Communist revolutions have been attempted across the world - what were the primary reasons that the Cuban Revolution succeeded while others failed?

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    Consider Soviet economic and military aid. Without Soviet support, Cuban revolution would not have survived for long. – Andrei Oct 12 '11 at 6:21
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    Actually, all communist revolutions received economic and military aid from the USSR. And one cannot really say that only the Cuban Revolution succeeded - see China and Vietnam. But it was the only one that succeeded despite being very far from USSR. – Wladimir Palant Oct 12 '11 at 8:08
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    I think the cruelty of the Batistuta regime immensely helped Castro gain popularity. – quant_dev Oct 22 '11 at 18:47
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    @quant_dev, that's Batista, Batistuta was a soccer player. – user280 Nov 4 '11 at 15:38
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    @Andrei: The Cuban Revolution would probably have succeed in SOME form given the widespread opposition to Batista. But Soviet support probably helped Castro prevail over the OTHER revolutionaries. And later, repell an American-sponsored invasion. – Tom Au Nov 16 '11 at 19:59

The Cuban revolution succeeded because it was a broad-based revolutionary movement, not a "Communist" revolution (initially, that is). For instance, in the July 26th (1953) uprising against the government's military barracks (the equivalent of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry before the U.S. civil war), the Castroites were only one of several revolutionary groups revolting against the unpopular dictator, Batista.

Castro was captured and condemned to 15 years' imprisonment, but was released in 1955 under a general amnesty.

In 1956, the Castro supporters fled to Mexico, where they were joined by other revolutionaries, notably a student group called the Revolutionary Directorate (RD). This group returned in Cuba in 1957, and launched a suicidal attack against Batista, while Castro bided his time and returned later.

By this time, Batista was losing most of his supporters. In 1958, the U.S. recalled its Ambassador and withdrew its diplomatic recognition of Batista, placing a key embargo on military goods. Meanwhile, one of Batista's opponents was an American "soldier of fortune, William Alexander Morgan. When Castro returned, he was joined by Morgan and the surviving RD members. Their combined efforts were enough to bring down Batista.

After the Revolution was successful, Castro's Communists "hijacked" it because they were better armed and organized than the other revolutionaries. But that is another story.

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    Some may argue US foreign policy at the time pushed the Castro regime towards the USSR rather than Communist leanings – James Jan 15 '12 at 18:50
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    in fact Castro made the proclamation of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution on april 16, 1961 after the Bay of pigs invasion cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/1961/esp/f160461e.html – Emilio Gort Jan 26 '14 at 5:46

Nobody knew that Castro was communist until after he came to power. I was in Cuba in 1958 (or'57 - I am not sure) and everyone was rooting for Castro. He was largely financed by the Cuban middle class; businesses and shop owners. Nobody had a clue at that time.

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