HAVANA TIMES – To the American popular eye, pre-revolutionary Cuba was the island of sin, a society consumed by the illnesses of gambling, the Mafia, and prostitution. Prominent American intellectuals echoed that view.
Republic of Cuba (1902–1959)
|Republic of Cuba República de Cuba|
|Religion||Roman Catholic and Santería|
|Government||1902–1940: Unitary presidential republic 1940–1952: Semi-presidential republic 1952–1959: Military dictatorship|
|Vice President||Gustavo Cuervo Rubio|
|Preceded by||Federico Laredo Brú|
|Succeeded by||Ramón Grau|
In the months following the March 1952 coup, Fidel Castro, then a young lawyer and activist, petitioned for the overthrow of Batista, whom he accused of corruption and tyranny. After deciding that the Cuban regime could not be replaced through legal means, Castro resolved to launch an armed revolution.
It began in April 1961 and ended on December 22, 1961, successfully raising Cuba’s literacy rate to nearly one-hundred percent. Before 1959 the literacy rate for Cuba was approximately 77%, as noted by UNESCO. This was the 4th highest rate in Latin America.
It was established in 1898, when the United States took control of Cuba from Spain following the Spanish–American War. The United States used Guantanamo Bay as a processing center for asylum-seekers and as a camp for HIV-positive refugees in the 1990s.
US government-funded Freedom House classifies Cuba as being “Not Free”, and notes that “Cuba is the only country in the Americas that consistently makes Freedom House’s list of the Worst of the Worst: the World’s Most Repressive Societies for widespread abuses of political rights and civil liberties.” In the 2017
After the Spanish–American War, Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris (1898), by which Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam to the United States for the sum of US$20 million and Cuba became a protectorate of the United States.
In 2016 Cuba ranked 68th out of 182 countries, with a Human Development Index of 0.775, much higher than its GDP per capita rank (95th). The country achieved more even distribution of income after the Cuban Revolution of 1953–1959, which was followed by an economic embargo by the United States (1960- ).
Unknown to the Americans, the Soviets had brought some 100 tactical nuclear weapons to Cuba — 80 nuclear-armed front cruise missiles (FKRs), 12 nuclear warheads for dual-use Luna short-range rockets, and 6 nuclear bombs for IL-28 bombers.
After the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, a Cuban exodus began as the new government allied itself with the Soviet Union and began to introduce communism. From 1960 to 1979, tens of thousands of Cubans left Cuba, with the vast majority coming from Cuba’s educated, landowning upper class.
Despite the existence of the embargo, Cuba can, and does, conduct international trade with many countries, including many US allies; however, US based companies which trade in Cuba do so at the risk of US sanctions. Cuba has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 1995.
Cuba has had a socialist political system since 1959 based on the “one state – one party” principle. Cuba is constitutionally defined as a Marxist–Leninist socialist state guided in part by the political ideas of Karl Marx, one of the fathers of historical materialism, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin.
|Total population||97% Ranked 48th.|
|Primary education , duration > Years||6 Ranked 57th. The same as United States|
|Primary education , teachers per 1000||7.87 Ranked 9th. 43% more than United States|
|Pupil-teacher ratio, primary||9.06 Ranked 72nd.|
Returning to Cuba, Castro took a key role in the Cuban Revolution by leading the Movement in a guerrilla war against Batista’s forces from the Sierra Maestra. After Batista’s overthrow in 1959, Castro assumed military and political power as Cuba’s Prime Minister.