For developing regions, Latin America and Africa are a few of the focal countries to analyze civil war onset and for future preventions. Cuba, now a communist state underwent political turmoil from leaders like Fidel Castro to achieve its present government. Nigeria, a prominent oil powerhouse also faced ethnic conflict stemming from its diverse population. Both countries are still susceptible to future conflicts, but learning from their own history could easily prevent it from happening.
Cuba: The Castro Revolution
The Castro Revolution, which first started in the early 1950’s, involved a massive number of casualties at the cost of an insurgent victory. The Cuban President at that time, Fulgencio Batista was ousted and replaced with a revolutionary socialist state. Originally seizing power from a military coup, he lost popularity while serving his second term and was highly criticized for his dictatorial leadership resulting in organized crime, high unemployment rates, and a failing water infrastructure (Diaz-Briquets). Later, Fidel Castro listed grievances against Batista for his corruption and private police force. Failing to achieve a response they wanted, Castro organized disgruntled members of the working class to overthrow Batista’s regime. After a failed attempt and being imprisoned, the Castro brothers again tried to organize an overthrow once they were released.
Castro was able to find outside forces and support from Mexican exiles and even Che Guevera to back his revolution. Following multiple failed battles, Castro’s army was finally able to secure crucial offense points and Batista fled the country shifting power to the communist party. The ongoing conflict between the insurgents and Batista’s military regime resulted in almost 5,000 deaths (Fearon and Laitin). From the history of the Cuban Revolution, it seems that the conflict was fueled by grievances against the current government and had less to do with economic gains or opportunity. From Batista’s corruption, strict personal police force, and hardline policies repressing Castro’s attacks, the dissatisfaction with their leader seems to be the root cause of the conflict. The country’s condition with crime and unemployment is what led Castro to finally succeed by finding resentful working citizens to join his cause. Moreover, his third-party support from Cuban rebels in the U.S., exiles in Mexico, and an Argentinian leader helped push forward his cause and ultimately overthrew Batista’s regime.
Not soon after their overthrow, U.S. forces attempted to overthrow Castro’s communist regime with the Bay of Pigs invasion. The effects of the Cuban Revolution would spillover and would escalate from when Batista’s regime garnered U.S. support (Lake and Rothchild). Though the invasion is not coded as a civil war because it was an outside presence attacking, this conflict was merely a ramification from Batista’s takeover.
Looking toward Cuba’s future, they have a weak relationship with the...