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Latin America and Africa During the Cold War

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1 Latin America and Africa During the Cold War
By Daniel Baiza, Jeff Mayeda, Nate Odendahl, Kelsey Nunez, & Adam Schaar

2 Latin America Overview
In 1948, the states of the Western Hemisphere formed the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS passed a resolution calling for an end to military action by one state in the affairs of another. During the Cold War, American leaders became more anxious about instability in Latin America. The United States kept a close watch on radical movements in Latin America. They also provided military aid to anti-Communist regimes.

3 Latin America Overview
Due to the economic instability, the Latin American governments tended to also be unstable. Dictators were able to take power due to the support of the military and conservative elites. In the 1960’s, repressive military regimes in Chile, Brazil, Argentina abolished political parties and returned to export-import economies financed by foreigners. Latin nations borrowed money from other nations to maintain their weak economies. Between 1970 and 1982, debt to foreigners grew from $27 billion to $315.3 billion.

4 Latin America Overview
Latin America’s economic problems were made worse by a growth in population. From 1950 to the mid 1980’s, the population grew from 165 million to 400 million in Latin America. Between 1940 and 1994, the Mexican population grew from 47 million to more than 90 million. In the 1950’s, Fidel Castro led a movement aimed to overthrow the government of the dictator Fulgencio Batista who had controlled Cuba since 1934. Cuban and United States relations deteriorated after Castro began to receive aid from the Soviet Union.

5 Chile 1960’s In 1960, Chile joined the Alliance of Progress which validated economic cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America. The Alliance of Progress was established as a counter to the communist threat from the USSR and Cuba, and to keep U.S. dominance in Latin America. During this time, Eduardo Frei served as president and denied higher wages for the industrializing nation. Through the second half of the decade, prices started to increase, inflation began, the Labor Unions were upset, and the new generation was leaning towards socialism. Chile

6 Chile 1970’s In 1970, the Socialist Party won the election lead by Salvador Allende Gossens. Allende, a Marxist, believed on making the working class more equal. He intended on seizing privately owned land to create more jobs and increase employment. In 1971, Chile renegotiated relations with Cuba, while Nixon and the U.S. felt uneasy about the spread of socialism. Many wealthy landowners and business owners disliked Allende’s ideals. In October 1972, Chile had its first strikes about the damaged economy. Inflation had rose 140% and imported food had increased 149%. Eventually, the Chilean Congress and Judiciary didn’t support Allende; Therefore, on September 11, 1973, a military coup d'état lead to Allende’s death. Controlled by General Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean military obtained power and exterminated any opposition.

7 Chile General Pinochet
Pinochet lead a cutthroat military dictatorship from He expelled any repelling parties, killed over 3,200 people, imprisoned at least 80,000 people, tortured around 30,000 prisoners, and exiled almost 200,000 citizens. The civilians incarcerated during Pinochet’s reign were known as Desaperecidos (“The Disappeared”). Pinochet discarded any socialist ideas and reasserted the open market. This resulted in a lower rate of inflation and an economic rise, but widened a suppressive system. On October 1988, the plebiscite resulted in a 55% “no” and a 43% “yes” on Pinochet’s continuation. After the free elections, Patricio Aylwin became president on March 11, 1990.

8 Cuba Fidel Castro Prior to attempting to take over the Cuban government Fidel Castro was a lawyer and was ironically friends with Fulgencio Batista; the U.S. backed dictator of Cuba prior to Castro. In 1952, he ran for Parliament in Cuba; heavily opposing Batista, but got nowhere. 1 year later, on July he led a failed attack on Batista and his forces, with a mere 135 men in the battle known as the Attack on the Monaco Barracks. He stumbled his way to Mexico after being imprisoned by Batista’s forces.

9 Cuba Fidel Castro In Mexico, Castro formed an underground network of supporters which included renound guerilla warfare expert Che Guevara and his brother Raul Castro. Three years later he employed the 26th of July Movement to take overCuba in 1956, which initially failed. After once again failing to defeat Batista with about 100 men, Castro fled to the countryside where his movement became popular and his forces grew to 800 Cubans. In 1958 the US implemented an arms embargo. Castro slowly took over Cuba and by 1959 Batista fled while Castro’s men were marching through the capital city of Havana, leaving Castro ruler of Cuba.

