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From China to Cuba :
b guerilla warfare as a mechanism for mobilizing resources
h [electronic resource] /
by Jorge Barrera.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
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Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Guerilla Warfare is a weapon of the weak; it is decisive only where the actor in power fails to commit adequate resources to the conflict. The Chinese and Cuban revolutions are examples of guerilla warfare success, albeit under different conditions and employment techniques; while Mao Tse-tung utilized decentralized guerilla warfare to indoctrinate and mobilize the masses of peasants for revolutionary struggle against a stronger enemy; Fidel Castro employed a more centralized approach to create the conditions necessary for popular support of the revolution. However, in both cases guerilla warfare was simply part of a pragmatic grand strategy to build nationalism across all classes of society. It is well known that revolutionary movements do not succeed where only one class of society is mobilized.As a result, both Mao and Castro designed dual strategies: an internal component focused on the peasant base; and an external component focused on a nationalistic appeal to all classes of society. In a revolutionary setting, the strong force of nationalism can cut across all segments of the population and strongly enable popular support for the insurgents. Both revolutionary leaders skillfully managed the contradictions associated with their respective dual strategies a difficult task indeed since the dual strategy is one of deception. This thesis will prove that through such a plan of action, Mao and Castro integrated efforts such as leadership and ideology, with the key ingredient of guerilla warfare, to create the conditions for the control of resources necessary to achieve ultimate victory.Following revolutionary success, the experience of guerilla warfare and the dual strategy particularly in Cuba shaped the respective foreign policies within the context of a worldwide struggle against imperialism. Cuba has continued to refine the dual strategy in order to obtain international support and maintain the Castro regime in power. China eventually adopted a dual strategy of a different variety: the separation of economics from communist ideology. Although implementation of the dual strategy continues to the present day, it was the revolutionary process that not only validated the concept, but provided the credibility required to continue its execution.
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Advisor: Bernd Reiter, Ph.D.
x Political Science
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
From China to Cuba: Guerilla Warfare as a Mechani sm for Mobilizing Resources by Jorge L. Barrera A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Government and International Affairs College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Bernd Reiter, Ph.D. Harry E. Vanden, Ph.D. Mark Amen, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 5, 2009 Keywords: Mao, Castro, Guevara, insu rgency, revolutionary theory, nationalism Copyright 2009, Jorge L. Barrera
i Table of Contents Abstra ct............................................................................................................. iii Chapter One In troducti on...................................................................................1 Theoretical Fr amewor k............................................................................3 Revolutionar y Theor y....................................................................3 Specific Theory.............................................................................6 Concepts and De finitions.........................................................................7 Revoluti ons...................................................................................7 Strategy.........................................................................................8 Nationalis m...................................................................................8 Guerilla Warf are..........................................................................10 Insurgency, War, and Warfar e....................................................10 Research Objective and Hypothe ses.....................................................11 Research Design...................................................................................12 Data Collection Plan and Chapter Over view..........................................15 Chapter Two Revolu tionary Theo ry..................................................................17 Introducti on............................................................................................17 Background: Explaini ng Revoluti ons.....................................................20 Revolutionary Theories ..........................................................................25 Classic Marxis t Theory................................................................31 Peoples War Theory ...................................................................35 Foco Theor y................................................................................38 Revolutionary Setting .............................................................................41 Conclusi on.............................................................................................47 Chapter Three Guer illa Warfar e.......................................................................50 Introducti on............................................................................................50 Fundamentals of Insurgency and Guerilla Wa rfare................................53 Basic Guerilla Tactics Mao Tsetung..................................................58 Basic Guerilla Tactics Che Guev ara...................................................62 Conclusi on.............................................................................................68 Chapter Four Chi na Revisite d..........................................................................72 Introducti on............................................................................................72 Backgroun d............................................................................................75 Development of D ual Strat egy...............................................................78
ii Dual Stra tegy.........................................................................................81 Rectification Campaign...............................................................82 Mass-Line Polit ics.......................................................................83 Leadership ..................................................................................85 Ideology ......................................................................................86 Guerilla Warf are.....................................................................................88 Civil War and Revoluti onary Victor y.......................................................93 Conclusi on.............................................................................................95 Chapter 5 Cuba Re visited................................................................................98 Introducti on............................................................................................98 Backgroun d..........................................................................................102 Development of D ual Strat egy.............................................................107 Dual Stra tegy.......................................................................................111 Leadership ................................................................................116 Ideology ....................................................................................117 Guerilla Warf are...................................................................................119 Revolutionary Victory ...........................................................................123 Conclusi on...........................................................................................126 Chapter 6 Dual Stra tegy Afte rmath................................................................. 130 Introducti on..........................................................................................130 Backgroun d..........................................................................................135 Nationalism in the Castro Er a..............................................................138 Events .......................................................................................139 Mechanism s..............................................................................143 U.S. Economic Sanctions ....................................................................146 Development of Cubas Dual Strategy on U.S. Economic Sanctions .............................................................................................147 Conclusi on...........................................................................................155 Chapter 7 Conclusion .....................................................................................160 References .....................................................................................................170
iii From China to Cuba: Guerilla Warfare as a Mechani sm for Mobilizing Resources Jorge L. Barrera ABSTRACT Guerilla Warfare1 is a weapon of the weak; it is decisive only where the actor in power fails to commit adequate resources to the conflict. The Chinese and Cuban revolutions are examples of guerilla warfare success, albeit under different conditions and employment te chniques; while Mao Tse-tung utilized decentralized guerilla warfare to indoctr inate and mobilize the masses of peasants for revolutionary struggle agains t a stronger enemy; Fidel Castro employed a more centralized approach to create the conditions necessary for popular support of the revolution. Howeve r, in both cases guerilla warfare was simply part of a pragmatic grand strategy to build nationalism across all classes of society. It is well k nown that revolutionary movements do not succeed where only one class of society is mobilized. As a result, both Mao and Castro designed dual strategies: an internal component focused on the peasant base; and an external component focused on a nationalistic appeal to all classes of society. In a revolutionary setting, the strong force of nationalism can cut across all 1 The word guerilla is taken from the Spanish word for little war which originated during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century.
iv segments of the population and strongly enable popular support for the insurgents. Both revolutionary leaders skillfully managed the contradictions associated with their respective dual stra tegies a difficult task indeed since the dual strategy is one of deception. This t hesis will prove that through such a plan of action, Mao and Castro integrated effo rts such as leadership and ideology, with the key ingredient of guerilla warfare, to create the conditions for the control of resources necessary to achieve ulti mate victory. Following revolutionary success, the experience of guerilla warfare and the dual strategy particularly in Cuba shaped the respective foreign polic ies within the context of a worldwide struggle against imperialism. Cuba has c ontinued to refine the dual strategy in order to obtain international support and maintain the Castro regime in power. China eventually adopted a dual strategy of a different variety: the separation of economics from communist ideology. Although implementation of the dual strategy continues to the present day, it was the revolutionary process that not only validated the concept, but provided the credibility required to continue its execution.
1 Chapter One Introduction The Cuban and Chinese revolutions but particularly the latter are known as peasant1 revolutions. Thus, the perception is that peasants rebelled in response to poverty and traditional exploitation by the upper classes and succeeded in changing the social structure of the country. Of course, reality is considerably more complex than that. These conditions alone are not enough to provide a revolutionary situation, nor c an peasants alone succeed in a revolution. The inter-relation of a number of social economic, and political factors that converge at a particular point in time can set the conditions for revolutionary uprising and subsequent social change. Ac cording to Charles Tilly (1978), the struggle for power translates into contro l of resources. The actor (government included) that can best mobilize and control resources such as land, labor, capital, information, and a rms into collective action against the rival actor(s) will claim the right to rule and control government. The mechanisms to mobilize resources include cross-cutting [class] alliances, ideology, leadership, organization, and violence. 1 Peasant is defined as a member of a clas s compromising small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land, where they constitute the primary labor force in agriculture (Websters Dictionary).
2 Both Mao Tse-tung and Fidel Castro successfully employed these mechanisms to mobilize the resources required to challenge those in power, and thus set the conditions for eventual vict ory. Through guerilla warfare, Mao was able to indoctrinate and mobilize the peasants into a decisive force for success to await the development of a revolutionary si tuation. In contrast, Castros band of revolutionaries succeeded in creating the conditions for revolution, by establishing their primary support amongst the rural peasantry and then expanding to urban regions However as Barrington Moore (1966) explains, even if a revolutionary situation exists and the proper strategy is implemented to mobilize resources, it does not necessar ily mean that such circumstances will automatically result in a revolution; a decisive catalyst or ingredient normally ignites these conditions into a revolution. In the case of China, the consensus is that the decisive ingredient for communi st revolutionary victory was the Japanese conquest and the occupation policies of a foreign foe. In Cuba, Fulgencio Batistas brutal campaign against rural villa ges that he perceived to be supporting Castro proved to be a major asset to the cause of the revolutionaries. I argue that in fact it was guerilla warfare that served as the catalyst for eventual revolutionary victory in both case studi es. By shaping their respective guerilla campaigns, both Mao and Castro were able to design strategies that permitted them to appeal to the different classes, and allowed them to shape a nationalistic platform as an alternative to a communi st or socialist one that eventually succeeded.
3 This research seeks to compare the two revolutions by utilizing guerilla warfare as the basis for comparison as it shaped the revolutionary strategies of China and Cuba. I will discuss strategies for mobilizing2 popular support resources, focusing on the peasantry; then transition into the key role of guerilla warfare in implementing and integrating the overall re volutionary strategy to capitalize on the conditions that existed for revolution, and thus set the conditions for eventual success in 1949 and 1959 respecti vely. In the case of China, this paper focuses on the period of 1935 to 1945, which coincides with Maos leadership of the Communist Party, the Japanese occupation, and the implementation of the communist stra tegy for popular support and guerilla warfare. For Cuba, although the focus fo r comparison is the period from 1956 when Castros 82 revolutionaries landed in Cuba to his consolidation of power in 1959, I will also discuss the international ization of Castros strategy following revolutionary victory. Theoretical Framework Revolutionary Theory Revolutionary theories seek to organize revolution facts into a framework that can predict the revolutionary potential of a society or explain the causes of why a revolution failed or succeeded. These facts include leaders, followers, ideology, organization, tec hniques, and external support. The most commonly discussed are Marxist Theory its main argument being that revolution occurs when the exploited econom ic class is sufficiently alienated to 2 Mobilization is the process whereby [in this case] peas ants commit their resources (land, food, time, energy, and even their lives) to revolutionary organizations (Wickham-Crowley 1991, 177)
4 gain revolutionary consciousness; the Syst ems Theory related to a failure of existing social structures to perform t heir essential functions; and Modernization Theory which suggests that revolution ary conditions occur when the state is unable or unwilling to adapt to the demands and interest mobilized by modernization (Greene 1999). The Peoples War is Mao Tse-tungs version of the Ma rxist Theory; he realized that the urban proletariat focus of Marxist theory did not apply to China. Obtaining the support of the peasantry, while appealing to all classes of Chinese society, was his pragmatic approach to acquiring broad-based popular support; that is, build the Red Army, and await the objective conditions for a popular uprising, in order to engage in the la st revolutionary step: armed struggle (Greene 1999; Shum 1988). Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, inspired by Maos Peoples War, further refined Marxist theory into their ow n blend, which resulted in the foco3 theory. While acknowledging that popular forces could defeat a stronger enemy, and that the countryside was where the struggle would begin, the foco theory stated that popular support would be creat ed during the armed struggl e itself; there was no need to wait until all the conditions for ma king revolution exist; the insurrection could create them (Guevara 1961). Jules Rgis Debray4 expanded and 3 The word foco is derived from the Spanish word for focus, and is described both in English and Spanish as the center of activity, or area of greatest energy, of a st orm, eruption, etc. ( The Oxford Universal Dictionary 3rd ed.) 4 Debray is a French intellectual, journalist and professor. Although a well-known leftist activist, he did become an associate of Guevara and fought with him in Bolivia during 1967. He also interviewed Castro several times. His work, Revolution in the Revolution? is considered supplementary to Guevaras writings on guer illa warfare and revolutionary theory (WickhamCrowley 1991).
5 formalized the foco theory within a Latin American context in his Revolution in the Revolution? (1967) effort. In essence, a small group of revolutionaries was considered enough to jumpstart a revoluti on, while concurrently developing the conditions for popular support.5 The cornerstone of both revolutionary t heories is that popular forces can win a war against a superior army. This of course is a testamen t to the power of guerilla warfare when supported by the masses. This form of violence became the primary mechanism for mobilizing resources and undermining the moral authority of the actor in power. Mao chose to build his own peasant army and developed the tactics of guerilla warfare from base areas in the countryside (Drew and Snow 1988; Kennedy 2008). To Mao, the role of guer illa warfare went beyond the obvious: it would also serv e as a mechanism for obtaining popular support (Friedman 1970); for getting clos e to the peasants and sharing their hardships; for indoctrination of peasants; and for obtaining small victories against the Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalists, and then the Japanese in order to obtain credibility and motivate the masses. Fina lly, it would provide a springboard for the development of conventional armies th at would eventually confront the KMT for the right to rule China. For C he and Castro the existence of a guerilla foco would pose a threat to t he governments legitimacy and exclusive monopoly over 5 In this work, I generally credit Che Guevara with the foco theory of revolution because he codified its principal component of guerilla warfar e in writing based on his experiences during the Cuban revolution. However, it was Fidel Castro that developed it in practice, mostly by trial and error, during the revolutionary campaign. Furt her, Rgis Debray is generally credited with formalizing the foco theory. Thus, although I generally credit Guevara throughout this document, the reader must realize that all three individual s played an important role in the development of the foco theory of revolution.
6 violence. Such a challenge was to force an oppressive state to use increasing levels of violence and oppression and thus radicalize all sectors of opposition (Johnson 2006; Kling 1962). The end result is the same: classes of society riding a wave of nationalism unite against the government and overthrow it. Specific Theory Charles Tillys Resource Mobilization, in his Political Conflict Theory, will provide the framework for analysis. I will discuss the blending of the mobilization mechanisms with guerilla warfare as the main ingredient into a cohesive strategy that appealed not only to the main effort of such stra tegy ( the peasants) but also other classes in pursuit of the broadest possible alliance. Both revolutionary leaders understood that a revolution cannot succeed without support from the different classes of soci ety. I will examine research that focuses on the blend of politics and fo rms of warfare to achieve the end state of regime change through violence. The central idea of the comparative analysis is that guerilla warfare is not exclusively a form of violence in the pursuit of power, but that to achieve success when revolutionar y conditions exist, it must be part of a grand strategy that incorporates polit ical, social, economic, and psychological variables, with an end state of maximu m mobilization of resources. However as previously discussed, Barrington Moore (1966) explains in his work Social Origins of Dic tatorship and Democracy that a decisive catalyst or ingredient normally ignites revolutionary conditions into an actual revolution. In both China and Cuba, the situation was ripe for a peasants revolt. The structure of Chinas peasant society could not adj ust to the stresses associated with
7 market forces and modernization; its agr arian bureaucracy inhibited reform and weakened the link that bound the peasants to the upper classes, resulting in the survival of a peasant mass that eventual ly became the main force behind the revolution (Moore 1966). In Cuba the repres sive Batista regi me, a disaffected peasantry without a history of priv ate ownership, and large numbers of unemployed rural workers in a sugar mill dominated economy (Prez-Stable 1993), combined with a tradition of rebe llion in the east of Cuba created the conditions for a guerilla movement in the Oriente province countryside (Prez 1988; Wickham-Crowley 1991). As part of th is research, I intend to prove that guerilla warfare not only shaped the grand stra tegy of both case studies, but was also the decisive catalyst in facilitating revolutionary victory. Concepts and Definitions Revolution In his work, The Anatomy of Revolution (1966) Crane Brinton defines revolution as a drastic, sudden substitu tion of one group in charge of running a territorial political entity for another gr oup. A literature review indicates that revolution is also associated with: (1) An alteration in the personnel, struct ure, and function of government that are not sanctioned by the prevailing constitution. (2) A relatively abrupt and significant change in the distribution of wealth and social status. Thus, it is clear that not all the conflicts commonly referred to as revolutions meet the above criteria. For example, the American Revolution could be classified as a
8 War of Independence instead of a revo lution, because the social status of social groups did not abruptly change. Ho wever, it is apparent that both the Chinese and Cuban revolutions meet the definition and conditions stated above. Strategy Strategy is a plan of action, or complex decision making process that connects the ends sought (objectives) with the ways and means of achieving those ends (Drew and Snow 1988; ONeill 1990). Hence, for the Chinese and Cuban revolutions, the ends sought were the control of resources. Among the means were guerilla warfare, leadership, and ideology. The Grand Strategy then sought to coordinate resources to achieve a political objective that is, social and regime change. Both Mao and Castro utilized dual strategies (internal and external) to attain the control of res ources. The internal strategy focused on obtaining the support of the peasants fo r Mao they would provide the great force to offset the military strengths of the Nationalists; for Castro sanctuary to conduct his guerilla campaign. The external focused on appealing to other classes of society and international actors. Nationalism Nationalism is the process of integrating the masses into a common political form (Kohn 1944). Castro r ealized that fostering and harnessing nationalism would unite the classes and serve to control resources. Mao developed his politic al theory of New Democracy, the application of Marxism to the specific conditions and needs of Chi na, with the intent to broaden the ideological appeal by merging the patriot ic sentiment of nationalism with the
9 reforming passion of Marxism (Wylie 198 0). Essentially, the New Democracy called for state ownership of big banks, industries, and commercial establishments. But all other enterprises would be permitted to remain in private hands. The ownership of land was to be readjusted, not for the purpose of building a socialist agriculture, but to tu rn the land into p easant property (Mark 1951). Thus, the upper classes are reassu red because socialism was not defined as the immediate objective but only as a long term goal; conversely, the lower classes are satisfied that their l and reform agenda will eventually be met. To the Cuban revolutionaries, nati onalism meant imparting a common revolutionary identity to the population. Through the revolution, Castro developed the possibility of a new imagined communi ty that incorporated a new sense of Cubanidad (Cubaness) based on the political and social ideals of the revolution. In forging this imagined community, a concept developed by Benedict Anderson (1991), Castro combined the ideals of a classless society with a passionate antiestablishment rhetoric that would bec ome essential parts of being Cuban and independent (Prez 1988). Of course, the Batista government contributed to Castros nationalism by implementing a brutal campaign of repression against perceived supporters of the revolutionar ies. Nevertheless, both leaders needed a mechanism to integrate all elements of their revolutionary strategies and demonstrate to the people not only pr ogress, but their commitment to the struggleGuerilla warfare would be that mechanism.
10 Guerilla Warfare The essence of guerilla warfare is highly mobile hit-and-run attacks by lightly to moderately armed groups that seek to harass a normally superior enemy and gradually erode his will and capa bility to fight. Guerillas place a premium on flexibility, speed, and deception (ONeill 1990; Drew and Snow 1988). Guerilla warfare is one technique (means) of violence that revolutionary movements can employ to achieve t heir ends; others include, terrorism, coup dtat6, or a combination of these three techniques. Both Mao and Castros lieutenant, Che Guevara, shaped the te chniques, tactics, and procedures of guerilla warfare to fit their particular circumst ances and conditions. Insurgency, war, and warfare Insurgency is the organized use of subversion and violence by a group or movement that seeks to overthrow or force change of a governing authority. Insurgency can also refer to the group itself. When compared to their adversaries, insurgents generally have strong will, but limited means. It is the relative disparity in assets that no rmally requires groups to use insurgency, although some insurgents may have no interest in working within the existing political system (JP 3-24). War is a contes t of wills between sociopolitical groups, or as the Prussian military theorists Ca rl von Clausewitz proposed: War is a continuation of politics by other means (Drew and Snow 1988). There are differences in the ways wars are waged a nd these are referred to as warfare. A form of warfare may be viewed as one variety of organized violence emphasizing 6 The sudden overthrow of a government by a small group of persons in a position of authority, normally the military.
11 particular armed forces, weapons, tacti cs, and targets (O Neill 1990). Three forms of warfare are asso ciated with insurgencies: gue rilla war, conventional warfare, and terrorism. These will be di scussed in more detail in the chapters ahead. Research Objective and Hypotheses The focus of this work is popular support, particularly of the peasantry, and thus the research objective is to det ermine how mobilizati on of the masses was achieved by Mao and Castro. I seek to prove that guerilla wa rfare was the key ingredient that integrat ed the separate efforts to mobilize resources (organization, ideology, violence, etc.) into a coherent plan of action that established the direction of both revoluti ons. Both revolutionary leaders survived a series of strategic failures and almost complete extermination, by designing dual strategies to de-emphasize class struggle and instead encourage national unity and moderate reform, and thus establ ish cross-cutting alliances throughout all classes of society. As a result, t hey were able to o ffset the resource mobilization advantages (particularly militar y) of their rivals I intend to analyze this central theme of both strategies as it applies to a common objective in the achievement of revolutionary ends: the buil dup of nationalism. Hence, this thesis project seeks to answer the following questions: What was Mao Tse-tungs/ Fidel Castro s strategy for mobilizing popular support resources? What role did guerilla warfare play in building nationalism?
12 As I answer these questions, I will demonstrat e that both Mao and Castro utilized variations of guerilla warfare to design a grand strategy that built nationalism across classes of society. Research Design At its core, this is a case study of two similar cases that explores the cause and effect relationship of guer illa warfare (independent variable) and nationalism (dependent variable). Howeve r, this approach ignores other important variables such as organization, ideology, and leadership that in these two cases, also served to build national ism. An intermediat e step is that of designing a grand strategy that can wrap all other variables into one. Thus, rather than examining multiple instances of X1 => Y, I will examine a single instance of: X1 => X2 => Y That is, a causal chain in a Process Tracing form of analysis, where X1 = Guerilla Warfare; X2 = Grand Strategy; and Y = Nationalism. This case study of revolutions relie s on analyzing archival information of the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions as well as forms of warfare. I intend to conduct an in-depth longitudinal examination of revoluti onary theory in order to provide a theoretical framework for the case study. However, in analyzing the causal chain described above as it applies to t he Chinese and Cuban Revolutions it is more of a mix. The variable X1 (guerilla warfare) is best analyzed through a longitudinal study becaus e the tactics and techniques of this form of warfare had to be refined and adapted to the specific situations over an extended period of time. Further, in both cases, guerilla warfare was [initially] simply a mechanism for survival of the movement(s), not part of a grand strategy
13 or campaign plan that would ultimately serve to mobilize the resources required achieve success. However, the variable X2 (grand strategy) is best analyzed through a cross-sectional study of the poi nt in time when the grand strategy was designed and applied to the revoluti onary phenomenon to achieve the desired effect: Y (nationalism). The unit of analysis for this study is the revolutionary process. These are two similar cases because the Chi nese and Cuban Revolutions are peasant revolutions that occurred within ten y ears of each other; both successfully employed guerilla warfare as a form of violence; had strong and charismatic leaders that sought to build nationalism as a mechanism for regime change; and both resulted in extended communist regi mes. I seek to demonstrate that the main difference was in the employment of guerilla warfare. Regarding X1, my argument is that although the basic tenet s of this form of warfare remained constant; a principal difference between the two was in the degree of command and control. Castro insisted on highly c entralized control of guerilla activities, through Ches foco theory; while Mao decentralized activities to a group of cadres for local initiative and immediate response. Both variations proved to be the key ingredient in shaping albeit in different ways the grand strategy. As far as X2, I argue that both Mao and Castro utilized dual strategies (internal and external) to a ttain the control of resources. As discussed earlier, the internal strategy focused on obtaining the support of the peasant s for Mao they would provide the great forc e to offset the military st rengths of the Nationalists; for Castro sanctuary to conduct his guerilla campaign. The external focused on
14 appealing to other classes of society as we ll as the international community. I will examine the specific mec hanisms that facilitated the conduct of such strategy and how instrumental was t he role of guerilla warfare in implementing it. Of course, implementation carries certain ri sks; even if the internal and external strategies are parallel, overlaps do occur re sulting in contradictions. Thus in this research, I will prove how both leaders br illiantly found a solution by orchestrating the dual strategy contradictory elem ents through the manipulation of, time, space, and participants. Next, the explanation of Y is straight-forward. It is well-known that regardless of how nationalism is inspired it offers the greatest flexibility for revolutionaries, to appeal to all classes of society. Thus, as the main objective of the grand strategy, nationalism would be the principal tool in the mobilization of resources. The basic concept of how M ao and Castro built nationalism through their dual strategies has alread y been discussed in the Concepts and Definitions section of this chapter. Fi nally, I intend to incorporate Barrington Moores (1966) thesis that a catalyst normally ignites a revolution when a revolutionary situation exists. I will do so by arguing that guerilla warfare was in fact the catalyst for both revolutions. This in fact is a contradiction to his proposal that in the China scenario it was the Japanese invasion. My rationale for this study is to clarif y misconceptions of guerilla warfare in revolutions as simply a form of violenc e; that is, a stand-alone instrument for actors that seek power. In this compar ative analysis, I argue th at guerilla warfare is not exclusively a form of violence in the pursuit of power, but that to achieve
15 success when revolutionary conditions exist, it must be part of a grand strategy that incorporates political, social, ec onomic, and psychological variables, that maximize the mobilization of resources to achieve the end stat e of political and social change. Data Collection Plan and Chapter Overview As discussed in the previous section, this case study of revolutions relies on analyzing archival information of t he Chinese and Cuban Revolutions as well as forms of warfare. Extensive wo rks on guerilla warfare have been published; more importantly, both Mao and Che Guevara codified thei r particular variations of guerilla warfare by publishing wor ks on the subject these will form the cornerstone of the X1 discussion. As far as X2, there exists plenty of literature on making strategy from tactical and operatio nal to strategic. The challenge lies in analyzing how both revolutionary leaders fu sed politics and violence into a grand strategy that appealed to the masses. My focus in the Y analysis is to describe how Mao and Castro coordinated the mobilization of resources and skillfully manipulated the contradictions of their stra tegies to achieve a radical nationalism that led to ultimate revolutionary success. Chapter two provides an overview of the dynamic relationship between insurgencies and revolutions. I will discuss and select a framework for understanding the development of revoluti ons, examine several revolutionary theories to provide context, and discuss fa ctors, settings, and conditions that make revolutions favorable and how they apply to the Chinese and Cuban revolutions. I will then examine the revoluti onary theories developed by Mao and
16 Guevara, and thus provide the reader with the necessary background information to understand why guerilla warfare became the backbone of the revolutionary strategy employed by Mao and Castro. Chapter three analyzes guerilla warfare not only as a form of warfare frequently employed by insurgents, but as a resource. My point is that guerilla warfare is not exclusively a form of viol ence in the pursuit of power, but that to achieve success when revolutionary conditi ons exist, it must be part of a grand strategy that incorporates political, so cial, economic, and psychological variables, with an end state of maximum mobilization of resources. The discussion of such a strategy in Chapters four and five pres ents the core argument of my thesis. The focus is on the respective dual stra tegies employed by Mao and Castro to mobilize the resources required to challenge the actor in power. This strategy of deception requires certain elements or conditions, such as successful employment of guerilla warfare, l eadership, ideology, and of course a revolutionary setting. I will explain how each revolutionary leader molded these elements to fit their particular conditi ons and achieve revolutionary success. The focus of chapter six is the cont inued employment of the dual strategy following revolutionary victory in Cuba. T he internationalization of the insurgent strategy by Fidel Castro, with the United States as the primary enemy, was built on the experiences of the revolution and th e philosophy of guer illa warfare. I will explain how Castro used this strategy to remain in power for over 50 years. The conclusion summarizes the main t hemes and findings, and offers some perspectives and speculation about the way ahead for China and Cuba.
