This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Foreign interventions by Cuba" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The small island nation of Cuba had impacts throughout the world

Cuba intervened into numerous conflicts during the Cold War. They sent medical and military aid into foreign countries to aid Socialist governments and rebel groups. These interventionist policies were controversial and resulted in isolation from many countries.[1] Due to the ongoing Cold War, Cuba attempted make allies across Latin America and Africa. Cuba believed it had more freedom to intervene in Africa as the U.S. was more concerned about Latin America.[2] Still, the US was strongly opposed to Cuban involvement in Africa and continued Cuban intervention was a major source of tension.[3] Cuban intervention was often confidential and all Cuban doctors and soldiers were forced to keep their location confidential.[4]

In Latin America, Cuba supported numerous rebel movements, including in Nicaragua, and in Bolivia where Che Guevara attempted to foment an insurgency. In 1959, Cuba unsuccessfully invaded Panama and Dominican Republic. Within Africa, Cuba supported numerous independence movements, including in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique. Che Guevara also went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) to support the Simba rebellion. Cuba's largest foreign interventions were in Angola in support of the MPLA and in Ethiopia in support of Mengistu Haile Mariam during the Ogaden War.[3] Cuba also intervened militarily in the Arab world including in Yemen, Algeria, Iraq,[5] and in support of Syria during the October 1973 War. They also supported the People's Revolutionary Government during the United States invasion of Grenada. While most Cuban military interventions were Soviet-backed, Cuba often worked independently and at times even supported opposing sides.[3] General Leopoldo Cintra Frías, who served in both Angola and Ethiopia, stated, "The Soviets were never able to control us although I think that was their intention on more than one occasion."[5]

Cuban foreign policy was motivated by both idealism and realpolitik.[2] It publicly justified its interventions into foreign conflicts for a number of reasons; to spread their revolutionary ideas, aid "liberation movements" fighting for independence,[2] and to protect the territorial sovereignty of allied nations. Cuban leader Fidel Castro stated: "Our Revolution is not a revolution of millionaires. Instead, it is one carried out by the poor, and is one which dreams of ensuring the well-being not only of our own poor, but rather of all the poor in this world. And that is why we talk of internationalism."[6] Cuba was the only economically lesser developed nation with extensive military intervention in Africa.[3] Cuba was a strong supporter of the Organization for African Unity's emphasis on border protection and African independence.[3]

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and facing the economic difficulties during the Special Period, Cuba continued to maintain a presence in Africa, including the service of many doctors.[3] Cuban medical internationalism was a prominent feature of their interventions alongside military aspects. Medical internationalism consisted of four prevailing approaches: emergency response medical teams sent overseas; establishment abroad of public health systems for providing free health care for local residents; taking in foreign patients to Cuba for free treatment; and providing medical training for foreigners, to Cuba and overseas.[7] All Cuban doctors overseas were volunteers.[4]


Main article: Cuban military internationalism

During the Cold War, Cuba often positioned itself internationally by providing direct military assistance to those who shared the same ideology and to resistance movements[8] with at least 200,000 members of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) serving in foreign territories during the period.[9] Cuba perceived its interventions to be a method of directly combating the international influence of the United States.[10] Cuba also sought to place its troops into international conflicts in order to build combat expertise among their ranks.[11]

Informally, Cuba's ambitions of foreign military intervention began shortly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, though it was officially adopted and pronounced in 1966 by Fidel Castro at the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America.[12] Cuba often received military and logistical assistance from the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations when participating in interventionist initiatives throughout Africa and Latin America.[13]


1959 Panama invasion attempt

1959 Panama invasion attempt
Date23 April, 1959
Status Cuban expedition failed.
Cuba Cuba Panama Panama
Commanders and leaders
Cuba Fidel Castro Panama Ernesto de la Guardia

One of the first foreign actions taken by Cuba only months after the Revolution included an attempted coup in Panama on 24 April 1959.[12] The coup was repelled by members of the Panamanian National Guard.[14]

1959 Dominican Republic invasion attempt

1959 Dominican Republic invasion attempt
Date14 June, 1959
Status Cuban invasion failed.
Cuba Cuba Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Commanders and leaders
Cuba Fidel Castro
Cuba Delio Gómez Ochoa (National hero of the Dominican Republic)
Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo
224 men unknown
Casualties and losses
Cuba 217 killed
Cuba 7 captured

The Dominican Republic was invaded on 14 June 1959.[15][16] Fifty-six men (Cubans, Guatemalans, Dominican exiles, and American communists)[17] landed a C-56 transport aircraft in Constanza. As soon as the invaders landed, they were massacred by the fifteen-man Dominican garrison.[18] A week later, two yachts offloaded another group of invaders onto Chris-Craft launches for a landing on the north coast. Dominican Air Force pilots fired rockets from their British-made Vampire jets into the approaching launches, killing most of the invaders.

