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Latin America and the Global Cold War$
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Thomas C. Field Jr., Stella Krepp, and Vanni Pettiná

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655697

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655697.001.0001

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Cuba, the United States, and the Uses of the Third World Project, 1959–1967

Cuba, the United States, and the Uses of the Third World Project, 1959–1967

Chapter:
(p.241) 10 Cuba, the United States, and the Uses of the Third World Project, 1959–1967
Source:
Latin America and the Global Cold War
Author(s):

Eric Gettig

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655697.003.0011

This essay analyzes the international history of the efforts of the Cuban government led by Fidel Castro to project itself as a leader of Third World internationalism after coming to power in January 1959. It begins by exploring revolutionary Cuba's first effort to convene and host a major international conference, a "Conference of Underdeveloped Nations" in Havana in 1960. Using a combination of the published Cuban press and several diplomatic archives – chiefly from the United States and United Kingdom, but also including a few Mexican and Venezuelan documents and the 47-page internal report of Cuban Ambassador Carlos Lechuga's tour of Latin America in January-February 1960, obtained from his family in Havana – the chapter analyzes the failure of Cuba's efforts to convene this conference, and the efforts of the Eisenhower administration to discourage Latin American governments from participating. At a time when Cuba's international orientation was very much in flux, the struggle over the conference became part of a larger contest over the future direction of the Revolution and over Latin American engagement with both the U.S. and the Third World.

Keywords:   Cuba, Third World, Tricontinentalism, Cold War, Diplomacy

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