Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution Essay
During Castro’s 30 year reign over Cuba his aims were to take immediate steps to solve the problems of the land, industrialization, housing, unemployment, education and the people’s health* - Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution Essay introduction. However, before determining the extent of his success in achieving those aims, they must all be assessed along with the underlying factors that may have prevented him from achieving those aims. Castro’s most valiant and probably only real lasting successes came from his health care policies and his strong push for educational reform and literacy improvement.
Due to the policies implemented by Castro, by the mid 1970s, Cuba’s health care was number one in Latin America. A specific policy put in place by Castro forced doctors and medical residents to work or practice in rural Cuba for two years, which made it possible for rural residents- the majority of Cuba’s population- to receive adequate medical attention. This led to an increase in the life expectancy of Cuban citizen and also decreased the infant mortality rate. Regarding education, Castro believed it shouldn’t just be a privilege reserved for the wealthy and the elite.
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Before Castro took over government control, thirty percent of farmers couldn’t write their names and ninety-nine percent of them knew nothing of Cuba’s history. * In his efforts to dispel such an atrocity, Castro implemented several policies that would provide educational opportunities for all of Cuba. Under Castro’s policies, Cuban literacy was able to improve to ninety-nine percent in 1990, a major jump that now made Cuba the second most literate country in the world.
With such great success in the health care and educational policies, Castro clearly achieved his aims regarding education and the people’s health. While Castro saw such remarkable success in his medical and educational aims, he wasn’t as successful in his political and economic aspects. While he was able to lower the unemployment rate in Cuba by permitting self-employment, it didn’t so much help the industrial aspect of the economy. One of Castro’s aims was to make Cuba a more industrialized nation, but he saw great difficulty with that due to his relations, or lack thereof, with the U.
S; they owned the majority of the land for the iron ore deposits and factories that built industrial machines. In regards to foreign relations, specifically with the U. S. , I believe this is where Castro had his greatest failure. From the very beginning of his reign, Castro’s had been very ostentatious with his policy, more or less, toward the United States; he wanted Cuba to reduce their economic dependence on the U. S. which in turn led to political complications between the two countries.
It also didn’t help him when he seized land owned by the U. S. in 1950-60. This led to the 1961 embargo that is still in place today which I believe initially took a greatly negative toll on Cuba’s economy. This mixed in with Castro declaring Cuba Socialist, aligning with the soon-to-falter Soviet Union and the complete failure of the non-alignment movement led to many failed successes and really prevented him from achieving his political and economic aims.
After assessing his aims, I believe Castro was successful to the extent that he improved Cuban health care and education and was somewhat able to sporadically improve the economy. On the other hand, his economic pursuits were what Cuba needed, but his political pursuits such as the 3rd world movement, Soviet alignment and his quest to completely outlier the U. S. hindered those economic opportunities. Ultimately, his political and economic failures outweighed his successes in health care and education; they were his greatest downfalls that he wasn’t quite able to get up from.