10 Cuba Foreign Policy Once in power, Castro consulted the United States for a diplomatic relationship, but meetings with United States President Eisenhower were rejected several times. After this he looked to the USSR for an alliance and quickly signed an oil contract with them. In the midst of this John F. Kennedy was elected president of the US in 1961 and attempted to regain US allied rule in Cuba but his support in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion tightened the USSR and Cubas relationship. Castro began to mimic the USSR by increasing his control over media, government, education and even employed a secret police force that resembled the Russians KGB.

11 Cuba The Cuban Missile Crisis
By early 1962 Cuba’s relations with the USSR had become so close that they began sending MRBM’s (mid range ballistic missiles) to Cuba. When JFK got word of this he began talk about an invasion of Cuba, and immediately blockaded Cuba; preventing the missiles arrival. Nikita Khrushchev wasn’t excited and threatened the US with nuclear war. The US made a deal with the USSR and the US vowed to not invade Cuba and remove their MRBM’s in Italy and Turkey in exchange for the USSR promise to not plant nuclear weapons in Cuba. This is the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war.

12 Africa Overview Beginnings
Many African countries became independent from colonial rule after World War II. These new governments consisted of indigenous African leaders unlike previous white leaders. Because of the economic state and unstable political order, both cold war superpowers tried to gain influence in these countries.

13 Africa Overview Competing for Influence
The U.S. and Soviet Union were trying to gain more support in these nations by sending military and economic aid. When one Superpower decided to support a group, the other supported the opposition by sending weapons, money to fund insurgencies and occasionally military personnel. Some nations that were involved in this competition for influence were Angola, Somalia and Ethiopia, and The Congo.

14 Africa Overview Conflict in Angola
In the 1970’s, the country of Angola finally earned its independence from Portugal and associated itself with the Soviet Union. The West and other South African countries tried to contain soviet influence by funding insurgency movements such as the UNITA (Anti-Marxist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) and the FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola). These insurgencies fought with the communist (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) MPLA. Cubans also joined the Soviet Union in the fight against the UNITA and the FNLA. This dispute turned into the Angolan Civil War which finally ended after 27 years in 2002.

15 Africa Overview Ethiopian-Somali Conflict
Also in the 1970’s turmoil brewed between Somalia and Ethiopia. The Soviet Union provided Somalia, which was heavily outnumbered by Ethiopia, with military aid. While Somalia grew strong and Ethiopia started to deteriorate into chaos and a new government was beginning to form. The Soviet Union saw this taking place and thought that they could make Ethiopia into a Marxist nation. The U.S.S.R. decided to stop funding Somalia and they began to supply arms to Ethiopia. So at one time, the U.S.S.R. was providing weapons to both sides of this conflict. The U.S.S.R. stopped supporting Somalia put all efforts into supporting Ethiopia. Because of this, the U.S. supported Somalia and set up military bases there to contain the growing communism in Ethiopia.

16 Congo After The Republic of the Congo earned it’s independence from Belgium and France, there were non-stop political problems. In May 1960 a growing nationalist movement, the Movement National Congolais or MNC Party, was led by communist Patrice Lumumba. The parliament elected Joseph Kasavubu who was pro western as president while Lumumba was Prime Minister.

17 Congo September 5, 1960 Kasavubu (who sided with the U.S.) dismissed Lumumba (who had the USSR’s help), from office which caused conflict between the two. Joseph Mobutu, who was also pro west, was leader of the new Congo army known as Armee Nationale Congolais and stepped in to help settle this conflict. With financial help from the U.S. and Belgium, Mobutu’s army helped maintain new order in the state.

18 Congo This neutrality was short-lived as Lumumba was kidnapped and executed by Belgian paratroopers and Katangan forces seeking copper and diamond mines. Belgian’s violent intervention on behalf of Katanga, led to the UN Security Council to authorize the withdrawal of Belgian troops and their replacement by a United Nations military force. This led to 5 years of instability and political chaos of several disappointing governments.

19 Congo In 1965, Kasavubu was overthrown by Mobutu who declared himself head of the state and established a one-party system. Peace and stability was achieved through his rule, but it also followed with consequences. Mobutu's government was guilty of severe human rights violations, political repression, and corruption.

20 Congo He changed the country's name to Zaire, changed the name of several cities, and even his own to Mobuto Sese Seko, which means “the all-powerful warrior”. In May 1990, there were several riots in Kinshasa by unpaid soldiers that led to two different governments: Anti-Mobutu and Pro Mobutu. Mobutu was becoming increasingly physically frail which led to him losing much of the land in Zaire.

21 Congo Mobutu was overthrown in The First Congo War and on September 17, 1997 died from cancer. Zaire was renamed The Democratic Republic of Congo.

22 Political Cartoon

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