17 Chapter Two Revolutionary Theory Introduction Building a theory of revolution can be problematic and complex. There are no simple or straightforward answers to explain revolutions, the factors that cause them, or the likely outcomes. For example, a common held notion is that poverty breeds revolution. Although this view contains an element of truth, it does not explain why historically revolutions have not occurred in scores of extremely poor countries. Another common view is that revolutions occur when a state faces increasingly unmanageable difficultie s, but once again this view fails to explain the occurrence of revolution in several countries that have experienced such situations (Goldstone 1994). Cuba faced extreme political and economic hardship following the co llapse of the Soviet Union, but a second revolution did not occur; currently, Zimbabwe faces economic collapse and extreme poverty, yet no revolution has taken place. H ence, although not totally inaccurate, common observations on revolutions do not provide a full understanding on the framework and dynamics of revolutions. In this chapter, I will discuss and select a framework for understanding the developm ent of revolutions, examine several revolutionary theories to provide cont ext, and discuss factors, settings, and
18 conditions that make revolutions favor able and how they apply to the Chinese and Cuban revolutions. I will then examine the revolutionary theories developed by Mao Tse-tung and Che Guevara. The pur pose of this descriptive approach is to provide the reader with the nece ssary background information to understand why guerilla warfare became the ba ckbone of the revolutionary strategy employed by Mao and Castro. In general, revolutionary theories seek to organize revolutionary facts into a framework that can predict the revolutionary potential of a society or explain the causes of why a revolution failed or succeeded. These facts include leaders, followers, ideol ogy, organization, techniques, and external support (Greene 1999). Commonly discussed theories include the Marxist Theory its principal tenets being that revolutions are related to historical transitions, that revolution is an agent of change, and that revolutions are progressive and beneficial. Following the stage of capitalism, a revolution in the name of workers would result in a socialist stage (Golds tone 1994). The Systems Theory related to existing social structures such as the political and econom ic systems that fail to perform their essential functions resu lting in violent responses by society. Finally, the Modernization Theory which suggests that revolutionary conditions occur when the state is unable or unwil ling to adapt to the demands and interest mobilized by modernization (Greene 1999). However, theories provide only a point of reference and could prove inco mplete in the analysis of any particular revolution. More importantly, revolutionary leaders will modify a particular theory to fit their particular situation, or appl y more than one in thei r quest for success.
19 The Peoples War is Mao Tse-tungs version of the Marxist Theory; he realized that the urban proletariat focus of Marxist theory did not apply to China. Mao observed the impoveris hed peasants of Chinas Hunan province driven to desperation by tax collectors, the oppression of the military, ma nipulation of grain prices by greedy merchants, and the ruthless exactions of gentry7 landlords. Mao recognized that, instead of Marxs factory wo rkers, a disciplined, literate, trained, and politically loyal to the revolution peas ant armed force was the instrument to achieve power (Mao 1937, 1938; Schram 1966). Thus, obtaining the support of the peasantry while appealing to all classes of Chinese society was the principal objective in a pragmatic st rategy to acquire broad-based popular support; that is, build a Red Army that was thoroughly indo ctrinated with the appr opriate political consciousness; await the objective conditions for a popular uprising; then engage in the last stage of the revolutionary struggle: armed conventional warfare focused on surrounding the cities from the countryside. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, inspired by Maos success, further refined the Peoples War doctrine, into their own blend, which resulted in the foco theory. While acknowledging that popular forces could defeat a stronger enemy, and that the countryside was where the struggle would begin, the foco theory stated that popular support would be creat ed during the armed struggl e itself; there was no need to wait until all the conditions for ma king revolution exist; the insurrection could create them. In essenc e, a small group of revolutionaries was considered enough to initiate a revolution, while conc urrently developing the conditions for 7 The word gentry generally refers to people of high social standing resulting from birth (Websters Dictionary)
20 popular support. The basic argument is that the existence of a guerilla foco poses a threat to the legitimacy of a gover nments right to rule and its exclusive monopoly over violence (Johnson 2006; Wickham-Crowley 1991). Such a challenge normally generates a violent and oppressive government response, which typically targets the rural peasantry resulting in increased support for the insurgents, and radicalizing all levels of government opposition. Like Maos, Castros strategy focused on securing the peasant masses, but also was designed to align with the middle class. As the revolutionary movement grows in both urban and rural regions, the gover nment is overwhelmed allowing a successful strike against it s forces, bringing the revo lutionaries to power. In summary, both Mao and Castro re fined existing revolutionary theories to fit their particular conditions, politic al situation, and geography to exploit the weaknesses of their respective enemies. The principal instrument in their strategies was guerilla warfare. Thus, in order to set the stage for the analysis of each revolution, explain why guerilla wa rfare was such an important component, and why it was the driver for strategic and o perational strategies; it is important to understand the framework fo r revolutions, revoluti onary theory, and the conditions that can generate a revolution. Background: Explaining Revolutions Building a theory of revolution is not a simple task because of the diversity of dynamics in different count ries; however, three common notions that explain the genesis of revolutions emerge (G oldstone 2001): first, the rise against oppression; second, the state fa ces an unmanageable accumulation of
21 difficulties; and finally, the population acc epts radical views as a mechanism for change. Although these three basic notions are not totally inaccurate and can certainly be applied to Ch ina and Cuba, they provide only a partial understanding of historical revolutionary patterns. Following the Russian revolution, the first generation of revolutionary studies that also included the Englis h, American, and French revolutions sought to examine in more detail why and how revolutions develop, resulting in a set of propositions that provide guidelines in understanding patterns of events associated with revolutions; these include t he role of different actors such as intellectuals, moderates, and radicals; as well as the reactions of the state to revolutionary forces; which are then placed into a context of struggle between these actors to assume leadership of the state. Subsequent generations of revolutionary studies further develop issues of why revolutions arise; the sources of opposition; and what happens as re volutions develop and unfold. The American historian, Cr ane Brinton, in his work The Anatomy of Revolution (1938), compared the dynamics of revolutions to that of a fever that rises with popular discontent to the point where it is no longer tolerated, and the regime is replaced. Brinton, and other historians of the 1920s and 1930s era, analyzed the history of revolutions and det ermined that a certain uniformity, best described in stages, existed in the developm ent of revolutions (Goldstone1994): 1. The majority of intellectuals co ndemn the government and demand significant reform. 2. State attempts a measure of reform combined with suppression of
22 revolutionaries. 3. The fall of the regime begins with a polit ical crisis resulting from inability of government to deal with a crisis, rather than action by the revolutionaries. 4. Once in power, internal conflicts bet ween revolutionaries results in a lack of unity. 5. The moderates gain the leadership but fail to satisfy those who insist on radical changes. 6. The moderates are opposed by the radi cals; power is gained by progressively more radical elements. 7. Radicals replace the moderates; often manifested by a strong man with supreme power. 8. The extremists impose coercive rule to implement radical reform. 9. A period of terror occurs. 10. Radicalism eventually leads to pragmat ic moderation; the revolution is over. This model implies that t here is a revolutionary pr ocess and that not much change really occurs between the pre-revo lution situation and that of the postrevolution; but it cannot explain why, under some circumstances, an improved government is the result. Although Brinton does prov ide a useful sequence of events in the analysis of revolutions, one can conclude that there is not a onesize-fits-all process. Crintons model wa s based on revolutions prior to that of China and Cuba. Jack Goldstones selection An Analytical Framework (2001), attempts to provide a model for understanding the developm ent of revolutions. This guide is
23 by no means an all-encompassing checklist of events and circumstances. Instead it provides a process framework for analysis that must consider how different forces and trends inter-connect and affect a particular society. Goldstone suggests three processes that ov erlap, interrelate, and are common to all revolutions offering forecasting im plications and thus po ssible pre-emption: state breakdown, revolutionary contention, and state rebuilding. State breakdown results from the conjunction of fiscal distress which prevents government from meeting its obligations to the citizenry; elite alienation which is united against the government, but divided over t he degree of reform or change; and mobilization of the populace against t he state and counterrevolutionaries. Only when these elements rise together, thr ough several sectors of society, can conditions be set for state breakdown and re volution. Multiple factors such as economic conditions, population growth, and international influence can cause these elements to arise; nonetheless, eac h society is different and must be analyzed independently to determine the effects of these forces. During the process of revolutionary contention, groups struggle to form a dominant coalition. Gr oups that are better organized and have access to resources, have a better chance of achi eving dominance. An agent that unites the population, such as a strong ideolog y, can also serve as an important mechanism for group leadership. The themes of rectification, redistribution, and nationalism emerge as groups jockey for position and attempt to dominate the revolutionary struggle. Unfortunately, this often leads to periods of terror and the emergence of repressive regimes. T he final process state rebuilding
24 commences once the new ruling group c onsolidates its authority through a variety of means that coul d contain repression. A key task is the rebuilding of political institutions, which is shaped by class and economic structures prior to the revolution, the international contex t, and the objectives of the new elites shaped by experiences under the pre-revo lutionary regime. An analysis of this last factor can result in a forecast of state reconstruction and allow international powers to preempt revolution through economic or diplomatic techniques. However, once the revolution is in plac e, these techniques, or even military power, are likely to fail in t he attempt to re-direct the agenda of the revolutionary government, as it begins to consolidate it s authority, usually through re-building of the army, internal repressi on, and assertive nationalism. In summary, the preceding framework by Goldstone offers a partial, but practical guide for understanding the devel opment of revolutions. Goldstone argues that the key factor in igniting a revolution is a conjuncture of several conditions that work interactively to unde rmine the state result in a breakdown of the state; he also suggest that during th is process, intervention to forestall revolution could be successful if it can effectively counter one of the conditions previously discussed, even though the others may still be present. Once the government loses the initiative, the proc ess of revolutionary contention starts; that is the jockeying of coalition groups for the control of resources to compete with the government; those t hat are better organized and have a strong ideology that appeals to the largest portion of the population, normally emerge on top. Finally, this framework also suggests that a period of terror and the emergence of
25 coercive and aggressive regimes are lik ely outcomes of revolutions. Goldstone framework for analysis of revolutions fits both the Chinese and Cuban revolutions. I will continue to refer to it in subsequent chapters. Throughout history, several revolutionary theori es have been developed each focusing on a different aspect of revolution: causes, pre-conditions, process, or even likely outcomes. I will briefly discuss a number of theories that not only provide context to this case study, but also insight to later on explain particular circumstances in Cuba and China. Revolutionary Theories Without a revolutionary theory, t here is no revolutionary movement8. Vladimir Lenin Classic approaches in the development of general theories of revolution began with the French Revolution of 1789 as a model, for it was the most dramatic and well known in European history (Goldstone 1994). Several theories of revolution emerged from the model of the French Revolution. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published in 1848, which outlines the requirements to achieve the goal of a classless society through a historical progression of feudalism-capitalism-soc ialism-and communism. The main thesis is that the fall of capitalism and the ruling (bourgeoisie ) class is inevitable because they seek the growth of capital which is conditional on the wage labor of the working ( proletarian) class. Another influential work is that of Alexis Tocqueville, The French Revolution and t he Growth of the State also published in 1848, in which he argues for caution, not ing that revolutions often strengthen 8 As quoted in www.brainyquotes.com
26 the power of the state ra ther than weaken it as opposed to Marx who saw revolution as progressive and beneficia l (Goldstone 1994). Tocqueville also stated that increasing prosperity, can actually promot e a spirit of unrest, as the general public people become ho stile to ancient government institutions. In fact, those parts of France in which the impr ovement in the standard of life was most pronounced, were the chiefs centers of t he revolutionary movement. Finally, Max Webers selection Bureaucracy and Revolution (1994) amplified the work of Tocqueville on state power arguing that bureaucracy when state authority is derived from legally defined offices rat her than from hereditary position or privilege increases when the government abolishes such privileges. Thus, the likely outcome of revolution is a permanent and entrenched bureaucracy. Weber also argued that often the initial im petus for revolution is provided by a charismatic leader who challe nges traditional authority. In the 20th century, studies of revoluti on moved through three waves of research. The natural histories scholars of the 1920s and 1930s, of which Crane Brinton was part, I have already introduced. The 1960s and early 1970s saw the development of general theories of political violence During this period, political changes associated with emerging modern states, combined with fast economic growth resulted in a general climate of revolutions, coups, riots and civil wars (Goldstone 1994). It was during this wave t hat Rgis Debray (1967) codified the foco theory as a model for arm ed struggle in Latin America, with the rural guerilla vanguard as the mechanism for the oppres sed masses to assume power. Also during this period, Samuel P. Huntingt on developed the Modernization Theory in
27 his work Political Order in Changing Societies (1968). Huntington states that revolution is a characteristic of modernization because educational and economic growth increases demand by the people for political participation, faster than political institutions can accommodate t hem. Groups that do not gain access to political power may revolt. According to Huntington, revolutions do not normally occur in traditional societies with a low level of socio-economic complexity or in already highly modern societies. However, they are likely to develop in societies with limited socio-economic dev elopment, or those going through a process of political moderni zation. A complete revolution assimilates new groups into politics thus creating a new political order; the crucia l factor being the concentration or dispersion of power which follows the collapse of the old regime among three social types: m oderates, counter-revolutionaries, and radicals. Huntington also describes the trends in Eastern and Western revolutions and concludes by stating that revolutions do not occur in democratic political systems. A counter-argument to Huntington is o ffered by Charles Tilly in his work: Does Modernization Breed Revolution? (1973). Tilly states that Huntingtons theory is weak because of ambiguities and contradictions. For example the term modernization in itself is vague and difficult to pinpoint within a specific regional context. Additionally, he [Huntington] does not identify what specific groups within a society contend for power or their ability to mobilize resources. Tilly offers a theory of Collective Mobilization (1978) that instead emphasizes the ability of contending groups to mobilize resources and apply them in conflict with the state.
28 Hence, the major issues for groups to ex ecute collective action are the resources already controlled by the group prior to mobilization, the process of obtaining additional resources and re-direct them to wards social change, and the extent to which external support increase the pool of resources. In his work Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966), Barrington Moore seeks to explain the histor ical development of three alternative paths to the modern world through revolutionary variations: the bourgeois revolution culminates in a combi nation of capitalism and parliamentary democracy; top-down conservative revolutions that result in fascism; and peasant revolutions that lead to communi sm. The author also identifies a number of variables that explain why countrie s have taken a different route; these variables center on the structural di fferences in agrarian societies and the response the requirements for modernization. Moore makes three important points on agrarian societies in relation to the third path of peasant revolutions that lead to communism: The first point is that when the commerc ial inclination is weak among the landed upper class, the result is the survival of a peasant mass that can eventually be the main force behi nd a revolution leading to communism. Next, the survival of peasant social stru ctures into the m odern era when they are subject to stresses such as mark et forces, modernization and technology and possibly still subject to an agrarian burea ucracy that inhibits reform. Finally, agrarian bureaucracies of royal abso lutism tend to weaken the landed upper class resulting in a break of the link t hat binds the peasants to the upper classes, setting conditions favoring peasant revoluti ons. I consider Moores second point
29 as the most relevant to Cuba and China and also re-enforces Huntingtons thesis regarding the reaction of societies to m odernization and its possible implications. Additionally, it facilitat es the understanding of peasant revolutions and their association with Marxism. Eric Wolf (1969) further expands on peasant revolutions. He states that while peasants are difficult to mobilize due to factors such as a mindset of independence and not collective action, as well as a lack of tactical freedom to act meaning at least partial possessi on of resources that can be used for political leverage; they can nevertheless revolt in reaction to social strains on traditional lifestyles. Wolf cites three s ources of such strains: (1) Demographics principally population growth, (2) Commercia lization that thr eatens traditional access to communal lands, and (3) Authority crisis which refers the convergence of the first two strains, resu lting in a dislocation of the traditional power structure between the government, elites, and peasants. However, even with the presence of one or more of t hese factors, tacti cal freedom is still essential. Such freedom may be availa ble to a landowning middle peasantry; or to peasants who live in remote areas away from government authority, particularly in defensible mountainous region s, as was the case in Cuba. Still, an external force capable of challenging existing power structures is normally required for the transition fr om rebellion to revolution; in my case studies: the Chinese Red Army and Ca stros guerilla band. The third wave of revolutionary studies in the late1970s and 1980s focused on structural theories of revolution. These theories conclude that since
30 states vary in structure, t hey are vulnerable to different kinds of revolution; they further contend that revolutions begin with some combination of state weakness, conflicts between states and elites, and popular uprisings (Goldstone 1994). Theda Skocpols States and Social Revolutions (1979) is one of the most widely recognized works of the third 3rd wave. Skocpol concept of social revolution draws heavily upon Marxist focus on social-structural change and class conflict Wicham-Crowley 1991, 1992). Skocpols st ructural approach examines multiple relationships among political actors. For Skocpol, the key to revolution is the creation of a power vacuum as the st ate power is undermined by several key relationships between states and elite groups, between peasants and landlords, and between competing states. T hese relationships vary according to structure of certain states and societies. Skocpols theory can be applied to China and to a certain extent Cuba as well. In fact, her 1979 work is a comparative analysis of the revolutions in France, Russia, and Chi na. I will refer to her work, as well as the other theorists discussed, in subsequent chapters. In conclusion, revolutionary theor ies have changed over time. Initial studies focused on the French Revolution and the establishment of a logical pattern to their development. Other sc holars focused on different aspects of revolutions, such as causes and pre-condi tions, or actual process; yet others analyzed the likely outcomes. The violenc e associated with revolutions led to additional theories as to why people would take up arms in revolt. Finally, the changes associated with modernizati on and economic changes, led to yet additional theories. Not only can something be learned from every theory,
31 particular circumstances in both the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions can be explained with one theory or another However, the fact of the matter is that the Marxist Theory of Revolution provided the basic strategic framework for the respective theories of Mao Tse-tung and Ch e Guevara. As a result it deserves a more detailed explanation. Classic Marxist Theory Although both Che and Mao refined the Marxist Theory to fit their own purposes and particular situations, undoubtedly the Marxist approach to revolution remains the unquestioned core and basic framework of their respective theories. Thus, it is ess ential to describe the basic philosophy and concepts of the Marxist Theory of Revolu tion as formulated in the Karl Marx and Frederick Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party published in 1848. Marxism holds that class struggle is the centra l element to social change in Western societies. According to Marx, the principal mechanisms for change are the workers, exemplified by his axiom of Workers of t he World Unite. The goal of a classless society is achieved through a historical progression of stages; each stage is the result of social relationship s developed by a society in the fulfillment of their basic needs: Primitive => Slavery => Feudalism => Capitalism => Socialism => Communism Primitive No property thus no class conflict; a cooperative tribal society. Slavery The tribal society develops classes of slaves and masters. Feudalism Aristocracy is the ruling class over serfs; merchants develop into capitalists.
32 Capitalism Capitalists are the ruli ng class who employ the workers. Socialism Workers gain class consci ousness and overthrow the capitalists. Communism A classless society; co mmon ownership of the means of production. Of course, revolution can be the mechani sm to transition from one stage to the next. Marx understood revolutions not as stand-alone incidents of violence, but as class based movements that develop as a result of inherent friction between classes, within an econ omic structure. Forces t hat create friction include the alienation and exploitation of lower clas ses, politics, social values, religion, law, morality, culture, and ideology. The economic structural system cannot contain the social forces and contradictions in the desire/needs of society, forcing it to rupture into revolution. The ess ence of Marxs theory is the relation of means of production (tools, infrastruc ture, and materials) and modes of production (means of production focused on labor) that constitute the economic structure that meets societ ys needs and expectations. The basic source of a revolutionar y contradiction in society is the emergence of a disjuncture within a mode of production between the social forces and social relations of produc tion (property ownership and surplus appropriation). The disjuncture manifests itself in intensifying class conflicts. The consolidation of an emer ging mode of production withi n the confines of an existing one; for example, capitalis m within feudalism or socialism within capitalism, creates the conditions for the growth of class unity and consciousness
33 of a revolutionary class that results in continuing struggles with the existing dominant class (Skocpol 1979). Revolution itself is then accomplished through class action led by the selfconscious rising of a revolutionary class (ex. the proletariat in socialist revolutions). Although the revolution c ould be supported by other classes such as the peasantry these are not normally class conscious9 or politically organized. Of course Mao and Castro pr oved different. Once successful, a revolution marks the transiti on from the previous mode of production and form of class dominance to a new mode of production, in which new social relations of production, new political and ideological forms, and in general, the hegemony of the new triumphant revolutionary class, create the appropriate conditions for further development of societ y. In short, Marx sees revolutions as emerging out of class-divided modes of production, and transforming one mode of production into another through class conflict (Skoc pol 1979). In addition to revolutionary and social theory, exemplified by the Communist Manifesto Marx also theorized on economics in such works as: A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859), and Capital (Vol I, 1867); additional key points that shape his theory of revolution in clude the following: The fall of capitalism and the ruling ( bourgeoisie ) is inevitable because they seek the growth of capital which is conditional on the wage labor of the working (proletarian ) class. 9 Class consciousness refers to the social situati onal awareness that a social class attains, and its capacity to act in its own interests based on such awareness.
34 The alienation and exploitation of worker s results in a revolutionary setting. Alienation is the separation of laborer s from the results of their labor. Exploitation results from the use of l abor as a commodity with little regard for their welfare, and without adequate compensation. Higher level of economic development results in higher probability of revolution. The process of production requires a syst em of state oppression, allowing a small minority to force the majori ty to work for its own profit. An essential element of state oppression is the so called "superstructure" a system of cultural, religious, politic al and philosophical beliefs, justifying status quo and providing explanations for the misery of the oppressed and welfare of the oppressors. Means of production are constantly developing, due to invention and competition. There alwa ys comes the day, when the superstructure no longer encourages production: on the contrary, it hampers its further development. The modes of production are no longer compatible with modern means of production creating conditions for revolution. This theory was drawn mostly from analysis of numerous bourgeois revolutions. It explains per fectly the past, but its predi ction of the future is questionable. According to Marx theory, socialism should appear first in highly industrialized capitalist societies. This of course was not the case in Russia, in the early 20th century, as Lenin sought to jump-sta rt a revolution. He modified the Marxist theory of revolution to fit his own needs and t he conditions of Russia at
35 the time. Lenin argued that it was po ssible to have socialism in the least developed capitalist countries; through indo ctrination, workers would gain insight into their exploitation and would bring about revolution leading to their control of the means of production. Addi tionally, Lenin rejected the Determinism philosophy of Marxist Theory that events (such as revolutions) are causally determined by prior occurrences that is, future event s are linked to past and present events in a cause-effect relationship. A key concept of Lenins theory is that of the Vanguard Party as the central force of mass action and safeguard of t he revolution. Given that the workers were in a day to day struggle for survival, and thus normally fail to develop class consciousness, the Vanguard Party would be the engine of proletarian revolution (Wickham-Crowley 1991). Lenin also realiz ed that alliance with other classes was essential for success. Although for Lenin, the position of revolutionary vanguard was reserved for the workers, he argued that an alliance between the peasants and workers would maximize the chances of success in overthrowing the czar (Vanden 1982). Lenin brilliantly ma nifested the cross-cutting alliance with the peasant class in the national flag depicting the hammer and sickle. Power was for the taking in 1917, Leni n succeeded by blending the Marxist theory of revolution with strong organi zation, leadership, and ideology often referred to as Marxism/Leninism. Peoples War Theory Maos thesis on peasant-based revoluti onary war in which people not weapons is the decisive factor wa s developed progressively and gradually as
36 Mao studied Chinese history, the Russian revolution, and observed the existing conditions in China. In doing so, he cr eated an original theory of war (Schram 1966). Mao Tse-tungs principal variation from Marx and Lenin is the reliance on the peasantry vice the industrial urban fo rces as the mechanism for change; he argued that this applied to semi-feudal societies of the Third World the Peoples War The two principal observations fr om Maos theory are (Mao 1927): The rural masses contained the potentia l for organized revolutionary action. Only the peasantry of China, and not t he urban proletariat, would provide the base for revolution. Mao visualized peasant-based protracted struggle waged to wear down and discredit the government while at the sa me time gaining support from larger portions of the population. By basing the insurgency in the countryside and by expanding its support, M ao envisioned the government becoming increasingly isolated, impotent and surrounded in t he cities (Drew and Snow 1988). Mao viewed the revolutionary struggle as a flexible three-phased conflict (Mao 1938): (1) Insurgents establish secure operating bases in the countryside. (2) Conduct escalating guerilla warfare in order to discredit the government and demonstrate its inability to control and protect the populace. (3) The balance of power shifts to the in surgents, who then shift to conventional warfare to destroy government forces and overthrow the government. As the government attempts to suppre ss the insurgents, it gets drawn into the countryside where the peasant masses, through guerilla warfare, selectively engage government forces and slowly erode their will to fight, while continuing to
37 gain popular support. The key in shifting the balance of power is winning the support (or at least neutrality) of the population through a sophisticated package of political, psychological, and economic programs designed to take advantage of grievances against the existing power structure and build nationalism. Eventually, the government forces will be reduced to the cities, where the peasant masses now an army will destroy them and gain power (Drew and Snow 1988). A basic theme of Maos theory is the political indoctrination of the guerillas, as well as the masses; that is unity within the army and unity of the army with the people. Mao recognized that a disciplined, literate, trained, and politically loyal to the revolution armed force was the instrum ent to achieve power (Mao 1937). Although Mao insi sted that the Party re tain its position of prominence, the Peoples Army was just as important as the vanguard of the revolution. The Army was a symbol of loya lty, devotion, and self-sacrifice as an instrument of the revolution by fight ing, conducting propaganda, and mobilizing the masses. But if it was to be a co-equal to the Party, it had to be thoroughly indoctrinated with the appropriate political consciousness (Schram 1966). Thus, this is a slight modification of Lenins thes is which clearly defines the party, led by the revolutionary elites, as the protectors and leaders of the revolution. In summary, Maos philosophy regar ding the Peoples War and revolution consisted of three pillars or components: First, the guerilla warfare component, as the mechanism for mobilizing the ma sses; second, a communist component, for political indoctrination of the masses as well as the army; finally, the Chinese nationalism component to establish a commo n consciousness in the minds of the
38 population. Maos theory of revolution worked and served to inspire other revolutions as well as revolutionar y theories. Among t hese is the Cuban revolution and Che Guevaras foco theory. Foco Theory Fidel Castro and Che Guevara adopt ed and modified Maos theory of insurgent warfare to fit local conditions and cultural differences. Che, on his Guerilla Warfare (1961) essay, revealed thr ee fundamental conclusions about armed revolution in the Americas: (1) Popular forces can win a war against the army (2) One does not necessarily have to wait for a revolutionary situation to arise; the guerilla insurgents can create them. (3) In the underdeveloped countries of Latin America, rural areas are the best battlefields for revolution. The first point is congruent wit h Mao and has been proven throughout history; it also re-enforces the power of guerilla warfare when combined with popular support. However, the second point does deviate from Mao, who argued for the buildup of an Army t hat at the right time w ould fight a conventional war against the governments army; it also deviates from the traditional Marxist Theory of class struggle that culminates in a revolution by the proletariat Guevara concurs that the guerilla band can gr ow into a regular army in order to deliver a knock-out blow to the oppressive oligarchy army, but dismisses the indecisive and patient attitude of revolu tionaries that procrastinate under the
39 pretext that it is difficult to fight a professional a rmy. Guevara advocates instead for immediate action by a guerilla band to bring about revolutionary conditions. It is Guevaras contention that the existence of a guerilla foco can undermine the legitimacy of t he governments right to ru le and its monopoly over violence. Such as a challenge would escalate the level of violence of an already oppressive state, to a leve l that radicalizes the gover nment opposition. Within the Latin American context, extreme oppressi on will typically fall disproportionally on the rural peasantry, thus validating G uevaras third point (Johnson 2006). Guevara does admit that certain mini mum pre-conditions are needed to create a revolutionary situation for the foco to capitalize on: (1) The masses must be shown that soci al problems will not be addressed by the government. (2) The oppressive government must break the peace first. The presence of these pre-conditi ons does not guarantee the success of the guerilla foco They do form the socio-po litical framework for the foco to operate and become the spark for a re volutionary situation. Guevara acknowledges that if a government came to power through popular vote and maintains at least the appearance of cons titutional law, a guerilla uprising can only occur once all legal means to effe ct change have been exhausted. He does adjust this tenet later on by arguing that democratic governments can still be oppressive and exploitative through dra fting of new laws and constitutional changes that serve the intere st of the ruling class.
