Castro's Cuba: New Force in Latin America
Far-Reaching Influence of Of Cuban Revolution
The threat of Red-tinged revolution in many parts of Latin America in the early future confronts the United States with an unprecedented challenge. It is that the country come to grips with conditions making for political instability in nations to the south and thus foster orderly, free government throughout the hemisphere. The basic situation has not been changed, and may have been aggravated, by the United States severance on Jan. 3 of diplomatic relations with Cuba; nor would the challenge be removed by a complete diplomatic quarantine of the Castro regime by all other American states, For, as President-elect John F. Kennedy warned last Oct. 21, this country's troubles with Castro's Cuba are “only the beginning of our difficulties throughout Latin America.” Kennedy emphasized that the security of the United States “depends on Latin America” and said “The big struggle will be to prevent the influence of Castro from spreading to other countries.”
Widespread illiteracy and lack of experience with democratic practices; corruption, police brutality and Communist subversion; desperate poverty and economic under-development all have contributed to a faltering of free government in the southern half of the Western Hemisphere. Under these conditions, the Cuban revolution has served as a powerful catalyst for the forces of social discontent. William Benton, former Assistant Secretary of State, pointed out six months ago that:
A revolution is under way throughout Latin America—the struggle of 180 million people to propel themselves out of a feudal society and into the 20th century. A new middle class provides the energy and the leadership for this revolution. An old aristocracy resists, and a voiceless population of Indians, peons, and city slum dwellers watches.