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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

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

Eric Gettig

University of North Carolina Press

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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