60 years ago on this day, Fidel Castro led a failed attempt to seize an army barracks, which is marked as the beginning of his revolutionary uprising against Fulgencio Batista, leading after five and a half years of struggle to his seizure of power in Havana on January 1, 1959.
Fidel Castro gave up power due to medical problems in 2006, after 47 plus years of leadership, but his brother Raul succeeded him, and the Castro dynasty is still in power in Cuba after 54 and a half years, and Fidel Castro will be 87 years of age nest month, and is reported in good health.
Fidel Castro, as evil a man as he is, will go down as the most significant Latin American government leader of the past century of history, with only Juan Peron of Argentina a weak second behind him.
The effect of Cuba on the international scene has been massive, considering the fact that Cuba never made a dent in world affairs before Castro, and we nearly had nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union 51 years ago, a year and a half after a failed American attempt to use Cuban exiles to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco!
And our domestic politics has been profoundly affected by the loyalty of the few million Cuban Americans to the Republican Party, making them a distinct Hispanic group in their political behavior, particularly in Florida!
We have also seen three Cuban US Senators–Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas–who have a great impact in the US Senate, as well as a few in the House of Representatives. Menendez is the lone Cuban Democrat who has made it to a prominent position, Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The question is what will happen when Fidel and Raul Castro leave the scene, at least officially in 2018, according to the plans of Raul Castro to retire. How will Cuba evolve, and how will the United States react to change in Cuba? Will democracy develop in Cuba or come about by a new revolution, or will the Castro influence and Communism persist in Cuba?
This island, just 90 miles from the Florida Keys, will become the center of world politics again very soon, and what happens there will affect America domestically and in foreign affairs for the long term future, just as it has for the past six decades!
The Castro brothers have managed to survive in power through the terms of 11 Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama! It is an amazing story just by that reality!