40 The third conclusion validates Mao s Peoples War centered in the countryside, but de-emphasizes the role of urban masses as per traditional Marxism. Guevara does not fully undermine the important role of resistance by organized workers, but explains that in the urban areas, a rmed revolt can be easily suppressed through the suspension of civil liberties, forcing the resistance to go underground. In contrast, rural areas offer sanctuary from oppressor forces and close cooperation with the local peasant ry. Again, it must be emphasized that it was Fidel Castro who designed t he revolutionary campaign, selected its operational objectives, and established t he political end stat e. Guevara then developed the prin ciples of the foco theory from the lessons learned of the revolutionary struggle. According to Guevara the guerilla foco is not only the vanguard, but also the political and military c enter of the revolution (D ebray 1967). Other political forces might come into play in t he efforts against the government, but the strategic, operational, and ta ctical decisions will alwa ys rest with the leadership of the foco (Moreno 1970). This centralizatio n of power reflects the Lenin influence on Che and is in direct contra st to Mao who decentralized operations and indoctrination to his communist guerilla cadres. Debray (1967) made reference to the meticulous and almost obs essive attention to detail that Fidel Castro paid in planning operational activities from the selection of objectives to the number of bullets issued to each fight er. Che learned from Castro and thus insisted on controlling everything believing in a tightly controlled elite organization
41 for decision-making (Friedman 1970). Thus, the foco reigns supreme for Guevara. In summary, Guevara, places a high degree of prim acy on the guerilla band creating the conditions for revolution; for him, guerilla warfare is the basis of the peoples fight for liberation; a fight of the masses, with the guerilla band as the armed nucleus. Unlike Mao, who placed the guerillas and the communist party on equal footing, Che, places the guerilla foco as the one and only vanguard of the revolution. Debray (1967) argues that in Latin America historic circumstances have not permitted Communist Parties to take root and establish themselves in order to spearhead revolu tionary action. Thus, the guerilla army will be the nucleus of the party, not vice versa; the guerilla force then becomes the political vanguard from which a real party can develop. Revolutionary Setting The different revolutionary theories discussed so far have certain commonalities that permit making general statements about revolutions. It is widely accepted by scholars that cert ain conditions must exist before people undertake the difficult task to rebel and drastically change society, form of government, and their previous leaders, sometimes even by utilizing extreme forms of violence. Of course, these c onditions are simply guidelines and by no means a checklist to predict revolutions. Every case is unique and the variables involved are weighted differ ently, or perhaps not at a ll, based on the particular situation. For example, it is unlikel y that the Cuban revolution would have succeeded without the strong personality and leadership of Fidel Castro, the
42 conditions of the peasantry in the Oriente province, or more importantly, the neutralization of the U.S. during the revo lutionary period. In China, although the agrarian conditions favored revolution, it took Maos leadership and the Japanese invasion to tilt the balance in his favor. Thus, there is no specific causal effect that can predict revolutions with any ce rtainty; rather a variety of factors interrelate to create conditions favorabl e to revolution. According to Greene (1999), the presence of what can be considered obvious preliminary signs or preconditions, as well as what can be considered accelerators, can increase the probability of a revolution occurring. Pre-conditions include the following: Geography Geographic conditions can often determine the success or failure of a revolutionary movement. Fo r example, variables such as physical geography of a country can fa cilitate the external support of an insurgency or perhaps geographic isolation can hinder it. In Cuba, it is unlikely that Castro would have succeeded without a base of operations in the remote Sierra Maestra Mountains, located in the Oriente province traditionally a region of insurgency since the days of Spanish ru le. Mao utilized the northwest region of the Shensi Province region to build his Red Army and test his communist policies for eventual expansion. Economic geography, that is differential rates of regional economic developmen t, can heighten hostility between socioeconomic classes. Finally, po litical geography can also determine revolutionary potential; for example, a highly centralized stat e with universities and industry located near a capital, can result in the blending of students and workers into a revolutionary movement.
43 Demography Factors such as population grow th, migration of citizens either internally or to a foreign c ountry, can contribute to a revolutionary condition. For example, in Cuba, the la rge migration of ant i-Castro middle and upper class Cubans to the United States explains the relative socially homogenous population that lack ed political activism; this of course worked to the advantage of the Castro regime dur ing its consolidat ion period. Prerevolutionary Chinas population grow th significantly strained limited agricultural resources, resulting in a peasant radicalism that was eventually exploited by Mao (Greene 1999). Cultural Cleavage A culturally and/or racially diverse society, particularly with non-assimilated immigrant s, can create or raise the level of friction with the indigenous majority. Such condi tions can lead to social conflict and political instability. Cubas history of slavery resulted in a large black population subject to discrimi nation, low social status, and a lack of access to government services. Castro found extens ive support among this segment of the population. The Japanese occupation of China served to unite the nation in a wave of nationalism against the foreign invaders; as I will describe later, Mao harnessed this nationalism as part of his grand strategy. Religion falls in this category as a special case because it can facilitate or prevent revolution. The relative weakness of the Catholic Church in Cuba made it a non-factor in opposing Castro. Although more of a philosophy or ethical system than a religion, Confucianism was not viewed as a threat by Mao because its teachings subordinated it to the stat e. Mao actually found a role for
44 Confucianism in his grand revolution st rategy. Once in power, however, he eventually sought to eliminate it. Land Tenure Land ownership in agricultural societies is the primary measurement of wealth and social status Hence, socio-economic differences are most visible in this type of society. Historically, extremely unequal distribution of land has resulted in al most all revolutionary movements of modern times. Prior to the Chinese Communi st revolution, the vast majority of Chinese, at least 80%, were peasants, but only 20% of the total population were landowners (Greene 1999; Skocpol 1979). In the first half of the 20th century, Cuba was to a large extent, owned by foreigners both land and industry. This would lead to the slow development of a Cuban national identity comprised of the people that is, the workers, the m ill-workers, the Negroes and the peasants. Foreigners controll ed the means of production but the Cubans on the whole worked for it (Thomas 1971). Both Mao and Castro capitalized on the socio-economic conditi ons of their respective nations for popular support. Three additional pre-conditions can incr ease revolutionary potential. First, economic change which can threaten the status quo; the spread of western capitalism has been cited as an important pre-condition in both Cuba and China. Next, social status discrepancies associat ed with inconsistencies in the division of political, economic, and social status. In both Cuba and China, a weak middle class within the context of an economical ly developing, but largely agrarian society, was a major pre-c ondition for revolution. Fina lly, the lack of political
45 adaptation to accommodate the interests of newly mobilized social classes can increase political tension. Castro attempt ed to effect reform through constitutional channels before turning revolutionary. Of course, the presence of several preconditions does not guarantee the development of a revolution; however, the presence of one or more of the following accelerators can fuse a number of preconditions and expedite a revolutionary situation (Greene 1999): Military Defeat Whether against insurgents, against an invading foreign power, or through an external military intervention; a military defeat undermines the legitimacy of the gover nment and facilitates cross-cutting alliances against it. The governments m ilitary defeat suggests that its efforts to inspire citizen loyalty and sacrifice lack credibility. Economic Crises People are more likely to ta ke direct action against the government when their own economic circumstances become critical. This is a stronger incentive than ideology or so cial justice. However, once mobilized in protest of food shortages, unemploymen t, or inflation, the masses are more susceptible to revolutionary ideology and organization. Normally, economic crisis alone is unlikely to provoke colle ctive revolutionary action; however, it could highlight other social or ec onomic problems, and serve to focus revolutionaries. Government Violence Arbitrary and indiscrimi nate, beyond the maintenance of law and order, serves to lower the governments legitimacy and raises the potential for revolt.
46 Elite fragmentation A common pattern observed in revolutions is that of divisions among members of the political elite. These divisions are frequently brought about by military defeat or economic crises. Such fragmentation is an indicator of declining government com petence, which serves to lower its legitimacy in the minds of its citizens, and can lead to political instability. Reform and Political Change Abrupt departure from past policies without accompanied changes in political inst itutions and representation; bad government reforming itself usually half-hearted, not enforced, repudiate past inequalities and lower regimes legitimacy. One final point regarding revolutionar y settings; Barrington Moore (1966) explains that a decisive catalyst or ingredient normally ignites revolutionary conditions into an actual revolution. In both China and Cuba, the situation was ripe for a peasants revolt: The structur e of Chinas peasant society could not adjust to the stresses associated with market forces and modernization; its agrarian bureaucracy inhibited refo rm and weakened the link that bound the peasants to the upper classes, resulting in the survival of a peasant mass that eventually became the main force behind th e revolution (Moore 1966). In Cuba the repressive Batista regime, combi ned with a disaffected peasantry without a history of private ownershi p, and large numbers of unemployed rural workers in a sugar mill dominated economy, created the conditions for a guerilla movement in the countryside. As part of this resear ch, I will examine the pre-conditions, accelerators, and decisive catalyst of each revolution, and the important role that
47 guerilla warfare played in facilitating t he catalyst, or maximizing its benefits for eventual revolutionary victory. Conclusion There is no set formula, checklist, or pre-conditions for revolutions to occur. Several forces come together, at a certain point in a societys history, which set the conditions for regime change or revolution. However, it is important to note that each country and region is geographically, culturally, socially, and economically different. In this chapter, I have attempted to provide a progression of theories and studies to set the stage for the com parative analysis of the Chinese and Cuban revolutions. Jack Goldst ones thesis in the development of revolutions will provide context for the re volutionary process. The Marxist theory of revolution will frame the strat egic framework for analysis and general guidelines, because both revolutionar y leaders in the China and Cuban revolutions derived their own theories from Marx. Charles Tillys Mobilization of Resources theory will operationa lize the strategic objectives and explain the role of guerilla warfare revoluti onary theories, by Mao and Che, in meeting those objectives, as well as shaping the strategies for success. I consider Tillys theory more operational than strategic and thus app licable to my case study; while the Marxist Theory of revolution offers a gener al framework such as conditions, accelerators, and timing these conditi ons must be operationalized and Tillys theory offers a pragmatic guide to doing just that: the control of resources by any means necessary. In subsequent chapters, I will discuss the blending of the mobilization mechanisms with guerilla warf are as the main ingredient into a
48 cohesive strategy that appealed not only to t he main effort of such strategy the peasants but also other classes in pursu it of the broadest possible alliance. Both revolutionary leaders understood that a revolution cannot succeed without support from the different classes of soci ety. By blending politics and forms of warfare they both achieved the end stat e of regime change through violence. The cornerstone of both revolutionary theories is that popular guerilla forces can win a war against a superior a rmy. This form of violence became the primary mechanism for mobilizing res ources and undermining the moral authority of the actor in power. Mao chose to build his own peasant army and developed the tactics of guerilla warfar e from base areas in the countryside. To Mao, the role of guerilla warfare went beyond t he obvious: it would also serve as a mechanism for obtaining popular support; fo r getting close to the peasants and sharing their hardships; for indoctrinat ion of peasants; and for obtaining small victories to motivate the masses. Finally it would provide a springboard for the development of conventional armies that would eventually confront the KMT for the right to rule China. For Che and Castro the existence of a guerilla foco would pose a threat to the governments legi timacy and force a violent response from the government. The resulting campaign of oppression would naturally fall on the peasants creating a backlash against the government across all sectors of opposition. The end result is the same: classes of society, riding a wave of nationalism, unite against the government and overthrow it. The central idea of the comparative anal ysis is that guerilla warfare is not exclusively a form of violence in the pursu it of power, but that to achieve success
49 when revolutionary conditions exist, it mu st be part of a grand strategy that incorporates political, social, economic and psychological variables, with an end state of maximum mobilization of resour ces. Thus, a comprehensive analysis of guerilla warfare, as not only a technique but an overall philosophy for the attainment of strategic objectives is in order.
50 Chapter Three Guerilla Warfare Introduction Violence is a resource and as such it can be harnessed, mobilized, and employed. But violence for the sake of vi olence is not a successful technique for winning the popular support required to ac hieve political objectives. First and foremost, it must be integrated into a grand strategy that clearly defines the parameters for the use of violence in s upport of political objectives. This is certainly easier than done the use of viol ence requires political vision, assets, command and control, and discipline in its employment. Further, it could possibly require the political leadership to public ly separate itself from violence; this concept is part of the Dual Strategy that will be discussed in latter chapters. Ultimate success in mobilizing and ut ilizing any resource depends on effective organization, which seeks the active suppor t of large segments of the population, on behalf of an actors cause. In this case study, the government and the insurgents are the two principal actors t hat compete for resources. Both Mao and Castro recognized the importance of organization to obtain popular support. Realizing that they were at a res ource disadvantage against an entrenched government, they sought to slowly bleed the government of support, as they concurrently spread their message and broadened their support across all
51 segments of society, thr ough organization in the countryside, urban areas, and even within the government. Essentially, organization would be the mechanism to connect the leadership of the insurgen cy with the population. But an ingredient was needed in the formulation of a gr and strategy to inspire and unite the masses in support of the insurgents cause. That key ingredient would be guerilla warfare. Guerilla warfare is a weapon of the weak. Both Mao and Castro were in extreme positions of weakness against their respective rivals, as they formulated their revolutionary theories with guerilla wa rfare as the princi pal component. They really had no other choice. Maos communi sts were almost exterminated once by the KMT. Castro had been arrested and thrown in jail by Batista. Further, political participation was not an option in either environment. The use of violence would lead the road to change. Of course, what differentiates an insurgency from a political protest movementsuch as Gandhis in India or Khomeini in Iran is the use of violence. The violent component of an insurgency is manifested in different forms of warfare that is, a variety of organized violence which emphasizes particular armed forces, weapons, tactics, and targets. Three forms of warfare have been associ ated with insurgencies: gue rilla war, conventional warfare, and terrorism, (ONeill 1990). Terrorism is a form of warfare in which violence is directed primarily against non-combatants rather than gov ernment police/military forces or economic assets. While the targets of such violence through assassinations, bombings, arson, torture, etc. may appear random, t hey are carefully planned
52 to maximize the political impact in support of the insurgency (Greene 1999; ONeill 1990). Terror ultimately attacks peoples minds by instilling fear in government officials and their suppor ters and convincing people that the insurgency is powerful, while the power of the state is weak; another function of terror is to provoke the state into a response of indiscriminate violence and oppression against the population; finally, on a sufficient scale, it can also disrupt the functioning of government (Joint Publ ication 3-24). However, an exclusive reliance on terror as a revolu tionary or insurgent technique is a certain sign of the movements weakness (Greene 1999). Although both Mao and Che Guevara/Fidel Castro used terrorism selectively and on a relatively small scale; their respective theories were clear in the negative impact of terrorism on popular support (Mao 1937; Guevara 1961). Conventional warfare defined as the direct confrontation large units in the battl efield was seen by Mao and Che as possible necessity in the last phase of revolution to defeat government forces. Initially, however, insurgencies are not strong enough to measure up with the government in conventional warfare; whether the transition is made, depends on the insurgent strategy, and vulnerabilities of the governments armed forces. Thus, the most common form of vi olence utilized by insurgents has been guerilla warfare. Guerilla wa rfare differs from terrorism in that it targets the governments armed forces, police, or their support units and in some cases key economic infrastructure, rather t han unarmed civilians. The essence of guerilla warfare is highly-mobile hit-and-run attacks conducted by lightly armed bands that seek to harass the enemy and gradually erode his capability and will
53 to fight. Guerillas place a premium on flexibility, speed and deception (Mao 1937; Guevara 1961). In this chapter, I will intr oduce the characteristics of insurgent warfare and the use of guerilla tactics in waging a successful insurgency; such analysis will provide the reader wit h an understanding of how successful employment of violence by a weak acto r can eventually lead to success. I will also explain the basic guerilla tactics of Mao and Che in order to demonstrate, in latter chapters, how these actions at the lowest tactical level were well planned and integrated into a grand strategy that eventually resulted in a buildup of nationalism in support of the insurgents. Although guerilla warfare is a tactical tool, to Mao and Fidel Cast ro, it went far beyond a mechanism for violence: Guerilla warfare was a philosophy that guided operational and strategic decisions. Fundamentals of Insurgency and Guerilla Warfare Insurgents wage revolutionary warfare, and for the most part, insurgencies are revolutions, as they seek to control resources and instruments of violence against the government to achieve their goal s. As discussed in Chapter 2, the basis and inspiration for most third world re volutions since in the latter half of the 20th century, was Mao Tse-tung, who through trial and error, refined and tested his ideas and techniques in the long ci vil war in China, as he attempted to overthrow the government of Chiang Kai-shek. The principal political and military tool in an insurgency is guerilla warfare, waged in a fashion where the ultimate end state is to disaffect the population from the government. Maos basic theory was adapted by Fidel Castro and other in surgents theorists, such as Vo Nguyen
54 Giap in Vietnam, to fit loca l conditions. Hence, every insurgency has its unique characteristics. Nonetheless, successful in surgencies have four characteristics in common that constitute the basis of in surgent warfare doctrine (Drew and Snow 1988). The first is that they are normally protracted struggles. Rebels are at a disadvantage as they go against an ent renched government that commands a military, controls the economy, and has direct access to means of communication. Although a quick victory is unlikely, time is normally on the side of the insurgents and it is used as a weapon to weaken the government. Every day that the insurgency continues to exis t, serves to discredit those in power, adds a degree of legitimacy to their caus e, and creates a sense of inevitability that the insurgents might just prevail. Those that are not ardent supporters might start to hedge their bets and either indirect ly support the insurgency, or remain neutral both wins for the rebels. The cla ssic example is the Vietnam War. The U.S. possessed an unquestionable advant age in weapons, technology, and training but the insurgency slowly and over time bled the U. S. forces turning public opinion in the U.S. against the war; no conflict in a democracy can continue without popular support. As a result, although U.S. forces never lost a battle, the war was eventually lost. Second, and probably most important, is the central role played by their infrastructures the underground organizati on that can be a primary source of strength for the insurgency. This polit ical infrastructure performs several functions that are vital to the initia l survival, subsequent growth, and eventual
55 victory of the insurgency: intelligence gathering, provision of supplies and financial resources; recruitment and polit ical expansion; sabotage, terrorism, and intimidation; and the establishment of a shadow government. Agents placed within government agencies ar e important facilitators, but also sympathizers embedded in the general populati on can help the insurgents cause by reporting troop movements or conducting small ac ts of sabotage. If the insurgent underground succeeds, the government appears weak and ineffective. The third characteristic of successful insurgencies is the subsidiary importance of insurgent military acti ons. Although important, success in the battlefield is not crucial to the success of the insurgent movement. This explains why insurgent forces can lose virtually every battle and still win the war. The key is blending insurgent military actions with the political component. The fourth and final characteristic t hat successful insurgencies have in common is the use of guerilla tactics the classic insurgent strategy used by the weak against the strong. As opposed to c onventional operations designed to win a quick victory, guerilla tactics are design ed to avoid that decisive defeat against a stronger enemy. Basic concepts of guerilla warfare are as follows: Operations are based on the mobilit y of the individual soldier. Operate in small units to avoid pr esenting high-value large targets to government forces with superior firepower. Fight only when it is advantageous to fi ght often by concentrating forces against isolated government units or posts.
56 Holding terrain is not normally advantageo us; to do so invites destruction by superior enemy forces. The immediate objective of t hese concepts is to negate the major advantage of government forces superior firepower and numbers. By doing so, the insurgency remains relevant and acti ve in the pursuit of its operational objectives: first, shift gove rnment attention away from activities of the insurgent political infrastructure, so that the movement can c ontinue to grow; second, harass, demoralize, and embarrass the gover nment, its military, and its allies; and lastly, elicit a violent response from a frustrated government, which as we know, are often counterproductive and furt her alienate the population from the government. If successful guerilla tactics result in increased popular support for the insurgents, a frustrated government slowly loses command and control of the nation, resulting in an exp ansion of the insurgent infrastructure. Eventually, the forces combine to favor the insurgent s, who by now can assemble and mass large units using conventional tactics, to deliver the final blow to the government. Two additional points regarding in surgent warfare (as opposed to conventional warfare) are worth mentioning. First the center of gravity that is, the resource from which a military fo rce draws its strength, and if neutralized would result in defeat is twofold: its covert political infrastructure embedded in the general population and popular support itse lf. Without an infrastructure or popular support, the insurgency has no political arm, is devoid of its intelligence apparatus, and unable to access its principal source of manpower and logistical support. Of course, no government can su rvive without the acceptance of the
57 people particularly one opposed by an attrac tive insurgency; thus, in this case, the center of gravity for t he governments power is also located within the general population. This is why popular support is the key strategic objective of most insurgencies. A second unique feature of insurgent warfare is that insurgent military forces win when they do not lose. Although guerillas often lose small tactical engagements, the fact that they normally do not concentrate their forces, allows them to avoid total defeat and continue the fight. Their survival in the face of vastly superior government strength adds to their credibility. Conversely, conventional military forces lose when they do not win. The failure to do decisively defeat an inferior insurgency di scredits the governments military and the government as a whole. In summary, the military warfare conducted by insurgents often manifested in the form of guerilla warfare is the direct opposite of conventional warfare. Conventional military forces seek to concentrate forces at the decisive time and space to achieve quick and decisiv e victories. Insurgent military forces take the opposite approach, by dispersing in time and space to avoid decisive defeat. While conventional forces attempt to achieve a decision by acting faster than the enemy can react, insurgent guerilla fo rces seek to extend the conflict to prevent an effective reaction. For the guerillas, time becomes a weapon (Joint Publication 3-24; ONeill 1990). Both Mao and Castro took this basic framework, the lessons of history, and their particular situations, to build their respective blends of guerilla tactics. The basic tact ics are very similar; the principal
58 differences are in their execution. As I will explain on the following sections, while Mao decentralized operations, Castro preferred absolute control. Basic Guerilla Tactics Mao Tse-tung The guerilla must move amongst the peopl e as a fish swims in the sea10. Mao Tse-tung Maos thesis on peasant-based revolutionary war in which people not weapons is the decisive factor wa s developed progressively and gradually as Mao studied Chinese history, the Russian revolution, and observed the existing conditions in China. In doing so, he creat ed the original theory of war discussed in Chapter 2. Mao also drew heavily fr om the ancient Chinese Strategist, Sun Tzu, whose book The Art of War is still in use today at military colleges. Maos Basic Tactics (1938, 53) book defines the overa ll philosophy of guerilla tactics: When it is not advantageous for our main land army to meet the enemy in large scale engagements and we therefore, send our [guerilla] units which employ the tactics of avoiding strengths and striking at weaknesses, of flitting about and having no fixed position, and of subduing the enemy according to circumstances, and when we do not oppose the enemy according to the ordinary rules of tactics, this is ca lled employing guerilla tactics. According to Mao, the ess ential feature of a ll guerilla strategy/tactics is to concentrate forces in order to destroy t he enemy units one by one. The aim is not to hold territory or cities but to destroy the enemy and stir up the courage of the popular masses. To achieve this result, Mao stresses the importance of accurate information on the enemys movement and secrecy regarding the guerillas movement, as indispensable. Both of course depend on the support of the population, which takes us back to the fundamentals discussed earlier and the 10 As quoted in www.military.quotes.com
59 prominence of organization in a successful insurgency. Among other basic tenets extracted from Basic Tactics and On Guerilla Warfare (1937), Mao recognizes the importance of political organizati on down to the guerilla unit level: Do not attack strong positions or fight hard battles. Organize the masses and fight with them. When the enemy advances we retreat; when the enemy retreats we pursue; the enemy halts, we harass. Importance of organization to incl ude political in gu erilla units. Deal strongest possible blows to the enemys morale and in creating disorder and agitation so he can neither advance nor retreat. Peculiar quality of operations lies ent irely in taking the enemy by surprise. The sole habitual tactic of a guerilla unit is the ambush. Political and literacy training to ra ise and strengthen the fighting capacity of members; to stimulate t he soldiers national consci ousness, their patriotism, and their love for the people and masses. Although Mao emphasized discipline and loyalty of subordinates in the execution of orders by superiors, he also recognized the importance of increasing the spirit of initiative, in order to adapt to rapidly changing situations. Mao emphasizes initiative and de-centraliz ation in the following passage from Guerilla Warfare (1937, 52): In guerilla warfare, small units acting independently play the principal role, and there must no be excessive interference with their activities. In orthodox warf are [in principle] command is centralized. This is done because all units and supporting arms in
60 all districts must coordinate to the highest degree. In the case of guerilla warfare, this is not only undesirable but impossible. Mao defined the relationship of guerilla unit commanders and their subordinates in the same manner as t hat of the Communist Party and the masses: the former establish the objectives, and the latter carries them in a combination of obedience to orders and initiative (Mao [May] 1938). This decentralization of operations served Mao well; not only did it allow him to gain speed relative to his opponents, it was also well-suited to the vast distances and geography of the Chinese countryside that made command, control, and communications difficult. There are three elements that facilit ate decentralization (Warfighting 1989). The first are mission-type ta ctics; that is, t he assignment of a mission to a subordinate without specifying how the mission is to be accomplished. The higher commander de scribes the mission and explains its purpose; the subordinate commander determines the tactics needed to accomplish the task based on the mission and the higher commanders intent. As a result, each leader can act quickly as the situation changes without having to pass information and wait for orders. The second element I have already mentioned: commanders intent. As t he situation changes, subordinate commanders who clearly understand the purpose, can take action in the absence of orders and thus exploit situations as l ong as it complies with the overall intent or vision of the commander for the operat ion. Finally, the experience factor cannot be underestimated in gaining spe ed through decentralization. Veteran units are normally familiar with different situations, or at least know generally
61 what to expect, and thus can think, mo ve, and act faster than untried units. It is clear from analyzing Basic Tactics and Guerilla Warfare, that Mao emphasized decentralization and the speed it generates in relation to the enemys decisionmaking and action cycle. Acting faster is a great advantage in combat as the enemy falls in a reactive mode and loses the initiative. At this tactical level11, Mao also took the opportunity to inject political work and nationalism into his guerilla commanders, cadres12, and fighters. On Guerilla Warfare (1937, 89), Mao States: The political goal must be clearly and precisely indicated to inhabitants of guerilla zones and their national consciousness awakened. Mao also dedicates an entire chapter of Basic Tactics (1938) to political work. In this chapter he explains that through political indoctr ination, the goal is to raise the fighting capacity of guerilla fighters to a higher level. He measures the fighting capacity of a guerilla unit not so much by its conduct of military operations, but by its ability to utiliz e political consciousness and political influence to obtain the support of the ma sses and inducing them to accept the insurgency leadership. The main content of political work is dedicated to stimulating the fighters national consci ousness, patriotism, and love for the people and the masses. All fighters must be of a single mind and endowed with the resolve and will to save the nation t ogether. To this end, orders of superiors 11 There are three levels of war: the tactical level of war refers to the art and science of winning engagements and battles; the operationa l level coordinates tactical results to attain strategic objectives; the strategic level focuses directly on national policy objectives (U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Field Manual 1). 12 The fundamental role of the cadre is enforcem ent of political and ideological discipline, subversion of opponents, and co-optation of social power to support the insurgent strategy (Joint Publication 3-24).
62 must be carried out while maintaining strict military discipline. Mao also makes it a point that guerilla units must also carry out propaganda among the masses regarding the intent of t he enemy. The chapter goes on to explain mechanisms for political work, such as small group discussions; methods such as topics, timing, and number of personnel; and types of political work during ordinary times, during battle, and after battle. In summary, the main takeaways from Maos Basic Tactics and Guerilla Warfare are that guerilla units avoid enem y strong positions and concentrate forces against weak ones. Next, operati ons should be decentralized to generate speed in decision-making and avoid the command and control limitations imposed by Chinas geography. And finally, t hat political work be integrated into guerilla units to build national con sciousness and support of the masses. Success in these three areas would set t he conditions for the implementation of Maos Dual Strategy in the pursuit of revo lutionary victory. In Cuba, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara developed the guerilla tactics that would succeed in a different environment and political situation. Basic Guerilla Tactics Che Guevara The revolution is not an apple that falls w hen it is ripe; you must make it drop13. Ernesto Che Guevara Historically, the coup dtat is the most frequently used form of violence in Latin America. Professiona l militaries in Latin Amer ica see themselves as defenders of the constitution and defenders against subversive movements and corrupt politicians. Under the coup scenario, the armed forces occupy 13 As quoted in Che Guevara Speaks: Selected Speeches and Writings (1967).
