Thomas G. Patterson's Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban

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Thomas G. Patterson's Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban

In his book Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban, Thomas G. Patterson explores Cuban relationships with the United States during the Batista and Castro regimes. In the 1950’s, when Fulgencio Batista was in power, the United States had an almost imperialistic dominance over Cuba. Patterson uses the word “Hegemony” to describe this dominance. He defines hegemony as “the dominance or preponderant influence that permitted U.S. decisions to condition Cuba’s politics, economy, culture, society, and military. U.S. hegemony empowered North Americans to set and maintain most of the rules by which Cubans lived and by which the
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Frustrated with U.S. influence, Cubans exhibited strong nationalism. The nationalists fell into two groups. First, there were the moderates that were not anti-American. They did not want to break ties with the U.S. but wanted to reduce the dependency on it. The second group, the fidelistas , were enemies of Batista, and since Batista was associated with the U.S, therefore enemy’s of the U.S. as well (8). Obviously, as the name indicates, these were followers of the most predominant revolutionary of the time, Fidel Castro. With his brother Raul and Che Guevera, Castro was able to invade Havana and over throw the Batista’s government.
Paterson claims that Castro’s success is due to the fact that the U.S. did not initially see Castro as a threat, especially since he was not initially allied with communists; “In 1958, Castro had moderated his public statements about nationalization of foreign-owned property and had promised democratic elections” (252). However, as Cuba became more anti- American, severing all ties to the U.S., Castro became more allied with communism and the Soviet Union. The U.S. responded with assassination attempts and military intervention, which brought Castro and the Soviet Union even closer. Paterson claims that “had there been no exile expedition at the Bay of Pigs, no destructive covert activities, no assassination plots, no military maneuvers and plans, no economic…

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