Introductory notes for a class on present day economy of Cuba
Por: Dr. Rodolfo Sarracino Magriñat

Rodolfo_Sarracino_MagrinatThe subject of the present economic juncture in Cuba requires at least a brief historic background of US-Cuba relations since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. To ignore this seemingly minor detail would risk confusing the most important issues and problems in our present day economy.
The tyrannical government of Fulgencio Batista, strongly supported by the US government, collapsed the 1st of January, 1959, after it became known he had fled the country to the United States with a group of his closest associates. Initially, the US government recognized the ensuing government of the Cuban Revolution. It was ignored then, but later became known, that early that very same year the CIA began plotting the overthrow of the Revolutionary government led by Fidel Castro.
The events of the next few months set the stage for initial confrontations that led to total deterioration of diplomatic relations between the Cuban Revolutionary and US governments.
One of the initial steps of the Cuban government was to demand, on the 16th of January, 1959, the return of Batista and his associates, accused of war crimes. Ministers and other high officials had left the country to the United States with huge amounts of Cuban government funds stolen from the State treasury. The demand was totally ignored by the US government.
Another decision, which was to identify the Cuban Revolutionary Government democratic style, was the calling of a huge mass meeting of over a million people gathered at the Plaza de la Revolución the 11th of February, in which Cde. Fidel Castro asserted that the Cuban people desired, in addition to democratic, substantive economic reforms as well. Among these, the Agrarian Reform was paramount. On this occasion, Fidel Castro condemned in strong terms US intervention in Cuban internal affairs. This trend continued until Fidel Castro ordered the “immediate” repatriation to their country of US military, naval and air force attachés responsible for the training, both political and military, of the defeated Cuban army, naval and air force officers.

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