Mao and Castro's Economic Policy

Mao and Castro's Economic Policy


  • Both set overambitious targets - Castro set the target for the Year of Decisive Endeavour for 10 million tons but only 8.5 was produced. Mao set too high a target for the GLR which led to officials exaggerating how much harvest there was, leading to a famine killing 50 million people.
  • Both improved workers conditions. Castro's first policy was to improve the worker's lives and in 1960, 15% of national income had shifted from property owners to wage owners. Mao decreased inflation through the introduction of the Yuan which led to an improvement in urban living standards and wages rose.
  • Both were overdependent on one crop and both tried to move away from this crop. Castro kept trying to move Cuba away from sugar but keep returning as the economy declined. Mao tried to move away from agriculture and rice production.
  • Both nationalised industry as a way of improving the economy. Mao nationalised banks, railways and industry to reduce inflation and Castro nationalised US property in order to fulfil their deal with the USSR to refine their oil.


  • Castro became more reliant on the USSR's loans whereas Mao turned against the USSR.
  • When economic policies went wrong, Castro would admit mistakes whereas Mao would purge anyone who disagreed.
  • Castro adjusted his policies but Mao wouldn't change which led to famine.
  • Castro's economy was damaged by the US's embargo and policies against him.
  • Mao's policies became less successful as time went on whereas Castro's became more successful.
  • Mao's policies led to a famine in 1959, killing 50 million people whereas Castro's policies in the 1990s avoided an impending famine.

Overall comparison

Castro's policies became more successful and Mao's became less successful because Castro was willing to listen to feedback and adjust his policies, avoiding famine whereas Mao was unwilling to hear criticism and would not change his policies, leading to famine. 


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