested in power, and Castro was obviously that. Castro always believed in direct action, and the party’s leaders were something of an early version of the sober, cautious Eurocommunists of the 1970’s. In the mid1950’s, the public arguments between the Castroists and the communists over the desirability of an “armed struggle” did not sound like shadowboxing. The Communist party, it has been noted, did not play much of a part in the fight against Batista. Its leaders, indeed, were friendly with Batista’s ministers, some of them having collaborated with Batista during World War II, even serving as ministers in his government. The head of the Cuban party dedicated a book to Batista’s Minister of the Interior as late as 1956. The CIA thought that the Communist party numbered about seventeen thousand in 1958, which would have made it the largest organized party in Cuba, but its electoral showing always had been dismal.

On the whole, it seems likely that Castro—whose speeches even today do not read as if they were being delivered by one who thinks much of Marx (there is scarcely a word of Marxist jargon in them)—wanted to found a radical, nationalist, populist movement which would embark on action, rather than join the passive and ineffective Communist party. Thus, the 26 July Movement (which was named for Castro’s first blow against Batista, a raid on the Moncada barracks at Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1958) grew quickly from its original few dozen, attracting idealists, fighters and opportunists, ex-political gangsters, as well as philanthropists. It no doubt always had the sympathy of some communists, but not of the party’s leadership until 1958.

By the time Castro reached Havana, the 26 July Movement had grown to tens of thousands. No one will ever know how many there actually were in the movement, since no membership cards were ever issued: anyone could grow a beard and call himself a fidelista in early 1959. There was no congress of the movement, few officers, and no agreement on policy. Castro must have kept his eyes open toward the communists from the start, since Russia, the headquarters of the communist world, would be an alternative to the United States as a buyer of sugar and a supplier of arms. No doubt Raúl Castro, as a real communist, and Che Guevara, a long-time communist sympathizer, had been quick to point this out to Fidel. Even so, the thrust of the movement that Castro headed was in the beginning primarily nationalist and not communist, nor even particularly socialist. Castro told Rómulo Betancourt, the democratic President of Venezuela, in early 1959 that he was determined above all to have a row with the United States in order to purge Cuba of many past humiliations at the hands of the “monster of the north,” as the United States had been termed by José Marti, the Cuban nationalist hero of the 1890’s who was one of the chief inspirational figures of Castro’s revolution.

In slightly different circumstances, in a different generation, with a different international posture by the world communist movement, Castro perhaps could have lurched as easily toward the Right, as toward the Left—say, toward Peronism or fascism. Fascist techniques were used so much during the early days of the Cuban revolution in 1959 and 1960 that, indeed, that useful term “fascist left” might have been coined to apply to it. Castro’s cult of heroic leadership, of endless struggle, of exalted nationalism had characterized all fascist movements in Europe. The emotional oratory, the carefully staged mass meetings, the deliberate exacerbation of tension before the “leader” spoke, the banners, and the mob intimidation—all these Castroist techniques recalled the days of Nazism. Castro’s movement gained its initial support less from the organized workers than from the same rootless petty bourgeois classes that supported fascism in Europe in the 1920’s. As in Hitler’s Germany, the workers joined the movement late, only after they saw that it was beginning to be successful and would be in power for a long time.

The temptation, however, for Castro to turn the movement toward communism must have been strong in 1959, since he knew that would be the course which would most infuriate the United States. It was risky to be sure, but he was, above all, the man for risks. As for the old communists, they had in their ranks, as Castro later put it to the New York Times ’s Herbert Matthews, “men who were truly revolutionary, loyal, honest and trained. I needed them.” Castro, no doubt, was surprised by the ease with which the old institutions collapsed before him. They did so because they had been compromised by their support of, or association with, the discredited Batista. Castro could not have known how feeble the liberal response would be, since his own movement had been built partly on liberal enthusiasm. But he did know that if he lost the liberals, he would require a disciplined bureaucracy in their place—“I need them.” That was a true comment on Castro’s association with the communists in 1959.

There is also another simple, but essential point to make: everything in Castro’s past life suggested that if he were faced with having to choose between fidelismo (which would, in the end, imply adopting the rule of law and a risk of losing an election) and communism (which could give him an opportunity to remain in power for a long time), he would choose the latter. The brutality of communist regimes in practice never seemed to trouble him. In February, 1959, he made it perfectly clear that air force officers who had fought for Batista had to be found guilty of war crimes a verdict of innocence, first returned, was rejected. Whatever hesitation Castro did display in 1959 was caused, surely, by anxiety lest an alliance with the communists might give power to them and their secretary-general, and not to himself. He needed to make certain that he could ride the tiger personally before he let it out of its cage. In this, he was showing himself primarily not the communist, but the Latin American caudillo that he really always has been.

Castro began to make use of the communists in the armed forces from the moment he arrived in Havana. Guevara made sure that the files of the BRAC, Batista’s anticommunist police section, were seized immediately after victory. The BRAC’s director was shot without a trial as soon as Castro’s men reached the capital. A prominent communist, Armando Acosta, was made commander of the old fortress of La Punta in Havana as early as January 5,1959—before Castro himself was in the city. Communist “instructors” moved into the army at once. Other communists were utilized from the start in the Institute of Agrarian Reform, which was established in May, 1959. By the end of that year, communists also were being appointed to ministries that were being abandoned by regular civil servants and fidelistas .


This Day In History: 01/01/1959 - Batista Ousted by Castro - HISTORY

This Day in History — February 16

Today is the 47th day of 2021. There are 318 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1959: Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

OTHER EVENTS

1804: US Marines slip into Tripoli harbour and burn US Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured by pirates.

