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Will history absolve Fidel Castro?

The Year 12 History class recently held an excellent debate on the controversial question: ‘Will History Absolve Fidel Castro?’ As a unit in our IB Diploma History course, we have been learning about Castro’s Cuba and the debate was a great way of applying our knowledge and understanding, as well as testing our skills of analysis and evaluation.
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The class was split into two groups, ‘for’ and ‘against’. I was the judge and it was my task to decide on the winning team by a simple point system: plus one for a good argument, nothing for a mediocre argument and minus one for a bad argument.  A good argument was classified as one which followed the PEE method (Point, Explanation, Evidence).

Each group presented three outstandingly powerful arguments. ‘For’ explained how he has greatly improved Women’s Rights, and how he has enhanced literacy and decreased mortality rates. As there are two sides to an argument, ‘against’ mentioned how Castro had promised to not become Communist. However, he did exactly that! They also explained how, despite the success of improving the rights of women and minorities, some social groups such as religious groups and homosexuals were being discriminated against. Counter-attacks from both groups were exceptional.

Jenny, Year 12 IB Diploma Student

This is an abridged version of an article which appeared in the latest (Term 2, Edition 3) Secondary School Newsletter.

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