Castro's Policies and Impact - Castro\u2019s Policies and Impact Context \u25cf For the most part Castro\u2019s economic policies which were focused on the

Castro's Policies and Impact - Castro’s Policies and...

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Castro’s Policies and Impact Context For the most part, Castro’s economic policies which were focused on the redistribution of income, helped to maintain the legitimacy of his rule (benefited poor people). Much of Castro’s early economic policy was geared towards industrialization and improving lives of workers The Early Years (1959-1968) New government moved quickly to benefit the poorest in Cuba Economic Policies Agriculture Minimum wage introduced in 1959 for sugar-cane cutters May 1959-Castro announced “Agrarian Reform Act” All latifundia (large estates) broken up into smaller units - owner could keep 1000 acres, rest liable to expropriation About 40% of Cuban farmland was expropriated and divided up into individual plots of 67 acres for landless plantation workers and peasants Larger farms ran as states farms Considered as moderate land reform (but landowning class opposed) Many US companies owned large estates Industry 1959 - real wages of non-agricultural workers rose sharply and rents for cheaper urban dwellings were reduced by 50% Prices of utilities reduced 300,000 tons of Soviet crude oil delivered to Cuba; Castro nationalized foreign oil refineries in June 1960 October 1960 - 382 Cuban firms were socialized (public ownership) More centralized approach to economy, command economy, was seen as the quickest way to ensure economic growth Main aim of early economic policy was rapid industrialization
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1960 - 80% of industry under state control and produced 90% of Cuba’s exports 1961 - Che Guevara became minister of industries; wanted to diversify the industry but huge debate about how to best bring diversification began Central state ministries established and Central Planning Board (Juceplan) in charge of drawing up 4-year plans. According to historian Bethel, these plans were unrealistic and unrealizable 1963 - problems evident; Castro went to USSR and economics. Changes announced - Guevara’s plans for diversification abandoned - Soviet assistance given to concentrate Cuba on sugar production 1968 - signs of emerging economic crisis The Soviet Camp Agriculture 1960-1990 - production of sugar grew by 40%, but when unpaid overtime (“voluntary labor”) became mandatory and material incentives were removed - dissatisfaction led to falling yields Battle for Sugar - (November 1969-July 1970) - goal set to increase sugar harvest to 10 million tons (unrealistic target) Failed to meet the target but yielded 8.5 million tons - highest in Cuba’s history; overall improved production After 1970, Cuba helped by soaring price of sugar (80% of all Cuba’s exports) Industry By 1968, Cuba increasingly dependent on the Soviet Union; by 1970 - massive
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  • Fall '18
  • Planned economy, ■ Castro

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