This essay will attempt to show how the vision of a people's republic was maintained such that the US blockade failed to lead to a rejection of Fidel and Cuban socialism. It will be assessed through a series of economic and social case studies that underpin Cuban society today, in its successful socialist state.
Cuba has great symbolic importance in the region and is unique in the world as a strikingly successful and continuing socialist revolution. Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba in 1959, as a culmination of the revolution. As part of his revolutionary reforms, the Cuban government expropriated large U.S. estates, oil refineries, and other economic assets. He also allied himself with the Communist Party and fostered a strong ally in the America’s Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, from whom Cuba received annual subsidies worth $4-5 billion. As a result, American relations with Cuba were cut off both diplomatically and economically, the United States tried unsuccessfully to overthrow Castro, and Cold War tensions escalated dangerously and dramatically during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, Castro is still in power, U.S./Cuban relations remain cool, and the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba continues.
Prior to the revolution, Cuba was considered to be one of the higher income countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1950s. It was rather urbanised than most countries in the Latin American region, with 55% of its population living in urban areas.
Illiteracy was estimated officially about 22%. However, the distribution of health service and education was unequal between urban population and rural population. Indeed, poverty was severe in the pre-revolutionary Cuba. One third of the urban population and nearly two thirds of that in rural areas suffered from malnutrition. The ownership of agricultural land was extremely concentrated and the economy of the country was deeply dependant on sugar export to USA.
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