Transformative Triumphs: Fidel Castro's Revolution and Cuba's Rise to Excellence

July 19, 2023
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The investigator resolved to delve into this subject because the researcher aspired to acquaint themselves with the history of Cuba, particularly focusing on one of its most renowned historical events. The investigator found the topic inherently captivating and deemed it crucial due to its significance in Caribbean History, international relations, and current affairs.

During the pre-revolutionary stages, Cuban society was engulfed in vices such as gambling, prostitution, and the influence of the Mafia. At that time, Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar, seemingly a "Puppet President" for the United States, exercised complete control over Cuba, leading to immense suffering among its people. The literacy rate, infrastructure, and medical services were in a deplorable state. However, everything changed for the better after Castro's Revolution in 1959.

For some years, education in Cuba was abysmal, with young children from economically challenged backgrounds lacking access to proper schooling. According to 'Columbus to Castro,' "27 percent of urban children and 61 percent of rural children were not attending school," with "slightly over 50 percent of peasants unable to read or write; 43 percent being completely illiterate, and 44 percent having never attended school."

Under Batista's regime, an education-for-profit system was adopted, making it difficult for the less fortunate to afford the education they needed. However, after Fidel Castro's Revolution, he targeted the most pressing issues in Cuba.

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In 1961, the Cuban Literacy Campaign was launched, resulting in over 700,000 Cubans becoming literate in less than a year. The campaign ensured equal educational opportunities for everyone, especially those who couldn't afford luxuries during Batista's regime. Despite threats to their lives, teachers and students united to improve the country. The Cuban Literacy Campaign is renowned as one of the most ambitious and organized literacy campaigns globally, with a goal to eradicate illiteracy. Nevertheless, Cuba's achievements go beyond its exceptional educational program. Prior to the 1960s, health services and facilities were primarily concentrated in urban areas, leaving the rural population underserved. According to Columbus to Castro, "The peasantry were isolated due to the state of the roads," and "one doctor served more than 2,000 persons in rural areas." The majority of the population had poor diets, with less than half being able to afford poultry, and none having access to vegetables.

Nevertheless, Cuba managed to produce exceptional doctors despite the lack of proper resources such as medical beds, up-to-date medical tools, gauze, and other necessary medical supplies. In the following years, Cuba upgraded its medical services and supplies, thanks in part to the establishment of the Escuela Latino Americana de Medicina by Fidel Castro in 1998. Castro even sent some of the country's best doctors to Africa during the Cold War to aid in battles. Today, Cuba's medical services and public institutions stand as a testament to Castro's goal of providing accessible healthcare for all, including the economically challenged.

The inadequate infrastructure was another major challenge Cuba faced. As stated in 'Columbus to Castro,' "75 percent of rural dwellings were huts made from palm trees," highlighting the widespread lack of sturdy housing. The roads were in poor condition, and basic amenities like toilets, refrigeration facilities, inside running water, and electricity were scarce. Limited health and educational facilities were available to the general public. However, significant changes were implemented over time.

Within the first six months after the revolution, 600 miles of roads were constructed. Additionally, plans were announced for sewage and water schemes in rural areas at a substantial cost. Castro also prioritized education and built numerous tertiary schools. This demonstrated his commitment to providing equal treatment for all Cubans, ensuring improved accessibility through infrastructural development. When asked about the extent to which Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution changed the lives of Cubans, the researcher conducted an investigation to arrive at a conclusion. Castro went above and beyond to improve the lives of his people after the revolution.

Before Castro's revolution, Cuba's education system was deplorable, benefiting only a small percentage of the population. However, less than a year after the revolution, the literacy rate in Cuba improved significantly, thanks to Fidel Castro's "Campaign against Illiteracy" launched in 1961. A substantial number of individuals learned to read and write proficiently. The difference before and after the revolution was stark, and to this day, Cuba's education sector continues to thrive and produce impressive results. Similarly, the healthcare system in Cuba was in dire straits, with financially challenged individuals struggling to access medical facilities, particularly in rural areas. Castro's efforts changed the landscape, providing free healthcare facilities accessible to all, including foreigners who sought treatment at the medical institute he founded.

Cuba's infrastructure presented its own set of challenges, encompassing transportation, running water, sewage, electricity, and more. Fidel Castro made every effort to bring about the necessary changes and fixes, overcoming obstacles along the way. While some might not agree with his methods, it cannot be denied that his revolution greatly improved the lives of many. Even today, the education sector and healthcare services in Cuba remain at their best, although they continue to face various challenges. Castro's profound impact on his people endures.

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