Sand War

Further information: Sand War

The first official foreign deployment of Cuba's armed forces was in Algeria during the 1963 Sand War.[19] Hundreds of Cuban troops arrived in Algeria on 22 October 1963, upon request from Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella.[19] Castro was convinced that the United States sought Ben Balla's overthrow and was determined to prevent this from happening.[19] Under the command of Efigenio Ameijeiras, Cuba deployed twenty-two T-34 tanks, eighteen 120-mm mortars, a battery of 57-mm recoilless rifles, anti-aircraft artillery with eighteen guns, and eighteen 122mm field guns with the crews to operate them.[19] Castro sought to keep the operation covert in order to avoid international backlash, with many Cuban troops participating in the conflict wearing Algerian uniforms.[19] However, French forces quickly discovered Cuban intervention and reported it to other governments.[19] Apparently the Cubans did not actively participate in combat, and they were eventually withdrawn by the end of the year after providing training to Algerians in the use of military hardware.[5]

Venezuela and Machurucuto raid

Further information: Machurucuto raid

Soon after taking following the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro sought to take advantage of relations with Venezuela and incorporate its oil wealth within Cuba and quickly began to make relations with Venezuela guerrillas.[20] President of Venezuela Rómulo Betancourt cut ties with Cuba in 1961 as part of the Betancourt Doctrine, which saw Venezuela breaking relations with governments that came to power through non-democratic means.[21] In July 1964, the Organization of American States sanctioned Cuba after a cache of weapons destined for the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional was discovered on Venezuela's shores.[22] In May 1967, the Machurucuto raid saw Cuban troops attempting to make their way into the Andes to train Venezuelan guerrillas, but they were captured by the Venezuelan Army and National Guard.[23]

Congo Crisis

Further information: Congo Crisis

Che Guevara, holding a Congolese baby and standing with an Afro-Cuban soldier during the Congo Crisis, 1965

During the Congo Crisis, Cuba intervened between April and November of 1965 and provided hundreds of personnel to assist the Conseil National de Liberation (CNL), also known as the Simbas, with overthrowing the Congolese government.[24] The CNL was fighting against the government under Moïse Tshombe that took power of the DRC following the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. The Tshombe government was supported by the United States and South Africa.[25]

Map highlighting the zones where Guevara and the Cubans fought, 1965

In December 1964, just prior to his time in the Congo, Che Guevara gave a speech speaking out against western imperialism in front of the UN General Assembly. Guevara's speech demonstrated Cuban motives for supporting the CNL against the US back Congolese government.[26] Soon after, Castro decided to send Guevara along with Víctor Dreke and 137 other Cuban soldiers to support the CNL, revolutionary followers of the deceased Patrice Lumumba.[26] Cuba supported the CNL along with the African states of Algeria, Egypt, and Zanzibar, all of whom were especially frustrated by US involvement.[25] The group flew to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and crossed Lake Tanganyika into the Congo.[27] Guevara previously underwent cosmetic surgery and did not tell either the Tanzanians or the CNL that he was coming.[28][29] While in the Congo, Guevara operated under the code name "Tatu", meaning third.[25] When they arrived, the Cubans were surprised to find much less fighting and fewer CNL soldiers than expected.[27] Only between 1,000 and 1,500 CNL rebels remained in the region to fight, and CNL leadership initially did not provide the Cubans with any tasks.[28][30] Guevara struggled to have productive conversations with CNL leader Laurent Kabila.[25] The CNL allowed the Cubans to begin engaging in larger battles in June, but they had only small military successes. The Cubans also trained the CNL soldiers in the guerrilla military tactics used in the Cuban revolution and taught to other revolutionary movements around the world.[27][26] Both sides faced prejudice and differences with the other, which was made only more difficult by the language barrier. [26] While in the Congo, the Cubans faced harsh conditions and illnesses, and Guevara contracted both malaria and asthma.[27]

The Cubans withdrew in November after seven months for a mixture of reasons. First, Algeria had been another source of foreign support for the CNL, but it underwent a coup in June. In October, the Organization for African Unity met in Accra, Ghana, and demanded the exit of all foreign military presence in the Congo, including the Cubans. Then in November, General Mobutu took power and negotiated peace agreements with neighboring states such as Tanzania. Dar es Salaam had served as a supporter and essential entry and exit point for the Cubans, but they warned the Cubans they would no longer be able to help them.[27] The Léopoldville government also offered independence to all CNL members who renounced support.[26] Finally, throughout their time in the Congo, the Cubans saw marginal military success and faced many setbacks and struggles.[27] The CNL leadership struggled with rivalries and lacked of strong united leadership on the ground.[26] The Cuban mission was forced to eventually make the decision to withdraw.

In November, the Cubans crossed Lake Tanganyika back into Tanzania and flew back home.[27] Guevara considered his efforts in the Congo to be a great failure.[30] Along with the withdrawal of the Cubans, 17 young CNL fighters traveled to Havana with the goal of receiving training and continue the war. However, problems within the Congolese government prevented their return. Some families and close relatives of CNL members also moved to Cuba leading to the development of a shared Cuban and Congolese identity and community.[26] Guevara continued on to Bolivia where he was eventually executed after being captured by a CIA agent.[25]

Guinea-Bissau War of Independence

Further information: Guinea-Bissau War of Independence

Cuban and Guinean doctors working together in Guinea-Bissau

Cuba was extensively involved in supporting the PAIGC during the independence movement in Guinea-Bissau against the Portuguese. During the war Cuba kept their involvement a secret, but supplied extensive aid, military support, and doctors.[31] Cuba believed that outcomes in Guinea-Bissau would impact Portuguese morale and success in more strategic countries such as Mozambique and Angola.[32] Cuba was also motivated to support anti-imperialist movements and felt it owed Africa for the slaves that helped build Cuba.[33] While helping fight, nine Cubans died in Guinea-Bissau between 1966 and 1974.[32] Cuba’s experience with guerrilla fighting strategy fit well with the war for independence in Guinea-Bissau.[33]

