Cuba: A Short History (Cambridge History of Latin America) by Leslie Bethell

By Leslie Bethell

Cuba: a quick historical past brings jointly 4 chapters from Volumes three, five, and seven of The Cambridge heritage of Latin the US to supply for students, scholars and common readers a concise heritage of this crucial island state. members, most sensible students within the box, hint the political, fiscal, and social improvement of Cuba from the center of the eighteenth century to the current day. The concluding bankruptcy, up to date for this quantity, considers the dilemmas and demanding situations that Castro's Cuba faces within the wake of the Soviet Union's cave in. each one bankruptcy is followed through a bibliographical essay that many readers will locate beneficial.

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Extra info for Cuba: A Short History (Cambridge History of Latin America)

Sample text

Exports to the USA fell from 800,000 tons in 1895 to 225,231 tons in 1896. Thus the crisis in the sugar industry, already plagued by a decline in prices and growing international competition, became more acute in 1895, creating a favourable atmosphere for a new rebellion. The opening of the Second War of Independence centred on Jose Marti, the man who forged the union of Cuban patriots and founded the Cuban Revolutionary party. Born in Havana on 28 January 1853 of Spanish parents, Marti was a gifted child.

Ours', he wrote, 'is the Cuban flag, the one for which so many tears and blood have been s h e d . . '15 The following year municipal elections were held in Cuba. Much to the disappointment of the Americans, nationalistic candidates won almost everywhere. '16 In the United States anti-imperialist groups joined Democrats in attacking the 'colonialist' policies of the McKinley administration. In May 1900 large-scale embezzlements in the Havana post office were exposed, offering several Democratic senators an opportunity to demand American withdrawal.

The political situation, however, was less encouraging. Lacking any tradition of self-government or political discipline, with a low level of public education, and impoverished by the war, the Cubans found themselves trapped between growing American control of land and sugar, and Spanish domination of commerce, virtually guaranteed by the peace treaty between the USA and Spain. Politics thus became the principal avenue to economic improvement and one access to national resources. Consequently, political parties quickly became what Gonzalez Lanuza, a distinguished university professor, called 'co-operatives organized for bureaucratic consumption'.

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