Political Culture in Cuba Essay

Political culture  affects political system of the country, since it influences state political system and civil society. In authoritarian cultures, such as Cuba, political culture can be closely interconnected with ideology. In contrast to ideology, political culture can be presented as broader concept. Cuban political culture went through major transformation after the revolution. The revolution has changed political, civil and cultural system of the country and gave birth to new kind of civil society.  New culture, which is developed in the country for the present moment is the result of the revolutionary process, which took place in the country. In general, political culture is used to distinguish complex relations between an individual and the state. These relations may include state protection of individual and community rights, electoral rights, access to social right. All these elements form a civility, which went through major transformation in Cuba after the revolution.  Political culture influences mostly social values. At the same time, in Cuba it is hard to distinguish the difference between political culture and ideology.

In general, Cuban society come through the period of major transformation during last fifty years. Some researchers and political analysts describe Cuban revolution as “the longest social experiment”. Western researches underline limitations of freedoms, which exist in Cuba after the revolution.  After the revolution, Cuba had to face new reality. The international context was also changed drastically. Bipolar world was changed by the multi-polar one, industrial society became replaced by the informational and technological one, and multinational economy became replaced by global economy.  Cuba had to adapt to the change and provide an adequate response. In addition, the country experienced major domestic changes, such as cultural, social, demographic and economic changes. At the same time, the running regime went through all these major changes and stayed comparatively stable. Changes in local and international settings did not bring change to the ruling regime of the country.

For the present moment, political culture of the country affects all spheres of life in Cuba.  Lack of transparency and policy of manipulating, peculiar to the ruling regime, easily turn to manipulation with reality in order to influence the public opinion and influence people’s perception of reality. For the present moment, the Cuban government controls all source of information in the country. At the same time, the government encourages the production of big amount of information about Cuba, its history and achievements. Different state agencies and official institutions work hard to influence public opinion both, inside and outside of the country. Disinformation became a part of the governmental policy and has major impact on political culture. The heads of the country get used to count on false data and present people any information, which justifies their policies and decisions. “This disinformation industry contributes to spreading ‘statistical data’ and interpretive axioms that favour in many ways the aims of the Cuban government; in some cases these agencies belong to the government itself and in others they are institutions under its influence or have employees who support its positions or are under the direct control of Havana” (Weissman et al., 2010). The practice of spies and secret agents let Cuban government influence data, presented about the country, even outside Cuba.

Cuba, which gained independence in 1902, after two wars for independence, originally had a republican form of government. Racial uprising in 1912 resulted in the change o the form of the governance. At the same time, the uprising ended by killing those, who originally initiated it.  The period of republican government was marked by the rule of two dictators – Fulgencio  Batista and Gerardo Machado.  General Gerardo Machado enhanced his power and turned to dictatorship rule. This changes met a fierce resistance among the population.  General Fulgencio Batista organized the coup d’état in 1952, trying to  end up an authorative ruling.  After Fidel Castro came to power, the anti-communist civil war emerge as a response to the communist order, settled in the country. The most fierce resistance marked the period between 1960-1965, but the episodes of violence against the regime lasted till the 1990s.  The history of the country illustrates that quite often social, political and economic conflicts resulted in violence, revolutions and civil wars.  Violence became a recognized tool of changed in the country. This method was used during the fight for independence. It also did not lose its popularity after Cuba gained independence in 1902.   “Political intolerance –which places top priority on ends and worries less about the means used to achieve them– has been a substantial part of Cuban culture to this day” (Blanco, 2003).  The tendency to appreciate strong personalities and make them heroes and martyrs gave rise to strong authoritative figures, such as Gerardo Machado, Fidel Castro. Personalities play an extremely important role in totalitarian societies like Cuba.  Fidel Castro, who came to power in the result of the revolution quickly became a top authority figure in the country. It is also possible to suggest that these personalities came to power because  Cuban society created a demand for authority heroic figures.  Political culture, widespread in the country, gives less importance to individuality, and makes an accent of ideas, which unite people and rise them fight for their rights. Ideology, expressed by Jose Marti and Felix Varela   had  major impact on political culture of the country. They  an idea about socialistic republic, which would provide favorable living conditions for everyone.

The Communist Party of Cuba develops policies for social, political and cultural spheres of life. The last Guidelines on Economic and Social Policy was introduced during the 6t Congress of the Communist Party, which took place in 2011. Socialism, the officially recognized social and political order of the country, assumes governmental regulation of social and political spheres.  At the same time, the last Guidelines contains directions about the liberalization of the market and development of private sector.  “The ‘updating’ process, however, is not only political in terms of these implications, but also in terms of state legitimacy that may have more influence on the success of the ‘updating’ than economic expertise and profitability” (Blanco, 2008).  Raul Castro announced the “update” of the political processes in the country during his speech in 2012. He also announced changes in governmental regulation and in the role of the party.  Despite proclaimed goals and objectives, some  independent researches note  that social equality, which is presented like the basic idea of communist and socialism, becomes more and more corrupted on Cuba. Increased market integration does not bring solutions to the existing problems and social indequality grows in the country. “The increased social inequality in Cuba is likely to lead to declining social cohesion, threatening the civicness and egalitarianism once built and strongly maintained by the revolution” (Kath, 2013).

Cuban people feel strong attraction to the idea of social justice and equality. This need creates  an important premise for the political system of the country. At the same time, they tend to choose autocratic instruments to reach this purpose. This choice creates the core national conflict of the Cuban society.  Tension between political systems and approaches and economic necessity mark the entire history of the country.  From the one hand society expresses a strong demand for national idea and inclusive society, based on the principles of social justice. From the other hand the country needs to apply economic development and modernization. Two basic tendencies are reflected in the contemporary life of the country, which struggles to find the balance between these tendencies.

References

Blanco.   Juan Antonio (2008). The Political Transformation of the Cuban Regime, Seen Through the Perspective of Conflict Resolution (WP). Elcano Royal Institute.

Blanco,  Juan Antonio, (2003).Task Force on Memory, Truth and Justice, ‘Cuban National Reconciliation’, Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University,

Kath, Elizabeth, (2013).  Revolutionary Health: State Capacity, Popular Participation and the Cuban Paradox, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research 17(2):213-229 · 

 Latell, Brian (2004), The Military in Cuba’s Transition, University of Miami, CTP.

Robins, Nicolas A. (2003), The Culture of Conflict in Modern Cuba, MacFarland, United States.

Conteh-Morgan, Earl (2004), Collective Political Violence, Routledge, New York.

Christie, Daniel J., Richard V. Wagner & Deborah Dunnan (2001), Peace, Conflict and Violence, Prentice Hall, United States.

Weissman, Deobrah,  Weissman , Marsha  (2010).  “The Moral Politics of Social Control: Political Culture and Ordinary Crime in Cuba”, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Volume 35, Issue 2, Article 1.

Ludlam, Steve, (Autumn/Winter 2012),  Reordenamiento, Lineamientos Arriva,. Legitimacy and Political Culture in Cuba’s Refort Strategy,   International Journal of Cuban Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3/4, Special double issue: Cuba in the 21st Centurypp. 242-259

Hernandez, Rafael, Dilla, Haraldo, Jennifer ,Abbassi Dugan and Diaz, Jean, (Spring, 1991). Political Culture and Popular Participation in Cuba, Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 18, No. 2, Cuban Views on the Revolution pp. 38-54.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 27, 2021]
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