63 government buildings, deploy to key areas of the capital in a display of force, secure the means of communication, and thus force the president and his associates to seek asylum in a foreign embassy. A military junta14 assumes power and proclaims control of the gover nments administration until a civilian government can be restored, typically thr ough elections. However, such revolts do not change the established social or economic structure; it simply changes those in power and the composition of government workers by non-constitutional means (Kling 1962). By the time Ca stro and his band invaded in 1956, he was seeking power along with social change, the coup dtat option died with his initial failed attempts prior to his 1952 arrest. Castros pursuit of power by unconventional means assumed the form of guerilla warfare. This resulted in two major variations of the Latin American norm (Kling 1962): 1. A protracted campaign of guerilla warfare rather than a quick hit. 2. A complete change in the existi ng social and economic institutions. While Mao had learned through trial and e rror, Castro and the cadres of leaders around him were familiar with the pr inciples and requirements of guerilla warfare. Before their invasion of Cuba in 1956, this group was instructed and trained in the tactics of guerilla warfare in the mountains of Mexico by veterans of guerilla warfare in the Span ish Civil War; one of them Alberto Bayo, had been a General in the Republican army (Guevara 1963). It is here that the foundation for the foco theory of revolution was laid, by observation of guerilla movements in Asia, and by constant practice. They learned that a small determined nucleus 14 A junta is essentially a committee of senior military officers.
64 could initiate guerilla warfare and that the growing band must be divided into relatively small detachments (Kling 1962) The actions of these small groups were to be controlled by the inner circle of revolutionaries. Guevara builds on Maos concepts of guerilla wa rfare. The essence of foco tactics are captured on Guevaras On Guerilla Warfare (1961,6): Guerilla warfare is a fi ght of the masses, with the guerilla band as the armed nucleus. One resorts to guerilla warfare when oppressed by superior numbers and arms. The guerilla must possess a highly developed knowledge of the terra in on which he operates avenues of access and escape, possibilities for rapid maneuver, popular support, and hiding places. All this favors rural areas. [Here] the guerilla can represent the great ma ss of poor farmers. [Hence], the guerilla is above all else an agrarian revolutionary The foco is essentially a means to create a revolutionary situation. Once the group obtains the support of peasant s in the area, and thus ensure its survival, then the foco can move on to its primary task of creating instability and opposition to the government. Other foco functions include attacking the enemy, protecting the peasants, and implementing ag rarian reform but survival of the foco is paramount. According to Guevara (1961), the foco is composed of 25-35 men under the politico-milit ary leadership of a commander. The individual fighters must be first and foremost a social reformer of high moral standards and self-control, who seeks to introduce so cial reform to the peasants through personal example. To Guev ara, popular support is i ndispensable. Once again, this takes us back to the fundamental s discussed earlier and the importance of organization in a successful insurgency. In fact, Guevara dedicates an entire chapter, a section of a separate chapter, and an appendix to organization. In
65 these sections, he explains the optimum organization of the guerilla bands for combat, the supporting logistics, as well as the organization for the entire movement, to include civil administrati on, propaganda, and the role of women. The following include some of Guevar as basic tenets of guerilla warfare and organization: The guerilla relies on mobility to flee from action when necessary, to shift his front, to evade encirclement, and even to envelop the enemy. Nothing helps the combat forces more than accurate intelligence. The guerilla numerical inferiority make s the element of surprise extremely important in facilitating disproportionate loses upon the enemy. Sabotage is an important revolutionary means, but it should be differentiated from terrorism. Indiscriminate terrorism against ordinary people is inefficient and can provoke retaliation. Shock, not sustained attack is the ke y to fighting in the open country. Guerilla organization is not fixed, rat her is task-organized to specific needs. A good number for a guerilla band in the countryside is 10-15 men; this number provides good mutual support, adequate firepower when massed, can rapidly scatter, not easily det ected, and maximizes mobility. For a major attack, guerillas can be massed in greater numbers, but immediately thereafter, must wit hdraw back into small groups. Like Mao, Guevara emphasizes loyalty and discipline in the execution of orders, but decision-maki ng is centralized in the leadership of the guerilla foco
66 the center of the revolution (Moreno 1970). Centralization worked in Cuba because the individual members and subordinat e leaders of Castros forces did not posses the experience and military knowledge to carry-out mission-type tactics. Castros resources were limit ed and centralization minimized risk as operations were methodically planned against limited objectives that ensured success; and the scope of Castros operat ions were limited mostly to the Oriente Province. The fight in the cities was le ft to other segments of the opposition to Batista. Unification with these el ements would come later through the mobilization of resources. At this tactical level, Guevara in troduces the individual guerilla as the mechanism for political change; a crusader for the peoples freedom, who after exhausting peaceful means, resorts to a rmed rebellion; he aims directly at destroying the existing social order and replacing it with something new. Since the economic and political conditions in the Americas favor initiating the fight in rural areas, the guerilla makes agrarian reform his banner for revolution. Thus, to obtain the status of true crusader, the guerilla must adhere to a strong moral conduct and strict self-control. At firs t, he will not stress social reform, acting more as an advisor to the peasants in matters of the technology, economics, and culture. He does not steal and bothers the rich as little as possible. These are basic principles of the Dual Strategy that I will explain in detail in latter chapters. As I have discussed previously, revolu tions cannot succeed without appealing to all classes. By preaching agrarian reform to obtain the support of their base, yet
67 downgrading its importance to other classes, the guerillas seek broad popular support. Whether by design, inspiration from Mao, or simply by default in the application of guerilla tacti cs, Guevara lays the foundation for the Dual Strategy, as one studies On Guerilla Warfare (1961). Guevara explains that the individual guerilla should be recruited from the area in which he will fight in order to develop contacts, make use of his local terrai n knowledge, and provide him with a sense of fighting for his own area. Men so dedi cated must have an ideal one that is simple yet worth dying for. For peasants, the right to own land and fair social treatment; for industrial workers, a dec ent job and wages combined with social justice; and for students and professional wo rkers, the ideal is more abstract, such as freedom. As I will discuss later, the underlying framew ork that fuses the different ideals is nationalism In summary, apart from the essence of the foco theory introduced in Chapter 2, the main takeaways from Ches On Guerilla Warfare are that his basic tactics of mobility, surprise, and concentration of fo rces only when necessary, are right out of Maos concept for guerillas. Guevara sanctions sabotage, but in a controlled manner that does not appear as terrorism. But Guevara also provides tactical guidance that supports the Dual St rategy, by focusing on agrarian reform, but not dictating to the peasants; and by not alienat ing other classes, even though Guevaras contempt for the upper classes is evident. Above all, it is the individual guerilla that sets the example for social reform and armed rebellion; the people then carry it forward as it snow balls into a nationwide rebellion.
68 Conclusion Guerilla warfare is a form of violenc e that is governed by the laws of warfare (Wickham-Crowley 1991); in other words, unlike terrorism there is nothing illegal about it, as long as it co mplies with the accepted norms of armed conflict. Both Mao and Guevara/Castro applied the fundamentals of guerilla warfare, but shaped them to fit their particular situati ons, while being cautious to maintain the legitimacy of the insurgency in the eyes of the population and the rest of the world. This is essent ial for domestic popular support and possible international aid. Both revolutionaries re cognized that a sanctuary is an essential element of guerilla warfare. Mao operated in the vast territory of the Chinese countryside to maneuver and attack the enem y at his weakest points. He evaded extermination by disappearing into the populace. Mao developed incredible skill in changing the profile and character of his forces from guerilla bands, to organized army units, back to guerilla bands, and to civilians. Castro never developed such a changing character; his band of guerillas relied more on fixed bases from where to launch attacks, t hen would simply disappear into the remote, heavily vegetated, and i naccessible mountains of the Sierra Maestra As for war material, neither Mao nor Cast ro received any substantial aid from outside sources. Instead, they mostly supplied themselves by capturing war materiel from their enemy a basic tenet of guerilla warfare. Mao did not consider urban sabotage an important element of th e insurgency, but Fidel Castro and Guevara saw it as complement ary, often coordinated from their own headquarters in the mountains (Peterson 1970).
69 Both doctrines of guerilla tactics relied on the example set by the individual fighters; but Mao took it a step further by placing a much larger degree of faith in his guerillas. And here lies the greatest difference between Mao and Che: command and control; centralizat ion versus decentralization. Che and Castro insisted in running the show; they distrusted the abilities of those around them except for the inner circle (Moreno 1970). This was partly due to the geography and the specific conditions of C uba, but also ideology. Although Che was a rather unorthodox Leninist, he still believed in elite and tightly controlled organization (Friedman 1970). Mao, on the other hand, relied on decentralization and the local initiative of his cadres and the people. Mao focused on attracting maximum support from all classes to include the capitalist bourgeoisie; Guevara, on the other hand, stressed socialism instead of alliance with nationalistic capitalists. However, Che at the direction of Fidel Castro was careful not to take his antagonism too fa r with the upper classes; otherwise he risked isolating the guerillas from a potent ial source of financial and manpower support, as well as running the risk of that segment of so ciety aligning itself with reactionary military nationalists (Friedman 1970). As it was, elements of the middle and upper classes never fully trus ted Castro and his followers. But as I will discuss later, in the end, Castro was able to mobilize enough resources to partially offset the antagoni sm of these elements. Leadership was defined and exercised differently by Mao and Castro. Both stressed leadership by example, but Maos teachings and actions appear more genuine and pragmatic than Castros. Mao could accept as he did his
70 rival Chiang Kai-shek as national leader in the fight against Japan, but at the same time work to displa ce him. As such, he appears to be truly fighting for the interest of the people instead of himsel f (Friedman 1970). On the other hand, Castro and Che could never accept s ubordination to anybody or any group. Castro has eliminated pot ential opponents for 50 years. Guevaras insistence on subordination of Bolivian guer illas contributed to failure (Johnson 2006; Moreno 1970). These two different approaches to leadership reflected on the execution of the Dual Strategy that I will discuss in the following chapters. Castro was direct and thus more transparent in dealing with th e inconsistencies of such strategy; Mao, while pragmatic in order to appeal to different groups without utilizing violence, had to design a number of mechanisms to deal with such inconsistencies. The principal takeaway from this c hapter is that in China and Cuba, the form of warfare resorted to by the insu rgents was guerilla warfare; but in both cases, guerilla warfare went beyond simply military tactics techniques, and procedures. It was the catalyst for mob ilizing the peasant masses, for political indoctrination, and the main ingredient in a grand strategy to mobilize the resources required for revolutionary victory (Mao 1937, 1938; Guevara 1961, 1963). Guerilla warfare was the mechanism fo r political work from the bottom-up, which combined with top-down strategic or ganization, would result in the buildup of nationalism the objective of the grand strategy. Guerillas must appear as nationalists, otherwise they will not win the mass support, the elites, and the patriotic youth needed to educate, or ganize, lead and die for the revolution
71 (Friedman 1970). Mao would have never come to power if he had not been able to mobilize the Chinese peasantry by ex ploiting their nationalist sentiments. Nationalism was the decisive factor in Ch ina. In Cuba, and the rest of Latin America for that matter, nationalism is a strong issue. The nationalist banner can be up for grabs and not necessarily fall in the hands of the guerillas. In fact, Latin American history is full of examples of militaries acting for the bourgeois taking the nationalist mantle and expropriating the properti es of outside powers. Castro realized full well the requirement to design a strategy that would promote and harness nationalism in favor of the guerillas, or possibly risk losing the nationalism banner to other gr oups in search of resour ces and power. In the next two chapters, I will discuss how Chinese and Cuban revolutionary leaders incorporated a number of mechanisms within a revolutionary setting to develop a cohesive strategy focused on nat ionalismWhat I refer to as a Dual Strategy.
72 Chapter Four China Revisited Introduction The Chinese revolution is the best known peasant revolution. This is because peasants comprised the preponder ance of the masses behind Mao Tsetungs rise to power. Although Chinese peas ants rebelled in response to poverty, traditional exploitati on by the upper classes, and did succeed in changing the social structure of the count ry, reality is significantly more complex than rebellion in response to social conditions. As prev iously discussed, these conditions alone are not enough to provide a revolutionary situation, nor can peasants alone succeed in a revolution. The inter-relation of a number of social, economic, and political factors that converge at a particu lar point in time can set the conditions for revolutionary uprising and subsequent social change. Maos focus in his struggle for power was the control of re sources. He successfully mobilized and controlled resources such as peasant masses, land, information, and crosscutting popular support to effectively neutra lize and eventually defeat the superior military of the Kuomintang (KMT) Nationa lists. Mao went as far as forging an alliance with the KMT against the Japanese occupation, under the leadership of the KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek, in order to not only rebuild his forces but also
73 appeal to elites, intellectuals, and students, while continuing to harness resources for the eventual showdown with the KMT. Mao effectively utilized a number of mechanisms, such as ideolog y, leadership, organization, and violence to build his nationalistic appeal as he sought broad popular support across all classes. During the period from 1935 to 1949, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung, successfully employed these mechanisms to mobilize the resources required to initially chall enge the Japanese occupiers, and then the nominal rule of the Kuomintang (KMT) Pa rty to set the conditions for eventual victory in 1949. Most important was Mao s ability to turn the peasants into the decisive force for success. The communist party had previously failed to achieve mobilization objectives by focusing in stead on the Bolshevik model of urban proletariat uprising and t hus excluding either the bourgeois or peasant support (Green 1999). It took Maos leadership and vision to survive strategic failure and almost complete extermination, by des igning a new approach for popular support that would offset the resource mobilizati on advantages (particularl y military) of its rivals essentially a rural strategy based on the peasantry (Mao 1927). Thus, this chapter seeks to answer the question: What was Mao Tse-tungs strategy for mobilizing peasants in support of the re volutionary struggle? I will discuss the blending of the mobilization mechanisms in to a cohesive strategy that appealed not only to the main effort of such st rategy the peasants but also other classes in pursuit of t he broadest possible alliance.
74 However, as Barrington Moore (1966) explains, even if a revolutionary situation exists and the proper strategy is implemented to mobilize resources, it does not necessarily mean that such circum stances will automatic ally result in a revolution; a decisive catalyst or ingredi ent normally ignites these conditions into a revolution. In the case of China, the situation was ripe for a peasants revolt: The traditional structure of Chinas peas ant society could not adjust to the stresses associated with global mark et forces, industrialization, and modernization; there was simply a lack of incentive for landowners and gentry to modernize and perhaps lose their prominent status. The KMT, in power since 1911 and reminiscent of the Manchu Dynasty and warlords before them did not undertake any serious land reform, stopp ed short of altering the elites control of local life, and instead sought to maintain the status quo Additionally, through the 19th and early 20th century, the agrarian bureauc racy had not only inhibited reform, but weakened the link that bound the peasants to the upper classes, by essentially not performing any functions that the peasants regarded as essential to their way of life; hence the link bet ween rulers and ruled was weak and largely artificial, and thus liable to break under strain (Moore 1966; Skocpol 1979). Additionally, landlords had a historical interest in peasant overpopulation. An excess of peasants bid up the rents for t he landlord as they competed to work the land. The result was the survival of a peasant mass that eventually became the main force behind the revolution (Moore 1966). Finally, by 1934, the Communists had designed the proper stra tegy for mobilization by abandoning the Bolshevik model. Moor e argues that the decisive ingredient for communist
75 revolutionary victory was the Japanese co nquest and the occupat ion policies of a foreign foe. The next logical question is why did the KMT fail and the communists succeed in their responses to the Japanese? As important as the Japanese contribution was, I would argue that in fa ct it was guerilla warfare as conducted by the communists that served as t he catalyst for eventual revolutionary victory. In this chapter, I will discuss Maos st rategy for mobilizing popular support resources, focusing on the peasantry; then transition into the key role of guerilla warfare in implementing and integrating the overall communist strategy to capitalize on the conditions that existed for revolution, and thus set the conditions for eventual success in 1949. The chapter focuses on the period of 1935 to 1945, which coincides with Maos leadership of the Communi st Party, the Japanese occupation, and the implementation of the communist stra tegy for popular support and guerilla warfare. Nonetheless, I will also discuss the Communists strategy for the continuation of the Civil War, following the defeat of the Japanese in World War II, through their eventual victor y. However, it is important to set the stage by discussing the factors and history that led to Maos change of strategy. Background The young intellectuals that founded the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921 believed that their main task was to organize the Chinese proletariat for a socialist revolution that would be part of the international transformation that Marx had envisioned, and which the Russian revolution seemed to herald. Within a few years, the CCP had indeed built a national labor base representing a half-
76 million workers (Meisner 1986). Heavily in fluenced by the Soviet Union and the Moscow-based Communist International du al policy of supporting both the KMT and CCP, but also because of political condit ions in China, in 1924 the CCP was pressured to ally itself with the KMT in or der to achieve the twin goals of national unification and national independence; t hat is, the elimination of warlord separatism and foreign imperialism. The CCP was the junior partner of the alliance since the KMT did control a terr itorial base of operations in southern China. As a result, Soviet arms, m oney, and military and political advisers for the purpose of building a modern army w ere directed to the KMT. To the CCP, Moscow offered moral encour agement and political advice. A United Front was formed (Meisner 1986). By 1926, the new National Revo lutionary Army under the command of new KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek, began a successf ul campaign against the warlords that controlled most of northern China, and achieved at least nominal control over most of China (Lazzerini 1999) Concurrently, mass movements were organized in both the cities and the countryside. However, the combined success of the military and mass movement campaigns exposed the tensions within the alliance. The popular social revolution agenda promoted by the CCP was simply incompatible with the terms of the KMT-CCP alliance, as it threatened classes and groups that formed the social basis of the Kuomintang and the bourgeoisie revolution advocated by Moscow. Once Chiang had acquired enough military power and the financ ial support of the upper classes, he turned to a campaign of destruction agains t the CCP and the mass movements.
77 The political strength of the CCP was vi rtually extinguished in the purge of 19271928. CCP cadres, trade unions, and studen t organizations were annihilated in the cities, but the suppression of peasant associations was particularly brutal (Meissner 1986; Skocpol 1979). The co mmunists learned some important lessons out of this defeat (Shum 1988): Military power was decisive in determining the outcome of political class struggles Urban proletariat focus of revolutionar y movement did not apply to China Support of peasantry had been insufficient The social revolution was not appealing to all classes Those who survived, led by Mao Tse-tung, fled to remote areas of the countryside to design a new strategy and attempt a new revolution. Mao had identified the peasants as t he force for success in his Hunan Report (1927) and thus built a tiny military base by recr uiting peasants and uniting with local bandits. Eventually, he achieved military predominan ce in the southern Kiangsi province and established the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931. The communists established a functioning and sizable ci vilian government t hat controlled a territory of about 15,000 square miles and 3 million people (Meisner 1986). The KMT did not ignore this growing threa t. Following four unsuccessful campaigns against the Communists, the KMT employed new tactics in the fifth and forced Mao and his followers into the famous Long March to another remote region of China; this time in the sparsely populated northwest region of the Shensi Province. The 1934 defeat had also result ed in important lessons learned about
78 the preconditions for the political and so cial mobilization of rural resources (Meisner 1986; Skocpol 1979; Shum 1988): The predominance of the Red Army15 and the security it guaranteed Radical land policies which threatened middle peasants were counterproductive Meaningful and lasting land reform could not be imposed from above Additionally, the communists acqui red valuable experience in running a government; experimented with la nd re-distribution; and t he principles of guerilla warfare were developed and tested. Once again, the communists would regroup and design the final strategy for the m obilization of the masses. However, an important new variable was introduced shor tly thereafter the Japanese invasion of 1937. By this time Mao had achieved e ffective control of the CCP and it would be his revolutionary theory and vision for ul timate success that would guide the new strategy against the Japanese and the KMT. Development of Dual Strategy Strategy is defined as a plan of acti on that organizes efforts to achieve objectives. As discussed previously, and based on Tillys (1973, 1978) theory, control of resources is the overall objec tive. The focus of the communist guerillas was popular support, particularly of t he peasantry, and thus the objective was mobilization of the masses. To achi eve the objective, separate efforts 15 Although Red Army and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) are terms used interchangeably when referring to Maos military forces, I utilize Red Army throughout this document because that is what Maos band of guerillas, peasants, and bandits as the military arm of the CCP were called following the 1927 purge. The PLA originated when elements of the KMT rebelled following the breakup of the first United Front in 1927, but then went on to join Maos Red Army. In the civil war following Japans defeat in WW II, t he Red Army was formally renamed the People Liberation Army (britannica.c om; globalsecurity.com).
