The Different Philosophies that Made Cuba Stand out from the Rest of the World
Cuba has embraced a diverse way of life in comparison to most of its neighbours in terms of ideological beliefs and practices. The issues of slavery, racism, and Catholicism are among the issues that led to the contemporary design of modern Canada. Cuba has grown differently from other nations mainly due to its distinct approaches such as the need to enact communism philosophies unlike popular practices from contemporary neighbours such as the United States. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the distinct concepts such as Afro-Cuban religions, slavery, and diverse forms of discrimination that outlined the development of Cuba as well as its diverse types of rulings.
The political history of Cuba describes a political reign of dictatorship while Cuba has been rebellious to any form of external influence. The reign of Fidel Castro was highly influential in the detailing of the political ideologies of the nation. More so, the enactment of a communistic approach in Cuba detailed the enactment of totalitarian rules in the country. However, it is imperative to understand that the diverse political ideologies enacted in Cuba over the past helped shape way for the modern development of an independent nation which might still be struggling but is trying to survive in a highly competitive world without over-relying on other nations.
The American view of Cuba is that of a rebellious nation while Cuban view their rebellious nature as a necessary act to maintain independence and be dependent on itself. The Cuban political system as defined by the move by the American to occupy the region and consider it as a part of the United States and thus stirring mixed reactions from diverse people. The United States government argued that Cuba was rightfully part of the American experiment and thus defined the political system of Cuba as youths such as Fidel Castro embarked on a journey to outdo external influence and ensure that Cubans had the chance to define their type of rule.
The rise of communism in Cuba was driven in response by the efforts by the United States to occupy Cuba and impose its rule. Therefore Cuba solidified its support for the Soviet Union and Russia and embraced their philosophies. The move to rebel led Cuba to embrace the communism philosophy outlined by Karl Marx. The latter outlined a move to empower all people and end exploitation of employees on class levels. The philosophy opposed the popular capitalism approach enacted by the United States and numerous of its allies. However, the development of the communist approach may have stimulated the development of a dictatorial leadership style as communism led to totalitarian leadership style.
Slavery and Afro-Cuban Religions
The concepts of slavery and religion closely interrelated as the attainment of slaves led to the growth of syncretism and thus outlining the availability of Afro-Cuban religions within Cuba. Numerous African slaves were working in plantations in Cuba and thus most possessed their traditional beliefs and practices which were later acquired or upgraded by the Cubans. The Afro-Cuban religions were different from Christianity but popular in Cuba because they stipulated the power of Cuba as it derived the religions rather than being them being enforced on Cuba like the practice of Catholicism.
The development and spread of Afro-Cuban religions were highly influenced by the move to acquire African slaves. The African Slaves were brought to Cuba to work in sugar plantations and thus brought their religious beliefs. The slaves were mainly from four distinct groups, the Arara from Dahomey, the Igbo and Yoruba from Nigeria, and the Bantu from Congo. The diverse origins of the slaves ensured that they came with extensive and diverse ideological beliefs with the main ones outlined on the religious platforms. The numerous African pantheons possess a primary god plus other small deities. The Cubans witnessed profound similarities between the African gods and the Christian hierarchy that advocated for a supreme being. Consequently, the outlined observation stipulated the growth of syncretism.
The spell of slavery in Cuba outlined a scenario where African native religious practices were easily camouflaged under the guise of Christianity such as the act to transform the Catholic San Lazaro which was credited with resurrecting the dead by Jesus Christ was ultimately connected with a ruler of contagious diseases. Notably, the development of Afro-Cuban religions was another act of rebellion by the Cubans as they wanted to outdo any practices that outlined external dominance in the region. Cuba had slaves like other strong nations such as the United States, and thus the country wanted to outline its prowess which meant it could define religion.
The aspect of Afro-Cuban religions outlined three practices, Abakua, Santeria, and Palo Monte with the latter two highly syncretizing with religion while the former outlines a secret society for men. The Afro-Cuban religions outlined stories of creation but depicted them differently from Christianity. The diverse practices outlined different definitions of god. For instance, Santeria described the existence of a goddess of love, god of war, a trickster, a mother figure, and a divine hunter among other gods. The development of Afro-Cuban religions was another key step in a step to prevent external influence and ensure that Cuba chose the path to walk on rather than being forced by other major powers such as the United States and the European nations.
