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Protests In Cuba And The Cuban Crisis

 

Relevance

  • GS 1: History of the world will include events from 18th century.

 

Context

  • The people in Cuba are protesting against the government due to the prevailing economic situation and the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Key points

  • About Cuba

    • Cuba is a Latin American country under an authoritarian communist regime for the last six decades.
    • It is primarily a Spanish speaking population and has a GDP of around $ 100bn.
    • The majority of the population in this country follows Christianity.
  • About the protest

    • The protest started due to the economic crisis, which is worst since the fall of the Soviet Union.
    • People took to the streets due to food shortages, rising cases of COVID-19 and severe electricity blackouts in the country.
    • These domestic issues, coupled with the economic sanctions put by the US government, under Trump, has further exacerbated the situation.
    • The COVID-19 followed by the nationwide lockdown has put a strain on the people who depended on the tourism sector—particularly the taxi drivers and the tradesmen.
  • Steps by the government

    • The government allowed private businesses to operate in most sectors of the national economy, an unusual measure from a communist country.
    • The authorised industries have seen a sudden rise and the majority of them are held privately.
    • The government has accused the US-based supporters of fuelling the protests.

 

Protests In Cuba And The Cuban Crisis_50.1

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Reaction from the world

  • US President, Joe Biden, came out in support of the Cuban people and supported their call for ‘freedom’.
  • Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, however, gave a mild response and called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing protest.
  • While Russia warned against outside interference over the protests.

 

Significance

  • The magnanimity of the protest and the international reaction that followed, has brought the island country into the limelight.
  • The contradictory responses of the US and Russia have reminded of the Cuban crisis of 1962, the epicentre of the Cold War.

 

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Cuban Missile Crisis

  • After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, which was aimed at overthrowing Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba, Castro asked for help from the Soviets against any future US aggression.
  • Khrushchev, the President of the Soviet, installed nuclear weapons in the country, which were directed towards the US.
  • Khrushchev argued that it was for the protection of Cuba, while the hidden objective was to alter the global power in favour of the Soviets.
  • After the US get to know about these developments, its President, J.F.Kennedy, established a naval blockade to prevent more missiles from reaching Cuba and asked the Soviets to remove those already established.
  • This whole episode is referred to as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

 

How did it end?

  • The crisis ended with a peace deal between the US and Russia, whereby both the countries agreed to reduce the tensions. However, Cold War was far from over. This crisis has further amplified the arms build-up of both the countries, which ended only after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

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