Fidel Castro Regime Analysis

Superior Essays
“One doesn’t establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship,” said George Orwell (338). Many of the 20th century revolutions that occurred throughout the world resulted in the establishment of dictatorships. The men behind these revolutions gained prestige and were able to gain positions of power. The two regimes that best exemplify this are the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba, which lasted from 1961 until 2011, and Mao Zedong regime in China, which lasted from 1949 until 1976 . The regimes of both Castro and Zedong have similar governmental compositions, legitimacy abiet different stories , but the means by which they maintain control varies.
The regimes of Fidel Castro
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They both had charismatic legitimacy although their stories differed. Zedong gained his legitimacy after a civil war with the GMD. He successfully led the liberation army into driving Chiang Kai-shek and a majority of the GMD out of Mainland China in 1949 ( Zheng Wang 85). He then proceeded to proclaim the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Mao Zedong did so because this was the capital of China and Tiananmen Square used to be perceived as the symbol of imperial sovereignty ( Orville Schell 22). In addition to launching propaganda in order to persuade the masses to accept the communists cause. This propaganda painted the CCP’s victory as the liberation of the Chinese people and as such Zedong became their “great savior” (Wang 85). Castro’s legitimacy was obtained through revolution. He had defeated the dictator Fulgencio Batista and as such was perceived to be the hero of Cuba (Rita J. Markel 74). His greatest strength was that he was a great orator which allowed him to further enchant his own reputation (76). Castro played on the Cuban people 's Christian beliefs by telling them his journey started with only 12 followers (76). His mystic was further enhanced when on January 8, 1959 some doves landed on his shoulder when he was giving a speech (Philip Brenner 29). Castro and Zedong achieved legitimacy through their people and once their …show more content…
The control mechanism that Fidel Castro used within his regime was a highly institutionalized form of coercion and surveillance along with the use of violence. His system focused on using a government agency called the Comités de Defensa de la Revolución to do surveillance on the citizens rather than mass mobilization. The Comités de Defensa de la Revolución are neighborhood committees that keeps tabs on everyone in the neighborhood (Tismaneanu and Iacob 92). This government apparatus was literally the eyes and ears of Castro. This apparatus was supplemented with the ley de peligrosidad social. This law allowed anyone to be arrested not for violating the law but rather for going against the norms of the society based on one’s actions (93). Anyone arrested under this law were not sentenced to jail but were sent to labor camps where one would be reeducated (93). The Comités de Defensa de la Revolución and the ley de peligrosidad social enabled the government to spy on citizens and act upon their findings. Castro also resorted to violence in order to maintain his power. During his early administration (1959-1970) he was directly responsible for the execution of an estimated 5,000 people and the shootings of about 10,000 people (92). This combination of institutionalized coercion and surveillance along with violence acted as a deterrent for those who

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