Friday, January 3, 2014

The Special Period -- Cuba After 1991

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Castro had to reevaluate Cuba's international market, particularly Cuba's relationship with the United States.  To what extent did Castro reopen the doors to the West in Cuba's post-Soviet days?  How did different US administrations receive this relationship?  Consider how George W. Bush equates Castro as part of the 'Axis of Evil' in 2002 (p. 227).

13 comments:

  1. In further reading I change my answer to no

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  2. After further consideration, I will change my answer to yes

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    1. I agree with Rob, but only partially. Ultimately, I side with Dave on the issue.

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  3. Prior to 2002 it seemed that Castro was really reopening the doors to the West. The US dollar became a legal currency in Cuba, American tourists were encouraged to visit, and several agreements were formed that created better relations between Cuba, the USA, and the rest of the EU. But then Castro began to somewhat randomly turn around, in fear of being viewed as "a fully open society", I guess. And then with his suppression of the Varela Project, Bush equated Castro as part of the "axis of evil."

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  4. After realizing his economy was in shambles after the dissipation of the Soviet Union, Castro knew he needed to make some concessions to the West. The article states that he opened up a bit by doing things such as allowing the US currency to be used in Cuba, letting Cubans move to the US and establishing better relationships with the European Union. However even though he has made these concessions, it is evident that Castro was still going to be strict on the idea of Cuba being an authoritative nation. He even went so far as reversing his earlier acceptance of the Varela Project (which would have gave the Cuban people more civil rights) and sentencing its supporters to prison.

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  5. Castro's attempt to reopen the doors to the US and the West as a whole were purely out of desperation, and were treated as such. Cuba's embargo was not lifted by the US, and only currency was really exchanged. This was meant to be a sign to the US that Castro was willing to talk, but the US did not budge in trade talks. In typical Castro fashion, he revoked his own plan after its failure, making it seem like the attempt never happened.

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  6. Though Castro's beard received much respect, ultimately it was unable to win over the love of the west. So he had to change his motives. Like jack said, it was out of shear desperation, a plan B if you will as he was so sure that the beard would win the hearts and minds of the vast majority that he appeared to be unprepared. And the unpreparedness cost him. Ultimately only the currency was exchanged.

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  7. Castro re-opened the doors to the West after post-Soviet days to a mediocre extent. The text says: "Castro himself made a number of adjustments to indicate that in the post-Soviet era he was prepared to make concessions in Cuba's interest". US currency was now legal, tourist were welcomed, and he made an agreement with Clinton for Cubans to leave the US. I agree with Jack to a certain extent- these gestures may have been purely out of desperation. Cuba was only somewhat open- authoritarianism prevent Cuba from becoming too open.

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  8. like everyone else has said before me. with no where else to turn Castro looked to the US for help but not totally whole heartedly incase of failure. though Tourism and currency became more available and accepted trade did not really open up, Cuban cigars are actually still illegal today I think. Castro never changed his ideals about how a government ought to run and when it comes to the US it's their way or the highway so their relationship with Cuba could never really work, they simply didn't have enough in common and the US never truly forgot Cuba cheating with the USSR.

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  9. When their friend the soviet union collapsed, Cuba knew it had to open its doors to the rest of the world. the old way of doing things was over and in order to survive Castro had to become friends with the enemy. When he did this Cuba flourished. it become a spot of tourism and heavy trade with the US. But i think that Castro realized that this wasn't the Cuba that he wanted and thats why he seemed to just end his relationship with the US. I think that it was a mistake associating Cuba with the Axis of Evil but hey thats Bush for ya.

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  10. Ever since the collapse of USSR in 1991, Castro started to sought to adjust Cuba to new situation, Castro has no other choice since Cuba lost its biggest sugar buyer and
    dropped its income by nearly 50 percent, he has no choice but to open half of its doors to avoid economy crisis, food shortage, and the american embargo. Castro seem still stubborn with his ideally authoritian state policy that he is willing to reverse his tollerence of Varela Project and went back to his own way of punishing and imprisoning oppoments.

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