Imagine if the Constitution of the United States was erased from existence. If it were, we would be at risk of government officials breaking laws that protect our freedoms and human rights. Instead of democracy, elected leaders, and checks and balances, there would be dictators, anarchy, revolt and genocide. Genocide is a term used to describe a mass killing of a group of people by a dictator. This group can have a certain race, religion, political belief or sexual preference that is opposite of a dictators. A dictator does this to create a country or region that includes people that believes what the dictator believes. This gives the dictator more power and control. The Cuban Revolution in 1953 was no different. Under Batista’s rule, Cuba suffered from many genocides. However, when Castro took over after the Revolution in 1953, the people of Cuba weren’t prepared for what Cuba had in store for them. After the Cuban revolution, genocide continued and became even worse as a method of control under the leadership of Castro.
Before the Cuban Revolution, Cuba was ruled by Fulgencio Batista. Batista started out in the Cuban military at 20 years old (Fulgencio Batista Cuban Dictator). When he was 32, he organized an uprising against the government at that time (Fulgencio Batista Cuban Dictator). Then, when he was 39, Batista ran and was elected President (Fulgencio Batista Cuban Dictator). Eight years after his terms, Batista came back as a dictator. In the six years that he was a dictator, it is said that about 20,000 people were killed by him and his regime (Fulgencio Batista Cuban Dictator). Batista killed many people that were actually innocent. He only suspected that these people were traders of his regime. For example, he has killed and tortured many people for just walking in the same area that his traders have walked (Elio Delgado Legon). It seems like he was very paranoid and wanted people to be afraid of him. There were several known massacres by police and Cuban rural guards. After Batista’s six year reign, Castro took over by gorilla warfare.
The Cuban uprising led by Fidel Castro was about eight years after the end of the Holocaust (Cuba after the Castros). A Jewish lawyer by the name of Raphael Lemkin created the term Genocide and defined it as a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim annihilating the groups themselves. Nazi leaders were later charged with crimes against humanity. This is the first act of genocide that was defined. Genocide has been a part of many communist dictators around the world. After the Holocaust, there were quite a few notes of genocide, notably in Germany, India, and part of Africa. There were no real threats to the Americas until Batista and the Cuban Revolution.
Castro’s regime started with his attacks on Batista. Historians believe that Castro’s democide killed anywhere from 35,000 to 141,000 people (How many Deaths). The term democide is the killing of their own people by the government. Castro didn’t just kill, he imprisoned and tortured. After the Bay of the Pigs Invasion, Castro imprisoned thousands of people in jails. Cuba didn’t have enough jails to spare, so people were jailed in schools and in homes.
Batista and Castro used the same tactics as other dictators in history to appeal followers. We as a society can learn from these controlling rulers in the past to better our future. Mass genocides are formed when people are given too much power. The world could learn many things about these key events in our history given our present situation. Keep your eye on the world for communist leaders such as Batista and Castro.
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