Conflict Resolution During Cuban Revolution and Persepolis

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Cuban Revolution is still remembered today as a significant cause of what has come of Cuba today. Two people who played a significant role to overthrow the Cuban government was Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro wanted to overthrow the government which was under control of Fulgencio Batista. This event in history will show how this crisis manifests itself in public opinions. Also, who was being oppressed and who were the oppressors. Who is trying to get what and for what reason. Within this essay I will identify the conflicts, who wants what and why does the other party not want to give it to them. What’s being fought for or demanded, and what’s being withheld. A lot of parallels of struggles will be found on a fundamental level that has been looked at so far in Persepolis. Connecting this novel with the Cuban Revolution in such a way that it identifies points in where the characters or situations mirror in some way with the Cuban Revolution. Mirroring with this event will be interpreted in some extent because they are two different time periods and different events. When you look at both events you see motivation, results, people who were involved, and what people did to gain this success. There will be many parallels throughout the history of Cuban Revolution, Persepolis, and a small amount in Maru that will be discussed.

The Cuban Revolution began on July 26, 1953 and ended on January 1, 1959. Who led the Cuban Revolution was Fidel Castro. Castro went to school in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. While he was still a student, he did participate in revolutionary activities. Castro then graduated with his law degree in 1950. In 1952 he was a candidate for the Cuban People’s Party, But Batista’s coup preempted the election, and Castro wanted to challenge the dictatorship. As stated on the Cuban Revolution article, “ On July 26, 1953, he led around 160 men in a desperate and unsuccessful raid on a Santiago army barracks. He had hoped that the attack would ignite a general uprising against Batista, but most of the attackers were killed and Castro and his brother Raúl were arrested and imprisoned.” This reminded me how in Persepolis, Marjane’s grandfather was arrested many times due to becoming a communist. Marjane’s grandfather found it disgusting that “ people are condemned to a bleak future by their social class. Long live Lenin” (Page 23). There’s an old photograph of Castro’s unsuccessful raid that shows dead bodies of shot insurgents laying on the ground. This unsuccessful raid “left 54 people dead and was the start of a long-lasting civil war on the island of Cuba” (msnbc.com).

In 1955 Fidel and Raul were released but left for Mexico they began “organizing an invading force of Cuban exiles (Encyclopedia Britannica, inc). Castro was doing everything in his power to be heard, he did that by trying to have the population join. In December 2, 1956 Castro landed back in Cuba with 81 men but most of them were killed or captured. There were a dozen men who did escape, they were Fidel, Raul and Che Guevara. Marjane had the same idea in mind too when she said, “For a revolution to succeed, the entire population must support it” (Page 17). This small group that consisted of the Castro brothers, and Che Guevera then started a guerrilla. A guerilla is when a small group take part in a lot of fighting against larger forces. Such as how Marjane’s parents were doing with the army in Islam. They wanted the kind to go down, so while the army shot at them, Marjane’s parents and the groups they were apart of marched and “threw stones at the army” (Page 18). Fidel had long accused Batista of corruption and tyranny. In Persepolis they were telling a brief history of Iran and basically tied it all together by stating that Iran was “2500 years of tyranny and submission” (Page 11). Even though both of these events were different and were based in a different time period, Marjane and Fidel had the same mindset of how their country was demonstrated and viewed as.

On March 13, 1957 there was a student revolution, this group was named Revolutionary Directorate. These students led a bloody but unsuccessful attack on the presidential palace in Havana. Many were killed in the fighting. Also, in many other cities, “rebel groups loosely allied with Castro carried out hit-and-run attacks and nearly succeeded in assassinating Batista” (thoughtco.com). Fidel Castro also had a group called “los escopeteros”, they captured terrain against Batista’s soldiers, they served as informants to the guerrillas and protected their supplies. As explained before Castro always accused Batista of corruption and tyranny, and that was one of many reasons on why people started to join Castro. It was “partially due to his charisma and nationalistic rhetoric, but also because of increasingly rampant corruption, greed, brutality and inefficiency within the Batista government” (history.com). Besides these being reasons for the islanders, they also became reasons for the United States. They slowly withdrew its support to Batista. Trade unionists attempted to strike, but that failed after the government announced that anyone participating in the strike would be refused re-employment elsewhere. On August 1, 1957, Batista terminated freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. This led to more people dying because the city’s naval station fell into the hands of rebel officers. More than 100 people were killed when the government retook the city.

