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Freedom RootsHistories from the Caribbean$
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Laurent Dubois and Richard Lee Turits

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653600

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653600.001.0001

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Revolution and Intervention in Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Revolution and Intervention in Cuba and the Dominican Republic

(p.227) 6 Revolution and Intervention in Cuba and the Dominican Republic
Freedom Roots

Laurent Dubois

Richard Lee Turits

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the tragic dialectic between Caribbean governments seeking to implement socioeconomic change in the 1960s and U.S. opposition and intervention in response. The chapter explores, first, how after the 1950s Cuban insurrection triumphed, a radicalizing dynamic unfolded between popular support for deep socioeconomic changes, leadership eager to implement those changes, and U.S. economic and armed intervention to stop them (including the Bay of Pigs invasion). U.S. opposition began in a serious way following Cuba’s sweeping agrarian reform, which came at the expense of vast U.S. sugar and ranching interests. U.S. economic warfare pushed the Castro dictatorship to develop trade and eventually build an alliance with the Soviet Union. Second, the chapter illuminates the dynamics of reform, revolution, and intervention in the neighbouring Dominican Republic. There, Juan Bosch’s reformist and nationalist social democratic government was overthrown by a military coup backed by conservative elites. The coup leaders had reason to expect and soon received U.S. government recognition, despite the overthrow of a liberal democratic government and Bosch’s relatively modest agrarian and other reforms. When Dominicans took to the streets to restore Bosch to office, a U.S. military invasion of the island quashed their effort.

Keywords:   Cuban Revolution, Bay of Pigs invasion, Dominican Republic, agrarian reform, social democracy, socialism, U.S. intervention, Fidel Castro, sugar, Juan Bosch

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