79 (organization, ideology, violence, etc.) we re integrated into a coherent plan of action that established the direction of the revolution. The CCP would deemphasize class struggle and instead enc ourage national unity and moderate reform, while at the same time continue the indoctr ination, protection, and organization of peasants in the countr yside without pressure from the KMT (Skocpol 1979; Shum 1988). In essence, Mao saw the Japanese invasion as an opportunity to improve the CCPs position in its continuing struggle with the KMT. Thus, during the resistance to Japan, the CCP pursued a dual strategy external and internal. T he external strategy focused on securing the sympathy and support of the majority of the upper classes and to isolate the KMT domestically and internationally. By stressi ng a liberal patriotic image, defending elite (human, property, political) rights, and calling for unity and moderate reforms, the Communists hoped to build cross-cutting alliances and broaden their appeal (Chen 1986). Additionally, they hoped to recruit elites into the administration for indoctrination and or ganization of the masses (Shum 1988). The principal mechanism for implementing the external strategy was a second United Front with the KMT against the Japanese invaders. Faced with Japans increasing assertiveness, the CCP and t he KMT concluded that a second united front, in August 1937, was necessary. The terms were kept vague in order to increase appeal and reduce alienation (Chen 1986). Although Chiang Kai-sheks hand was forced by his own generals to join the united front, the alliance was mostly in name only and cooperation was mini mal. In view of the failure of the first united front of 1927, neither Chiang nor Mao had any illusions about the
80 long-term success of this second effort. Nonet heless, for a short time most of the nation rallied behind Chiang in defense of the nation (Lazzerini 1999). The Communists were cautious, tentative, and patient; they hardly engaged the Japanese in major battles, but instead utilized and refined their guerilla tactics, while the KMT expended significant resour ces in fighting the Japanese, as well as attempting to contain Communist growth. Although Maos guerilla tactics emphasized the flexible dispersal or concentration of forces according to circumstances (Mao, May 1938, 123), he inst ructed the CCP leaders to carry out dispersed guerilla warfare against the Japanese invaders and not concentrate our forces for a campaign (Kennedy 200816), in order to av oid depletion of resources. The Communists r ebuilt while holding on to their countryside enclaves as the KMT was forced to retreat from their city strongholds. The end result was that the Communists gained the control of resources and thus increased their power, specifically (Skocpol 1979; Shum 1988): Transformation into a national party fi ghting for national defense and unity Provided CCP with a legitimate banner to organize peasant s for resistance Neutralized the former oppositi on of landlord elites Acquired the service of progressive elit es to contribute resources and skills Fostered nationalism by subordinating class warfare to national interest Adopted mutually beneficial policie s for both the elites and masses KMT support was reduced to a minority of the upper class 16 Kennedy references this quote to Guanyu hongjun zuozhan de yuanze (On the Operational Principles of the Red Army), 1 August 1937, in Mao Zedongs Collected Writings Vol 2, p.20
81 As a result, the Communist bas ed areas became the most democratic, popular, and economically viable in China; and the legitimacy of the KMT, in spite of its nominal leadership in the resi stance war, was undermined domestically and internationally (Shum 1988). Nonetheless, both Mao and Chiang knew that an eventual showdown between the KMT and CCP for control of China was inevitable. Mao had long ago realized that the peasants were the greatest source of strength for the CCP to achieve a decision against the KMT (Mao 1927). The internal strategy that stressed class struggle to mobilize the entire peasantry became his main effort. Dual Strategy [Peasants represent] a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to suppress it17. Mao Tse-tung The challenge for communist leader Mao Tse-tung was to mobilize this great force of peasants to offset the ant icipated military str engths of the KMT Nationalists a difficult task indeed. Peasants are not easily mobilized since their goals are normally local and they lack access to resources. In addition, Chinese peasants were not accustomed to cooperat ing with each other beyond the limits of the family or clan, making the acceptance of solidarity and a new kind of society extremely difficult (Moore 1966) Although a degree of the tactical freedom and associated leverage descr ibed by Wolf (1969) and explained in Chapter 2, existed in the middle peasantry, they were c onstrained by the existing power structure (Wolf 1969). Further, even poor peasants could not just be forcibly drafted into the Red Army or forced to provide supplies and guerilla 17 The Hunan Report Mao (1927, 54)
82 bases; they had to be persuaded. Peasant s would not willingly and reliably provide such support unless the Communi sts seemed to be fighting in their interests. Mao had built an important base in the Comm unist held areas of the Shensi province; it was time to consol idate gains and expand in the countryside. Rectification Campaign Following some political and military reversals in 1941, the CCP chose to consolidate their gains in the base areas of the countryside by launching a series of mass campaigns aimed at solidifying the ties between the Party and the masses and achieving a high level of ma ss mobilization. Among these programs were the Rent and Interest Reduction Campaign (1942), the To the Village Movement (1941-2), the Cam paign for Strengthening the Militia (1941-4), and the Production Movement (1943) (Lazzerini 1999; Shum 1988). I will not describe these and other campaigns in this chapter ; the point is that these campaigns sought to mobilize the Co mmunists principal resource the peasant masses within the spirit of the Dual Strategy, so as not to alienate the support of other classes. For example, the Rent and In terest Reduction Campaign was based on compromise between classes in the interest of a united resistance: the landlords reduction in rent was tolerable so long as they could retain their property and collect rent. Thus the CCP gave equal emp hasis to the necessity of improving the living conditions of the peasants and workers and protecting the economic and political interests of the landlords and capitalists. The policy of class reconciliation was preserved. Nonetheless, policy is just that, policy; the success of the campaigns depended on the effectiveness of mobilization. To encourage
83 and increase popular involv ement, the party developed an operational technique known as mass line, a set of principles and rules by which Communist cadres became intimately involved and identifi ed with the peasant masses (Lazzerini 1999; Meisner 1986). Mass-Line Politics Mass-Line techniques were formulated and implemented during the period of resistance against Japan (Schram 1967), as the basic leadership tool that the CCP cadres employed to mobilize the ma sses. The central concept of mass line dictates the establishment of a direct relationship between the general population and CCP cadres, by means of a consci ous and continuous operational process that maximizes contact through democrati c participation, group discussion, and criticism (Skocpol 1979). The philosophy of mass-line is exemplified by the following quote from Mao (1942, 219): Revolutionary statesmen, the polit ical specialists who know the science or art of revolutionary polit ics, are simply the leaders of millions upon millions of statesm en the masses. Their task is to collect the opinions of these mass statesmen, sift and refine them, and return them to the masses, who then take them and put them into practice. The goal was for cadres to fo rm new mass line or comradely relationships with the masses, while pres erving the national direction of the CCP (Wilson 1963). The technique comprised a three-stage process (Lazzerini 1999): 1. Cadres would go direct ly to the people to determi ne what kind of program appealed to them 2. Popular desires were then in tegrated with party ideology and goals
84 3. Convince the masses that to support the particular program(s) was in their best interest Mass-line reflected Maos convicti on that party policy and its operational aspect must originate with the ma sses and be based on popular support. The key to success of the mass line was in the cadres themselves, and the ability to arouse the people into believing in the program and to act upon it with genuine commitment. The techniques application was essential in implementing the Rent and Interest Reduction campaign discuss ed previously (Lazzerini 1999). The rectification campaigns and us e of mass-line techniques achieved major results by the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945. Communist propaganda reached millions of people, party membership rose to 1.2 million (compared with 40,000 in 1937), and the Red Army numbered about 1 million men (Lazzerini 1999). What had been a movement on the ver ge of extinction twice before (1927 and 1934), was now capable of challenging the KMT for the leadership of China. It not only had successfully mobilized t he personnel, organizational material, and military resources to succeed, but had the support of millions believing in the Communist ideals. However, the success of mass-line politics did not m ean that the United Front policy was brushed aside or submerged in the inte rests of promoting class struggle. Rather at times, mass-line politics were actually subordinated to the politics of class collaborat ion: the Party would refrain from fully satisfying the peasants demands in order not to antagonize the majority of the elites (Shum 1988). This of course carried certain ri sks; even if the internal and external
85 strategies were parallel, overlaps do occu r resulting in contradictions. In Maos case, the call for unity with landlords agai nst the Japanese contradicted the Party struggle for redistribution of wealth and a much more radical redistribution of rural power (Chen 1986). Earlier, I explained how compromise between the classes was emphasized in the Rectification Cam paign, but that was after the peasants had been already mobilized by mass-line. The cadres had the difficult task of dealing with the occasional contradictions of the dual strategy. The solution was to orchestrate its contradictory elements through the manipulation of time, space, and participants (Chen 1986). In ot her words, one strategy (internal or external) would be subordinated to the other during periods when it was strategically feasible (time); or depending on the local circumstances of a particular area as opposed to another (space); or the specific audience (participants). Of course, the strategic direction in the orchestrati on of contradictions originated with the party. Leadership and ideology were the central elements in the fusion of operational techniques (rectification campai gn, mass-line) with strategic objective of the dual strategy (mobilization of resources) and thus deserve a short discussion. Leadership The leadership capabilities, charisma tic attraction, and credibility of Mao Tse-tung cannot be underestimated in mobilizing resources and obtaining popular support. By the end of the Long Ma rch, he had achieved almost cult status some of it, of c ourse, self-promoted. The brill iance of Mao cut across the entire spectrum of conflict: political and m ilitary. His design of the dual strategy,
86 development of Chinese Communism, and of course his concept of guerilla warfare were all validated with the event ual victory of the Communists. The importance of Maos leadership surfaces when compared to Chiang Kai-shek. Following the Japanese invasion, Chiang he ld all the cards: he was head of the established government, controlled the Na tional Liberation Army, and the country (CCP included) had united behind him. But Chiang was a military leader not a political leader; his failure to build cro ss-cutting alliances and a political strategy eventually cost him broader appeal to the masses. Maos genius was in adapting the long -range objectives of the communist revolution to the social demands of t he peasants while building and sustaining cross-cutting class alliances (Greene 1999). In the absence of su rvey data, it is impossible to specify exactly how many people joined the CCPs cause because of Maos leadership, as opposed to other factors, but many observers of the Chinese Revolution have indicated that the force of Maos personality was important (ONeill 1990). Ideology The principal functions of revoluti onary ideology are to facilitate the development of cross-cutting alliances bet ween classes as well as revolutionary mobilization; additionally, it serves to legitimatize the revo lutionary movement (Greene 1999). Thus, followin g the CCP defeat of 1927, Mao had a pressing need to find theories that were useful to the survival and growth of the political and military movement that he was leading (Wylie 1980). Guerilla warfare would be the initial military theory; his political theory was exemplified by his concept of
87 New Democracy. A full explanation of Maos ideology is beyond the scope of this chapter. However, a brief explanation is necessary to understand how ideology ties in with mobilization of the masses. Essentially, Maos New Democracy was the application of Marx ism to the specific conditions and needs of China or what the CCP referred to as the Sinification of Marxism . The intent was to broaden the ideo logical appeal by merging t he patriotic sentiment of nationalism with the reforming passion of Marxism (Wylie 1980). Mao expressed the belief that the Chinese revolution would consist of two stages: first the stage of the New Democracy a bourgeois democratic revolution suited to the particular needs of China; then the stage of socialism (Mao 1940). However, the New Democr acy stage does not result in a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the proletariat but in a dictatorship of the united front of all the revolutionary classes workers, peasants, intelligentsia, and national bourgeois (Mao 1940; Mark 1951; Meisner 1986). Mao stated that while the eventual goal was socialism, the New Democracy stage could last a long time and that the transiti on would occur when the necessary conditions were ripe (Mao 1940). Economically, Maos New Democracy called for state ownership of big banks, big industries, and big commercial establishments. But all other enterprises would be permitt ed to remain in private hands. The ownership of land was to be readjusted, not for the purpose of building a socialist agriculture, but to turn the land into peasant property (Mao 1940; Mark 1951). The brilliance of the New Democracy is threefold. First, it appealed to all classes with a blend of nationalism and pragmatism. The upper classes are
88 reassured because socialism was not def ined as the immediate objective but only as a long term goal. The lower classe s are satisfied that their land reform agenda will eventually be met. Second, the vagueness in parts of the ideology (i.e. transition when conditions are ripe) allowed flexibility and political space. Finally, it achieved the purpose of fa cilitating cross-cutting alliances and mobilizing the masses. Nevertheless, the best strategy, ideology, and leadership would not necessarily result in victor y over the superior KMT. The Communists needed a mechanism to integrate all t hese elements and demonstrate to the people not only progress, but their commitment in t he struggle against the Japanese and eventually the KMT... Guerilla warfare would provide such a mechanism. Guerilla Warfare Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun18. Mao Tse-tung This famous Mao quote has been inte rpreted in a number of different ways. I agree with the version that in polit ical and social class struggles military power often proves to be the decisive fo rce. To succeed, revolutionaries normally either win over the allegiance of the a rmed forces, or otherwise neutralize it. Mao chose to build his own peasant army in order to offset t he advantage provided by the established army of Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT. Following the defeat of 1927, Mao started developing the tactics of guerilla warfare from base areas in the countryside (Skocpol, Lazzerini 1999). The design was by necessity because guerilla warfare is a techni que of the weak, and Mao u nderstood that at the time 18 As quoted in Mao (November 1938, 146)
89 it was his best chance to stay relevant and prevent extermination by the KMT. To Mao, the role of guerilla wa rfare went beyond the obvious : it would also serve as a mechanism for obtaining popular suppor t; for getting close to the peasants and sharing their hardships; for indoctrinat ion of peasants; and fo r obtaining small victories against the KMT and Japanese in or der to motivate the masses. Finally, it would provide a springboard for the dev elopment of conventional armies that would eventually confr ont the KMT for the right to rule China. To achieve these objectives, Mao insist ed on political cont rol over military operations combined with a st rong program of ideologica l indoctrination both for party members and for the troops, with the party maintaining at all times its leadership over the army (Greene 1999; Wylie 1980). Such control somewhat contradicts his own essence of guerilla wa rfare of decentralized small units that conduct highly mobile hit-and-run attacks against weak targets. The risk is, that theoretically, nothing prevents guerilla-type military forces from developing into scattered, disunited bands of armed thugs that abuse the populace. Mao resolved this dilemma by establishing cont rol of the Red Army Guerillas; placing well-trained and indoctrinated political commissars, committees, and cadres throughout the ranks to educate all milita ry members and ensure compliance with Party goals thus combining decentra lized guerilla tactics with politicalideological unification through par ty control (Skocpol 1979). Further, the Chinese Red Army wa s trained to unite with the civilian peasantry (Skocpol 1979). Essentially, this meant treating peasants lives, property, and customs with respect. In fa ct, Mao recognized the importance of
90 bonding with the peasants by demanding adherenc e to a code of conduct to deal with the people. In what he referred to as Eight Points of Attention, he warned his military forces to (M ao 1966, 134; ONeill 1990): Speak politely Pay fairly for what you buy Return everything that you borrow Pay for anything you damage Do not hit or swear at people Do not damage crops Do not take liberties with women Do not ill-treat captives Unification of the CCP guer illa units with the people also meant becoming involved in their lives by assisting peas ants in production activities, sharing peasants living conditions, and by promoting political education, Party activities, and militia organization in t he villages with which they ca me in contact with. In sum, the Red Army had to undertake economic, political, as well as combat activities (Skocpol 1979). In pursuing a guerilla campaign, the Red Army was instrumental in the implementation of Maos dual strategy. As the Communists expanded their influence into areas owned by the landlor ds, the policies of the Rectification Campaign, such as tax or rent reduction, provision of local social services, and protection depended as previously discu ssed on mass-line techniques, which in turn required cadre direct access to the communities under the security of at
91 least a minimal military-administrative sh ield (Sckocpol 1979). Politically, the Communists applied the thr ee thirds system, under which local government in the guerilla areas was composed of one-th ird Communists, one-third from other organizations, and one-third non-party people. The result was not democracy in the sense of majority rule, whic h would have been difficult under the circumstances, but it was honest government which earned the respect of a large part of the population (Schram 1967) and reinforced the New Democracy doctrine. Thus, it is clear that Red Army guerillas played a decisive role in the emergence of the CCP as the manifestation of the countrys resistance to Japan and with the control of significant resource s to challenge the KMT for the right to rule China. That is why I argue that the catalyst for revolution was guerilla warfare under the leadership of Mao and not as Moore (1966) has suggested that it was the Japanese invasion. If Barrington Moore were correct, the KMT should have benefited most fr om the invasion and thus emerged victorious. The war of resistance was conducted under t he leadership of the KMT government, which in spite of severe military setbacks, did achieve some early victories, never succumbed to Japan, and thus could cl aim military leadership against the invaders. But the KMT employed the wrong political strategy by not mobilizing the masses in its support or building crosscutting alliances, as well as the wrong military strategy by attemp ting to defend cities against the superior Japanese. On the other hand, the CCPs military stra tegy of guerilla warfare re-enforced all political policies to build peasant support, cross-cutting alliances, and mass
92 indoctrination, while at the same time achieving small victories and successfully securing Communist held areas in the countryside. As a result, the CCP assumed political leadership of the resi stance along with some military success, while the KMT assumed military leadership with limited success and no political leadership. In support of Moore, the argument coul d be made that the invasion was an event while guerilla warfare is a technique and that without the invasion it is likely that Mao would have eventually failed. But what actually united the population in a wave of nationalism were the brutal occupation techniques of the Japanese that terrorized the population and prevent ed even the support of some of the upper class that might have been sympathetic to the Japanes e. Thus, I see it as an argument of techniques where guerill a warfare proved to be superior. Nonetheless, the invasion was a major va riable, and in the final analysis, very difficult to separate its impact from that of guerilla warfar e. What is clear is that the Communists had built a significant bas e of support prior to the intensified attacks of the Japanese in 1940. The CCP had mobilized enough resources to challenge the KMT; nobody can predict what could have happened without the invasion. Guerilla warfare was only a stage in Maos version of protracted popularwar military strategy. To defeat the KMT, a transition into conventional warfare (the direct confrontation of large units in combat) would be required. Only this kind of warfare would finally settle the issue of supreme power in the struggle
93 between the Communists and the Nationalis ts. The civil war of 1945-1949 would resolve the issue in favor of the Communists. Civil War and Revolutionary Victory Through the Dual Strategy, the CCP enjoyed spectacular growth and expansion of its power during the war of resistance against Japan (1937-45). The shift in emphasis from agrarian revo lution and class warfare to national resistance paid dividends, as it enabled the Communists to identify themselves with the spontaneous outburst of peasant nationalism in response to Japanese aggression and atrocities, and thus won t hem the popular support they required to go against the KMT (Shum 1988). T he communists were successful in fostering an image of conducti ng guerilla warfare in de fense of the people. Although they did not hold any major ci ties after World Wa r II, they enjoyed strong grass roots support, superior or ganization and morale, and large stocks of weapons seized from the Japanese. On the other hand, the war left the Nationalists severely weakened and their policies left them unpopular. Although Chiang was personally incorruptible his government was corrupt and mismanaged the economy into hyperinflation. The Japanese surrender set the stage for the continuation of civil war in China. In 1945, Mao and Chiang met for a se ries of talks regarding the formation of a post-war government. Both agreed on the importance of democracy, a unified military, and equality for all Chinese political parties. But the truce was tenuous; decades of animosity and mistrust could not be overcome and efforts to form a coalition government failed. By 1946, the two sides were fighting an all-out
94 civil war. Nevertheless, Mao did not want war in early 1946; rather than seeking Chiangs overthrow, he merely sought to fend off the Nationalists offensive which would allow the CCP to negotiate peace in more favorable terms. Thus, Maos goal throughout the first few months of the war remained a negotiated peace (Kennedy 2008). Both sides set in motion st rategies to expand their territorial control. Chiang enjoyed the support of the U.S. and used it to move his forces to principal cities around Chin a. Communist strategy called for building on their strength by surrounding and taking ov er cities of North China. Chiang attempted to eliminate the CCP in the North by using troops belonging to northern warlords, who had sided with Chiang dur ing the previous phase of the civil war and then switched to join the Japanese during the invasion. This strategy of course backfired, as the peasants associat ed the warlords with the hated Japanese invaders, and thus further eroded any popular support for Chiang. Maos confidence grew. In November 1946, he raised his sights considerably by referring to the conflict as the peoples war of liberation. For the first time, Mao proposed the actual overth row of the regime (Kennedy 2008). As per his revolutionary theory, Mao then tr ansitioned to conventional warfare in the prosecution of total war to destroy t he KMT army. The technique that he used was positional warfare. As Mao explai ned: mobile warfare resembled guerilla warfare in its emphasis on mobility and surprise, but involved greater concentration of troops and firepower over a large range of territories. As such, mobile warfare had the potential to inflict greater punishment on enemy forces in a given period of time, but required great er organization and coordination from
95 above (Kennedy 2008). The center of grav ity, discussed in Chapter 3, now shifted from popular support in the guer illa warfare phase, to the moral and physical cohesion of the Nationalist Army. In the summer and fall of 1947, t he Red Army of Mao began to win important victories in Nort h China. The subsequent capt ure of KMT tanks, heavy artillery, and other combined-arms assets allowed execution of larger offensive campaigns. Although the KMT had an adv antage in numbers and weapons, and benefited from international support, their low morale hindered their ability to fight. Economic collapse and government corruption compounded the battlefield disasters of the KMT. The communist s expanded south, and by late 1949, the Red Army was pursuing remnants of KM T forces into southern China. On October 1, 1949, Mao Tse-t ung declared the creation of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Chiang Kai-shek and his remaining Nationalists retreated from mainland China to the island of Taiwa n. Mao had achieved total victory. His guerilla tactics and revolutionary theory had been validatedThe dual strategy was a success. Conclusion Learn from the masses, and then teach them. Mao Tse-tung The winning communist strategy of mobilizing the peasants in support of the revolutionary struggle, was born out of the defeats of 1927 and 1934; learning from those mistakes the comm unists realized that to defeat the KMT, they must have their own territorial base, their own army, and rely primarily on the support of the worker-peasants masses. Additionally, Maos ascendancy to
96 the CCP meant the implement ation of his rural stra tegy without significant opposition within the CCP. However, the Communists defeat in 1934 showed them that they could not afford to alienate the inte rmediate classes because as history shows, revolutionary movements do not succeed where only one class of society is mobilized. The Communists w ould have faced enormous difficulties if the majority of landlords and capitalis ts had gone over to the KMT or even the Japanese. Mao Tse-tungs dual strategy characterized by moderation, reformism, and pragmatism rather than radica lism eventually proved to be the winning formula in mobilizing and controlli ng the resources required to challenge the Kuomintang. As a result, the Communists experienced an expansion of their power during the Japanese occupation. The Chin ese Communists mixed simple living, self-reliance, and guerilla warfare into an aggressive nationalistic strategy that won widespread admiration from all classes of society. They increased their territorial control across North China, refi ned their tactics, and grew in confidence for the eventual showdown with the KMT. Although the Nationalist also held back from major offenses against the Japanese, gained in international stature, and even acquired a powerful ally in the United States, they suffered from a variety of internal weaknesses. A wrecked economy, runaway inflation, loss of popular support, and the loss of economically adv anced territories to the Japanese, created the conditions for the eventual communist victory. As described in Chapter 2, it is clear that several pr e-conditions regarding a revolutionary setting applied to the Chinese situation: conditions of peasantry, geography,
97 demography, and land tenure; as well as accelerators such as military defeat, and economic crises. However, it was guerilla warfare that ultimately facilitated the Communists ability to reach directly into the vill ages and organize the peasants for resistance, production, and class struggle; and afforded the Communists access to its greatest source of strength and the extraordinary resources they needed to control, in order to hold the line agai nst the Japanese and achieve the goal of mobilizing resources to eventually cha llenge the Kuomintang. As a result, I consider guerilla warfare as the catalyst that ignited the existing revolutionary conditions and enabled the Chinese Communist s to lead a revolution to victory. The Cuban revolution offers striking simila rities and differences, which allows us to better understand the role of guerilla warfare in the mobilization of resources.
98 Chapter Five Cuba Revisited Introduction The consensus classifying the Cuban revolution as a peasant revolution is not as strong as the Chinese case study. In fact, some scholars have gone as far as describing the Cuban revolution as a middle-class revolution, mostly by arguing that the radicalized sectors of the middle cl ass spearheaded the mobilization of the peasant ry to bring the revolution to power (Prez-Stable 1993). In addition, the guerilla leaders c ould trace their backgrounds to the middle class; the urban underground that supported Castro, and cooperated with recruitment and sabotage, was composed of mostly middle class; even middleclass political figures helped finance Cast ros original expedition from Mexico (Kling 1962). Nonetheless, Castros band of guerillas would have never survived without the support of the peasants, who not only provided the bulk of recruits to the rebels, but also the s anctuary and resources that allowed the band to grow and become the spearhead of the rebellion against the Batista regime. Wolfs (1969) thesis of tactical mobility (o r autonomy), discussed in Chapter 2, was particularly applicable to the Oriente region of Cuba: a peasantry in a peripheral area beyond government control, with defensible mountainous redoubts, and
99 ethnically different from the surrounding population.19 Further, agrarian reform was the basic political objective of the revolutionaries as stated by Guevara (1961, 7): Above all else, the guerilla is an agrarian revolutionary. Hence, in the final analysis, the Cuban revolution can be classified as a peasants revolution. Like Mao, Castro realized that the control of resources was the key to power a difficult task indeed. How can a band of only twelve men, in complete disarray following a disastrous landing in the southern coast of Cuba, possibly take on an entrenched government with a standing army, and supported by a superpower? One possible mechanism could have been the traditional coup dtat so prevalent in Latin American hist ory. But as discussed in Chapter 3, Castro rejected this option. Besides, a coup with military element s even in favor of the 26th of July Movement would have r epresented a counter-force to his revolutionary objectives (Debray 1967). Castro wanted sweeping social and economic change; guerilla warfare would be the vehicle to mobilize resources and accelerate the rate of socio-economic change. But guerilla warfare is not a stand-alone mechanism; it must be integr ated into a strategy that mobilizes resources, particularly popular support the key to any insurgent movement. Castros challenge was to mold a number of instruments such as organization, charismatic leadership, information, and violence into a strategy that would build his nationalistic appeal across all segment s of society. As in the previous chapter, I will conduct an analysis to answer the questions: What was the insurgent strategy for mobilizing peas ants in support of the revolutionary 19 Oriente province contained a significant Afro-Cuban element (Wolf 1969).
100 struggle? How did this strategy appeal to not only the peasants, but other classes as well? Although his focus was slightly di fferent than Mao, Castro also designed a dual strategy of deception that would allow him to maintain his base of peasant support, appeal to the middle class, and neutralize his greatest threat the United States. During his guerilla campaign, Castro did not deliberately antagonize the middle class elements of Cuban society; instead, he sought their sympathy by exploiting their resentment of Batista (K ling 1962). The promise of free elections and civil liberties appealed to the middle class. But Castro was careful to avoid specific statements and po licies regarding social, economic, and foreign policy which could threaten the support of his le ftist base. Of course, two years after assuming power he declared himself a Marxist-Leninist, thus abandoning the businessmen and middle class who had origi nally supported him. These groups then formed the bulk of the exile community in the United States. Hence, Castro initially concealed his hostility to the in terests and values of the middle and upper class, in order to obtain a broad coalit ion of support across all classes of Cuban society (Kling 1962). This is the underlying basic framework of the Dual Strategy. Additionally, as part of the strategy, Castro skillfully manipulated the North American press. By portraying himself as a freedom fighter against a corrupt regime, he effectively neutralized the possibl e involvement of th e U.S. the most important actor in Cuban affairs and one that could stop the revolution dead on its tracks.
101 Castro also benefited from the existi ng revolutionary pre-conditions that existed in the Cuban society and economy: land tenure inequalities, economic crisis, cultural cleavages, and government vi olence all existed in Cuba during the 1950s. As the principal economic engine, the sugar industry in Cuba absorbed rural labor and brought factories to the countryside; but it did not create an agrarian population with any significant land ownership and could not provide year-round employment for rural worker s and blacks (Kling 1962; Prez-Stable 1993), who received low wages, few social services, and were poorly housed and educated. On the other hand, urban workers were better off with higher wages and job security and better access to health care and education. Mounting inflation, combined with unemployment and underemployment to ok its toll on the morale and material conditi on of the Cuban working cla ss, resulting in resistance to maximizing production through technology and instead opting to preserve jobs (Prez 1988) perhaps a classic valid ation of Huntingtons Modernization Theory discussed in Chapter 2. These problems were all exacerbated by significant population growth. This revolu tionary setting was ex pertly exploited by Castro. Undoubtedly, it was Castros gueril la warfare campaign that ignited the existing pre-conditions into a revolution, and served as the catalyst referred to by Barrington Moore (1966). In this chapter, I will discuss Castro s strategy for mobilizing popular support. Although the focus is the peasantry, I will also explain t he important role of leadership and ideology as a link between Castros 26th of July Movement and important sectors of society such as the elites and middle class. I will then
102 transition into an explanation of the impor tant role of guerilla warfare in uniting the variety of groups in opposition to the Batista government, and creating the synergy in the strategy that exploited the revolutionary conditions that existed in Cuba at the time, and thus ride a wave of nationalism to the eventual victory of the rebel army. This chapter focuse s on the period of 1953 to 1959, which includes the failed attack led by Castro at the Moncada Barracks; his arrest and two years of imprisonment, and subsequent release; exile to Mexico and return to Cuba to conduct the 19561958 guerilla campaign; and revolutionary victory marked by the departure of Batista to the Dominican Republic on January 1, 1959. However, it is essential to provi de context to the discussion of such an unlikely triumph, after what amounts to only 25 months of insurrection, by discussing the factors and hi story that set the condi tions for the success of Castros strategy. Background The roots of the Cuban revolution can be traced back to the struggle against Spain in the late nineteenth c entury, which forged a commitment to national independence and social justice among many Cubans. The legacy of the Ten Year War (1868-1878), in which separatists in the east rebelled against the Spanish government with an agenda built on the reform ist tenets of free trade, representative government, and abolition of slavery set the stage for a growing independence movement. The war stall ed in the eastern provinces, but negotiations to end hostilities resulted in a wide range of administrative and political reforms and the eventual aboliti on of slavery in 1886. Nevertheless,
103 uprisings continued one labeled La Guerra Chiquita in 1879 lasted months but all eventually failed. Consequently, i rreconcilable veterans of the Ten Year War as well as a significant pro-i ndependence expatiate community, began to organize around a vision of Cuba Libre (Free Cuba) and a commitment to armed struggle. Jos Mart, a young writer in exile, em erged as a leader in the independence movement and defined Cuba Libre as: independence from Spain and the United States unt rammeled, unconditional, uncompromising national sovereignty; a Cuba free from racism and oppression, a republic responsive to the needs of all Cubans (Prez 1988). In 1892, Mart established the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC) with the goal of liberating Cuba. The basis for the radical nationalism that would event ually serve Castro had been established (Prez-Stable 1993). A new grand strategy was also deve loped by the insurgent independence movement: overthrow the colonial adm inistration by undermining the socioeconomic system it protected. Thus, the war was now against the dominant social class, the local collaborators of co lonialism. The operational strategy was to destroy all active sugar plantations and supporting infrastructure. Planters faced a dilemma: comply with the producti on ban dictated by the insurgents and face economic hardship, or risk destruc tion of property. As the destruction continued, it became evident t hat the insurgents would ul timately prevail. By the end of 1897, the elites then turned to the U.S. in an attempt to encourage intervention in order to maintain their properties, security, and status. The U.S. had historically pursued hegemony even at times the outright annexation of
104 Cuba20. A victory by the C uban insurgency threatened this goal. Citing the need to establish order and security by terminat ing the war, President McKinley sought congressional approval for neutral intervention21. Instead, Congress approved intervention with the disclaimer that once pacified, government and control of the island would go to the Cubans. The S panish-American War resulted in the freedom of Cubans from Spain, but in essence they transitioned to another master: the United States who sought to maintain legal hegemony by granting independence under a number of provisions that became known as the Platt Amendment principally, the ri ght of the U.S. to interv ene in Cuba to preserve independence and stability. The U.S. effect ively occupied Cuba until 1902, but as stated by Prez (1988, 192): Cubans had achieved self-gover nment without selfdetermination and independence without sovereignty. After granting independence to Cuba, t he U.S. continued to control the government and policy formulation during oc cupation and thus facilitated U.S. (and some European) business interests in the island, and their control over sugar production, land purchases, railroad construction, tobacco, and mining. By 1925, the U.S. owned 41 percent of all the sugar mills and 60 percent of the harvest (Prez-Stable 1993). In summary, foreign capital dominated the Cuban 20 North American interest in Cuba had its origins early in the 19th century as a component of Manifest Destiny and the notion of physical and po litical gravitation to a North American Union. Subsequently the principle of no transfer, a proposition by which the U.S. refused to sanction the cession of sovereignty [of Spain] over Cuba to a third party, was seen as the most efficient means of acquiring eventual possession of C uba. President James K. Polk attempted to purchase Cuba from Spain; and prior to the U.S. Civil War, the Southern States contemplated the annexation of Cuba to the Union as a slave state, in order to balance the power in Congress (Prez 1988). 21 McKinley argued that an intervention as a neutral to stop the war, offered a means by which to establish, by virtue of arms, U.S. so vereignty over Cuba (Prez 1988).
105 economy and labor immigration displaced Cuban workers with very little left for the Cubans. Black Cubans and women fa red worse. As a result, the old separatist coalition began to re-organize not around the pursuit of property or economic power but around the pursuit for political power (Prez 1988; Thomas 1971). A series of corrupt and at times repressive governments followed, and in 1933 a prot est regarding army conditions by a group of disgruntled non-commissioned officers (s ergeants and corporals), developed into a limited mutiny at an Army camp, to which anti-government groups rapidly rallied around. As a result, civilians trans formed an act of insubordination into a full-fledged military coup and used it as an instrument for political change. In September 1933, a new government em erged under Ramn Grau San Martn formed by a coalition of convenience bet ween rebellious soldiers who sought amnesty and dissident civilians in search of political power. The provisional government ruled for 100 days allowing t he rebellious soldiers to purge and arrest their formers office rs and consolidate themselv es under the leadership of Sergeant Fulgencio Batista. This was the first government in Cuba without sanction and support of the U.S. and as such caused uneasiness in the U.S. government and economic interests. The U.S. pursued a subversive strategy thorough non-recognition and destabilization of the government coalition. In 1934, with the implicit support of the U.S., Batista withdr ew his support of Grau, eventually leaving Batista and the Armed Forces in control of the government (Prez 1988; Thomas 1971).
