Cuba's involvement in Angola and Ethiopia: a question of autonomy in Cuba's relationship with the Soviet Union
Kessler, Stephanie Schehara
Tollefson, Scott D.
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This thesis examines Cuban involvement in Angola and Ethiopia in light of Cuba's Foreign policy and Cuban Soviet relations. Utilizing the two case studies, it analyzes the degree to which Cuban activities in Africa were Soviet directed or Soviet sponsored. The conclusion is that Cuba exhibited substantial relative autonomy in Angola, but limited autonomy in Ethiopia. That conclusion is applied to Cuba in the 1990's, in which the current wave of democracy spreading throughout Eastern Europe and the improved relations between the Soviet Union and the United States have resulted in increased pressures on Cuba's foreign and domestic policies. Four scenarios are posited for Cuba's future. Finally, the thesis discusses whether the levels of autonomy attained in the 1970's can be equalled in the 1990's . A superpower who supplies a country with economic and military aid does not necessarily buy the right to wield coercive influence over that country's foreign or domestic policy. However, the aid that is provided may have a significant impact on the capabilities of the country. In the case of Cuba, without Soviet assistance in the early 1970's in building up and training the Cuban Armed Forces, they may not have been able to assist the MPLA in Angola as successfully as they did. Thus, on the basis of the conceptual description presented thus far in this thesis, the following assumptions can be made: Cuba has been influenced by the Soviet Union and has, on occasion, played the surrogate role for the Soviet Union..
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