Numerous religious traditions that exist in Cuba have played a crucial role over time in the Cuban Society. Notably, it is imperative to understand that there was a time during the Cuban revolution that the government declared the nation as an atheist and thus suppressing organized religions. In response, the development and enactment of Afro-Cuban religions was a move try to curb the influence of Christianity and any external imposed beliefs and practices. The popular Santeria practice entails a religion which takes place inside homes rather than public places and churches. The Cuban enactment of Afro-Cuban religion was another key step that outlined the independent path of the region. The move may have strained ties with nations aiming to influence the religious sector of the nation but it led to the development of Cuba as it is in the contemporary world, a nation with strained ties with the United States irrespective of the initiatives enacted to loosen the ties especially by the former president of the United States, Barrack Obama.
On a different focus, slavery, especially in the sugar plantations, marks a key concept in the story of Cuba. Cuban acquired African slaves who helped the nation manage to cater for its activities such as running the government without extensive dependence on foreign nations. Therefore, slaves were crucial as they were a profound workforce that offered labour and stipulated the growth of the region. Slavery was a vice that was banned in most regions such as the United States and England. However, in contrast to popular opinion, slavery made good economic sense and helped stipulate progress in a country in dire need of development in all fields.
Cubans depended extensively on sugarcane and thus depending on the slave-based plantations that outlined the growth of the country’s major crop. The continuous growth in population in Cuba was highly influenced by the number of slaves in the region, rising extensively between the 18th and 19th century. Cuban sugar industry extensively influenced the growth of the country. Cuba has always been lagging behind the developed nations. However, the effective use of slaves, especially in sugar plantations, meant that it could lag behind with dignity and thus not begging for help from nations which were primarily driven to spread their influence and philosophies.
Forging of a Unique Cultural Identity
The development of Cuba with a unique cultural identity was primarily driven by the quest by external forces to influence the ruling of the country. Cuba aimed to be independent, and thus most of its acts can be argued that were enacted out of spite. The development of Afro-Cuban religions was stipulated to outdo the influence of Christianity while the incorporation of communism was aimed to attain allies that opposed the influence of the United States and its philosophy of capitalism. The interdependence of Cuban slavery offered the country an upper hand in the fight against external influence as it acquired a new method to drive the country (Lause). Cuba created a unique identity that offered it its chance to define its image to the global world rather than depending on the descriptions from other parties.
Slavery formed the basis for the socioeconomic structure of Cuba (Corwin). Black slavery may have begun in other regions such as Spain, but its enactment in Cuba outlined drastic results and helped the Cubans in their quest for interdependence. Cuba knew the essence of allies especially after the Cold War which witnessed exhaustion of resources among the nations who took part in it and decolonization. Therefore, it allied with nations that did not try to take over its land or resources such as Russia, nations that despised the United States. Cuba wanted to be independent, but it clearly understood that it needed help to carry out its objective efficiently. Therefore, its move to ally with the Soviet Union and other communist nation ensured that it could rely on some external nations in times of wars or for financial or resource aids. Conversely, the country probed for control of its activities and thus defining the unique drafting of Cuba.
The forging of unique cultural identity in the modern world was highly influenced by the Cuban Revolution of 1959 which empowered Cubans and helped the people discover their strengths. The revolution outlined overthrowing the government of Batista which entailed corrupt political dictatorship and lacklustre economic growth. The president allied with the United States and regularly gave the US a chance to influence and control Cuba and thus stirring opposition from numerous people in Cuba. The long period of civil war before the overthrowing of the government defined the state of Cuba for the coming years. The nation had suffered greatly and thus wanted to avoid any situation where external influence could define the ruling of the government. Therefore, it stipulated a change in ideologies whereby the country allied with communist nations. Notably, communism and capitalism were the bases of the Cold War as the United States and its allies took the capitalist platform while Russia and its allies embraced the communist approach. Therefore, the move by Cuba to support communism was like picking a side and thus straining the ties with the United States. Consequently, Cuba developed a unique identity that failed to imitate its neighbouring country’s image.
Cuba is a small nation that is lagging behind in many aspects irrespective of the continuous advancements in the contemporary world. The country only has one internet provider while the conditions of living are still needing. However, Cuba has managed to survive without over-relying on other nations and thus outlining the continuous development of the cultural identity is created. Cuba is a unique nation in many ways ranging from its communistic ideas in a capitalistic region to its continued reliance on its products and resources.
Corwin, Arthur F. Spain and the Abolition of Slavery in Cuba, 1817–1886. Texas: University of Texas Press, 2014.
Lause, Mark A. “No God but Gain: The Untold Story of Cuban Slavery, the Monroe Doctrine & the Making of the United States.” Socialism and Democracy 31.1 (2017).