106 Batistas authority increased throughout the 1930s. He restored order and tranquility, established social programs, and won the support of foreign capital. A number of puppet presidents we re installed, but Batista remained as the single most dominant political force on the isl and. The Platt amendment was abrogated, economic conditions improved, and terms of trade with the U.S. were renegotiated. Although the agreement contributed to the econom ic revival, it also re-focused Cuba on sugar production, returning the island to the patterns of predepression dependency. A new constitution was adopted in 1940, which set the stage for elections won by Batista now a populist and out of uniform against Grau. The 1940 Cuban Constitution embodi ed a social compromise protecting private property, sanctioning an interventio nist state, endorsing agrarian reform, and promoting a host of social rights (Prez-Stable 1993). A fair and well-written document, it would later co me back to haunt Batista. The Batista presidency coincided with the Second World War and the economy mostly benefited. Batista did not run in 1944; the next few years were marked by a series of boom-bust ec onomic cycles as Cuba continued to depend on sugar as an export and two separate governments that took corruption to unprecedented levels. These conditions set the stage for Batistas return in a 1952 well-planned military coup. Batistas overthrow of Carlos Pro ended 12 years of constitutional government; but few were upset with the passing of the Pro government. The coup pre-empted the elections of 1952 in which Batista was running a distant third. A young activist lawyer and member of the Ortodoxo Party named Fidel Castro, would have likely won the Congressional
107 election of the Havana district (Pr ez 1988; Prez-Stable 1993; Thomas 1971). The coup served to radicalize him as he became a proponent of armed insurrection. The opposition to Batista was disorganized and incapable of a response to the takeover. A leader c apable of galvanizing the masses against Batista was needed. Fidel Castro seized the opportunity. Development of Dual Strategy In response to the coup, on the 26th of July 1953, Castro led 165 young Cubans in an attempt to seize the Moncada Military Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, to then distribute arms to the popul ation, and spark a nat ional insurrection. It was a resounding fiasco. Dozens of youths were captured, tortured, and killed; the rest were imprisoned. The nation was appalled by the government repression, but also moved by the dari ng attack. When brought to trial, Castro convincingly defended himself and gained m any admirers and followers after his performance. Although sent to jail, Castros statement (Castro 1953, 76): Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me!, captured the imagination of the nation and combined with the failed, but daring attack served to propel Castro into contention for the leadership of anti-Batista forces, and reaffirm armed struggle as the mec hanism for change. Although he probably did not know it at the time, the atta ck on the barracks marked the beginning of his dual strategy to seek wide popular support: The year 1953 was the centenary of Jo s Marts birth and the symbolism was not lost on Castro; he knew Marts appeal to Cubans would serve him well.
108 The date of the attack gave birth to his 26th of July Movement an attempt to organize the opposition into a single group. More importantly, the 26th of July Movement had acquired high-profile martyrs. In his trial, he defended himself with di gnity and compassion as he outlined his political program of nationalistic reform (Prez-Stable 1993). Thus, Castro planted the seed for his eventual revolutionary leadership, ideology, and dual strategy. He had risked his life by standing up to Batista; he identified himself with Cubas greatest patriot; his nationalistic rhetoric combined with his charismatic persona appealed to a br oad segment of society. In his trial, he described the program he would have implemented had insurrection been successful: restoration of t he Constitution of 1940, agrari an reform, profit-sharing in industry, greater share of sugar industry profits for the Cuban people, and confiscation of misappropriated wealth. He defined the Cuban people as the unemployed, rural workers, industrial laborers, small fa rmers, teachers and professors, small merchants, and young pr ofessionals (Castro 1953). Absent of course, where the large landowners and indu strial interests (Prez-Stable 1993). But they could be ignored, as they repr esented a small segment of the population and his aim was broad popular support. Castros agenda had appeal, he would return. Castro was freed from jail in 1954 as part of a set of concessions by Batista who had a new sense of stabilit y following rigged elections. Castro immediately resumed his opposition activities but then went into exile in Mexico, as he reaffirmed his belief in armed insu rrection. Of course, that meant that
109 Castro had to breakaway from the Ortodoxo political party. However, he realized that he needed financial and political resources that at the time only the middle and upper classes could offer. The effort to mobilize the peasants was not yet a priority that would come later almo st by necessity. In August 1955, the 26th of July Movement issued a mani festo to the people of Cuba: The Cuban Revolution does not comp romise with groups or persons of any sort[It] will never regar d the state as the booty of a triumphant group[We] assume before history responsibility for our actions. And in making our declarati on of faith in a happier world for the Cuban people, we think like Mart that a sincere man does not seek where his advantage lies but where his duty is, and that the only practical man is the one whose present dream will be the law of tomorrow (Prez-Stable 1993, 54). The Manifesto made the 26th of July Movement separ ate and distinct from the Ortodoxo Party and Fidel Castro was its central figure (Prez-Stable 1993). Additionally, it contained a nationalistic, patriotic, and unifying appeal to the classes whose support Castro sought; and it also justified armed struggle against the corrupt regime. It is likely that Castro s intent was to remain relevant as he sought to control resources belonging to established opposition groups, such as organization and information; and to establish credibility not only with the Cuban people, but internationally. The latter was important, because as already discussed, external support can play a defin ing role for either the insurgents or the government. Castro returned to co mpete for power during December 1956, with 82 revolutionaries that included his br other Ral and Che Guevara, aboard the yacht Granma. It is unclear exactly how Castro intended to achieve his objective; did he mean to spark a rebelli on by conducting a high-profile attack
110 possibly, a coup dtat ? Or was he focused in obtaining the leadership of the already established opposition? Perhaps his intent all along was to wage a protracted guerilla ca mpaign. In any case, the decision was made for him, as Batistas troops routed the rebels botched landing, and the surviving revolutionaries fled to the mountains in desperation. Castros band now consisted of a dozen demoralized men in a remote area of Cuba. A dozen men, even if thei r numbers included Fidel Castro, Ral Castro, and Che Guevara, had no hope of overthro wing a government in command of an army. If this group of leaders was to have a chance in their pursuit of power, they had to recruit additional fighter s. It is likely that Castros original objective was to assume the leadership of the urban underground movements. However, these movements had proved incapable of overco ming the forces of Batista, thus validating Guevaras thes is that urban underground movements were ineffective against an oppressive government (G uevara 1961). Further, Castro was geographically isolated from this source anyway. As a result, he was forced to recruit his guerilla troops mostly from among the inhabitants of rural areas. Thus, whatever may have been the original moti ves of Castro and his followers, the situation in 1957 dictated t hat he attract the peasantry and the unemployed rural inhabitants, in order to obt ain a mass base of support from which to draw the required resources to mount a challenge for power Castro now shifted his main effort to mobilizing the peasantry. The Dual Strategy was now reality.
111 Dual Strategy The guerilla makes agrarian reform his banner.22 Che Guevara The challenge in attracting the peas ants was less of a challenge for Castro than Mao. As discussed previous ly, peasants are normally difficult to mobilize. But the situation and history of eastern Cuba was different. Castro and his followers stepped into a tradition of rebellion in the Sierra Maestra Further, the historical social conditions of the area, home to an estimated 50,000 peasants living in varying degrees of pover ty, facilitated recruitment and support (Wickham-Crowley 1991). They occupied th e worst of worlds: low paid laborers in large estates, or low producing farmers on marginal land. These conditions set the stage for persistent conflict betw een peasants on one side and landowners and the armed forces on the other. Hence Castros band fell into armed struggle, they did not create it23. These communities of outcasts, peasants barely surviving, fugitives, outlaws, and bandits bec ame the first recruits in the emerging rebel army (Prez 1988). Thus, to appeal to the peasantry and in crease the size of his guerilla army, Castro had to become identified with policies holding out promise of landownership reform. Not surprisingl y, Castros movement became one of radical agrarian change. The sugar industry provided labor for farmers and 22 Guevara (1961, 30) 23 The east versus west conflict had been a part of Cuba since early in the colonial period when the east did not share in the prosperity of Ha vana and the west. Isolated and neglected, eastern Cuba was the historical source of rebellions to include the Ten-Year War ( 1868-1878). A spirit of insurgency continued during the Batista regime, as local army commanders consistently terrorized rural communities and peasant squatters of untended tracts of land, setting the stage for permanent conflict between peasants on one si de and landowners and the armed forces on the other (Prez 188; Thomas 1971).
112 brought factories to rural areas. But it di d not create an agrarian population with a direct interest in the maintenance of private ownership, and it could not provide year-round employment. As a result, the recr uiting of fighters for Castros guerilla band was facilitated by a peasantry that did not possess the land it cultivated and a rural population that lacked adequat e employment (Kling 1962). Castro capitalized on the rural conditions with his message of land reform, allowing him to develop a mass base and a sanctuary in which to train, grow, and then expand operations. As per the Guev ara doctrine outlined in Chap ter 3, the peasantry was to provide intelligence, supplies, and protec tion as well. As a result, the guerilla movement became identifi ed with radical agrarian change the internal component of the dual strategy. Once Castro felt secure in hi s countryside base, he needed to get his message out to the rest of Cuba and t he world. But this message had to be different from the one for the peasants. Agrarian reform did not have a strong appeal to the middle class and urban workers of the cities, and he knew that the United States would be suspicious of hi s intentions, so soon after the Chinese communist revolution. Plus he was also competing against other opposition groups. During July 1957, he issued a communiqu from the Sierra advocating for a civilian provisional government, rest oration of civil liberties, social and economic reforms, and abstention by other nations from intervention in Cuba (Guevara 1963), definitely a more moder ate message that appealed to middleclass interests and values. More importantly, through his guerilla and propaganda campaign (Dbray 1967), Castro was successful in undermining the
113 moral authority of the Ba tista regime. The guerilla developed a communications and information apparatus that included a radio transmitter and a small newspaper, El Cubano Libre (The Free Cuban) (Guevara 1963; Castro 1998). Castro utilized these mediums to continuo usly challenge the legitimacy of Batista by pointing out and demons trating (Kling 1962): Batistas assumption of power by a coup dtat The repressive techniques, to include torture, of the government Government corruption Lack of wealth distribution Sanctioning of gambling and pr ostitution by the government Hence, Castro was successful in portray ing Batistas government as brutal, dictatorial, illegal, and immoral. This campaign was effective in two important counts: it accelerated the general discontent of all classe s of society with Batista, and placed the U.S. government in a def ensive position with Batista. But most importantly, it exploited Cuban nationalisti c sentiment, by portraying Batista as a puppet of foreign interests. Additionally, Castro was well aware of the important part played by the North American press in the war of independence. He instructed his Havana contacts to bring to his camp in th e mountains the most gullible foreign correspondent they could find. This wa s an easy task, for the Havana contacts had the perfect man already spotted. His name was Herbert Matthews of the New York Times (Lynch 1998). In fact, Castro told Guevara24 that: [Matthews] 24 Guevara (1963, 130)
114 appeared to sympathize with the revolution. The significance of the interview was enormous. First, it created for Nort h Americans the legend of Castro the freedom fighter fighting oppression25. Second, it grossly exaggerated the number of guerillas and war equipment under the leadership of Castro26. Matthews brought Castro back to life in a big way; he was now an international figure (Lynch 1998; Thomas 1971). The ex ternal component of the dual strategy was now taking form: a moderate message of restoring democracy and implementing the Constitution of 1940. The targe t: the middle and upper classes, but also the United States. As mentioned earlier, minimizing the ro le and interference of the U.S. in the conflict was one of the objectives of Castros dual strategy. U.S. Policy was essentially caught in a dilemma between a freedom-fighter they did not really trust, and an oppressive dictator in Batista. The hesitation of t he U.S. resulted in it being neutralized that is, irrelevant to the political process. Three major factors contributed to the U.S. indecisiv eness (Kling 1962). First, the negative image of Batista; he was portrayed as a dictator who profit ed from gambling and corruption and kept himself in power th rough oppression. Second, the confused image of Castro; rejection of Batista di d not equate to embrac ing Castro. Was he 25 Matthews wrote: The personality of the man [Cas tro] is overpowering. It was easy to see that his men adored himHere was an educated, dedica ted fanatic, a man of ideals, of courage, and of remarkable qualities of leadership; one got the feeling that he is now invinciblea great talker who dealt fairly with the peasants, paying for everything they ateThe 26th of July Movement talks of nationalism, anti-colonialism, and anti-im perialism. To Matthews, Castro said: You can be sure that we have no animosity towards t he United States and the American peoplewe are fighting for a democratic Cuba and an end to the dictatorship. (Thomas 1971). 26 At the time, Castro had only eighteen men, but Matthews wrote of the forty men Castro had in his camp, and of bands of similar size that he knew were close by. In fact, Ral Castro kept passing in front of Matthews with the same men (Lynch 1998; Thomas 1971).
115 a communist or a nationalist? Conflicti ng behavior and reports as part of the dual strategy blurred the image of Castro to the point that the U.S. could not classify him as friend or foe. And fina lly, the two previous points resulted in a vague U.S. policy. On the one hand the U.S. halted shipm ent of arms to Batista in early 1958, but on the other, the U.S. did not attempt to stop shipments of arms to Castro by friendly nations. N onetheless, the U.S. did not completely abandon Batista. As a resul t, the U.S. hesitation and procrastination allowed Castros guerilla forces to conduct their ca mpaign, achieve eventual victory, and consolidate power, without any obligation to the U.S a major achievement for Castro and one that portrayed him as a true nationalist. Of course, the dual strategy carries ce rtain risks. Even if the end state of the two components is the same that is, wide popular support overlaps do occur resulting in contradictions. In Cast ros case, his message of radical social reform for the lower classes, peasants, and rural laborers contradicted his public announcements that he simply wanted to re store the democratic regime that existed before Batistas coup in 1952 (W eitz 1982). Castro orchestrated the contradictory elements by borrowing a page out of Maos book; he would subordinate one strategy to the other at sp ecific times when it was strategically feasible. For example, as he was buildi ng his guerilla band in the mountains, the internal strategy was dominant; later, as he attempted to consolidate the government opposition groups, the external prevailed. But Castros technique was not as refined as Maos. The latter spent years fine-tuning his techniques in liberated zones of the vast Chinese countryside; could count on the organization
116 of the communist party; and had a vast guerilla army with experienced political cadres to indoctrinate the masses. Castro s time and resources were limited. The equalizers to resolve the contradict ions were leadership and ideology Leadership Individual leaders can become the principal reason why some people support insurgent movements. The phenom enon of charismatic attraction has been exemplified by both Mao and Fidel Castro. When such men are either perceived to have supernatural qualities (M ao), or manifest impressive speaking skills and a dynamic, forceful personalit y (Castro), they fr equently are able to motivate others to join their cause through their example and persuasiveness (ONeill 1990). Of course, Castro benefited from key lieutenants such as his brother Ral, Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos27, but Fidels forceful personality almost single-handedly drove the insur gency, and the populat ion identified the insurgency with Castro. In fact, C he Guevara states in his work On Guerilla Warfare (1961): In Cuba, a nucleus of tw elve dedicated men plus a Fidel Castro were able to succeed. Like Mao, Castros leadership abilities, charismatic attraction, and eloquence were instrumental in mob ilizing resources and obtaining popular support. Dbray (1967) refers to the qualit y of tenacity, which Fidel Castro possessed, as a requirement to Latin Americas revolutionary wars. His daring attack on the Moncada Barracks, brilliant self-defens e at his subsequent trial, 27 Camilo Cienfuegos was one of the surviving revolutionaries of the Granma landing. Cienfuegos was later put in command of a guerilla column that achieved considerable success against Batista forces in late 1958. He is considered on e of the heroes of the revolution (Guevara 1963).
117 imprisonment, and now leadership of a guer illa band, who portrayed an overall confidence of eventual victory against t he hated Batista, conferred in him a special reputation for c ourage, leadership, and enormous credibility with the Cuban people. As previously discussed with Mao, it is impossible to measure how many people joined the rebels cause because of Castros charismatic attraction; but undoubtedly the force of his personality was important. The traditional Latin American political cult ure has defined political conflict as struggles between strong individuals or caudillos and their followers, and Cuba is no exception. Fidel Castro can easily be classified as a strong and charismatic leader capable of arousing t he masses with nationalistic fervor in the caudillo tradition (Kling 1962). These qualities are indeed essentia l for obtaining popular support, but also in inspiring fighters to continue the fight under difficult conditions. The morale of a guerilla fighter is especiall y dependent upon the inspiring view of his leader; circumstances in the life of a guerilla fighter can demor alize him. His life is in danger; daily life is uncomfortable; hi s food supply is uncertain; his family life shattered; and victory can seem remote. Bu t faith in the capabilit ies of his leader can sustain him indefinitely (Kling 1962) In summary, a successful insurgent leader is able to break the ties between the people and their government, and secure credibility for the insurgent effort s. Castro was successful on all counts. Ideology During the revolutionary period, Cast ro did not attach himself to any dogmatic formula such as Marxism. In fac t, it was not until April 1961, over two
118 years after the initial victor y, that Castro dec lared the socialist character of the revolution. Whether Castro planned all along to convert the revolution to a Marxist model has been the subject of much speculation. He certainly had Marxist sympathizers in his inner circ le, such as his brother Ral and Che Guevara, but he realized that adherence to a communist or Marxist doctrine would not appeal to the majority of C ubans; it would definitely antagonize the U.S., and also threaten the covert inter national aid that he was receiving from Costa Rica and Venezuela. Thus, Castro kept his distance from the Cuban Communist Party which he distrusted anyway and made the ideology of the revolution one of popular empowerment, co llective liberation, and distrust of political parties (Moreno 1970). In essence, Castro favored an id eology focused on nationalism, which offered the greatest flexibility in attracting majorities in all classes of society the principal objective of the dual strategy. Of course, it is a fact that an ideology that appeals to national identity is probably t he most powerful means of mobilizing resources (Greene 1990), but Castro did add a twist to this formula. He made the guerilla force the center of the revolution and thus the nucleus of nationalism. As the vanguard of the revoluti on, it would not be subordinated to a political party, ideology, or international actor (Dbr ay 1967). In sum, Castro had enough confidence in himself and his leadersh ip that he rejected the revolutionary ideologies of Mao and Lenin and instead developed a radical nationalism with two principal components: national sovere ignty and social justice (Prez-Stable 1993).
119 Nonetheless, despite his charismatic leadership, ability to build crosscutting alliances, and nationalistic ideology, Castros quest for power may very well have been in vain, without the special position that resulted from leading a guerilla campaign against an oppressive go vernment. By taking on Batistas army albeit in small engagements it showed the world that the rebels could beat the army and challenge Batistas claim to legitimacy and monopoly on resources of violence. There were other more established opposition leaders, but they did not control a guerilla band of motivated and well-led fighters. Guerilla warfare proved to be the mechanism t hat fused leadership, ideology, and the dual strategy into a cohesive mass move ment for mobilization and control of resources. Guerilla Warfare Guerilla warfare is a fight for the masses, with the guerilla band as the armed nucleus28. Ernesto Che Guevara The message of the quote above is cl ear: the guerilla band was the center of the revolution and armed struggle wo uld be the mechanism for obtaining popular support; for getting close to the masses with their message of radical nationalism; and for obtaining the small vi ctories that would eventually make them the only alternative against Batista. Unlike Mao, Fidel Castro did not have the option of building an army that would rival Batistas. His only hope was to use his guerilla band to neutralize it, by creati ng the conditions that would stop U.S. military aid and eventually make the army crumble from within. The rebels would obtain small, yet symbolic, military vict ories against remote government outposts; 28 Guevara (1961, 6)
120 gradually increase the scope of military activities; then, as popular support grew, the government would become increasingly isolated from the people and the army would lose its cohesion and will to fight. The guerilla band gave Castro a tool that none of the other opposition leaders had: a controlled means of vi olence against the government and the ability to capitalize on its propaganda effect s. Publicity about the guerilla leaders exploits encouraged sympathy, attracted fresh recruits, and created doubts about the authority of the est ablished government (Kling 1962). Sure, other opposition groups could employ violence through sabotage, but they had no visible symbol that represented their cause. Further, they had to remain underground in the cities, with no chance of using a Herbert Matthews to capture the imagination of all Cubans and gain inter national support. The rom ance associated with the guerillas was hard to resist: the weak against the strong, nationalists against oppressors, and a charismatic leader against a corrupt and illegitimate one. Most Cubans could not help but sympathize with Castro and his guerilla band. The dual strategy, as shaped by guerilla wa rfare was beginning to bear fruit. As already discussed, Fidel Castro and his followers also benefited from the fact that they established (not by choice) their main base in the Sierra Maestra a region distant from the army s base of operations and whose inhabitants were dissatisfied with the Bati sta regime; from t here the band could expand. On the other hand, the urban underground had limit ed opportunities to do the same. The government had an intelligenc e network in the cities, as well as informants. Besides, if there was one as pect that his army was experienced at
121 was urban insurrection, having gained expertise during the 1930s. Batista effectively marshaled that experience against the urban underground (PrezStable 1993). But rural C uba particularly in Oriente was another matter; with a limited presence in the countryside, as we ll as a lack of experience and training in fighting guerillas in a jungle envir onment, the governments army indeed had a challenge in their hands. The rebel army first achieved success simply by surviving and later by resisting the regular army. However, the rebel leadership knew quite well that the eastern mountains were not representative of Cuban society (Prez-Stable 1993). In order to defeat Batista, they had to incorporate the urban groupsGuerilla warfare would be the mechanism. Castro was not completely isolated in the mountains. His 26th of July Movement was also active in the cities but even within the movement there was dissension between the urban ( llano ) and countryside ( sierra) factions.29 A united front similar to Maos with the KMT was required. Castro utilized the dual strategy, as shaped by guerilla warfare, to move in that direction. Gradually, the opposition to Batista centered on Castro through a mixture of competence, shrewdness, and plain luck (Childs 1995). Castros luck in the form of accidental elimination of alternat ive leaders was remarkable. Several attacks launched against important government targets fail ed, and ended the aspirations of these rivals through loss of influence or even k illed in the attempt. Most important was the death of Frank Pas his mo st serious rival within the 26th of July movement. 29 Guevara: The division between the Sierra and the Llano was a real one. (Guevara 1963, 318)
122 Pas was killed in July 1957 by the City of Santiago police30. A general strike, called by all opposition groups, in Apr il 1958 failed; as other attacks and expeditions by other groups against Batista failed, they contri buted to a general belief of dissatisfaction with the gover nment; but more importantly, they channeled popular support toward s the guerillas as the only credible challenge to the forces of the government. The end resu lt was a subordination of the urban and labor underground to the guerilla leadership in the Sierra Maestra (Childs 1995). Castros leadership was consol idated in a meeting of the 26th of July Movements National Directorate that took place in the Sierra on May 3, 1958. As stated by Guevara (1963, 317): The guerilla conception would emerge triumphant from that meeting. Fidels stand ing and authority were c onsolidated, and he was named commander in chief of all forces, including the militias which until then had been under Llano leadership. Fidel was also named secretary general of the July 26 Movement. The argument is often made that Batista was his own worst enemy and that a revolution would have occurred in Cuba with or without Castro. This misses the point on the impor tance of guerilla warfare. Batista had to respond to the open challenge of the rebels; the problem was that he took the bait offered by Castro by employing the incorrect c ounter-insurgency technique. Instead of winning the hearts and minds of the peopl e by persuading them that their best interests would be served by the governm ents success, Batista embarked on a campaign of terror against peasants and police brutality against the urban underground and civilian leaders. On the other hand, the rebels also took care to 30 Another serious rival, Havana student leader Jos Antonio Echevarra, was killed in a university student attack on the Presidential Palace in March 1957.
123 avoid operations that produc ed large numbers of casualties, thus alienating as few people as possible. It is evident t hen that guerilla warfare played the decisive role in shaping the dual strategy. Wit hout the credibility of having a guerilla band that could achieve success against the government, Castro would have never been able to attract popular support, neutra lize the U.S., and mobilize resources for revolution. Indeed, the leadership of the opposition to Batista gradually centered on the guerilla band that constitu ted the only credible threat to the dictator. Thus, a system of dual power, which is part of Tillys mobilization theory, developed in Cuba: claims by the government as the only central authority no longer went unc hallenged (Wickham-Crowley 199 1). After a full year in the mountains fighti ng the government in the sierras and standing up to Batista, they had earned the right to lead others in the struggle. Revolutionary Victory By the middle of 1958, Cuba approached a revolutionary situation. Batista was now perceived as the greatest single obstacle to the return of political stability and economic prosperity. The insu rgency had its effect: tourism declined and the flow of foodstuffs from the countryside to the cities was halted. Sabotage and destruction of property further contri buted to the economic crises (Prez 1988). Castros dual strategy had secu red the peasant masses, an alignment with the middle class, absorption of t he urban underground, and the leadership of the revolutionary struggle all bound together with a spirit of radical nationalism and Cuba Libre This is apparent in Castros signing of the Caracas Declaration in July, 1958, a document that called for the unity of anti-Batista forces in an
124 effort to restore civil democracy in Cuba. The Pact of Caracas established Fidel Castro as the principal leader of the An ti-Batista movement and the rebel army as the main arm of the re volution (Prez 1988). Although in retrospect, Castro was likely less than genuine in his support fo r the Caracas Declaration, it was a move that permitted him to appeal to mi ddle classes and allowed him to benefit from riding a nationalistic platform as opposed to a socialist one (Johnson 2006), the essence of the dual strategy. Castro had been successful in mobilizing the resources required to openly challenge Batista. It was time to enter the final stage of revolutionary conflict. Insurgent victories forced the gov ernment to concede rebel-occupied zones to the guerillas, creating enclaves of liberalized territo ries. The expanding struggle in the countryside was accompanied by growing resistance in the cities. The insurgents opened a new front against the regime a war against property and production as a means to isolate Bati sta from the suppor t of the economic elites. The strength of the Batista regime had been to maintain political order and social peace, but it was now failing to do even that (Prez 1988). The regime was now expendable. Batista had to go, but he wouldnt do so without a fight. In mid1958, Batista launched his most formidabl e offensive against the guerillas with an estimated 12,000 troops deployed to the Sierra Maestra. By the end of the summer the offensive had failed. Batistas army was battered but not yet defeated. The final rebel strategy to achieve a decision was to attack along three points: Pinar del Ro province in the west of the island; Las Villas in the center; and the City of Sant iago in the eastern province of Oriente
125 (Guevara 1963). The Battle of Santa Clara in Las Villas proved to be the decisive victory. The rebel column was led by Che Guevara, and although Fidel Castro had been recognized as the leader of the ant i-Batista forces, full revolutionary unity on the tactical front had yet to be achieved. A number of groups were operating in the Escambray Mountains outside of Santa Clara; these included groups from the Popular Socialist Party, the Revolutionary Directorate, and the Authentic Organization; in fact, a total of five different organizations were operating in the area under different commands (Guevara 1963). An intense campaign for revolutionary unity was ca rried out, and after a series of agreements, a fragile common front was fo rmed, with Guevara as commander in chief of the armed forces in Las Villas (Guevara 1963). The Battle of Santa Clara began on December 27, 1958, and by January 1, the city had fallen. Batistas arm ed forces collapsed through desertion and defection and simply ceased to fight as the guerillas routed them in a counteroffensive. Additionally, the U.S. government withdr ew their support for the Batista government. The rebels had successfully mobilized manpower and materiel resources, organized popular support of the guerilla band while minimizing those available to the gov ernment, and brought the urban movement under the leadership of Fidel Castro. A s hort-lived military coup was rejected by Castro (Guevara 1963); nothing could stop the rebels now. They refused any sort of compromise with a military junta or the government, as everybody accepted their leadership. Castro controlled the res ource of violence; at this point, nobody
126 would dare to dispute their right to c onduct the revolution the way they wanted (Moreno 1970). Batista, increasingly isolated, fled the country in January 1, 1959. Conclusion Thi s time the revolution is for real. Fidel Castro Fidel Castro made the above declarati on upon entering Santiago de Cuba on January 1, 1959 (Prez-Stable 1993). Fe w Cubans paused to consider what the revolution really meant and what lay ahead. They were simply elated with the end of the Batista regime; things could not possibly get any worse. But Castros revolution was in fact real and has survived time and time again for over 50 years. Unlike Mao who designed, tested, and refined his strategy over decades of struggle, Castros strategy was essentially ad hoc over a period of only 25 months following the landing in Cuba. Nonetheless, his objective was fixed: he had to secure his mass base of peasants, appeal to the middle class, and also neutralize the United States. To accomplish these objectives, he designed a strategy of deception a dual strategy to first survive and grow a guerilla force with peasant support as he appealed to the peasantry through a program of drastic agrarian reform implemented through guerilla warfare. But then expand into the rest of Cuba with a mo re moderate and appea ling message of democratic reform. The guerillas gained widespread support by declaring that their objective was to restore equality and justice to the nation. On several occasions Castro stated that he simply wanted to restore the democratic regime that existed before Batistas coup in 1952, and restore the 1940 Constitution. In 1958, he even
127 signed the Declaration of Caracas, whic h called for unity among all the antiBatista groups. The guerillas benefited gr eatly from these public announcements of moderation as well as t he inability of moderates to display any progress in overthrowing Batista. As time went on, and Castro achieved small victories against the government forces, more C ubans threw their support behind the guerillas, as it appeared that Castro was the only one capable of deposing the dictator. Additionally, the population started buying in to the moderate Castro rhetoric and figured that a guerilla victory could not be any worse than the Batista government (Weitz 1986). U.S. involvement was essentially neutralized, as Castros dual strategy resulted in an ambi valent U.S. forei gn policy with Cuba. The level of popular support had an important impact on the insurgents performance, but to maximize popular s upport, they had to fuse the rural support with the urban underground (Childs 1995). These forces were linked to the guerillas through various organizations su ch as the underground cells of the 26th of July Movement and of the Civic Resistance Movement31. International support also had an impact: sanctuary (unintentio nal) provided by Mexico; favorable coverage in the American press particularly in the New York Times by correspondent Herbert Matthew s; and shipments of arms to the rebels from Latin American countries. Thus, the rebels op erational strategy consisted of two parallel tracks: public professions of m oderation designed to win popular support, combined with selective use of force against their opponents (Weitz 1986). 31 The Civic Resistance Movement was an urban resistance group organized to attract groups and individuals who did not openly support armed struggle (Sweig 2002)
128 There are some who still argue that it was not Castro and his guerilla band who brought about the downfall of Batista. They point out that the middle class was alienated, the rich did not feel se cure, some generals betrayed Batista, bishops wrote pastoral letters, U.S. embargoes were enforced, the army disintegrated, and the whole political stru cture collapsed (Moreno 1970). But this situation simply validates Goldstones thes is of a revolutionary setting, as well as Barrington Moores (1966) point that such settings are normally ignited into a full revolution by a catalyst. There is no questi on that in the Cuba case study, guerilla warfare was such a catalyst. Without Castros guerilla band the wave of nationalism that swept t he nation might have never been generated. Further, the opposition was disorganized and lacked t he proper strategy to take on the government. Batista could hav e otherwise stayed in power as the U.S. paved the way for a democratically elected replac ement that could have possibly diffused the revolutionary setting. It was principally guerilla warfare, however, that tilted all the revolutionary conditions to the insurgents favor. Guerilla warfare molded Castros dual strategy by providing a cr edible opposition to Batista one that could actually obtain victories against the governments army. Guerilla warfare brought an ideology of radical nationalism to the setting, and the charismatic leadership to unite Cubans in opposition to the regime. This revolution was different; it was succeeding in its own terms without the inte rference of international actors such as the United States. The Cuban people beli eved Castros nationalistic ideology and rhetoric. They either chose to ignore the contradictions in his dual strategy,
129 or blindly follow him. Those that still mistrusted Castro stayed on the sidelines, reasoning that things couldn t get any worse, and if t hey did, the United States would always be there to set things right They were all wrong. The next chapter describes how Castro took the foco theory of revolution, to an international level. The dual strategy would live on.