1808: France invades Spain.

1862: General Ulysses Grant demands the Confederate forces' unconditional surrender during America's Civil War. Some 14,000 troops surrender.

1871: Franco-Prussian War ends in defeat for France.

1873: Republic is proclaimed in Spain, but only lasts two years.

1918: England's port of Dover is bombarded by German submarines in World War I.

1923: The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb is unsealed in Egypt.

1933: Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia, fearing German threats, reorganise Little Entente with permanent council.

1936: Left-wing Popular Front wins elections in Spain. Reaction from the military later leads to Spanish Civil War.

1942: German submarines fire upon oil refineries in Aruba, Dutch West Indies, during World War II.

1953: South Africa institutes emergency powers under Public Safety Bill.

1962: Anti-government riots break out in Georgetown, British Guiana.

1977: Anglican Archbishop of Uganda and two government ministers are arrested in alleged plot to overthrow Ugandan President Idi Amin.

1983: “Ash Wednesday” bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim more than 70 lives.

1993: Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his rival, Parliament Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, agree to negotiate a separation of powers.

1994: Greece declares a unilateral embargo on the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in a conflict over the use of the name Macedonia.

1995: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agrees to gradually lift the closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and permit 15,000 Palestinian workers to return to their jobs in Israel.

1997: Rebel leader Laurent Kabila, after a plea from the United Nations, agrees to delay an attack on Zaire's largest refugee camp. The camp in Tingi-Tingi is attacked two weeks later, scattering 170,000 Rwandans.

1999: Kurds occupy and take hostages at the Greek embassies in several European countries to protest Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan's capture by Turkish authorities after he left the Greek Embassy in Kenya.

2004: Kuwait's Parliament decides to investigate charges that a Kuwaiti supplier to a subsidiary of US conglomerate Halliburton charged too much for fuel deliveries to Iraq after the US-led war topples Saddam Hussein.

2006: Haitians celebrate as word quickly spreads that Rene Preval, a former president who is hugely popular among the poor, is declared the winner of the presidential election.

2009: France's top judicial body formally recognises the nation's role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust, but effectively rules out any more reparations for the deportees or their families.

2011: Israel's foreign minister claims that Iran is about to send two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in years, but he offers no evidence. The Egyptian authority that runs the canal denies it.

2013: Reeva Steenkamp's last wish for her family before she is shot dead at boyfriend Oscar Pistorious's home is for them to watch her in a reality TV show that goes on the air in South Africa, two days after her killing. Billy Hunter is ousted as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association by NBA players. Tony Sheridan, 72, a British singer who performed with the Beatles during their early years in Germany, dies in Hamburg.

2017: In the first full-length news conference of his presidency, Donald Trump denounces what he calls the “criminal” leaks that took down his top national security adviser, Michael Flynn. President Trump names Alexander Acosta as his new choice for labour secretary, a day after Andrew Puzder abruptly withdrew. Immigrants around the US stay home from work and school to demonstrate how important they are to America's economy, and many businesses close in solidarity.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish astronomer, (1473-1543) G M Travelyan, British historian (1876-1964) John Schlesinger, English film director (1926-2003) Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader (1942-2011) James Ingram, US singer (1952-2019) Ice-T, US actor/rapper (1958- ) Andy Taylor, guitarist (1961- )


Fulgencio Batista

Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar ( / b ə ˈ t iː s t ə / [1] Spanish: [fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβaɾ] born Rubén Zaldívar, [2] January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and as its U.S.-backed military dictator from 1952 to 1959 before being overthrown during the Cuban Revolution. Batista initially rose to power as part of the 1933 Revolt of the Sergeants, which overthrew the provisional government of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada. He then appointed himself chief of the armed forces, with the rank of colonel and effectively controlled the five-member "pentarchy" that functioned as the collective head of state. He maintained this control through a string of puppet presidents until 1940, when he was himself elected President of Cuba on a populist platform. [3] [4] He then instated the 1940 Constitution of Cuba [5] and served until 1944. After finishing his term, Batista moved to Florida, returning to Cuba to run for president in 1952. Facing certain electoral defeat, he led a military coup against President Carlos Prío Socarrás that pre-empted the election. [6]

Back in power and receiving financial, military and logistical support from the United States government, [7] [8] Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution, granted himself complete power and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans. [9] Eventually it reached the point where most of the sugar industry was in U.S. hands, and foreigners owned 70% of the arable land. [10] As such, Batista's repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba's commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships both with the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large U.S.-based multinational companies who were awarded lucrative contracts. [9] [11] To quell the growing discontent amongst the populace—which was subsequently displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations—Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities secret police to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions. These murders mounted in 1957, as socialist ideas became more influential. Many people were killed, with estimates ranging from hundreds to about 20,000 people killed. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Catalyzing the resistance to such tactics, for two years (December 1956 – December 1958) Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement and other rebelling elements led an urban- and rural-based guerrilla uprising against Batista's government, which culminated in his eventual defeat by rebels under the command of Che Guevara at the Battle of Santa Clara on New Year's Day 1959. Batista immediately fled the island with an amassed personal fortune to the Dominican Republic, where strongman and previous military ally Rafael Trujillo held power. Batista eventually found political asylum in Oliveira Salazar's Portugal, where he first lived on the island of Madeira and then in Estoril. He was involved in business activities in Spain and was staying there in Guadalmina at the time of his death from a heart attack on August 6, 1973. [19]


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