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HIST112 World Civilization II - M07: Discussion (12)

For this week answer each of the following in your original post:

1. Read "Castro's Revolutionary Ideals".

Who is Castro attempting to impress with his speech? Does he appear to have been a Communist at the time he made it? If so, what causes you to think so? If not, what evidence is your position based on? What did Castro intend to accomplish by his revolution in Cuba? On whose behalf does he claim to fight? Do his goals bear any resemblance to those of Emiliano Zapata of Mexico? Why did the United States feel threatened by Castro?

2. Read "The West and Islam" (textbook page 728). How do Middle Easterners perceive Westerners? Why have their perceptions changed?

(1) Castro’s statement, given in his trial and a copy secreted from the courtroom, was a memorized speech entitled “History Will Absolve Me” that he presented to the three-judge panel that sentenced him to 15 years in prison for his part in the attack on Moncada Barracks. Most of the rebels, including Castro, were granted amnesty within a couple of years and Castro took over the country about 4 years after that. I guess he was right to speak to the masses, who were ripe for communist picking. Castro directed his speech to “700,000 Cuban without work”. His Five Revolutionary Ideals are just another modification of the Soviet system, likely influenced by ComIntern directly from Moscow. His revolution is to remove corruption, reestablish a leader decided by the people, and to remove the power of foreign investors. Castro’s Ideals sound similar to Zapata’s in Mexico except for Ideal Five; who will control the confiscated properties and wealth? My guess, Castro and the government. Cuba was not only and economic gold mine for sugar and spices in the US, but it was also a very popular vacation spot for the elite of International cultures, so there would have been significant pressure on the US to preserve the status quo in Cuba, in addition to the whole communism v. capitalism argument.

(2) First off, the Middle East is not entirely Muslim, nor are all Muslims as radical as those who committed the acts of 9/11; in that light, this is just one man’s opinion and I give it little credence after he writes, “Whether based on historical reality or faulty perception...”. After that, it just seemed the rest was just speculation with little true historical value. All the people of the Middle East I have met, both here and there, have not acted anti-Western or even pro-Muslim; they were just trying to get on with their lives like everyone else. Just as in other cultures, economic prosperity has historically given a blind eye to the philosophical/religious practices of the indigenous culture/religion and the Middle East discovery of oil in the midst of the Industrial Revolution began a trend away from traditional Islam, similar to what had occurred to religions/beliefs throughout history. Religions have historically had an ebb and flow like the tide, with the times and the people. Today, Iran is falling to a digital revolution and the oppression of the religious regime, especially against women, is part of the complaints. Technology alters a culture even if it does not want to be altered.

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