- Pre-Hispanic Cuba
- Spanish Conquest
- Spanish Colonization
- Towards Independence
- Spanish American War
- Independence with U.S. Dominion
- The Batista Regime
- The Castro Regime
- Cuba Today
The Castro Regime
Fidel Castro was named prime minister, supported by students, urban and rural workers and young professionals and he embarked on a host of reforms, affecting Cuba’s economy, expropriating private property and farms and nationalizing U.S.-owned petroleum refineries and other holdings. This only served to further deteriorate the already shaky relations between U.S. and Cuba – in fact, diplomatic relations have ceased altogether ever since.
The island was in desperate need for economic support, especially when the U.S. cut Cuban sugar imports. The U.S. also retaliated by sending an army of 1400 Cuban expatriates trained by the CIA and avid Batista supporters to attack the island at the Bay of Pigs. The campaign was extremely unsuccessful. Castro, who began voicing his support for socialist ideals, turned to the Soviet Union for support, who responded immediately. They not only sent food and supplies, but also nuclear war heads, which led to increasing tensions with the U.S. and the Soviet bloc, coming extremely close to disaster.
The only success Castro has had with regard to his policy objectives was to provide adequate medical care for all Cubans, regardless of social standing, as well as high quality education for all citizens. However, Cuba is not a strong, self-sufficient economy as Castro had hoped, and the island continues to struggle economically.
Given Cuba’s intent on spreading revolutionary ideas through guerilla warfare in Latin American countries at one stage, most of these nations, except Mexico cut diplomatic and economic ties with the island. These were later reassumed. Ties with the Soviet Union diminished when Eastern Europe collapsed.