The independence movement in Guinea-Bissau was led by the PAIGC under Amílcar Cabral.[34] The PAIGC was established in September 1956 and became widely respected as one of the strongest independence movements in Africa.[31] Although Cabral was not a Marxist, he was progressive and interpreted the conflict in Guinea-Bissau through the lens of a class struggle.[32] Cabral was widely respected among revolutionaries and officials in Cuba. In 1962, Cabral tried to see if he could receive US support, but the US was too concerned with Portuguese relations and protecting their strategic use of their Azores base.[31] In 1963, Cabral first asked Cuba for help training and educating military officials. Cuba agreed but did not initially fulfill the request. In December 1964, Che Guevara was impressed by Cabral when he made his first trip to Guinea-Conakry, where PAIGC leaders were headquartered. That May, Cuba made its first delivery of supplies to the PAIGC, including medicine, food and arms.[32] Cabral first met Castro at the Tricontinental Conference in January 1966. Cabral explained the situation in Guinea-Bissau and impressed Castro with his knowledge and skills as a leader. During the meeting, Castro promised doctors, military instructors and mechanics to Cabral, and a couple months later Cuba began distributing large amounts of aid. Additionally, following the meeting Oscar Oramas was installed as the new ambassador for Conakry at the request of Cabral.[33]

All Cubans who traveled to help in Africa were volunteers. The presence of Cubans in Guinea-Bissau was secret and the volunteers were instructed to tell their families they were being sent to the USSR to receive training. The average Cuban volunteer stayed 18 months and faced difficult conditions including malaria, parasites and a limited food supply.[32] Cabral requested that the Cuban volunteers were black so that they would blend in with the local population and Cuban presence could remain confidential. Cabral hoped to use the conflict to build a sense of national identity, so he limited the amount of foreign aid that he would accept.[32] Cuban volunteers were the only foreigners that Cabral allowed to fight alongside the PAIGC. Still, both US and Portuguese officials had suspicions about the presence of Cuban troops that were confirmed with the capture of Cuban Captain Pedro Rodríguez Peralta, who was taken as a prisoner of war by Portuguese troops. Peralta was taken to Portugal to be tried while Cuba attempted to negotiate his independence. Portugal claimed Peralta would only be released if Cuba admitted to sending troops to Guinea-Bissau, which it refused to do.[33] Cuba claimed Peralta was only in Guinea-Bissau to visit his colleagues who were doctors helping in the region. Portugal convicted Peralta of serving as a training instructor and advisor to the PAIGC.[35] The Cuban press recognized the capture of Rodríguez Peralta on September 10, 1974, the same day that the Portuguese government recognized the independence of Guinea-Bissau following the Portuguese coup.[32]

A failed attack on the strategically important camp in Madina de Boé led Castro to assign Víctor Dreke to lead the military effort. Dreke was well respected for his fighting in Zaire.[32] Castro also increased the number of troops to almost 60 Cubans. Dreke was an experienced fighter who was well liked and respected by his troops.[32] The US was so impressed with the military tact and skill set that it believed Cuba had sent 7,000 troops with extensive aid and support from the USSR.[32] By January 1966 the Portuguese increased the size of their troops from 20,000 to 25,000 but continued to suffer losses to the PAIGC.[32]

Consistent with behavior across Africa, Cuba never imposed its wishes on the PAIGC. Cuban officials provided Cabral with advice but always respected his ultimate decisions because they respected that it was not their country and they provided unconditional aid without demands. Cuba knew that Cabral was not a true Marxist and did not expect a liberated Guinea-Bissau to be Marxist.[32]

In addition to providing troops, Cuba supplied many doctors to Guinea-Bissau. There were no modern trained doctors in Guinea-Bissau prior to the aid provided by the Cubans in 1968.[32] The doctors provided aid to both soldiers and civilians and were also present at the battle front. The presence of Cuban doctors empowered PAIGC soldiers to fight harder because they had hope of being healed.[32]

Yemenite War of 1972

Further information: Yemenite War of 1972

Cuban pilots flew combat as well as training missions for the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) during the Yemenite War of 1972.[15]

October 1973 War

Further information: Yom Kippur War

During the 1973 October War, Cuba provided 4,000 troops into Syria to provide assistance on the attack against Israel.[36] Helicopters and tanks were also provided by the Cuban military.[37] Fighting on the Golan Heights front continued until May 1974, by which time an Israeli counterattack had largely defeated the Cuban-Syrian tank forces. The Cubans reportedly suffered casualties of approximately 180 killed and 250 wounded.[38] After the signing of the Disengagement Agreement between Israel and Syria in May 1974, Israel remained in possession of the Golan Heights, and all Cuban forces were withdrawn in January 1975.

