A Comparative Study Of The Communist States China And Cuba


At the end of the world war, the world is divided into two, east and west. This is marking the beginning of the Cold War. As the capitulation of Fascist states in the Europe and Asia, the communist and democracy country spread their ideologies to the world. While Soviet Union annexed the previously owned Eastern Europe to be a part of their territories, it was a different story for the China and Cuba. The long suspended civil war erupted once again right after the end of world war, where the communist was victorious and formed thee People Republic of China. Meanwhile in Cuba, the rise of socialist leader like Fidel Castro gained the support from the own people, making him the popular populist leader, which soon became the leader of Republic of Cuba? Both China and Cuba communist governments are the product of the awakening of Vietnam War in Asia and evolved since then. They did play very active roles in the international and regional context, where China became a threat to both American and Soviet Union government since the Sino-Russo splits. On the other hand, Cuba did play important role, where it became major key player as communist entities in American continent and played important role during Cuba Missiles Crisis, which almost led the world to the brink of the nuclear holocaust. China and Cuba have their own grudge against American government which including military clash or even war, as Cuba clashed with American during Cuban Missiles Crisis and Invasion of Bay of Pigs, while China with American during the Korean War. In economic term, China and Cuba did ever implemented market or private oriented reforms, where China did it in 1978 while in Cuba, they recently do market reformation in 2011. Their bilateral agendas with the American government included opposed views over the issues of democracy and human rights. However, the differences of communist governments in China and Cuba are very disparate physical sizes. Compared to China, Cuba has lower in term of geographic extension, population and socioeconomic development index.

What foreign policy did China and Cuba adapt post- Cold War period, what was their relationship with the United States?

Ever since the end of the Cold War in the 90’s it gave birth to a whole new landscape to the international system and how it is governed. As the disintegration of the Soviet Union sent shockwave after shockwave through the territorial just as worldwide conditions, the powers of contending belief systems that had become the dominant focal point for 50 years gave route to another, beginning global framework. The United States had apparently landed at the peak of its worldwide power U.S. values such as democracy and liberalism, thus the US had become a hegemonic force that its corporations were the for fronts for building a global economy and its military became the force to spread its imperialism in the name of spreading of democracy. This begs the question of what happens to the communist blocks or family after the fall of the soviet? The two countries that prevailed as a stronghold communist block as both revolutionary leaders Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro claim to keep the communist ideology as their stronghold (Kruarattikan, 2017). This essay is a comparative study as to how the countries China and Cuba shaped their foreign policy and their relations with the United States also what is the relation between China and Cuba.

Cuba’s Foreign Policy After the Cold War

According to Tulchin and Espach, Cuba has survived relatively well with having one of the worlds powers the United States against them, having its major allies the Soviet Union collapse. So, Cuba then understood its place in the new-found international system. The way Cuba approached its foreign policy is through a neo-realist paradigm where is adopted and made do with new economic policies due to US sanctions and Cuba adopted an institutionalist strategy to counter US power. Neo-realism is the structure or architecture of the universal framework that drives states to seek after power. In a framework where there is no supreme authority that sits over the extraordinary forces, and where there is no assurance that one force will attack another, it bodes well for each state to be well protected enough to ensure itself in the occasion it is attacked. During, Fidel Castro’s reign during the 60’s, the policy execution power in foreign policy is high centralized and lies in the President. During this era, Cuba was highly dependent on the Soviet Union to provide economic aid and military protection against the United States and typically had a strong a strong military to keep from US interventions. When US economic policies came in to play such as sanctions and the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba was then needed to adapt to the new international and go global in its foreign policy. Then during the 1990’s, Institutionalist strategies then came in to play, which essentially play in to international politics to seek allies for aide but it’s still neo-realist in principle due to US forces. Cuba took initiatives to seek for trade deals in other Latin America countries essentially gaining an economic stronghold. Cuba also had great support from the UN essentially condemning the US embargo policies which also placed Cuba in an international stage.

China Foreign Policy After the Cold War

China’s foreign policy after the Cold War is focused on three key words, modernization, nationalism, and regionalism. Modernization refers to, China’s strong desire to form an economy that’s centred towards progressing a better economy to one that’s more industrialised as it would be solving both domestic and external problems. Next, Nationalism is the dominant ideology in China, and it is very much key to unlocking economic growth, Chinese intellectuals and government officials are so very nationalistic. Lastly, Regionalism, despite global ambition China has always maintained a strong stance of being the concentrating in Asia-Pacific region. Even though, China’s aspiration of being a global powerhouse, the Chinese believe in respecting diversity, harmony and self-improvement (R. Hernandez, 2015). China’s relationship however with the US are very much shaking in the beginning with the US imposing sanctions due to the human rights abuse that China had but later in 1994 President Clinton renewed economic ties.

