Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2016

Department

History

First Advisor

Michele Louro

Abstract

Fidel Castro was dictator of Cuba during the years of 1959 up until 2008. He took power after the Cuban Revolution. He is a complicated character in history at best, with most of the world having differing views about his leadership style and political agenda. The great majority opinion of the former Cuban dictator in the United States is one that is unfavorable and negative, often placing Castro in a harsh category that has held the names of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.

Yet outside of the United States view point, Castro has been given praise for being a strong, positive, and indeed beneficial leader to Cuba. A majority of those citizens in Cuba during the revolution supported Castro in his rise to control and power. He has been seen as a savior in their country, freeing them from the former leader Fulgencio Batista. Across the world, he has become a hero and inspiration for many of the poor through his revolution and reform in Cuba.

These variations in opinion of Fidel Castro prompted a question to explore what his true intentions were for his country of Cuba and its people. What were his motives for the revolution, which may influence whether he deserves the praise or the criticism which he has been granted to him for many years across the world. What did Castro hope to gain through the Cuban Revolution and did he achieve what he set out to accomplish through his leadership and power? Were his motivations for gaining complete control of his country? Were they for beneficial reasons, or did he have a more sinister agenda for taking total control? Did he see himself as a hero and champion for his people? Did he see himself as acting in the best interests of the Cuban people?

Through information from his speeches, letters, and interviews during his reign, the evidence yields an answer that Castro is indeed a different beast than those of Hitler and Stalin. His motivations were for the best interests of his people and country. Though he does not do in favor of the United States, he has been a beneficial leader to those who need him to be "the people of Cuba."

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