The Role of Nationalism in Castro’s Regime in Cuba
The subject of Nationalism has defined politics over the years. This paper examines the regime of Fidel Castro and takes into account the role of nationalism during his reign. …
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In this regard, nationalism is better understood as the identification of people to a nation. It is the notion that people from the same nation share similar interests and values particular only to themselves. It is however of important to note that people use nationalism in different ways and have different ideologies regarding the whole subject. Castro arose to power in 1959 after leading a nationalist revolution that overthrew the previous government. He attempted to manifest nationalism through two ways i.e. socialism and communism. From the analysis and review of various literatures, I therefore argue that nationalism in Cuba was a repression to support Castro’s government.
Role of nationalism in Castro’s reign
Before he came into power, Castro was viewed as a nationalist and this saw him lead a revolution that brought him into power through support from various nationalists. This move was however not supported by the U.S because they did not want a charismatic nationalist like Castro to lead Cuba. In any case, the United States had a lot of vested interest in the country and needed a leader they could manipulate, certainly not Castro .
Castro came up with an ideology of getting people to work for the benefit of all and not just individuals. During his reign, he valued national land and he did positive work for the people. This was seen when he bought back foreign owned land that was Cuban. He allowed Cuba to be run by its people. Through this, he garnered a lot of support from the masses. However, he later changed and became a communist when he integrated with the Soviet Union which put this imposition on him. This changed the notion of nationalism and it is from this perspective he used the nationalist ideology as a way of suppressing people. However he continued gaining much support from the people even as his regime became more despotic. Nationalism was one of the core elements in Castro’s platform. His core punch line was ‘with Fidel everything, against Fidel Nothing’2. In this case, those who opposed him were viewed as enemies of the state and had no place in Cuba. This propelled people to be in support of him even if his ideologies were unfavorable. No one among his elites questioned his role as a demonstration of nationalism. He used a manifestation of culture in nationalism by announcing to upper and middle classes that he shared their cultural and ideological prejudices. This was a form of communism whereby this people were to continue enjoying their employment as well as other benefits if they were in support of him. He moved to nationalize Cuba schools, industries and hospitals. This was a way of imposing communist tendencies into the country. This in essence was to have control over this institutions keeping in mind that these people could support him and not oppose him in order for their institutions to succeed. However, many people faced many challenges such as the scarcity of jobs in the country. Because of the great economic hardships, the workers were less likely to oppose him. This therefore justifies that nationalism was a form of repression. He used nationalism to counter policies that were against his regime. An example of such policy was the economic Embargo from the United States which wanted to see him out of power but he got support out of nationalism because of the notion that a sovereign society was not to get interference from other states. Because the United States had opposed him as a result of his communist ties, they did not get support from the people hence he continued to reign. He used unfriendly policies from the U.S in order to stir up nationalism hence convincing a lot of Cubans. This again was a repression on the ideology of nationalism. H
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