The United States, Cuba, and Castro: An Essay on the Dynamics of Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire

By William Appleman Williams | Go to book overview

7
The Crisis of the Revolution
I. The Nature and Early Development of the Crisis

Alternate interpretations of the Cuban Revolution have thus far been kept before the reader to provide a continuing basis of evaluation. In considering the crucial period from January 1 through the promulgation (May 17) and the implementation (June 3) of the Agrarian Reform Law, and the initial reaction to that legislation, it is again useful to have such grounds for comparison.

Draper employs two arguments in making his interpretation. "The crisis," he writes in combining them, "came from within Castro's own 26th of July Movement and had been brewing from his first month in power. It was generated not by the United States but by the Communists, or rather by their sponsors and protectors in the Cuban Government." The point of decision, he adds somewhat later, was reached and passed "long before any overt American action was taken against the Castro regime." 1 In other commentary, he remarks that "the Castro regime was mainly concerned with maneuvering the United States into an unfavorable position."

The first and central weakness of Draper's analysis is that it breaks apart and polarizes two inter-related features of the crisis, and then arbitrarily discounts and ignores one of them. Part of the crisis did originate within the Castro government. Draper is correct to that extent. Its source was not the Communists (or their sponsors and protectors), however, but the nature of the Revolution and the dilemma inherent in its com-

____________________
1
The reader may recall that Draper says nothing of the Pawley maneuver of December, 1958.

-81-

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