On New Year's Day 1959, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the island as a revolutionary army advanced on the capital city of Havana. Exuberant celebrations erupted in Havana and elsewhere. The corrupt and repressive Batista was almost universally hated, and the leader of the revolution that unseated him had promised to bring justice, freedom, and democracy to Cuba. That leader, a charismatic young lawyer named Fidel Castro, would rule the island--aided by a small inner circle that included his brother Raúl--for the next five decades. The Castro regime could claim some undeniable achievements. It dramatically improved circumstances for the poorest Cubans. It improved and expanded public education. It created a first-rate health care system that guarantees free medical care to all citizens. But, in the view of critics--and over the years the Castros would acquire many--such achievements were more than offset by the regime's failures. The Castro government wreaked havoc with Cuba's economy, stifling development and plunging the country into periodic crises. And, even worse, the Castros proved just as repressive as Fulgencio Batista had been. This book presents an overview of the controversial Castro regime. It details the government's major actions and policies and examines what life has been like for ordinary Cubans as a result. Each title in this series includes color photos throughout, and back matter including: an index and further reading lists for books and internet resources. Key Icons appear throughout the books in this series in an effort to encourage library readers to build knowledge, gain awareness, explore possibilities and expand their viewpoints through our content rich non-fiction books. Key Icons in this series are as follows: Words to Understand are shown at the front of each chapter with definitions. These words are set in boldfaced type in that chapter, so that readers are able to reference back to the definitions--building their vocabulary and enhancing their reading comprehension. Sidebars are highlighted graphics with content rich material within that allows readers to build knowledge and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos are offered in chapters through the use of a QR code, that, when scanned, takes the student to an online video showing a moment in history, a speech, or an instructional video. This gives the readers additional content to supplement the text. Text-Dependent Questions are placed at the end of each chapter. They challenge the reader's comprehension of the chapter they have just read, while sending the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects are provided at the end of each chapter as well and provide readers with suggestions for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. And a Series Glossary of Key Terms is included in the back matter
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