What was life like for citizens in Cuba after World War II?Focus primarily on how their lives were affected by the specific policies of the dictatorship.

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

WWII became very good for Cuba.  It also temporarily saved President Batista’s political life.  Due to the war, Asian suppliers of sugar and tobacco were cut off.  Due to the loss of imports from Asia the U.S. increased its demand for these items from Cuba.  Their sugar and tobacco production doubled.  Because the economy improved, Batista’s popularity rose.

The negative affect was the loss of the profitable European cigar market.  There was also a huge drop in the tourist dollars coming into the country.

 

"1941 December Cuban government declare war on Germany, Japan, and Italy. In 1943 Soviet embassy opened in Havana."

 

In 1944, Batista lost the election to Grau, who in turn, lost his presidency to Carlos Prio Socrarras in 1948. Each era of presidential leadership during this era was run more by graft and favoritism rather than honest and honorable leadership. Communism began making headway into the leadership level of Cuba.

At the end of WWII Cuban government was best described as “gangsterismo.” Street wars broke out between various groups and this violence became the way of life.  Much of this chaos was brought out by the mass of refugees which filtered into Cuba after the Spanish Revolution.

“Private armies, essentially thugs, surrounded each of Cuba’s elite.  Assassinations, intimidation, and violence entered all facets of life as students and thugs clashed with and among each other.  As a high school and college student, a young Fidel Castro was influenced by the idealism and the violence which surrounded his education.”