130 Chapter Six Dual Strategy Aftermath Introduction Following their revolutionary victories, Mao Tse-tung and Fidel Castro took different paths with their respective re volutionary theories and dual strategies. Mao elected not to aggressively pursue an insurgent strategy at the international level, choosing instead to pursue a mostly isolationist policy as he consolidated his power. Sure, the argument could be made that communist revolutionary warfare became a weapon for China to export revolution and communism. Learning from the Korean experience of 1950-53 that overt aggression would be opposed by the international community, Ch ina did support insurrection in Laos, as well as North and South Vietnam during the 1950s and 60s. But these countries bordered China and were located within its area of influence. Chinas interests were at stake as they felt th reatened by what they perceived was U.S. expansion. Maos philosophy was that revolution could not be exported. Struggles for liberation had to take national form; that is, only locals can lead and make revolutionary war, as they innovate to fit their particular conditions (Friedman 1970). Further, as a nuclear power32 and later-on a member of the 32 The PRC began developing nuclear weapons in the late 1950s and conducted its first nuclear test in 1964.
131 United Nations Security Council,33 China could not c onvincingly pursue an insurgent strategy in world affairs. That is not to say that China has not supported rogue states such as North Ko rea with their U.N. vote, but again, that is mostly to protect their own interests as they try to avoid criticism against their own policies such as human rights. Domestically, Maos highly flexible and pragmatic dual strategy turned into a rigid and ideological stra tegy exemplified by the Great Leap Forward economic and social plan, and the Cultural Revolution which was an attempt re-capture the spirit of the revolution both were re sounding failures. The objective of the Great Leap Forward (1958-63) was to modernize Chinas economy. Abandoning the dual strategy that had served him so we ll, Mao sought to redistribute land and collectivize agriculture in order to gener ate the capital for industrialization. However, the rapid change and unrealistic goals led to failure and famine. Mao lost political capital to the moderat es within the CCP and the program was eliminated. Later, seeking to re-est ablish his authority, Mao launched the Cultural Revolution during his last decade in power (1966-76). His targets were the moderates; the mechanism: mob ilized urban youths designated as Red Guards tasked with enforcing Maos ideology and se curity. The result was a period of social and political chaos combined wit h economic disarray. Mao had enough internal problems to consider export ing revolution. Following Maos death in 1976, and with the rise to power of Deng Xiaoping, China adopted a dual 33 China was designated a permanent member of t he UN Security Council under Article 23 of the UN Charter. However, the Republic of China (Taiwan) also claimed to represent China. In 1971, the PRC was awarded Chinas seat by General Assembly Resolution 2758 and the Republic of China lost membership in all UN organizations.
132 strategy of a different variety: the separation of economics from communist ideology. Maoist dogma was out and pragmat ism was in. Since then, for the most part, China has played a cautious game internationally, fo cusing on promoting policies that increase economic growth. Nonetheless, even if China did not actively export revolution, it did inspire a number of them, to include of course, the Cuban revolution. Fidel Castro, on the other hand, internationalized the foco revolutionary theory by continuing an insurgent strategy that placed Cuba as the foco within a global context. The motive for armed str uggle became increasingly less local and instead directed against the entire imperiali stic system led by the United States. By emphasizing the universality of revo lutionary conditions, armed struggle became an appealing option to some countries integrated into the world capitalist system (Childs 1995). Castro could not just turn inward; he lacked the raw materials, subsistence, and economic resources to do so. Instead he would export revolution and confront the United States in order to obtain international support. He then skillfully refined the dual strategy. The external component focused on promoting his revolution, dev eloping a strong following in Latin America, enhancing Cubas influence, and increasing Cubas value as an ally to the Soviet Union, in order to obtai n and then continue its sponsorship. The internal component targeted the Cuban people and their continued support of the revolution through the buildup of nationalis m. The dual strategy was to continue for another 50 years in Cuba. This chapt er will examine how Castro refined and
133 executed this strategy, which builds on the experiences of the revolution and the philosophy of guerilla warfare. Over the close to five decades of Castros rule, Cuba transitioned to communism with the adoption of a str ong Marxist-Leninist political agenda; developed cooperation and dependency with the Soviet Un ion; faced-off with the U.S. in the Bay of Pigs invasi on and the Cuban Missile Crisis; conducted military interventions overseas; lost sponsor ship, with the fall of the Soviet Union; and endured a continued U.S. economic embar go. During this time, the islands economy and the welfare of Cubans have stagnated. Today, problems continue, from inadequate agricultural production and restricted diets, to a crumbling infrastructure and failing public services Through it all, Cubans have endured significant political and economic hards hip. How can a society accept these terrible conditions without organizing and mobilizing against the regime? I suggest that the regime relies on three pillars to remain in power: repression, emigration, and nationalism. The first two pillars will be briefly discussed in this chapter, but the focus will be on the mechanisms that Castro utilizes to foster nationalism the objective of the internal component of the dual strategy. The U.S. imposed economic embargo is one of those tools and presently the most important utilized by Castro to cultivate a strong nationalistic sentiment in the Cuban people against an external enemy: the United States. The economic embargo actually serves the Castro brothers by focusing Cubans on self-determinati on, national sovereignty and the defense of the fatherland (Prez 1988). The regime skillfully manipulates the built-in
134 contradiction of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba wit h its dual-strategy. Internally, the embargo builds nationalism, while externally it promotes sympathy for the regime and criticisms towards t he U.S. Thus, the economic pressures of the embargo are worth the political benefits that the Cuban government has gained. I argue that the Ca stro regime has sought to continue the economic embargo as a mechanism to promote nationalism and international support. Castro needs a conflict in order to creat e a climate of perm anent confrontation that allows him to justify his absolute power and economic policies, under the pretense that he is defending the homel and. Without a conflict, there is no justification for the extr eme hardship imposed on the Cuban people. The U.S. is the obvious target: a super power that is only 90 miles away, who seeks the suffering of all Cubans through an illega l economic embargo or as Castro prefers to call it: a blockade. The regime s political calculation is that by emphasizing confrontation with America, through an in surgent strategy, the masses will continue to support the gov ernment. I will identify key openings in U.S. Cuba relations that could have re sulted in the lifting of the embargo, but Castro repeatedly made political moves that ended any prospects of closer relations. Therefore, I will examine the build-up of nationalism in Cuba that has culminated in a strategy that on o ne hand condemns the embargo, but on the other seeks to continue it as a mechanism for popular support through nationalism. I also seek to answer the question of what mechanisms are used by the Castro regime to foster nationalis m. I will provide an account of how the
135 Cuban government utilized historical events to build nationalism, as well as some of the more traditional methods such as symbols, sports, and the media; then transition to a short discussion of the U.S. economic sanctions; and conclude with an analysis of Castros dual-strategy . Although Fidel Castro resigned as President in February 2008 resulting in the election of his brother Ral as president Fidel is still Chairman of the Communist Party, and undoubtedly retains veto power over all strategic foreign policy, defense, and economic decisions. As a result, I will continue to refer to Fidel as the ultimate decisionmaker. This chapter focuses on the per iod following the 1959 revolution, but with particular emphasis on the period follo wing the end of the Cold War. Nonetheless, in order to set the context for my analysis, it is important to explain what led to the continued confrontat ion between Cuba and AmericaThe seeds were planted shortly after consolidation of the revolution. Background Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the strong nationalism promoted by Fidel Castro, gradually entered the pos t-revolutionary regime. The revolution, having succeeded in its own terms, enjoyed enormous popul arity. Castro consolidated his power by eliminating pas t political institutions and to rule by decree; he delivered popular reform decrees that resulted in a significant redistribution of wealth. Castro then pus hed further using the well-organized and established Cuban Communist Party to purge all dissent from the government and eliminate all opposition media. Gradually, anti-communism became synonymous with counter-revolution (Prez 1988). The opposition to Castro took
136 new forms as exile groups organized and adopted techniques such as internal sabotage. But Castros support was strong as he integrated nationalism into the defense of the revolution. Relations with the United Stat es continued to deteriorate through the expropriation of U.S. business interests in Cuba resulting in a continued economic em bargo, which has in different forms, endured to the present day. By the end of 1959, Castro was firmly in control. He had essentially eliminated a powerless provisional gover nment by systematically isolating and pushing aside any liberals or moderate s that had been in government. He broke with all past political institutions he c onsidered implicated in past misgovernment: the presidency, congress, t he courts, the army and polic e, the press, political parties, and the church. The masses demanded deep radical changes, and their charismatic leader delivered as he rul ed by decree with reforms that reduced rents and properties, increased wages and reduced rates of utilities, as well as agrarian reform resulting in a significant redistribution of wealth (Prez 1988; Prevost 2006). These early reforms won t he revolutionary government immediate widespread popular support, which of cour se, was not unanimous. The U.S. saw its interests threatened and demanded comp ensation for property nationalized through agrarian reform. Liberals, property owners, and the middle class were increasingly suspicious of Castros in tentions. The opposition and exile groups organized, but this played right into Fidels hand: now defense of the nation became indistinguishable from defense of the revolution (Prez 1998).
137 Nationalism immediately became an important tool for Castro to continue the consolidation of his revolution. Of course, nationalism was integrated with the other two pillars. Castro controlled the means of violence which we re used to purge all dissent. As the elimination of the U.S. presence continued, the classes economically dependent on and ideologically allied to the U. S., all but collapsed (Prez 1998). Nevertheless, these well-educated and prof essional classes still represented a threat to the regime, wh ich repression alone could not control, due to the numbers as well as political implications Emigration was the solution and Castro used it for nationalisti c purposes as well: Let the worms34 leave; we do not want them and we do not need them, he is quoted as saying. The massive middle class emigration between 1959 and 1962 eliminated the possi bility of an internal challenge to the regime, but it also had negative consequences for all parties. The island was drained of its talented professionals, affecting development fo r years to come; the Cuban immigrants had placed their faith on the U.S, instead of challenging the regime from the inside. The U.S. had created another enemy for Cuba the exile community. Relations continued to deteriorate as Cuba sought trade and political relations with the communist bloc. Once alternative markets for sugar exports and an oil agreement with the Soviet Union had been secur ed, the U.S. lost its economic leverage on the island. Cuba c ontinued expropriatin g North American properties. The U.S. responded with an economic embargo and a ban on most 34 Worm or gusano in Spanish is a term popularly used in Cuba in reference to counterrevolutionaries.
138 U.S. exports; Cuba then nationalized a br oad range of private enterprises to include Cuban-owned interests. The No rth American attempt to use economic coercion to force Castro into moderation had failed. Confrontation with the U.S. further radicalized the revolution and fa cilitated the alignment with the Soviet Union (Prevost 2006). Once again, Cast ro played his cards masterfully. The socialist character of the revolution was now affirmed. Nationalism in the Castro Era If the Americans do not like what is happening in Cuba, they can land the Marines and then there wil l be 200,000 gringos dead. Fidel Castro, 1959 The growth of nationalism is the proc ess of integrating the masses into a common political form (Kohn 1944). To the Cuban regime, this meant imparting a common revolutionary identity to the popul ation. Through the revolution, Castro developed the possibility of a new imagined community35 that incorporated a sense of Cubanidad (Cubaness) based on the political and social ideals of the revolution. Nationalism is normally imposed from above by the so-called political elites. In the Cuban case study, this applies to Castro, hi s brother Ral, the close circle of revolutionaries, and t he upper echelons of the Communist party. According to Hobsbawm (1990), the rec eption to the imposition of nationalism could be universal or separated by cla ss. In Cuba, it was accepted by the masses, long ignored by the previous gov ernments, but not the upper and middle classes, most of which migrated to the United States. The po litical elites have 35 The imagined community is a concept developed by Benedict Anderson (1990) to explain nationalism. Anderson argues that a nation is ac tually an imagined political community because, unlike an actual community, there is no face-to-face interaction between its members. People perceive themselves as part of a group (or nation) through the power of the media and the sharing of similar interests.
139 skillfully used historical events and me chanisms to connect with the masses regarding the revolutionary identity. In forging this imagined community the political elite combined the ideals of a classless society with a passionate antiU.S. rhetoric that would become e ssential to being Cuban and independent. Several events have shaped Cubas revolu tionary identity. The regime has expertly manipulated and exploited these experiences to build nationalism. Next, I will discuss several examples of such events, as well as the mechanisms used to connect with the masses. Events The failed Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles half-heartedly supported by the U.S. and organized by t he Central Intelligence Agencyduring April 1961 (Lynch 1999), proved to be a turning point for Cuba-U.S. relations, and one that Castro exploited for nationalistic and survival purposes. Nationalism, repression, and emigration were the tool s employed. Nationalism: the major result of the American intervent ion was the consolidation of Castros power by creating a solid identificati on of the Cuban people with the common revolutionary identity imposed from above. The forces under Castro had defeated two enemies: the U. S. and Cuban exiles they could do no wrong. Repression: the government moved against anyone suspected of opposition to the regime; by the end of the month, an estimated 100,000 persons were imprisoned or otherwise detained; virtually no su spected opponent of the government remained free in Cuba after that time (Prez 1988). Emigration: thereafter, planeload after planeload of Cubans that opposed the regime left the
140 island. Castro was confident. He then dec lared the socialist character of the Cuban revolution (Prez 1988; Prevost 2006), and abolished the 1940 constitution proclaiming direct government by the people. Additionally, Castro built on the anti-U.S. com ponent of the revolutionary identity by seeking the protection and sponsorship of the Soviet Un ion. The survival of the revolution was all but guaranteed a year later, w hen the United States as part of the negotiations to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba, agreed not to invade the island (Prez 1988). Cubans could be proud of their imagined community that had defeated the mighty empire. The international interventions by C uba in the Middle East and Africa not only played to the antiU.S. component of Cuban nat ionalism, but increased Cubas prestige within the Th ird World, as well as t he pride of Cubans with the performance of their armed forces. T he small island of Cuba was having an impact internationally. Cubas success in Africa36 led directly to a prominent role for Castro in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), an organization of Third-World countries that grew in prestige duri ng the 1970s. NAM strongly endorsed Cubas Africa policies, and in 1979, Castro wa s elected to the presidency of the organization. The presidency of NAM r epresented a new height of prestige for Castro and revolutionary Cuba (Prevost 2006). Although Castro lost political capital when he backed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he reversed the 36 Following the War of Independence (1961-1975) in Angola, the two main groups the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) became antagonists in the ens uing Civil War (1975-2002). In 1975, Cuba deployed 36,000 troops to Angola in suppor t of the MPLA, and were able to prevent South African intervention into Angola to support UNITA. As a result, Cuba gained significant influence in the region (Prevost 2006).
141 situation during the Falklands/ Malvinas War in 1982. Parallel to the success in Africa and with NAM, Cuba also played an im portant role in C entral America and the Caribbean in the early 1980s, as a supporter of the revolutionary governments that emerged in Grenada and Nicaragua. By the end of the decade, Cuba was extending its trade with most of Latin America and Castro was a prominent participant at r egional political meetings (Prevost 2006). Ordinary Cubans felt significant pride regarding t he importance of their leader and country in international affairs. The end of the Cold War and subsequent breakup of the USSR and the Soviet Bloc produced complete disarray and distress in Cuba. The cancellation of trade arrangements and commercial agreement s, trade subsidies, and economic assistance, subjected Cuba to the full impact of international market forces. Cuba responded with the implementat ion of the special per iod, a framework to implement a series of austerity measures. Cuba plunged into a deep cycle of scarcity in which daily life was essentially a fight for survival in the pursuit of the most basic needs. The resulting depressi on reduced the gross domestic product (GDP) by 35 percent, led to closure of hundreds of factories, and left tens of thousands of Cubans unemployed; real wages declined by 80 percent between 1989 and 1995 (Purcell and Rothkopf 2000). Cuba responded to the difficult times with pragmatic measures such as the pursuit of new markets, new tradi ng partners, free farmers markets, legalization of self-employment, and the le galization of U.S. dollars. Development strategies encouraged foreign investment in all industries to include agriculture,
142 transportation, construction, mining, and te xtiles, but most im portantly tourism that could provide much needed forei gn exchange (Purcell and Rothkopf 2000). Although conditions improved, the mass infusion of dollars into the economy caused some resentment among those C ubans that were unable to benefit from access to dollars, whether by remittances or participation in t he tourism industry. Other side effects included internal brain dr ain to the tourism industry, rise in petty theft, prostitution, corruptio n and expansion of the underground economy (Prez 2006; Prevost 2006). Castro later rolled-back some of these reforms and also conducted a new wave of repression and emigration to e liminate the dissent caused by the special period. Neverthele ss, Castro still retained considerable moral authority and loyalty among vast numbers of Cubans. They had survived the extreme hardship of the special period and t he tightening of the U.S. embargoThey could claim victory against the enemy. Ten years ago, the saga of Eli n Gonzalez mobilized Cuba in a nationalistic fervor that had been somewhat dormant during the special period. Having survived the death of his mother in an ill-fated crossing of the Florida Straits, the unaccompanied five-year-old arrived in the United States in November 1999, and was immediately the subject of competing claims of custody between his cousins in Miami with strong suppor t of the exile community and his father in Cuba (Prez 2006). Castro himself took the lead in arguing the fathers case for custody in t he international court of public opinion and seized the opportunity to mobilize t he population in support of the boys return. He was successful in both counts. The highly publicized controversy was
143 resolved with a raid of feder al agents to recover the boy from the custody of the Miami relatives and his eventual return to Cuba. The massive demonstrations in Cuba re-enforced Cuban nationalism. Once again, Castro had beaten the enemies of the revolution: the United States and the Cuban exile community. More recently, a series of tropical storms and hurricanes in 2008 provided a new platform for the Cuban gover nments propaganda campaign. The destruction caused by the storms suppl ied ample material for television commercials and newscasts that emphasized the governments role in protecting the people before and after the storms. Im ages of families being rescued by emergency workers from flooded streets with messages like now is the time to show our unity, played to the nationalisti c sentiment of Cubans. In addition, the dual strategy was manifested in the reje ction of humanitarian assistance offered to Cuba by Washington. The U.S. offer ed to provide Cuba wit h contributions of $5 and $6 million dollars to cover recovery expenses, but was turned down twice by the regime in Havana ( www.MiamiHerald.com ). This act of defiance even if it means continued hardship plays well with most Cubans. They, and other Latin Americans, see it as standing up to the U.S. and not accepting gifts from the enemy. Mechanisms According to Hobsbawm (1990), sym bols are an important component in building nationalism. Communist Cuba has certainly incorporated this concept into the daily life of Cubans. Castro capi talizes on the symbolic legacy of national heroes of the past such as the 19th century Cuban patriot, Jos Mart, who not
144 only advocated for the unity of all Cubans re gardless of race or ethnicity, but also warned of the dangers of U.S. hegemony in the Western hemisphere. Others include the heroes of the Cuban revolution such as Castro himself and Ernesto Che Guevara, who represent the ideals of the revolution; sports figures who represent the success of the Cuban system; and of cour se, the display of the Cuban flag virtually everywhere, as well as the singing of the national anthem before any public activity to include the workplace, community meetings, and sports events. But symbols, or nati onalistic propaganda for that matter, are useless unless they can be di sseminated to the masses. Benedict Andersons Imagined Communities (1991) describes the importance of the m edia in establishing links among individuals to develop a common bond and ideology. Billboards displa ying the images of Castro, Mart, and Guevara are a common medium throughout Cuba and proclaim the success of the revolution: A Castro billboard states: Vamos Bien (we are doing well), or a silhouette of the revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara with the slogan: Seguimos Tu Ejemplo (we follow your example). Of course, in a communist state the government controls all media, and the Cuban regime employs this mechanism very well in the dissemination of nationalis tic and political ideology to the masses. The daily government newspaper, Granma, is full of nationalistic and revolutionary ideology reports and editorials. On a latter section of this chapter, I will provide a sample of Granma reports concerning the U.S. economic embargo. Sports provide another mechanism that serves to instill pride and nationalism in the Cuban people. T he government spends considerable
145 resources in the development of a nat ional sports program. The success of Cubans in international sports is undeni able. For example, in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, Cuba finished in 12th place with 24 medals highest of any Latin American nation and ahead of count ries such as Brazil, Canada, and Spain. In fact in the all-time medal list, Cuba places 23 out of 126 nations (an additional 79 countries have never won any medals), well ahead of Brazil the next Latin American country in number 33 (www.olympic.org). These figures are remarkable considering the size of Cuba, and the fact that the standings include the Winter Games, for which Cuba does not field a team. Success in sports allows the Cuban regime to claim superiori ty to other political systems in Latin America. Its impact on nationalis m cannot be underestimated. Although there is no political debat e in Cuba, the 1976 constitution established Organs of People Power (O PP) to provide an element of popular participation in policy implementation (Prevost 2006), and a forum for the common people to express their personal and community concerns through elected representatives. Additionally, t he revolution did achieve success in the areas of education, nutrition, and health serv ices virtually eliminating illiteracy, malnutrition, and providing free health care for all citizens. The government cites the OPPs and gains in social services as proof of the success of the revolution and its ideals. In general, the people c onsider these gains noteworthy, particularly in relation to other Latin American countries. So far in this chapter, I have establis hed the fact that Castro built on his revolutionary movement through repressi on, emigration, and intense nationalism.
146 He cleverly utilizes events and the m edia to connect with the masses. Cuban nationalism is anti-Yankee and tends to bolst er a regime in confrontation with the United States (LeoGrande 1982). I have also attempted to answer the central question regarding mechanisms used by the Cuban government to foster nationalism. But the focus of this c hapter is the U.S. economic embargo and Castros dual strategy inspired by a guerilla warfare insurgent philosophy in dealing with the sanctions for political benefits. U.S. Economic Sanctions The economic embargo initially im posed by President Eisenhower in 1960 has held to this day, albeit in a vari ety of forms. The particulars of the different variations are well document ed and beyond the scope of this chapter. However, there are two important points worth mentioning. First, Americas justifications for sanctions have been reactive to Castros political moves. During the 1960s and 1970s, U.S. strategy was to isolate communist Cuba economically to encourage internal discontent and weaken the regime from within. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, t he embargo could no longer be justified by reference to the Soviet th reat or Cuban internat ional interventions, since the loss of Soviet support made it virtually impossible to export revolution. As a result, Washington began to define it s Cuba policy in terms of democracy, human rights, and a market economy (Pur cell 2001). The second point is that these policies, combined with the unwaver ing efforts of Castro, have had the opposite effect and serve to forge Cuban nationalism, as manifested in the
147 resolve and solidarity of Cubans to c ontinue with the revolution. The overall winner has been the regime. Cubans must unite in defense of the nation against the enemy, that bei ng the U.S. and Cuban exile co mmunity plotting against the island. Foreign governments and inter national organizations have expressed their opposition as well. Castro has made pol itical gains internally and externally; his Dual Strategy has been consistently validated. Development of Cubas Dual Strategy on the U.S. Economic Sanctions The attent ion that Cuba gets in U.S. polit ics has not subsided since the end of the Cold War. The discourse has probably only intensified. Castro made sure of this by attacking the embargo and creating incidents t hat highlight the threat to his regime (P urcell and Rothkopf 2000). This pattern has repeated itself for almost 5 decades. However, the unpleasant truth is t hat for the first 30 years the leverage of the economic embargo was not as significant because the Cuban economy was subsidiz ed by the Soviet bloc. Nonetheless, the Cuban regime would have benefited economically by investment and trade with its close neighbor, but the rising of hos tile rhetoric assumed a dynamic of its own. During the 1960s, Washington continued with a pol icy of hostility that included not only the embargo, but the re cruiting of allies to join in the isolation of Cuba. Outside the hemisphere these effort s met with little success, but among Latin American states only Mexico refused to abide by the Organization of American States (OAS). Cuba responded by increasing its effo rts to export the revolution to its Latin American neighbors (LeoGrande 1982). Cubas leaders made a decision on
148 a policy of insurgent confrontation wit h the United States and dealing with the reality of the embargo. The st age was set for the future. In the early 1970s U.S. policy makers began to reassess relations with Cuba. The policy of hostility had failed to destabilize the island and Castro had continued to export revolution. Concurr ently, the initiation of the policy of dtente made Cuban communism less threat ening and the embargo less rational (LeoGrande 1982). As Latin American states began to abandon the sanctions, Cuba did respond with moderation in its revolutionary adventures and pressure within the U.S. to normalize relati ons with Cuba increased. The Ford administration moved in that direct ion; it eased the economic embargo for subsidiaries of U.S. firms operating abroad, voted in 1975 to relax the OAS sanctions, and dropped its demand that Cuba sever its relations with the Soviet Union as a precondition for normalizatio n (LeoGrande 1982). The denial of aid to third countries that permitted their ships to trade with Cuba was also revoked (Purcell 2003). Additionally, privat e discussions began on the full range of bilateral relations. However, the movement towards normalization ended when Cuba deployed 35, 000 troops (LeoGrande 1982; Prevost 2006) to Angola in support of the Popular Movement for t he Liberation of Angola (MPLA) resistance to a South African incursion (Prevost 2006). Besides threatening a military response to any further Cuban interventions abroad, the U.S. declared the withdrawal of Cuban troops a preconditi on for resuming the normalization process. Castro chose political b enefits abroad over better relations with America; that is, the conti nued use of the embargo for propaganda and
149 nationalism over economic benefits for the Cuban people. The confrontational pattern continued. By the time President Carter assu med office in 1977, Cuban troops had begun withdrawing from Angola, and Washi ngton sought to improve relations. A fishing agreement was negotiated and bilate ral discussions on a wide range of issues resumed (LeoGrande 1982). A series of bilateral concessions followed: The U.S. halted reconnaissance over flights and lifted the ban on travel to Cuba. The Cubans responded by releasing over 4,000 political pr isoners and starting a dialogue with the Cuban exile community re garding visits to Cuba and to allow reunification of families (LeoGrande 1982). These efforts culminated with the establishment of diplomatic interests sections in both capitals (Purcell 2003) a move just short of diplom atic recognition. But Cart ers efforts to normalize relations collapsed in 1978 when Cuba sent 20,000 troops to Ethiopia in support of the communist military junt a in a border conflict with So malia. Carter felt that the Cuban leader had betrayed him (Purce ll 2003). A succession of mini-crises that included the presence of Soviet fighter aircraft and combat units in Cuba, as well as the 1980 flotilla of Cuban refugees from Mariel,37 further deteriorated relations (LeoGrande 1982). Once again, an opportunity was lost as Castro selected continued confr ontation over normalization of relations. 37 The Mariel Boatlift (AprilSeptember 1980) was a mass exodus of Cubans following an economic turndown and the subsequent announcemen t by Castro that Cubans that wanted to leave could do so. Political implications resulted when it became known that a number of exiles included convicts from Cuban jails and patients fr om mental institutions. By the time the boatlift ended by mutual agreement, over 125,000 Cubans had migrated to Florida with the help of the exile community.