Armed resistance in Chile

Further information: Armed resistance in Chile (1973–1990)

Cuba was the main supporter of the communist insurgency in Chile from 1973 to 1990. Cuba provided the Marxist rebel groups MIR and FPMR with weapons and financial support, as well as shelter, training inside Cuba, and logistical support. Cuba also created an operations room to politically unite the MIR and FPMR under Cuban command.[39]

Conflicts in Angola

Main article: Cuban intervention in Angola

Further information: Angolan War of Independence, South African Border War, and Angolan Civil War

Cuban intervention in Angola

Cuban PT-76 tank in the streets of Luanda, Angola, 1976
Result Cuban and South African withdrawal in 1991
Cuba 36,000 (peak) South Africa 2,000 (1975)
Casualties and losses
Cuba 3,000 killed
Cuba 3,000 wounded[5]
South Africa 715 killed

As the Angolan Civil War broke out, Cuban intervention in Angola was a large-scale intervention to support the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Cuba had provided military support to MPLA under the leadership of Agostinho Neto since the early 1960.[40] In late-1974, Cuba sent Major Alfonso Perez Morales and Carlos Cadelo to assess the situation in Angola after receiving requests for military aid.[41] As the South African Border War intensified and more foreign actors entered into the Angolan Civil War, Cuba grew more involved. On 3 August 1975, a second Cuban mission arrived and provided US$100,000 to the MPLA. Apartheid South Africa intervened in support of the FLNA and UNITA.[42] By 15 August 1975, Castro had demanded that the USSR provide more assistance to the MPLA, though the demand was declined.[43] Cuban troops began to depart for Angola on 21 August 1975; important personnel utilized commercial aircraft while standard troops were transported by cargo ships.[42] On 6 October, Cuba and the MPLA engaged in a clash with the FNLA and South African troops at Norton de Matos, resulting in a significant defeat for Cuba and the MPLA. While the Cuban troops were still in the midst of crossing the Atlantic, the South Africans had apparently airlifted a limited number of troops and armored cars to central Angola.[5]

On 4 November 1975, Castro launched Operation Carlota against FNLA, Zaire, and the SADF at the request of Neto. 4,000 Cuban troops arrived in Angola shortly after on 9 November, and the number quickly grew to 20,000 with Soviet support.[44][45] Cuba strongly opposed the US supported white minority rule in South Africa so they were strongly opposed to SADF intervention.[46] In the Battle of Quifangondo (10 November 1975), the MPLA, supported by Cuban troops, defeated FNLA supported by the South African Defense Force (SADF). On 25 November 1975, as the FLNA/SADF crossed a bridge, MPLA/Cubans hidden along the banks of the river attacked, destroying seven armored cars and killing upwards of 90 enemy soldiers.

Between 9 and 12 December, Cuban and South African troops engaged in battle between Santa Comba and Quibala, resulting in the defeat of the Cubans.[5] One notable casualty was Raúl Argüello, a commander and veteran of the Cuban Revolution, who was killed when his vehicle struck a land mine. Concurrently, UNITA troops and another South African mechanized unit captured Luso. These defeats prompted a significant increase in the number of Cuban troops being airlifted to Angola, more than doubling from approximately 400 per week to perhaps a thousand. Among these reinforcements were seasoned veterans of the Cuban Revolution and Latin American conflicts.[5]

By the end of 1975, over 25,000 Cuban troops were deployed into Angola to assist the MPLA.[47] In mid-January 1976, the South Africans withdrew from Cela and Santa Comba in Angola, moving to a position north of the Angolan-Namibian border. This decision was likely influenced by the increased presence of Cuban troops.[5]

In February 1976, Cuban forces launched Operation Pañuelo Blanco (White Handkerchief) against an estimated 700 FLEC insurgents. This operation succeeded in annihilating the FLEC force.[48] The Cuban troops came to have in the first campaign of 1975–1976 some 400 tanks, and in the final campaign of 1988, near 1,000 tanks.[49]

In May 1977, Cubans played an important role in supporting the MPLA government of Agostinho Neto and foiling the Nitista Plot in which Nito Alves and José van Dunem split from the government and led an uprising. Neto believed the Soviet Union had supported the plot and Cuban soldiers helped defeat the uprising.[50] Cuba sent an additional 4,000 soldiers to prevent further unrest within the MPLA.[51] Thousands of people were estimated to have been massacred by MPLA and Cuban troops in the aftermath of the attempted coup over a period of two years. Amnesty International estimated 30,000 were killed in the purge.[52]

Castro made it clear that the Cubans would not withdraw from Angola until there was no longer an external threat. The United States attempted to leverage the status of their relationship with Cuba on the withdrawal of Cuba from Angola. The US used linkage techniques to argue that South Africa would leave Angola when Cuba did as well. However, Castro refused to let the US control its position in Africa and maintained that Cuba would stay in Angola as long as the MPLA wanted them. [46] Castro claimed Namibia must first be independent so that SWAPO could leave Angola and that South Africa must stop supporting UNITA.[46]

The next major battle involving Cubans occurred in 1988. The crisis began in 1987 with an assault by Soviet-equipped MPLA troops (the People's Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola [FAPLA]) against the pro-Western rebel movement UNITA in the country's south. Soon, the SADF intervened in support of the beleaguered UNITA and the MPLA offensive stalled. Acting independently from Moscow, Havana reinforced its African ally, increasing its deployed number to 55,000 troops, tanks, artillery and MiG-23s, prompting Pretoria to call up 140,000 reservists.[48] On 15 February 1988, the South Africans launched an attack on the MLPA's defenses, breaking through and encircling the 59th MLPA Brigade. Seven Cuban tanks counterattacked; all were destroyed but the 59th Brigade was able to escape.[5] In June 1988, SADF armor and artillery engaged FAPLA-Cuban mechanized forces at Techipa, killing 290 Angolans and 10 Cubans.[53] In retaliation, Cuban warplanes conducted airstrikes against South African troops.[48] However, both sides quickly pulled back to avoid an escalation of hostilities and the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale stalemated.[48] Cuban and Angolan military officials met US and South African officials in Cape Verde on 22 July 1988 and agreed to an immediate ceasefire and for South Africa to withdraw all its troops by 1 September. 2,077 Cubans had died in Angola by the time the last forces returned home in 1991.[46]