What is China and Cuba Relationship?

Both being communist countries do share similar traits of foreign relations, which are nationalistic values, self-determined defence and the principle of non-intervention (R. Hernandez, 2015). China being a much bigger power aims to be a global powerhouse due to its economic power that it holds and constantly engages with trade globally, whereas Cuba are still reliant on Foreign Investment. In current times, State-to-state participation has concentrated on structure basic framework as a reason for Cuban financial development. Bilateral projects have focused on the overhauling of Cuban assembling, the consequential opening of business sectors, the coordination of mechanical areas, and more as of late the controlled introduction of private enterprise. As Chinese undertakings become progressively alright with the principles of market trade, Cuba's moderate execution of changes has produced respective strains. In any case, since Raúl Castro supplanted his sibling as Cuba's leader, the pace of progress has enlivened, and China's local involvement with monetary change has expected developing significance for the island. It is clear to see, there is a state-to-state cooperation between China and Cuba which is non-interventionist in nature.

What Cultural Differences Between Maos China and Castros Cuba?

Next, culture is one of the aspects where it has influence country’s politics. Culture is defined as beliefs of following certain guidelines on how to live the life or a can be said a way of life of a group. As stated by Geraldine Pearman (2015), culture can also be considered as a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in places or organizations. Moreover, culture participation in politics influence people into more political engagement become to public sight. As mentioned by (Erica McCollum,2018) has said that people’s accounts, the most common influence promoting higher political engagement appeared to be that, throughout various stages of their lives, they were immersed in social contexts and cultures that helped to produce political attention and participation as an expected, everyday activity. Then, in China for their Maoism and in Cuba for Castroism has affected the politic of the country. The differences between both countries in the aspects of culture is their ideologies. Mao was more into Marxism-Leninism and where Castro was into totalitarian. In China, Mao has launch a revolution called the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution also can be called in simple terms as Cultural Revolution on August 1996 where the communist leader had shut down the schools in the nation as the leader wanted a huge youth movement to lead the current party leaders to embrace their bourgeois values and have more revolutionary spirit among the youth mobilization. According to History, the Cultural Revolution continued in various phases until Mao’s death in 1976, and its tormented and violent legacy would resonate in Chinese politics and society for decades to come. Then, the Castro with different ideologies has contribute differently compare to China. The Castro as more to socialism where the leader wants a better government as the previous government under Batista is corrupted. As a totalitarian leader, he wants to have a dictatorial power over the government to avoid corruption. He had gain power over the Cuba Revolutionary after the guerrilla war against Batista’s army.

Then, art and literacy where the Mao in China and Castro in Cuba had different perspective towards it. The Mao where the communist leader uses it to go more totalitarian against people. For an example, the Mao sees the art and literacy as a strongest weapon to be used to uniting and education the people such as nationalism and communism to defend and attacking enemies for the sake of the country. According to History, some 1.5 million people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation. Next, art and literacy in Cuba under Fidel Castro after his charged on the government where he took the art and literacy to different level where it gives benefits the people’s around Cuba. Cuban Revolution had very positive effects on Cuba’s culture as Cuban culture is instantly recognised internationally and enjoys an international reputation for being one of the richest cultures in the world. This is because the government has developed an artistic and literary as they government strengthen the relationship between artist and institutions such as Cinematography of Cuban Institute as big arts industry has formed after the new government take charged which where under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Moreover, to create the attention for literacy, the government had organised book festival just to attract Cuban writers to produce and write new books. As stated by Helena Doare (2010), the aim of the cultural policy was to develop and extend the socio-cultural relations between Cuba and Latin American/ Caribbean countries, as well as with the rest of the world. Lastly, the Mao of China and Castro in Cuba had done their best in terms of culture just to protect their country with their fiery nationalism.

What is the Difference in Economic Revolutions Between China and Cuba?

Furthermore, the next key question is what are the differences of economic revolutions in China and Cuba? Both countries have undergone a process which changes the economic state of the country completely. The process is called economic revolutions, but it does not happen at the same time. These countries gone through the process of economic revolutions with a gap of 29 years between them whereby China only went through it 29 years after Cuba has already revolutionise their economic state for 48 years. Nevertheless, both countries are using the same type of economic ideology which is socialism. Socialism is against entrepreneur private undertaking framework which it tries to supplant by an arrangement of command over riches and property and the social supervision or association of monetary action, this is frequently abridged in the recipe, the 'normal' or 'open' possession of the implies of production. First and foremost, people need to see why both countries went through an economic revolution. Both China and Cuba economic revolutions is based on nationalism, a sense of love and belonging for their country.

