After the Revolution, the Cuban government made some immediate reforms. They limited the amount of land that people could own and imposed heavy taxes on rich landowners. The government also developed many social programs for the benefit of the poor.
The United States interpreted all of this as being too reminiscent of Communist doctrine. The U.S. also opposed Fidel Castro because he kept many Communists in high positions in the government, and often criticized the U.S. and other capitalist states.
When Cuba began importing Soviet oil, U.S. companies refused to process it, probably at the request of the U.S. government. The U.S. also cut the sugar quota, prompting Castro to nationalize American sugar mills. Other companies were nationalized as well after the American embargo was announced.
From then on, there was little hope for friendly U.S.-Cuba relations. Cuba could no longer receive products from the U.S. due to the embargo, so they turned to the Soviet Union.
Fidel Castro quickly emerged as the dominant figure in the Cuban Revolution as a result of his energy and charisma. Another important leader, Che Guevara, was a Communist and very powerful in Cuba. After the U.S. sponsored an invasion at the Bay of Pigs, Castro announced that he was a Marxist-Leninist.
In the following years, Cuba became tightly aligned with the Soviet bloc. It greatly increased trade with Socialist countries and relied on the Soviets for much.
The only political party allowed to distribute information in Cuba is the Communist Party, the head of which is Fidel Castro.
The Cuban Government owned more businesses than most Socialist countries and was able to provide its citizens with a wide range of social services.
Recently, Cuba has been adopting some forms of capitalism. Small private restaurants, arts and crafts markets, and other sorts of businesses have recently been legalized by the government.
Socialism has brought many gains to Cuba which would not have been achieved without it. Free health care and education, plus the near eradication of violence, hunger, homelessness and racism have not gone unnoticed by the people.
However, in a country where the average salary is just $10 per month, many Cubans are excited at the prospect of legally earning a few dollars from tourists each day. The future of Cuba will depend on the Cuban people. Will they be tempted by Capitalism, or will they remember what they have gained from Socialism?