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sugar industry Cuba's Politics

While the isle of Cuba was initially discovered on October 27, 1492 during one
of Columbus first voyages, it wasnt actually claimed by Spain until the
sixteenth century. However, its tumultuous beginnings as a Spanish sugar
colony provides an insightful backdrop into the very essence of the countrys
political and economic unrest. From its early revolutionary days to the
insurrectional challenge of the Marxist-Leninist theories emerged the
totalitarian regime under Fidel Castro in present day Cuba. Cuban colonial
society was distinguished by the characteristics of colonial societies in
general, namely a stratified, inegalitarian class system; a poorly
differentiated agricultural economy; a dominant political class made up of
colonial officers, the clergy, and the military; an exclusionary and elitist
education system controlled by the clergy; and a pervasive religious system.1
Cubas agrarian monocultural character, economically dependant upon sugar
cultivation, production and export severely restricted its potential for growth
as a nation, thereby firmly implanting its newly sprouted roots firmly in the
trenches of poverty from the very beginning of the countrys existence. In
1868, Cuba entered in to The Ten Years War against Spain in a struggle for
independence, but to no avail. Ten years of bitter and destructive conflict
ensued, but the goal of independence was not achieved. Political divisions among
patriot forces, personal quarrels among rebel military leaders, and the failure
of the rebels to gain the backing of the United States, coupled with stiff
resistance from Spain and the Cubans inability to carry the war in earnest to
the western provinces, produced a military stalemate in the final stages.2 The
war had a devastating effect on an already weak economic and political
infrastructure. The defeat, however, did not hinder the resolution of the Cuban
proletariat for an independent nation. In the words of one author, The Cubans
ability to wage a costly, protracted struggle against Spain demonstrated that
proindependence sentiment was strong and could be manifested militarily. On the
other hand, before any effort to terminate Spanish control could succeed,
differences over slavery, political organization, leadership, and military
strategy had to be resolved. In short, the very inconclusiveness of the war left
a feeling that the Cubans could and would resume their struggle until their
legitimate political objectives of independence and sovereignty were attained.3
The years following the Ten Years War were harsh and austere. The
countryside, ravaged and desolate, bankrupted Spanish sugar interests in Cuba,
virtually destroying the industry. The Spanish owners sold out to North American
interests, a process accelerated by the final abolition of slavery in Cuba in
1886.4 The end of slavery, naturally, meant the end of free labor. The sugar
growers, therefore, began to import machinery from the United States.
Essentially, Cuba deferred its economic dependence from Spain directly to the
U.S. What became known as the American Sugar Refining Company supplied from
seventy to ninety percent of all sugar consumed by the United States, thus
mandating the direction of the Cuban agricultural industry and thereby
controlling its economy. Moreover, the United States interventionism in the
Cuban-Spanish war in 1898, motivated primarily by interests in the Cuban market,
led the surrender of the Spanish army directly to the United States, not Cuba.
This war later became known as the Spanish-American War. The leader and
organizer of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, Jose Martis, goal of true
independence was buried without honor in 1898.5 In the years from 1902 to 1959,
following the institution of the Platt Amendment, which was an amendment to the
Cuban constitution, that stated that the United States had the right to
intervene in Cuba at any time, a period which came to be termed the Pseudo
Republic ensued. In the words of General Wood: Of course, Cuba has been left
with little or no independence by the Platt Amendment...The Cuban Government
cannot enter into certain treaties without our consent, nor secure loans above
certain limits, and it must maintain the sanitary conditions that have been
indicated. With the control that we have over Cuba, a control which, without
doubt, will soon turn her into our possession, soon we will practically control
the sugar market in the world. I believe that it is a very desirable acquisition
for the United States. The island will gradually be Americanized, and in
the due course we will have one of the most rich and desirable possessions
existing in the entire world...6 The Great Depression however, had a immense
impact on United States holdings of the Cuban sugar industry. In the summer
and fall of 1920 when the price of sugar fell from twenty-two cents a pound to
three ... more

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Canada

Canada


Canada, is the world's second largest country and it is the largest country in
the Western Hemisphere.  It comprises all of the North American continent north
of the United States, with the exclusion of Alaska, Greenland, and the tiny
French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.  Its most easterly point is Cape
Spear, Newfoundland and its western limit is Mount St. Elias in the Yukon
Territory, near the Alaskan border.  The southernmost point is Middle Island, in
Lake Erie and the northern tip is Cape Columbia, on Ellesmere Island.

