The most transformative event for Latin America would have to be the Cuban Revolution. It all began when when Sergeant Fulgencio Batista seized power during a election. Batista had been president from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1952. When it became apparent that he would lose, he took power before the elections and cancelled them. The people in Cuba were disgusted with his power grab, which left them preferring Cuba’s democracy. Fidel Castro being a rising political maker, decided to plot against Batista. On the July 26, 1953, Castro made his move.
In order to suceed, he needed weapons, therefore he chose to attack the Moncada Barracks. He had 138 men attacked the compound at dawn: it was hoped that the element of surprise would make up for the rebels’ lack of numbers and arms. The attack was a fiasco almost from the start and the rebels were routed after a firefight that lasted a few hours. Many were captured. Fidel and his younger brother escaped, but were captured later. But Fidel being an attorney, was able to turn the tables on Batista by making the trial about the power grab.
Basically, his argument was that as a loyal Cuban, he had taken up arms against the dictatorship because it was his civic duty. He made long speeches and the government tried to shut him up. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. But somehow manage to become a nationally recognized figure and a hero to many poor Cubans. Even other rebel groups took up the fight as well. They stood behind Castro, giving Batista no choice but to leave. He and his inner circle, took what loot they could gather up and fled. Batista authorized some of his subordinates to deal with Castro and the rebels.
The people of Cuba took to the streets, joyfully greeting the rebels. Little did the people now that Castro was a communist and that change was going to happen. The revolution in Cuba was a disaster, especially for the Cuban people. There was no free thought or artistic freedom. Anyone who dissented against Castro was jailed, tortured, and sometimes murdered. The Cuban people also lost their economic freedom and any chance of upward mobility. Their socialist economy has produced a scarcity of even the basic necessities of life.
Most countries in the world trade with Cuba, but they still live in overty unimagined in the U. S. All classes lost, except for the ruling communists. Under Batista, who was no angel as well, Cubans never took the drastic steps to escape their homeland that are now common. After the revolution countless Cubans risked everything, including their lives, by taking to the sea in rickety boats in a desperate attempt to reach the U. S. The Cuban revolution is on going. It depends on which side you support or your politics that will sway your opinion. Nevertheless, Cuba will return to a U. S. like democracy as soon as the dollars flow in.
It has been known that Cuba would become more democratic and more free. However, corruption in Cuba’s socialist government was minimal, and was zero when compared with the corruption of U. S. supported governments in Cuba. Now compare the Revolution of Mexico to Cubas. Mexico developed a sense of identity and purpose. They also established guidelines for future Mexican policies and Leaders. Porfirio Diaz was the leader of an undemcratic Mexico that was an alliance of the military, foreign interests, wealthy farm owners, and the Catholic Church.
Actually, the governments that followed promised a republic, but did not deliver. Later on Emiliano Zapata, became the symbol of land reform and proud ideological purity, has become an international icon for just rebellion against a corrupt system. Though he was later on murdered, he is forever remembered as a hero. The effects of both these revolutions brought changes to their countries. In some matter the change was not good, like in Cuba. It still is the same, being said that it’s a communist country. Mexico in the other hand became more democratic, therefore the people have a little more say I what they want.
Courtney from Study Moose
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