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The Problem of Leadership in Cuba, Mexico and Brazil - Essay Example

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The Problem of Leadership in Cuba, Mexico and Brazil 1. Introduction Most countries in Central America and Latin America have deeply troubled histories in terms of governance that shifted from colonial masters to the ruling elite often on the backs of black slaves, mulattos and white revolutionaries…
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The Problem of Leadership in Cuba, Mexico and Brazil
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Download file to see previous pages 2. Cuba The Cuban tale of independence was preceded by two more important events namely the independence of Haiti in 1791 and the call for independence from Spain in the 1820’s. The Haitian revolution had proven beyond doubt that people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds could operate together to subdue not one but three colonial powers to claim their independence. The Cuban revolution and its constituents resembled the Haitian insurgents in racial composition as the call to arms was taken up by blacks, mulattos and whites alike. Previously the Cuban domain had remained faithful to Spain even though other nations were claiming their independence. Cuba was given the motto “The Always Most Faithful Island” by the Spanish Crown although small plans for insurgency had been unearthed throughout the 1830’s and 1840’s. The loyalty towards the Spanish Crown stemmed from dependence on Spain for trade as well as protection from pirates and unease at the rising power of the United States. The actual insurgency was initiated by Carlos Manuel De Cespedes who was a sugar plantation owner. Carlos freed his slaves and declared that any slaves who were presented for military service would be freed. The conflict emerged in 1868 and became known as the Ten Years War with the emergence of a new government supported by blacks, mulattos and white men. Throughout the struggle race was nearly dismantled as a classification as white men served under blacks and blacks and mulattos rose to prominence as colonels, generals and the like. The newly formed government was not recognised by the United States though other European and Latin American governments recognised it. The war ended in 1878 with the Pact of Zanjon as Spain promised greater autonomy to Cuba. In the following year another insurgency was initiated by a Cuban patriot better known as Calixto Garcia. This effort was labelled as the Little War but it received little support. Slavery was abolished generally in Cuba following these events and abolition was completed in the 1880’s. The next conflict in Cuba emerged in 1895 with forces led by Jose Marti who was finally killed in the battle of Dos Rios on May 19, 1895. The large Spanish army outnumbered the insurgents as local people were forced into concentration camps by the military governor of Cuba. The final end of the war in 1898 placed leadership in the hands of the influential whites and some mulattos. Following independence Cuba saw social and political corruption along with short regimes that boomed and waned in rapid succession till the socialist revolution. 3. Mexico Mexico was ruled by a republican general Porfirio Diaz who took over Mexico during the French intervention. Porfirio was in charge of the country from 1876 to 1880 and then from 1884 to 1911 through five consecutive reelections and the period became known better as Porfirio. This era was characterized by large progress in economics as well as the arts and sciences though economic disparity was on the rise along with political repression. Election fraud associated with Diaz’s fifth election instigated the Mexican Revolution of 1910 which was led by Francisco I. Madero forcing Diaz to resign in 1911. However Francisco was overthrown only two years later in a coup by the conservative general Victoriano Huerta which put the nation into another civil war ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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