Canada is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the west by the pacific
Ocean, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and its associated bodies of water,
including Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea.

Canada has an abundance of mineral, forest, and water-power resources.  The
mining industry has been a major force in Canada's economic development in the
past and is still the main force in the advance and economic activity and
permanent settlement into the northlands.  The principal minerals are petroleum,
nickel, copper, zinc, iron ore, natural gas, asbestos, molybdenum, sulfur, gold,
and platinum; in addition extensive beds of coal, potash, uranium, gypsum,
silver, and magnesium are found.

Fresh water covers an estimated 756 276 sq km or 7.6% of Canada.  The many
rivers and lakes supply ample fresh water to meet the nation's needs for its
communities and for irrigation, agriculture, industries, transportation, and
hydroelectric power generation.  Canada has four principal drainage basins:  the
Atlantic Basin which drains to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Great Lakes and
the St. Lawrence River, the Hudson Bay Basin which drains northward into Hudson
Bay via the Churchill, Nelson and Saskatchewan rivers, the Arctic Basin which is
drained by the Mackenzie River and the Pacific Basin which drains into the
Pacific Ocean via the Fraser, Yukon and Columbia rivers.

Canada has six major physical, or physiographic, regions:  the Canadian Shield,
the Arctic Islands, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands, the Appalachian
Region, the Interior Plains, and the Cordilleran Region.

In simple terms, Canada can be considered a vast, saucer-shaped basin, bordered
by mountainous lands on the west, east, and northeast.  Hudson Bay and the
lowlands along its southern shore form the central depression of this saucer.
Surrounding this depression on all sides, including Baffin Island, is the
Canadian Shield (also known as the Laurentian Plateau or Laurentian Upland).
The Canadian Shield is a region of ancient, mostly Precambrian rocks that covers
nearly half of Canada.  The Canadian Shield includes all of Labrador and large
areas of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories.  As a result
of glacial action during the Pleistocene Ice Age, much of the region is covered
with numerous lakes and marshy areas as well as rolling hills from worn down
mountains.  The Canadian Shield was formed in the early Paleozoic era and is
composed of igneous rock.  Podzolic soils, which are soils of low natural
fertility cover much of this area, they are also quite wet from the climate.
The climate in this area varies quite a bit due to the different levels of
elevation.  Arctic climate conditions are found in the northern areas, these
areas generally have dry and cold conditions.  Boreal conditions are found in
the midsection, the conditions are generally cold and wet.  South-Eastern
climate conditions are found in the south, these climate conditions are
generally cool and wet.  Precipitation is fairly heavy in northern Quebec and
Labrador.  The climate and acidic soils in this area do not create proper
conditions for agriculture.  Some coniferous and deciduous forests are found in
this area as well as, shrubs, litchen and heath.

The Arctic Islands lie to the northwest of the central depression and constitute
about 8.3% of Canada's land area.  They are mostly covered by permanent snow and
ice fields.  The northern sections of the region include the United States Range,
which reaches 2926 m in northern Ellesmere Island.  The southern sections are
lower in altitude and are sometimes referred to collectively as the Arctic
Lowlands and Plateaus.  The Arctic Mountains are primarily composed of igneous
and metamorphic rock.  The mountains are very young mountains with jagged peaks.
The Arctic Lowlands are made solely of sedimentary rock.  Glaciation has worn
down the land in this area leaving it flat with some rounded hills.  Tundra and
subarctic soils cover all of this area and ice and stone deserts are found over
large areas as well.  The subsoil in much of this area is permanently frozen,
and the soils are unsuitable for agriculture.  The sparsely settled northern
areas ... more

sugar industry

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