Committed to World Revolution Castro was fiercely committed to creating his own

Committed to world revolution castro was fiercely

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Committed to World Revolution Castro was fiercely committed to creating his own revolutionary world and to fighting imperialism whenever and wherever the opportunity arose -- in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East. "Any revolutionary movement, in any corner of the world, can count on the help of Cuban fighters," he told a audience of Third World revolutionary leaders in early 1966. When his revolutionary goals clashed with those of his Soviet benefactor he nevertheless pursued them. Among Kremlin officials he became known as "the viper in our breast." Defeat and Betrayal Castro's world revolution eluded him. His guerrilla armies were defeated by U.S. counterinsurgency forces and betrayed by Soviet-run Communist parties the world over. Most poignantly, in Bolivia, Che Guevara Castro's chief instrument of world revolution, met his death in 1967. Cuba and USA As the Cold War settled into détente in the early 1970s, Fidel Castro, following the Soviet line, began to soften his own antagonistic rhetoric against the United States. "We are neighbors," he told reporter Barbara Walters in 1974, "and we ought to get along." Cuban and American officials met secretly at La Guardia Airport and at the Hotel Pierre to work out a rapprochement. When Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced in 1975 that the U.S. was ready to "begin a new relationship," the two nations stood on the brink of an agreement. Castro's Choice Then, 15 years after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro made what
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was perhaps the most important choice of his life, one which would determine the future of Cuba-U.S. relations into the 21st century. In 1974-75, just as the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba seemed imminent, Fidel Castro saw an opportunity to rekindle his international revolution. After five centuries as a colony of Portugal, Angola in West Africa was due to receive its independence in November 1975. The country edged toward civil war as three separate groups bid to rule the country. Cuba had been supporting the Movement for the Independence of Angola (M.P.L.A.) since the 1960s. The Marxist leader Agostinho Neto had close ties to Havana and was favored by the Cubans. Castro faced a choice: intervention in Angola or relations with the United States. On November 7, 1975, he personally saw the departure of an airlift taking Cuban special troops into Angola's capital, Luanda, followed by two passenger ships carrying regular troops into the field of battle. When Cuba took the initiative, Moscow followed with support. "They've made a choice which, in effect, and I do mean very literally, has precluded any improvement in our relations with Cuba," President Gerald Ford said. Afghanistan Angola launched Castro onto the world stage. In the words of Cuban analyst William Leogrande "The Cuban intervention in Angola identifies Cuba as a country that is willing to take a risk, willing to put its own interests on the line, willing to provoke a confrontation with the United States in support of national liberation in Africa.
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