Ogaden War

Further information: Ogaden War

Cuban artillerymen in Ethiopia during the Ogaden War, 1977

The Ogaden War (1977–1978) began when Somalia attempted to invade Ethiopia while it was undergoing the Ethiopian Civil War. Cuba sent armored cars, artillery, T-62 tanks, and MiGs to assist the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia (Derg).[54]

The Ogaden region of Ethiopia borders Somalia

Somalia initially invaded the Ogaden during the summer of 1977 and controlled up to 90% of the region after a several initial victories.[55] In November 1977, Cuba deployed 16,000 troops under General Arnaldo Ochoa to support Ethiopia against the Somali invasion. Although Cuba acted independently, the Soviets supported Cuba’s decision to support Ethiopia.[56] The Soviet's helped train 50,000 Ethiopians and sent military hardware.[55] Territorial integrity was a core value for the Cubans, and Somalia’s invasion violated territorial sovereignty agreements under the Organization of African Unity.[56] Castro met Ethiopia’s leader, Mengistu, in early 1977 and decided he liked him as a revolutionary leader and wanted to provide support.[56] Cuba was hesitant to send troops, but did so when it became clear that the Somali invasion would otherwise succeed. Cuban troops and warplanes played a major part in the expulsion of Somalia from the Ogaden region.[57] However, the presence of Cuban troops in the Ogaden region allowed Ethiopia to focus its troops on a violent invasion of Eritrea in the north.[56] Castro was opposed to the battle in Eritrea, so Cuban troops were only permitted on the Ogaden front.[58] Castro attempted to form a socialist federation between Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, but it was they rejected it.[59] To this day Castro is seen in Ethiopia as a revolutionary hero and beloved for his aid during the Ogaden war. Simultaneously, he is viewed in Somalia as an imperialist and blamed for thousands of Somali deaths. Somalia believes the Ogaden, which is inhabited largely by ethnic Somalis, would be a part of Somalia today if were not for the Cubans.[55]

Nicaraguan Revolution

Further information: Nicaraguan Revolution

During the Nicaraguan Revolution, Cuba supplied military aid and logistics to Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) guerrillas.[60] Cuban military and intelligence personnel subsequently became incorporated into the ranks of Nicaragua's security services.[61] Some Cuban personnel were accused of abuses, including an incident where a Cuban adviser killed two civilians in Nueva Guinea after one spilled beer on his uniform.[62]

United States invasion of Grenada

Further information: United States invasion of Grenada

On 25 October 1983, the US invaded Grenada and overthrew its government. The invasion was triggered by tensions within the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada which had resulted in the house arrest and execution of the previous leader of Grenada Maurice Bishop six days earlier, and the establishment of the Cuban-supported Revolutionary Military Council with Hudson Austin as Chairman. Most of the resistance came from Cuban construction workers, while the Grenadan People's Revolutionary Army surrendered without putting up much resistance. The Cuban casualties amounted to 24 killed, with only 2 of them being professional soldiers, and the remainder of the Cuban force on the island was expelled.[63]

Espionage in Venezuela

Ties between Cuba and Venezuela resumed in 1974 after guerrilla activity decreased in Venezuela. When Cuba began to enter its Special Period which saw domestic economic collapse, it once again became motivated to take control of Venezuela's oil wealth.[64] In 1987, future Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro moved to Venezuela[65] where he was trained by Pedro Miret Prieto, a senior member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba with direct links to Fidel Castro.[66] When Maduro returned to Venezuela, he was allegedly tasked with serving as a Cuban mole to infiltrate Hugo Chávez's MBR-200.[67] Venezuelan intelligence had also later discovered that Cuban Dirección de Inteligencia agents remained in Venezuela following the second inauguration of Carlos Andrés Pérez and eventually escalated political tensions during the Caracazo riots in 1989.[64]

Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro seen on a Bolivarian propaganda board

In Venezuela, Cuba has continued to be encouraged with intervening in Venezuela so the country can receive necessary commodities and other supplies, such as oil.[68] According to retired Venezuelan General Carlos Julio Peñaloza Zambrano, Cuban agents might have entered Venezuela during Carlos Andrés Pérez's inauguration ceremony, which was attended by Castro, and they may have waited for unrest to occur in Venezuela to exacerbate political tensions after the Caracazo.[64] Still suffering from the effects of Cuba's Special Period, Castro built a relationship with emerging political figure Hugo Chávez.[69]

