Although it is certain that Fidel Castro and Fulgencio Batista would not have been able to peacefully sit in the same room together, they are alike in more ways than either man would ever have liked to admit. When reviewing the effects they had on Cuban history, many similarities could be noted. At the very start of each man’s political career, he overthrew his predecessor using some sort of militant force. In Batista’s case, this was achieved by staging a coup with military backing.
For Castro, he was a main figurehead in the Cuban Revolution who eventually emerged as Cuba’s leader for many years to come. At the onset of both leader’s career’s as Cuba’s leader, Batista and Castro were admired by the majority of the public, but they went on to establish dictatorships and suspended the constitution, thus were later disliked by many. Both Batista and Castro contributed to the extremism of Cuba’s military/political history. As many Cuban leaders had done before him, Fulgencio Batista was part of a militant movement that overthrew his predecessor, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes y Quesada.
During this movement, Batista was chief staff of the army, which eventually led to his attaining control of Cuba. In a similar manner, Fidel Castro overthrew Batista. Instead of staging a coup, Castro was the leader of the best organized force of anti-Batista groups during the Cuban Revolution. Because of the guerilla warfare that Castro and other groups were waging against Batista, he eventually resigned from office and fled to the country.
Cuba’s political history carries a pattern: when the masses are disillusioned by the current ruler, they turn to a young, strong-willed leader-of-the-people as their new ruler, only to become disillusioned to that ruler when he becomes too oppressive. It has seemed a never- ending cycle. Batista and Castro were both well-regarded leaders initially who appealed strongly to the masses and common citizen. Later, both established dictatorships and lost the support of many of those that they governed. Castro and Batista are each guilt of repression and corruption within their governments.
For example, at some point under each regime, the constitution was either suspended or not followed at all. Castro did, though, make one very important contribution to Cuba’s political system: Socialism. For the first time, Castro and Che Guevara a socialist plan called the New Man theory which called for developing an ideology amongst citizens that would call for working not for personal enrichment, but for social betterment. As part of Socialism, no one would work for personal profit but for the good of all Cubans. In Castro’s famous speech, he stated, \”history will absolve me.
Ironically Castro was speaking against the punishment of his acts against the Batista administration. Currently, Castro is regarded as a dictator and a tyrant who is repressive and mistreats his citizens. At the time of his speech, he vocalized his certainty that his acts were, and would always be, moral and just. Castro, as Batista and others before them, played many roles in the history of Cuba, each very different from the others. Yet, it is Cuba’s thick history that has made it the strong, thriving country that it is today.