150 President Ronald Reagan assum ed a tough stance with Cuba as his administration promoted t he tightening of the embargo and the re-isolation of Cuba within the hemisphere (Prevost 2006) Of course, Cuba continued with its confrontational poli cy with the U.S. as it assist ed the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, pursued political influence in Grenada, and shipped arms to guerillas in El Salvador. Overall, Cuba had gained politically with its fo reign interventions, antiU.S. policy, and the continuat ion of the U.S. embargo. This was especially true through Reagans tenure, as most of Lat in America resented his aggressive foreign policy across the region. Externa lly, Cuba assumed a prominent role in non-aligned movement of Third-World Countries, and rallied Latin American countries on a nationalistic basis against t he U.S. support of the British in the Falklands/Malvinas War of 1982, thus helping breakdown Cubas isolation in Latin America (Prevost 2006). Internally, Castro continued to use the embargo, and Cubas improved international re lations, to strengthen the anti-Yankee Cuban nationalism, which of course tends to bolster a regime in confrontation with an external power (LeoGrande 1982). Up to this point, the argument could be made that although Castro can use the embargo for propaganda and nationalisti c purposes, the political gains combined with Soviet subsidie s more than offset the eco nomic gains of lifting the embargo. Thus, it was an easy decision fo r the Cuban government to continue the pattern of confrontation. However, the status quo changed with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. By 1993 Cuba had lost 75% of its import capacity, and the countrys economy had contracted by 50%. Outside the
151 context of war, no modern economy had been so devastated in the twentieth century (Prevost 2006). The resulting hardships on the Cuban people have already been discussed. The conditions were set for the Cuban regime to complement some of the pragmatic measures already undertaken to improve the economy such as development of the t ourism industry and small capitalistic projects with efforts to improve economic relations with the U.S. But would Washington respond? It did not. Presi dent George H.W. Bush continued the hard line against Cuba by signing the Cuba Democracy Act which gave the Executive Branch the option of selective lifting of sanctions to reward positive actions by Cuba (Purcell 2003; Roy 2000). However, the election of President Clinton offered a new beginning and an opening to better relations. U.S. policy makers had expected the re volutionary government to collapse in the absence of Soviet bloc support (Prevost 2006). But the regime survived and the U.S. sought to increase the pressure through the Helms-Burton (H-B) 1996 Act. The Clinton administration opposed the legislation because of strong opposition from U.S. allies38 (Prevost 2006) and had even launched a series of people to people initiatives to try and bu ild unofficial bridges to Cuban society (Roy 2000). Further, Secretary of State Warren Christopher issued statements regarding U.S. calibrated responses to Ca stros actions, an indication of U.S. willingness to move in the direction of gradually normalizing relations with Cuba 38 The Helms-Burton Act strengthened the embargo by extending its application internationally to foreign companies trading with Cuba, and penalized foreign companies allegedly trafficking in property formerly owned by U.S. citizens but expropriated by Cuba after the 1959 revolution ( www.state.gov ).
152 (Suchliki 2003). Passage of the H-B act was not a done deal. On one side stood the agricultural, travel, and energy lobbies, as well as Cuban-American family associations, and cultural, religious, and humanitarian groups (Roy 2000); on the other, stood the powerful CubanAmerican lobby and their 6-8% of the vote in the swing state of Florida. But once again, Castro forced the hand of Congress and the President. In early February, the Cuban governm ent unleashed a wave of brutal repression against Concilio Cubano an umbrella organization of dissident groups on the island, and arrested more than 100 of its members thus reinforcing Castros opposition to any kind of political opening within the island (Suchlicki 2003). Worse yet, on February 24, 1996, Cuban MIG-23 and MIG-29 fighter jets shot down two civilian Cessna ai rplanes from the Miami-based Brothers to the Rescue activist group. Granted, the group had been warned in the past about violating Cuban airspace while dropping l eaflets on the island and spotting for rafters; and on this particular date at least one of three airplanes (specific reason why the third aircraft was not shot down is unknown) is known to have entered Cuban airspace. Nonetheless, this is hardly a reason for engaging unarmed aircraft with hostile fire. Other measures such as escorting the aircraft beyond national airspace or instructing them to land would have been appropriate. In a highly centralized regime like Cubas and with likely international ramifications the order to execute such an action had to come from the highe st levels of the Cuban government. Undoubtedly, that would be the Castro brothers. The timing, in the middle of Congressi onal debate of t he H-B Act, was hardly coincidental.
153 Castro made a conscientious decision to shoot down those aircraft knowing full well that it would lead to passage of the H-B legislation and tightening of the embargo. Thus, the incident shatte red any near-term possibility of rapprochement between the United States and Cuba. As a result, President Clinton, who at first had been ambivalent, appeared compelled to sign the H-B bill into law on March 12, 1996 (Roy 2000). Internally, Castro capitalized with the incident and passage of the H-B Act. National sovereignty had been at stake and thus few Cubans sympathized with the Brothers to the Rescue pilots; and the tightening of the embargo was effective at stirring strong U.S. sentiments. For exampl e, following passage of the H-B Act, Castro organized numerous isla nd-wide demonstrations and protests (Katz 2005). These of course served to build nationalistic fervor and distract Cubans from the failures of their own r egime. Externally, the aircraft incident brought some initial international condemnation, but this was outweighed by the H-B international implications. Despite t he aircraft controversy, Cuba managed to rally other countries to its side serv ing to bolster Cuban nationalism and the governments legitimacy in its fight with the U.S. Since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has voted (by margins as large as 157 to 2) to support the embargos repeal. Moreover, powerful figur es such as Pope John Paul II have criticized the unjust and ethically una cceptable U.S. embargo helping Castro seize the moral high ground (Katz 2005; Roy 2000). During November 2007, the Summit of Leaders from Latin America, Spai n, and Portugal called for the U.S. to end the economic embargo (Miami Herald 2007). More recently, at the
154 December 2008 Latin American Summit leaders not only welcomed Ral Castro to the summit meeting, but also condemned t he U.S. embargo Further evidence of Castros dual stra tegy can be implied from quotes and reactions of Cuban officials to passage of the H-B Act. Carlos Lage, executive secretary of the Cuban Council of Mini sters, argued that the H-B Act had a corresponding political benefit, it has played a role in unifying the Cuban people, has unified the international community, [ and] has increased our adrenaline flow (Roy 2006). Moreover, he predicted that the law would not interfere with the economic recovery of Cuba as fort y-three nations had invested in 143 new ventures (Roy 2006). The H-B Act al so helped the Cuban government when things did not go well. Cuban officials have made use of H-B to explain real or anticipated economic problems by stating that the law creates a climate of uncertainty for investors and it is the cause of any misery and hardship experienced by the Cuban people (Roy 2006) As explained earlier, the media is the primary mechanism for getting this message to the masses. The Granma website ( www.granma.cu) a reflection of the gover nments newspaper offered the following recent (April 2009) headlines in the front page of the international edition: United Nations Vote Condemns Embargo of Superpower that Intends to Isolate Cuba The Entire Planet Condemns the Blockade Success of Cuban Team in ALBA39 Games and World Series of Platform Diving 39 ALBA stands for the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas a regional organization created by Venezuela to promote alternatives to capitalism.
155 Fidel talks about the Che [Guevara] Documentary President of United Nations Hu man Rights Counsel Praises Cuba Further, the front page includes links to editorials by comrade Fidel, as well as links to his principal speeches Thus, these headlines serve to fuel the national sentiment of Cubans against the enemy t hat through the embargo attempts to crush the nation; the sports headline as discussed earlier is used to instill pride in Cubans and their syst em; and the use of Che Guevara as a symbol of revolutionary values vali dates Hobsbawms (1990) thesis on the importance of symbols to build national ism. Such use of media and propaganda to connect the elites, that do the i magining, with the masses, validates Andersons theory of Imagined Communities. Conclusion The Revolution has not yet started. Fidel Castro, 1999 The Cuban revolution fused two of Latin Americas most genuine characteristics: a thirst for nationalism and the role of the caudillo (strong man) (Roy 2000). Fidel Castro and his close group of revolutionaries have successfully made the connection with the masses to create this imagined community through the media and other mechanisms. A proven technique for fostering nationalism is a conflict with an external foe. History is full of examples: the Japanese invasion actually united the Chi nese communists and nationalists in a wave of nationalism during World War II; and the Argentines supported the military dictatorship in the invasion of the Falkland/ Malvinas islands in 1982, to
156 cite just two examples. Castro effectivel y utilizes the embargo to stir strong antiU.S. sentiments and effectiv ely maintain an external enemy alive. While the United States hopes the sanctions will fo rce change, or perhaps the collapse of the regime, the Cuban government blames the United States for the chronic economic problems within the island. This chapter has set out to prove the thesis that the Castro regime seeks to continue the U.S. imposed economic embargo as a mechanism to promote nationalism and international support. This dual strategy prom otes the regime internally while concurrently it obtains international legitimacy. The central concept to prove my thesis is the wa ve of missed opportunities by Cuba that would have possibly led to the eventual termination of the embargo. Each time, Castro consistently chose continued conf rontation. I suggest that this is not coincidence, but part of a systematic approach to continue the embargo. Granted, a case for the other side of the argument that Castro truly wants an end to the embargo can certainly be m ade. After all, Castro has spent significant resources lobbying U.S. interest groups and politicians. However, that is simply part of the strategy. The C uban regime must appear to want to end the embargo otherwise they would lose a ll credibility in the eyes of Cubans and the international community. Consequently, the dual strategy is conducted by the decision makers of the Cuban government possibly only the Castro brothers which is of course a feasible course of action in a dictatorship, particularly one as centralized as Cubas.
157 Over the last ten years, the U.S. has tried both partial engagement as well as an aggressive approach. In 1999, President Clinton announced an offer to increase communications with Cuba, combined with an offer of food and medicine (Roy 2000). Predictably, Castro chose resistance. Cuban Economy Minister Jos Rodrguez called the offer crumbs. Ricardo Alarcn, president of the Cuban National Assembly, went furt her calling the offer subversive, meddlesome, and counterrevoluti onary (Roy 2006). The apparent disappearance of the enemy could not be allowed; the threat had to continue. More recently (October of 2007), President Bush gave his first stand-alone address on Cuba in four years ( www.foxnews.com ) challenging the dictatorship and encouraging dissidents to step up efforts on the island in pursuit of change. Bush proposed new initiatives to follo w-through on his call: the creation of an international freedom fund to help Cubas potential rebuilding of the country; a U.S. licensing of private groups to prov ide Internet access to Cuban students; and an invitation to Cuban youth to join a scholarship program ( www.foxnews.com ). All this of course plays right into Castros hand. While condemning the speech for all the usual anti-imperialist r easons, the Cuban authorities found it quite to their liking, and so embarrassingly out of touch, that they chose to broadcast and print it on the island media (Miami Herald 2007).40 They were comfortable with broadcasting the speech because it strengthens their position. Castro had also pre-empted t he speech by saying that Bush had a 40 Bushs statement about Cubas socialist paradise is a tropical gulag, was deleted.
158 vision equivalent to a new conquest of C uba by force and that he [Bush] could spark World War III (www.foxnews.com ). The recent election of U.S Presid ent Barack Obama has definitely changed the dynamic of U.S.-Cuba relation s. Mr. Obama has declared the need for closer relations and has lifted remittanc es and travel restrictions to the island for exile families. In retu rn, Ral Castro declared that Cuba was willing to discuss everything with U.S counterparts to include human rights, freedom of the press and expression, and political pr isoners. At t he April 2009 Summit of the Americas Obama responded by saying that Wa shington seeks a new beginning with Cuba, but also called for Cuba to release political prisoners and reduce taxes on remittances from the U.S. Unfo rtunately, Fidel imm ediately intervened, reducing expectations for improved bilateral relations, when he wrote an editorial in Granma stating that Obama without a doubt misinterpreted Rals declarations, suggesting that Obama had no right to dare suggest Cuba make even small concessions ( www.MiamiHerald.com ). It appears that once again an attempt for improved relations by a U. S. President has been derailed by Fidel. The embargo is a complex issue with many variables and actors: the powerful lobby of Cuban-American voters in the swing state of Fl orida, with its 27 electoral votes; U.S. economic interest s; increased isolation of U.S. foreign policy; human rights; and many others. Whet her the sanctions are effective or not was not the subject of this chapter. It is evident that for 50 years the embargo has failed to bring down the Cuban co mmunist regime; but there is also no guarantee that engagement would have led to any kind of political reform, or
159 change of existing internal policies that lie at the root of Cubas failed economy. It is also clear that many Cubans have not bought Castros rhetoric or imposed nationalism. They risk their lives crossing t he Florida Straits in pursuit of freedom, and many in Cuba view the exiles as fortunate to have escaped and live in freedom, democracy and economic prosperity. But the Castro brothers still enjoy the support of the majority of Cubans on the island. Therefore, it is safe to say that prosecution of the Dual Strategy will continue for as long as the Castro brothers and particularly Fidel are making the strategic decisions.
160 Chapter Seven Conclusion In this work, I have set out to prove that the following re lationship was the formula for success in both the Chinese and Cuban revolutions: Guerilla Warfare => Grand Strategy => Nationalism X1 X2 Y An initial requirement to apply this relationship of variables is the existence of several pre-conditions that can create a revolutionary setting and contribute to the success of failure of a particular insurgent movement. Factors such as geography, demography, land tenure, and soci o-economic status interact with one another to increase revolutionary pot ential and shape a particular setting. Issues or friction in one or more of t hese pre-conditions worked in favor of the insurgents in China and Cuba, as both se ttings were ripe for revolution. Their development can be best explained through Jack Goldstones An Analytical Framework (1991), which frames revolutions by analyzing three overlapping processes of state breakdown, revolu tionary contention of anti-government groups, and state rebuilding once the dominant group achieves power and attempts to consolidate the new regime. Accelerators such as military defeat, and economic crises serve to increase the revolutionary fever described by Crane Brinton, in his work The Anatomy of Revolution (1938). Finally, as suggested by
161 Barrington Moore (1966) a catalyst normally ignites the revolutionary setting into an actual revolution. I have suggested thr oughout this thesis, that guerilla warfare was the catalyst for the Chinese and Cuban revolution. More importantly, however, guerilla warfare was the princi pal component of the revolutionary theories designed by Mao, and Castros chief lieutenant Che Guevara. Mao refined the Marxist Theory of Revolu tion to fit the particular Chinese setting. Maos Peoples War subsequently inspired Fi del Castros guerilla revolutionary campaign and Guevaras Foco Theory. They both realized that the source of strength to defeat a super ior army was the peasants, but their strategies were slightly different. Mao concluded that a peasant Red Army, thoroughly indoctrinated and with a nationalis tic consciousness, was the key to the revolutionary struggle. People, not weapons would be the decisive factor. The Red Army was co-equal to the Comm unist Party as t he vanguard of the revolution. On the other hand, for Castro and Guevara, the peasants provided sanctuary and the initial recruits of t heir guerilla band, but the focus was the support of the middle class. Castros intent was to energize and unite the majority of the population in a movem ent of liberation. Castro did not necessarily follow a dogmatic formula or ideology but relied mo stly on a nationalistic platform. Castro and Guevara saw the gueril la band as the one and only vanguard of the revolution. However, in both cases, the principal instrument in their respective strategies was indeed guerilla warfare. In these two case studies, guerilla wa rfare went beyond simply military tactics techniques, and procedures. It was the catalyst for mobilizing the peasant
162 masses, for political indoctri nation, and the main ingredi ent in a grand strategy to mobilize the resources required for revolu tionary victory. Guer illa warfare was the mechanism for political work from the bottom-up, which combined with top-down strategic organization, resulted in the build up of nationalism the objective of the grand strategy. The principal takeaway regarding guerilla warfare in these two case studies is that it is not simply a stand-alone form of violence in the pursuit of power, but that to achieve success when revolutionary conditions exist, guerilla warfare must shape the grand strategy that incorporates political, social, economic, and psychological variables, with an end state of maximum mobilization of resources. As per C harles Tillys Theory (1978), mobilization seeks control of manpower and materiel resources. A successful grand strategy then maximizes the resources available to the insurgents, while it minimizes those available to the government. M ao and Castro developed such a plan of action a dual strategy for mobili zing popular support resources. The Dual Strategy is a strategy of deception because it seeks wide popular support of groups or classes with di vergent interests. Thus, in order to appeal to the different groups, the insur gents message is modified according to which group it is targeting at a parti cular time and place. The dual strategy contains two principal components: internal and external. In general terms, the internal strategy focused on securi ng the sympathy and support of the peasant base. By promising radical social and agr arian reform, having peasants comprise the bulk of the insurgent force, and basing guerilla operations from the countryside, the peasantry was assured that their interests were indeed the main
163 effort of the revolutionary struggle. The external strategy focused on securing the alliance of the majority of the upper and middle classes as well as the international community, in order to isol ate the government. By stressing a liberal patriotic image, defending justice, and callin g for unity and moderate reforms, the insurgents sought to widen their appeal to the majority of the population and classes of society. The conduct of a Dual Strategy carri es certain risks. Overlaps do occur between the internal and external components that result in contradictions. For example, the promise of r adical agrarian reform contradicts the protection of property rights for landowners. The solu tion is to subordinate one component to the other based on the element s of time, space, and parti cipants. Only a strong and charismatic leader can manage these elements and maintain credibility, particularly when violence is involved. Mao and Castro were successful because they skillfully administered these cont radictions and within a revolutionary setting expertly incorporated several vari ables such as ideology, organization, and violence to achieve the mobilization of resources that could challenge the actor in power. However, at its core, the dual strategy requires the mechanism of guerilla warfare to measure progress and provide credibi lity in the revolutionary struggle, and thus provide focus and dire ction in pursuit of nationalism the principal objective for the dual strategy. In a revolutionary setting, the actor that is better organized to obtain access to resources has the best chance of achieving dominance. The appeal of nationalism cuts across all classes of society and strongly enables the
164 mobilization of resources by the revoluti onaries. In fact, an ideology that appeals to national identity is probably the most powerful symbolic means of mobilizing revolutionary support and offers the great est flexibility in appealing to all the societys classes (Greene 1999). Mao was able to achieve the proper mix of communism and nationalism. Communist ideology provided Mao with a coherent and articulate system that resonated with peasants and facilitated their support for revolution (Greene 1999). But the dual strategy at times de-emphasized communist ideology and in stead focused on nationalism in order to obtain broad mass support. The Japanese invaders facilitat ed the growth of nationalism as the communists were successful in fosteri ng an image of conducting guerilla warfare in defense of the people. Castro relied ex clusively on nationalism; in fact, when exactly did Castro turn Ma rxist is not clear; what is clear is that in Cuba communist ideology was eit her non-existent or relative ly unimportant until after revolutionary victory (The Economist 2009). Mr. Castro relied on the longstanding hostility of Cubans towards the strong economic and political influence of the Unites States, to build a nationalistic platform In sum, guerillas must appear as nationalists, otherwise they will not win the mass support required to challenge the actor in power Alexis de Tocqueville in The French Revolution and the Growth of the State (1848) stated that revolutions often strengthen the power of the state. The protracted popular war of the Chinese Revolution devastated the country. Nevertheless, the new communist government was able to transform China from a declining and dependent power into an assertive and independent great power
165 (Katz 2001). For a short period of time, Co mmunist China did seek to spread its brand of revolution elsewhere in the develop ing world, but to fully assert itself, China had to become part of t he world community. Although the Cultural Revolution brought a period of social and poli tical chaos combined with economic disarray, China remained a power player as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as a nuclear st ate. It also becam e a broker in the bipolar world of the Cold War as it shi fted emphasis of relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, while mainta ining an independent foreign policy. In 1978, China adopted a dual strategy of a different variety: the separation of economics from communist ideology, with the introduction of market reforms that focus on capita lism with a heavy mixture of government control. As a result, China has becom e one of the worlds fastest growing economies, and for the most part except for flare-ups with Taiwan in 1995-96 and with the U.S. in 2001 China has play ed a cautious game internationally, focusing on promoting policies that incr ease economic growth and maintain the status quo (The Economist 2009). Chinas importance in the world today is undeniable with the worlds second largest economy and the largest standing army. In Cuba, the revolution succeeded on the cheap without a long protracted struggle. It also became a stronger state at least in ternationally. The revolution transformed what was essentially a U.S. colony into an independent state. The Cuban revolution inspired the left thr oughout the world and ignited revolutionary struggles across the region. Cuba actively pursued a policy of vigorously
166 exporting revolution through its support of international revolutionary solidarity, Third World nationalism, and by providin g arms and funds to insurgents (Childs 1995), as it sought to advance their inte rest and influence. Essentially, Fidel Castro internationalized the foco revolutionary theory by continuing an insurgent strategy that placed Cuba as the foco within a global cont ext. Cuban-inspired insurgent movements succeeded in Nicaragua in the 1970s, but failed in Venezuela in the 1960s and Bolivia in 1967 (Weitz 1986). Although Mr. Castro did stop trying to overthrow Latin Amer ican governments more than two decades ago, shortly before his Soviet sponsor colla psed, Cubas influence is still relevant today. Its achievements in health, educat ion, and social welfare provided a credible model for Hugo Chvez Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, who in turn has influenced a socialist transformation in Bolivia, Ecuador, and a return of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Fidel Castro successfully refined the dual strategy to adapt to changing conditions. The external component focused on promoting his revolution, developing a strong following in Latin Am erica, enhancing Cubas influence, and increasing Cubas value as an ally to t he Soviet Union, in order to obtain and then continue its sponsorship. The in ternal component targeted the Cuban people and their continued support of t he revolution through the buildup of nationalism. Mr. Castro consistently pres ented himself as a nationalist first and a communist second. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the dual strategy has continued with the U.S. economic em bargo as the principal tool utilized by Castro to provide focus in its executi on. In this work, I have argued that the
167 Castro regime has sought to continue the economic embargo as a mechanism to promote nationalism and international support. Castro needs a conflict in order to create a climate of permanent confrontation that allows him to justify his absolute power and economic policies, under the pretense that he is defending the homeland. Without a conflict, there is no justification for the extreme hardship imposed on the Cuban people. Castro has continued to validate this dual strategy with positive results: the regime has considerable internat ional political and even economic support; and the regime has remained in power. Cuba now receives substantial aid from Venezuelas Hugo Chvez oil money. In turn Mr. Chvez benefits from the services of Cuban doctors and political and security advice designed to keep Mr. Chvez in power. A handful of other radi cal socialists who have achieved office through elections such as Bolivias Evo Morales also seek inspiration in Mr. Castro. He is treated with respect by so cial democrats such as Brazils Luiz Incio Lula da Silva. In many cases that is because he offered them friendship in the past, when they were persecuted by di ctatorships that had American backing. This is of course ironic because Cast ro has oppressed Cubans as well. The same applies to Presidents Cristina Fernandez of Argentina and Michelle Bachelet of Chile, who have recent ly visited Cuba and expressed support. Additionally, Latin America is now uni ted in wanting to end the diplomatic isolation and many would lik e the U.S. to lift its long-standing economic embargo against the island (Summit of the Americas April 2009). Nonetheless, fifty years after the revolution, and the subsequent imposition of communism, the island is
168 once again close to bankruptcy (The Economist 2009). If success and failure are measured by the quality of life of ordinary Cubans, then undoubtedly, the revolution has failed; however, it has succeeded in the minds of the Castro brothers and Cubans who ar e proud of their imagined community. So what does the future hold for these two countries? There are many who predict that China will be the next challenger to the United States. But Chinas military power is still far behind that of the U.S. particu larly in the naval component. China has not been a naval pow er for centuries and building one to match that of the U.S. will take decades. The question is whether China can remain stable as it resolves the contradi ctions associated with a relatively free market economy and a communist political system, as it occurs when economic decisions are made for political reasons, re sulting in corruption and inefficiency. Further, the relative prosperity of the coastal regions compared with the mostly poor interior can lead to friction and conflict. It is likely then that China will continue to seek, and maintain, the status quo for the short term; however, the current system appears unsustainable for the long term. Slow and measured political reform is possible, but also a figure like Mao might emerge once again to bring equality and social re form through a strong nationa listic and pro-communist rhetoric. In fact, Chinas leftists are becoming more active as the global economy sputters (The Economist 2009). It is then quite possible that the dual strategy will re-emerge once again in China. The prospect of reform of Cuba look ed promising when in February 2008 Fidel stepped down as president in favor of his brother Ral, who is considered
169 more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. Further, the election of U.S. President Barack Obama, who promised closer re lations with Cuba during his campaign, offered a unique opportunity for change. However, since then, Ral declared, during the 50th anniversary of the revolution, t hat the: U.S. enemy will never stop being aggressive, dominant, and treacherous;41 this was followed by the rebuttal of Fidel regarding Mr. O bamas statements at the Summit of the Americas in April; finally, the Castro brothers asserted their dictat orial authority by sacking some of the younger and reform-minded of ficials in a recent government shakeup. Thus, the likelihood of reform is lo w, as long as the Castro brothers and the old revolutionary guard that comprise the inner circle remain in power. However, the regime is unsustainable long term considering the islands weak economy, lack of resources and infrastr ucture, and of course the advanced age of its leadership. Although the dual strat egy will continue for the foreseeable future, regime change is imminent fo r CubaHowever, only the Cuban people should make that decision. 41 As quoted on www.breitbart.com (1/2/2009)
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