1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts

During Hugo Chávez's 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts, Castro was allegedly involved with the conspiracy and provided logistical assistance in order to establish a Venezuelan president as an ally.[70] In 1994, Chávez and other rebels were pardoned by President Rafael Caldera[71] an alleged accomplice of the 1992 coup attempts.[70] Chávez would go on to visit Cuba the same year on 14 December, during the Special Period, where he was personally received by Castro with head of state honors. During his visit, Chávez gave a speech in the University of Havana Aula Magna before Castro and the Cuban high hierarchy where, among other things, he said "We have a long-term strategic project, in which Cubans have and would have much to contribute" and "it is a project with a horizon of twenty to forty years, a sovereign economic model".[72][73] Chávez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and a year later in 1999, he proclaimed that "Venezuela is traveling towards the same sea as the Cuban people", calling Cuba and Venezuela "one country united".[74]

Activities in Venezuela

Following the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt, Chávez's grew even closer to the Cuban government in order to maintain power[75] and replaced military advisors with Cuban intelligence personnel.[76] Chávez and Castro would now maintain the relationship of Venezuelan commodities traded for Cuban intelligence and logistics so both could maintain popularity.[75] By 2010, former Major General Antonio Rivero claimed that about 92,700 Cuban officials were operating in various offices of Venezuela's government[68] with a 2018 claim of about 46,000 members of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces within Venezuela to assist Chávez's successor, Nicolás Maduro.[77]