Firstly, Cuba's financial changes expect to refresh a midway arranged model with matchless quality of the arrangement and state property over the market and private property while China has a blended decentralized framework where the market and private property are vital parts. It took Cuba seven years to expound a first calculated form of the refreshing that still is ambiguous and uncertain. As stated, these countries do not have the same way of changing the economic state. They use different method as the Cuba focuses on the centralizing the economy, but China focuses more on decentralizing the economy as both countries has different demographic scale. In other words, due to the difference in demographic scale, these countries are using a system which suits the demographic scale. For an example, China is country which is very big and it hard to centralize the economy that focuses on one place. Therefore, the country needs to decentralize the economy so that each part of the country could enjoy the same economic state. As for Cuba, comparing it to China, it is not as big. That is why centralizing the economy to one place in the county could be the perfect way to improve the economy. Next, China's responsibility for methods for creation is a lot bigger and privatization progressed quicker than Cuba's. China focuses more on privatization of the economy as the private sector generates more income and improves the economy of China. Therefore, China’s economy depends more on the private sector. As for Cuba, privatisation is something the country does not support. It is one the reason why the country went through an economic revolution as they feel that private company or private sector is unreliable due to some issues such corruption.

To summarise, China and Cuba have gone through an economic revolution in order to improve the economic state of the country. Nevertheless, it does not go through the same process as both have same factor that led to the difference in economic revolution. Both countries are using different ways in order to meet or suit the any characteristics of the country.


We can draw many similarities between, the two countries comparatively they share same strong communist principles and has pursued objectives that the Cuban and Chinese Leadership has distinctively to in to play in to the countries policies, interest and identities. Both countries have objectively maintained its independent view and has never pander towards US model of democracy. It is important, for Cuba and China to have strong relations due to the ever-changing political landscape of imperialism from US and European countries that still have the active role of spreading democracy as it give many tangible benefits to Cuba in terms of economy and China maintains the narrative of a global powerhouse that’s main objective is to build up third world nations.


  1. Kruarattikan, S. (2017). Sino-Cuban Relations from 1964 to 1995: Conflict and Reconciliation . CCS Visiting Scholars Working Papers , 26.
  2. Wenger, A., & Zimmerman, D. (n.d.). International Relations: From the Cold War to the Globalized World. 9.
  3. Tulchin, J, Espach, R., (2001) Latin America in the New International System: A Call for
  4. Strategic Thinking, in: Tulchin, J. – Espach, R. – Latin America in the New International System, Boulder 2001, s.1-33
  5. Mearsheimer, J. J. (1994). The False Promise of International Institutions. International Security, 19(3), 5. https://doi.org/10.2307/2539078
  6. R. Hernandez. (2015). Vietnam, China and Cuba Foreign Policies towards the United States. A comparative analysis in Conflict/Cooperation.
  7. Dominguez, J. I. (1978). Cuban foreign policy. Foreign Aff., 57, 83.
  8. ZHAO, Q. (1997). Chinese Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era. World Affairs, 159(3), 114-129. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20672492
  9. Hearn, A. H. (2012). China, Global Governance and the Future of Cuba. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41(1), 155–179. https://doi.org/10.1177/186810261204100106
  10. James Reynold (2008).” Comparing China and Cuba”. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jamesreynolds/2008/11/comparing_china_and_cuba.html
  11. History.com Editors (2019). “Cultural Revolution”. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/china/cultural-revolution
  12. Helene Doare (2010). “Cuba’s ‘Cultural’ Revolution”. Retrieved from https://creativecultureint.com/cubas-cultural-revolution/
  13. Erica McCollum (2018). “The Cultural Influences of Political Engagement”. Retrieved from https://culturallymodified.org/the-cultural-influences-of-political-engagement/
  14. Geraldine Pearman (2015). “The Impact of Culture on Politics”. Retrieved from https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Impact-of-Culture-on-Politics-P3WNRSXHKGEZ
  15. C. M. (2018, June 11). Comparing China and Cuba's Economic Reforms. Retrieved from https://theasiadialogue.com/2018/02/27/a-comparison-of-chinese-and-cuban-economic-reforms-design-and-effects/
  16. R.N. Berki, Socialism, j.M. Dent and Sons, London, 1975, p.9
09 March 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now