Current Soviet Policies in Latin America,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF EXTERNAL RESEARCH
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Soviet interest in Latin America is of long standing. Unlike most other regions of the Third World, it has some of the oldest and most loyal communist parties which, despite their relative weakness, have been reliable tools of Soviet foreign policy. Effective Soviet penetration of Latin America, however, began only in the postwar period as a result of a combinaton of factors, the most predominant of which has been the upsurge of Latin American nationalism and a decline in U.S. influence and control over the region, as well as the emergence of the Soviet Union as a global power with the necessary economic, political and military capabilities and the reach needed to begin to play an active role in a region so remote from the Soviet Union. Above all, the Cuban Revolution and the survival of Castros regime has been a critical factor in providing the Soviet Union with a base in the Western Hemisphere and in demonstrating the decline in U.S. ability to control political developments in Latin America. Even though Castroism itself failed to become a major political force on the southern continent, the success of the Cuban Revolution no doubt has given further impetus to the upsurge of Latin Americas nationalism with its attendant anti-U.S. overtones which, in turn, has become the major vehicle for the penetration of that region by the Soviet Union.
- Government and Political Science