See also


  1. ^ Domínguez, Jorge (1989). To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 114–120, 168–169. ISBN 978-0674893252.
  2. ^ a b c "Cosmopod: Cuba in Africa with Piero Gleijeses on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Pereira, Analúcia Danilevicz (11 January 2017). "A POLÍTICA AFRICANA DE CUBA: IDEALISMO OU PRAGMATISMO?". Revista Brasileira de Estudos Africanos. 1 (2): 113. doi:10.22456/2448-3923.68321. hdl:10183/225354. ISSN 2448-3923.
  4. ^ a b Gleijeses, Piero (2002). Conflicting missions : Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-6162-6. OCLC 56356648.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Scheina (2003). Latin America's Wars Volume II: The Age of the Professional Soldier, 1900-2001. pp. 1003–1035.
  6. ^ Yaffe, Helen (2020). "Chapter 6: Cuban Medical Internationalism". We Are Cuba!. Yale University Press. pp. 152–153. ISBN 9780300230031.
  7. ^ Yaffe, Helen (2020). "Chapter 6: Cuban Medical Internationalism". We Are Cuba!. Yale University Press. pp. 152–154.
  8. ^ Abreu, José (5 September 2011). "El internacionalismo militar cubano en la historiografía de la isla" (in Spanish). Holguín: Radio Angulo. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  9. ^ Klepak, Hal (2006). Cuba's Military 1990–2005: Revolutionary Soldiers During Counter-Revolutionary Times. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 45–48. ISBN 978-1403972026.
  10. ^ Hatzky, Christine (2015). Cubans in Angola: South-South Cooperation and Transfer of Knowledge, 1976–1991. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 166–168. ISBN 978-0299301040.
  11. ^ Klepak, Hal (2006). Cuba's Military 1990–2005: Revolutionary Soldiers During Counter-Revolutionary Times. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 45–48. ISBN 978-1403972026.
  12. ^ a b Domínguez, Jorge (1989). To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 114–120, 168–169. ISBN 978-0674893252.
  13. ^ "La intervención militar cubana: manifestación del poder militar soviético en países del tercer mundo (1960-1993)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Rubén Miró y la invasión de cubanos a Panamá" (in Spanish). Panama City: La Estrella de Panamá. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Foreign Intervention by Cuba" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 January 2017.
  16. ^ Clodfelter, Micheal (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492-2015, 4th ed. McFarland. p. 637. ISBN 978-0786474707.
  17. ^ Dominik George Nargele, LtCol (2007). Our Wars Overseas and at Home: Ltcol Dominik George Nargele Usmc (Ret). p. 133.
  18. ^ Scheina (2003). Latin America's Wars Volume II: The Age of the Professional Soldier, 1900-2001. p. 55.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Gleijeses, Piero (2002). Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-807-82647-8.
  20. ^ Carroll, Rory (2013). Comandante : myth and reality in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. Penguin Press: New York. pp. 98–100. ISBN 9781594204579.
  21. ^ Ewell, Judith. Venezuela: A Century of Change, p.145. Stanford University Press (1984), ISBN 0-8047-1213-1
  22. ^ Ewell, Judith. Venezuela and the United States: From Monroe's Hemisphere to Petroleum's Empire, p.216. University of Georgia Press (1996), ISBN 0-8203-1783-7
  23. ^ "Latin America: Castro's Targets". Time, 19 May 1967.
  24. ^ Gleijeses, Piero (2002). Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-807-82647-8.
  25. ^ a b c d e Jagarnath, Vashna (13 June 2022). "OPINIONISTA: Che Guevara's mission in the Congo connected Cuba to Africa in radical commitment". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g BONACCI, GIULIA; DELMAS, ADRIEN; ARGYRIADIS, KALI, eds. (1 November 2020). Cuba and Africa, 1959-1994. Wits University Press. doi:10.18772/22020116338. ISBN 978-1-77614-634-5. S2CID 240977680.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g Seddon, David (4 April 2017). "Che Guevara in the Congo". Jacobin Magazine – via Gale General OneFile.
  28. ^ a b Gleijeses, Piero (2002). Conflicting missions : Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-6162-6. OCLC 56356648.
  29. ^ Alonso Gómez, Sara (2020). "Le Congo et Cuba: Pour une ré-existence des latitudes". Multitudes (in French). n°81 (4): 64. doi:10.3917/mult.081.0064. ISSN 0292-0107. S2CID 234992422.
  30. ^ a b Gerhart, Gail M.; Guevara, Ernesto "Che" (2002). "The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo". Foreign Affairs. 81 (2): 198. doi:10.2307/20033145. ISSN 0015-7120. JSTOR 20033145.
  31. ^ a b c Schmidt, Elizabeth (2013). Foreign intervention in Africa : from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Cambridge. ISBN 978-1-107-30841-1. OCLC 827210378.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gleijeses, Piero (2002). Conflicting missions : Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-6162-6. OCLC 56356648.
  33. ^ a b c d Laranjeiro, Catarina (1 November 2020). "The Cuban Revolution and the Liberation Struggle in Guinea-Bissau: Images, Imaginings, Expectations and Experiences". The International History Review. 42 (6): 1319–1338. doi:10.1080/07075332.2019.1706185. ISSN 0707-5332. S2CID 212993567.
  34. ^ Gleijeses, Piero (1997). "The First Ambassadors: Cuba's Contribution to Guinea-Bissau's War of Independence". Journal of Latin American Studies. 29 (1): 45–88. doi:10.1017/S0022216X96004646. ISSN 0022-216X. JSTOR 158071. S2CID 144904249.
  35. ^ "LISBON ARMY COURT FINDS CUBAN GUILTY". The New York Times. 27 April 1971. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  36. ^ Bourne, Peter G. (1986). Fidel: A Biography of Fidel Castro. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.
  37. ^ Perez, Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution, pp. 377–379.
  38. ^ Ra’anan, G. D. (1981). The Evolution of the Soviet Use of Surrogates in Military Relations with the Third World, with Particular Emphasis on Cuban Participation in Africa. Santa Monica.
  39. ^ Hudson, Rex. "Coordinating Cuba's Support for Marxist-Leninist Violence in the Americas". Cuban American National Foundation, 1988: "The degree to which Cuba and the Soviet Union are committed to overthrowing the Pinochet government by 'armed struggle' was revealed on August 6, 1986, when Chilean authorities discovered the first of ten FPMR arms caches, totaling seventy tons (the largest stash of weapons ever secretly amassed by extremists in a Latin American country). ... Some of the twenty-one individuals captured in connection with the FPMR arsenals, including four Cuban-trained FPMR members, told authorities of meetings in Nicaragua, training in Cuba, and months of preparation to receive the weapons, which arrived in two batches in July 1986. (247) ... A State Department official confirmed that U.S. experts had positively established that Cuba sent the weapons. (248) According to Chilean officials, more than 200 individuals participated in transferring the weapons from Soviet and Cuban merchant or fishing ships into chartered Chilean fishing boats, and then in carrying them ashore in rubber dinghies (Zodiacs). (249) Chilean authorities also reported that Cuba, Nicaragua and the Soviet Union provided $20 million through an International Guerrilla Coordinating Committee (CCGI) to finance the landing of weapons and explosives in the northern zone of Chile and the subsequent failed assassination attempt made by the FPMR against General Pinochet. In that action on September 7, 1986, fifteen FPMR terrorists attacked the General's motorcade with grenades and automatic weapons, killing five members of the presidential guard and wounding ten military escorts. (250) According to Chile's director general of Investigative Police, both the FPMR and MIR receive urban guerrilla training in Cuba at the Punto Cero, Pinar del Rio, Trinidad, and Havana camps. The official added that Cuba provides logistical support, whereas the Soviet Union gives them financial and propaganda assistance, and other aid comes from Nicaragua and Libya. (251) Chile's Attorney General Ambrosio Rodríguez reported on January 22, 1988 that Cuban and Nicaraguan agents were commanding a newly created International Guerrilla Coordinating Board (presumably the CCGI) that had politically reunited the MIR and FPMR under Cuban command. He added that MIR and FPMR cadres were being trained in Cuba and East Germany.(252)"