It was now 1958, many raids and destruction of property, this started to make a big impact on the Cuban economy. Also “Sugar mills and plantations were burned, bombings in Havana depressed the tourist trade, and rebel activity in Oriente province hampered the mining industry” (britannica.com). This reminds me of two occasions in Persepolis where there were properties being destroyed. The first occasion was when the Rex Cinema was burned down with 400 people in there and the police “forbade people to rescue those locked inside” (Pages 14-15). If these people tried to help the ones who were still alive and trapped the police would attack and beat them. The second occasion was when a missile hit Marjane’s neighbor’s house that was at the end of the street. The house “was completely destroyed” (Pages 141-142).

Castro’s forces which for years had a successful guerrilla campaign, were now big enough and could match the government troops in any battle. They often did face them with equipment that were obtained from foreign sources. On January 1, 1959 Batista saw that Castro was inevitable, so he fled to Dominican Republic with the few of his troops that supported him. Batista spent the rest of his life in exile in Portugal. Castro was made prime minister. Castro made his way into Havana, he went into every town, city, and village along the way to give speeches to the cheering crowds. “The people of Cuba took to the streets, joyfully greeting the rebels” (thoughtco.com). This quote reminds me of how in Persepolis there is a chapter called “The Party” in which people wanted the king to finally depart because of many deaths, broken promises, and traumatizing events. They were rioting against him; his statues were getting torn down and burned down until he finally left. The day he left, “the country had the biggest celebration of its entire history” (Page 42). And just like the United States turned their backs on Batista, in Persepolis they did as well. The president “refused to give refuge to the exiled Shah and his family” (Page 43). In both cases the people could now enjoy their freedom since “the devil has left” (Page 43).

What I did notice within the Cuban Revolution, Persepolis, and Maru were social classes. In the Cuban Revolution most people who were fighting with Castro were poor. These people that were poor had to suffer through the killing’s day by day, and how the government treated them. When Batista took away their freedom of expression and freedom of assembly these people had no way to speak up for themselves and that’s why Castro did it. The people that were rich or higher class never cared for the poor class and were on Batista’s side because that’s all he cared for, his loot. In Persepolis Marjane speaks on social classes starting with her grandfather when he says “ people are condemned to a bleak future by their social class. Long live Lenin” (Page 23). It also continues when I reached the chapter called “The Letter”, Marjane states that “ the reason for my shame and for the revolution is the same: the difference between social classes” (Page 33). The king was high and mighty but everyone who was revolting and rioting around him were just poor or middle-class people that saw how absurd he was. Continuing further into the chapter Marjane’s maid who has been with her her whole life is in love with the neighbor. The neighbor does not know that she is their maid, but when Marjane’s father brings it into his attention, he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. Marjane’s father says that their love was impossible, and Marjane wants to know why. Marjane’s father says, “because in this country you must stay within your own social class” (Page 37). What connects this to Maru is that even though Marjane and the maid weren’t on the same social class, Marjane still wanted to be with her. In Maru, Margaret Cadmore was pretty much like Marjane’s maid, a Bushman or Masarwa. Margaret had two rich men fall in love with her who were Moleka and Maru. Margaret also made a friend named Dikeledi who was also her coworker in the school that they both worked at. Even though Margaret was below them all she still found true friendship, love, and a job that she loved. One example of love was when Moleka tried to change for Margaret, he tried to oppose the idea of social classes by “ seating himself at table with the slaves of the yard” (Head 75). Another example would be when Maru gives up his throne and inheritance when he marries Margaret and end up leaving their hometown to a farm.

In closing, I identified conflicts with in the Cuban Revolution and Persepolis. I have also stated what the people wanted and what Castro wanted. I have also discussed on why Batista didn’t want to give up his presidency, and this was because he wanted to continue his ruling and also had the United States help until the very end. Peoples rights were being fought for, for example freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. All of this was being withheld because of Batista wanting to continue his presidency and also when it came to being reelection time, he kept changing the date of when citizens could have voted. There were a lot of struggles that were viewed in the Cuban revolution but also in Persepolis. The novel connected with the Cuban Revolution in such a way that it pointed out where the characters and situations mirrored in some way with the Cuban Revolution. This could have been with motivation, results, people who were involved, and what people did to gain this success. This involves riots, protests, a lot of deaths and battles. There was also a connection between the Cuban Revolution, Persepolis, and a small amount in Maru. Social classes were a big view for people back in the Cuban Revolution, when Persepolis was written, and when Maru was written. Social classes had a big impact for these three different events, three different time periods. In each one you could see how everything that was going on at the time revolved around social classes. Even though all these events happened in different periods of time, it’s quite interesting how everything was still so relevant in each one. Till this day everything is still so relevant.

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