Cold War in the Congo: The Confrontation of Cuban Military Forces, 1960-1967

Overview

It is widely acknowledged that Congo became an East- West battlefield during the first half of the decade of the 1960s, yet the participation of Cuban exiles in the struggles is rarely noted. In this absorbing volume Villafaña details the contribution made by Cuban exiles to the preservation of democracy in Congo.

When Congo was given its independence by Belgium in 1960, most of its people believed their new government had been installed by the West and opposed it. ...

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2009 Hardcover Good Items with adjusted prices. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion ... materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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Overview

It is widely acknowledged that Congo became an East- West battlefield during the first half of the decade of the 1960s, yet the participation of Cuban exiles in the struggles is rarely noted. In this absorbing volume Villafaña details the contribution made by Cuban exiles to the preservation of democracy in Congo.

When Congo was given its independence by Belgium in 1960, most of its people believed their new government had been installed by the West and opposed it. Anti-colonial, anti-government Congolese patriots started fighting. Some were pro-communist, some anti-communist, and most didn’t know the difference. Many countries were involved on both sides of this conflict: Cuba, the Soviet Union, The People’s Republic of China, the United States (represented by military advisors, the CIA and Cuban exiles), Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, and several African nations. The Cold War made the involvement of some of these countries predictable, but not the Cuban involvement.

Villafaña explores reasons for Castro’s involvement in Congo. He considers whether Castro was operating with a master plan, of which Africa was a key. He discusses why Castro chose Che Guevara to head the ill-fated military expedition. He contemplates why the United States allowed Castro to freely export his revolution, and why it used Cuban exiles to prevent the mineral riches of Congo from falling into the hands of international communism. Villafaña shows that CIA-sponsored Miami Cuban exiles were instrumental in thwarting Castro’s plans for Congo, which were believed to have included a confederacy with Tanzania and Congo (Brazzaville), to gain control of Central Africa and its vast resources.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Frank Villafana has brilliantly captured a critical chapter of Cold War history. One where anti-communist Cuban exiles placed their lives on the line and changed history." Armando I. Gonzalez, columnist, El Nuevo Herald "Africa was one of the territories where the Cold War was fought most intensely. It is known that the Cuban government deployed its armies and its intelligence services in this battle during almost thirty years. Sometimes this was done at the request of the Soviets and sometimes following Cuba's own strategy. What is least known is the confrontation of Cubans against Cubans in this war and the heroic role played by some [Cuban] exiles who intended to stop the conquering spasm of Havana. This book by Frank Villafana places within the puzzle of history one of the pieces, which was needed in order to understand this long, bloody, and not exempt of valor, episode." Carlos Alberto Montaner, vice president, Liberal International "What moves a man to go and fight in another continent, in a country he knows little about, where the politics are confusing and the stakes are high? For many years not much was known about the hundreds of Cuban exiles who fought and died in Africa in the struggle against communism. Before Castro's move into Angola, he was already pursuing a strategy to play the conquering liberator among the newly independent nations of Africa. Fidel sent over his top lieutenant, but what Che found was a dedicated group of anti-communist Cuban fighters, recruited by the CIA, ready to do battle. This is a story that has not been told. Frank Villafana's book fills a void in the history of Africa, Cuba, and the Cold War. And it also tells the story of these men, and the cause of freedom and liberty in Cuba, that drove them to fight another war very far away." Dr. Ramon C. Barquin, president of Barquin International "[Cold War in the Congo] is also a readable story of adventure and intrigue. A story even more striking because it is true history." Gerardo E. Martinez-Solanas, Democracia Participativa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412810074
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/19/2009
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank R. Villafaña was born in Havana, Cuba in 1941. He left Cuba in 1960 and went to the University of Alabama, where he obtained his BS and MS in engineering. He worked with Ethyl and Avery Dennison Corporations in the US, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He earned a doctor of engineering degree from Cleveland State University. Now living in the US, he continues to research and write about Cuban history.

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