America's Interests and Involvement in Cuba Term Paper

Pages: 13 (4606 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American

Americas interests & Involvement in Cuba




Sources of the revolution

Nationalism, economic, social, political.


The view from the United States

The Revolution and the American intervention

Reactions in Cuba

Reactions around the world

The Cuban Revolution can be considered to be one of the most important events that took place in Latin America during the Cold War. Although the scale of the actions that led to the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista's regime was somewhat reduced to the Cuban region, the impact it had, particularly in the economy of the Cold War's balance of power and confrontation between the capitalist and the communist structures was indeed an important factor for the way in which events would later develop. Probably the most relevant proof in this sense is the current situation in Cuba. Despite the fact that Fidel Castro has step down, after fifty years of communist rule, the shift of power did not occur on a radically different line, but rather it seems that Raul Castro's leadership will only follow the path of his brother Fidel. Thus, it can be said that the regime that took control of Cuba in the late 50s has deep roots in all sectors of the Cuban politics, economics, and even social strata.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on America's Interests and Involvement in Cuba Assignment

Therefore, from the perspective of the present reality, it is important to consider the way in which the Cuban Revolution impacted the direction the country would embark on for the next decades. An essential factor to be taken into account however is the stand of the United States, taking into account the historical issues that have influenced the bilateral relations, especially the connections during the Cold War. It has been widely considered the fact that the United States played a significant role in the conduct of the revolution. However, in order to see the U.S.'s attitude towards the events and to offer possible motivations for its current attitude towards the Cuban state, it is important to consider its actual involvement and intervention in the events that would ultimately establish the Castro regime.

Historical background

The history of the Cuban island has been influenced by different colonial powers and was the subject of various foreign policy decisions throughout time. As a Spanish colony, in the 19th century, it drew the attention of the United States, especially after the statement concluded by the Monroe Doctrine which denied any right of the European countries to further interfere in the issues concerning Latin America. More precisely, in 1823 it was stated that "it is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in hope that other powers will pursue the same course" (the Avalon Project, 1996).

Having in mind the official position of the American States in regard to their own duty and self considered right to reign supreme in Latin America, the Ostend Manifest of 1854 came as a natural consequence through which the U.S. would purchase Cuba. In this secret diplomatic arrangement, it was stated that "an immediate and earnest effort ought to be made by the government of the United States to purchase Cuba from Spain at any price for which it can be obtained, not exceeding the sum of $ (...) it must be clear to every reflecting mind that, from the peculiarity of its geographical position, and the considerations attendant on it, Cuba is as necessary to the North American republic as any of its present members, and that it belongs naturally to that great family of states of which the Union is the providential nursery" (Sierra, n.d.) However, despite the efforts made by the American diplomacy, the offer was eventually rejected and the Cuba territory would remain under the Spanish rule for a few decades more.

The independence from Spain however, took place in the early 20th century with the direct help of the United States. The Cuban people were becoming aware of the continuous subjugation attempts by the Spanish crown and were unable to support the pressures, both political and financial that Spain was making. Thus, it launched a liberation movement that would eventually result on Cuba's independence in 1908. However, this could not have been achieved without the direct involvement of the U.S. In this sense, by the end of the 19th century, both the political factions as well as the public opinion were in agreement relative to the future situation of the Cuban island. More precisely, the majority argued for an independent Cuba that would no longer be forced to consider the difficulties of the Spanish crown. (Deere, 1998, 730-1)

At the same time however, there were also political and economic reasons which motivated President McKinley to send troops in Cuba in the late 19th century to stop the ongoing war between the Cuban insurgents and the Spanish rule. Therefore, studies have pointed out that "In 1898 the United States became an empire (...) that would include noncontiguous colonial territories. By 1903 there were 37 American colonies in Cuba; a decade later there were 64.2 and by the end of the second decade of the twentieth century there were approximately 80 foreign colonies in Cuba" (Deere, 1998, 730-2). Therefore, the interest for the U.S. were related to the establishment of an increased power post in Cuba largely because of the business conducted with sugar, tobacco, and slaves. In this contest, the issue of an independent Cuba was addressed by the U.S. president who opted for the Teller Amendment which represented a diplomatic means of justifying the intervention in Cuba "for pacification" (Sierra, n.d.)

The independence of Cuba in 1902 represented an important history point in the development of the relations in the region from more points-of-view. On the one hand, an independent Cuba implied the fact that the Spanish rule was no longer an issue for the country itself as well as for the region. Taking into account the fact that even though colonialism was losing its intensity especially after the end of the British rule in the U.S., the European influence was still a matter of debate in the American hemisphere, Cuba's independence was another proof that Spain and in general the countries from the continent were starting to be faced with strong opposition from nation countries rather than colonies. On the other hand, Spain was the European country which in time challenged the American supremacy in North and Latin America. Thus, when Spain was forced to give up Cuba, it signified the ceding of its influence in Latin America and a success of the Monroe Doctrine. Little by little, the U.S. would extend its political protection over countries, a process which included however Cuba as well.

From the political point-of-view, the situation in Cuba after its independence can be characterized by a state of dependence on the U.S. More precisely, after the war with Spain, Cuba relied heavily on the protection of the United States against a possible retaliation from Spain. This attitude was even considered in the official papers of the time. More precisely, "the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba" (Editorial Comment, 1907). Therefore, it can be said that the early history of the independent Cuba was strongly related to the influence of the United States; at the same time, the security of Cuba was an essential issue for the U.S.

From an economic point-of-view, Cuba was also part of a wider strategic framework conducted by the United States. Although the level of economic dependency in the world was a small part of the degree of interdependence at the moment, the economic relations of Cuba was strongly related to the policy of the United States. The best considered areas of trade were the sugar and the tobacco industry. In this sense, in the 19th century, Cuba was one of the leading sugar producers in the world, an element for which Spain was reluctant to give up its claims on the island. However, "the rise of sugar also linked Cuba to the United States, a thriving market with limited domestic sugar production. In 1884, when a collapse in international sugar prices pushed many Cuban sugar mills… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"America's Interests and Involvement in Cuba."  March 19, 2008.  Accessed October 21, 2021.