  40. ^ George, pp. 22-23, 30
  41. ^ Gleijeses, pp. 244-245 (Quotations from interview with Cadelo and from Cienfuegos to Senen Casas, Havana, 22 November 1974)
  42. ^ a b George, p. 66
  43. ^ Gleijeses quoting: Westad, Odd Arne in: Moscow and the Angolan Crisis 1974-76: A New Pattern of Intervention, Cold War International Project Bulletin, n.8-9, p. 25
  44. ^ BONACCI, GIULIA; DELMAS, ADRIEN; ARGYRIADIS, KALI, eds. (1 November 2020). Cuba and Africa, 1959-1994. Wits University Press. doi:10.18772/22020116338. ISBN 978-1-77614-634-5. S2CID 240977680.
  45. ^ Pereira, Analúcia Danilevicz (11 January 2017). "A POLÍTICA AFRICANA DE CUBA: IDEALISMO OU PRAGMATISMO?". Revista Brasileira de Estudos Africanos. 1 (2): 113. doi:10.22456/2448-3923.68321. hdl:10183/225354. ISSN 2448-3923.
  46. ^ a b c d Gleijeses, Piero (2006). "Moscow's Proxy? Cuba and Africa 1975–1988". Journal of Cold War Studies. 8 (4): 98–146. doi:10.1162/jcws.2006.8.4.98. ISSN 1520-3972. JSTOR 26925953. S2CID 57563970.
  47. ^ Cuba's African Adventure by Clive Foss, History Today, Vol 60, Issue 3, March 2010
  48. ^ a b c d Weigert, S. (2011). Angola: A Modern Military History, 1961-2002.
  49. ^ "Cuban Tanks".
  50. ^ Library of Congress Country Studies
  51. ^ Gleijeses, Piero: Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, The University of North Carolina Press, 2003 ISBN 0-8078-5464-6 pp. 129–131
  52. ^ "The orphans of Angola's secret massacre seek the truth". BBC News. 6 September 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  53. ^ George, Edward (2004). The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991: From Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale. Routledge.
  54. ^ Gleijeses, Piero (2013). Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-4696-0968-3.
  55. ^ a b c Africanews (26 November 2016). "Ethiopians celebrate Castro, Somalis fume at him over 1977 Ogaden war". africanews.
  56. ^ a b c d Gleijeses, Piero (2006). "Moscow's Proxy? Cuba and Africa 1975–1988". Journal of Cold War Studies. 8 (4): 98–146. doi:10.1162/jcws.2006.8.4.98. ISSN 1520-3972. JSTOR 26925953. S2CID 57563970.
  57. ^ Impact of Cuban-Soviet Ties in the Western Hemisphere, Spring 1979: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-sixth Congress, First Session, April 25 and 26, 1979. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 11.
  58. ^ Schmidt, Elizabeth (2013). Foreign intervention in Africa : from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Cambridge. ISBN 978-1-107-30841-1. OCLC 827210378.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  59. ^ Pereira, Analúcia Danilevicz (11 January 2017). "A POLÍTICA AFRICANA DE CUBA: IDEALISMO OU PRAGMATISMO?". Revista Brasileira de Estudos Africanos. 1 (2): 113. doi:10.22456/2448-3923.68321. hdl:10183/225354. ISSN 2448-3923.
  60. ^ "Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  61. ^ "Las guerras secretas de Fidel Castro: Los sandinistas" (PDF). (in Spanish). 30 August 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  62. ^ "Contras' Attacks On Civilians Cited". The New York Times. 20 February 1986. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  63. ^ Seabury, Paul; McDougall, Walter A., eds. (1984). The Grenada Papers. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies. ISBN 0-917616-68-5. OCLC 11233840.
  64. ^ a b c Peñaloza, Carlos (2014). El Delfín de Fidel: La historia oculta tras el golpe del 4F. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. p. 185. ISBN 978-1505750331. On February 5, 1989, the transmission of Lusinchi's command to Pérez was effected with a lavish ceremony unprecedented in a democracy. Fidel ... was pressured by the 'perestroika' that threatened the existence of the Cuban communist regime. The Soviet economic problems made it urgent to control Venezuela to enjoy its oil income ... Fidel stole the show with his Bolivarian allusions of the Latin American Union and a call to fight against Yankee imperialism ... the Cubans and their materials arrived at Caracas on a bus and the buses and trucks to the Eurobuilding hotel ... they were delivered three days before the arrival of Fidel to Cuban G2 officers who paid their rent in advance and made strange demands. ... After the 'coronation', part of the Cuban contingent left the country ... sources reported from Maiquetía that fewer Cubans had left than those who had entered
  65. ^ Oropeza, Valentina (15 April 2013). "Perfil de Nicolás Maduro: El 'delfín' que conducirá la revolución bolivariana". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  66. ^ Peñaloza, Carlos (2014). Chávez, el delfin de Fidel : la historia secreta del golpe del 4 de febrero. Miami: Alexandria Library. p. 184. ISBN 978-1505750331. OCLC 904959157. Maduro had gone through a long process of formation in Cuba under the protection of Pedro Miret, the powerful Cuban commander and man very close to Fidel.
  67. ^ Peñaloza, Carlos (2014). Chávez, el delfin de Fidel : la historia secreta del golpe del 4 de febrero. Miami: Alexandria Library. p. 184. ISBN 978-1505750331. OCLC 904959157. Maduro returned to Venezuela with the permission to approach Chávez acting as a mole of the G2.
  68. ^ a b Gertz, Bill (13 December 2017). "Inside the Ring: U.S. military could lose next war: Report". The Washington Times. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  69. ^ Carroll, Rory (2013). Comandante : myth and reality in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. Penguin Press: New York. pp. 98–100. ISBN 9781594204579.
  70. ^ a b Maria Delgado, Antonio (16 February 2015). "Libro devela sangriento objetivo de la intentona golpista de Hugo Chávez". El Nuevo Herald. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  71. ^ Marcano and Tyszka 2007. pp. 107–08.
  72. ^ Herrera, Carlos (21 September 2017). El Legado: Frases y Pensamientos de Hugo Chávez (in Spanish). Softandnet. ISBN 978-980-12-7509-1. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  73. ^ Márquez & Sanabria 2018, p. 147.
  74. ^ Richard Gott (2005). Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution. Verso. p. 13. ISBN 1-84467-533-5.
  75. ^ a b "Venezuela's Expensive Friendships". Stratfor. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  76. ^ Carroll, Rory (2013). Comandante : myth and reality in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. Penguin Press: New York. pp. 98–100. ISBN 9781594204579.
  77. ^ "Agentes cubanos asisten a Maduro para torturar a los opositores". ABC (in European Spanish). Retrieved 29 November 2018.