S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Latin American Studies (라틴아메리카연구소) Revista Iberoamericana (이베로아메리카연구) Revista Iberoamericana (이베로아메리카연구) vol.02 (1991)
An Analysis on Cuban Overseas Intervention Policy
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 라틴아메리카연구소(SNUILAS)
- Revista Iberoamericana, Vol.2, pp. 183-208
- Since the victory of Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution in January 1959,
Cuba has received international attention in view of the advent of the
first socialist regime in Latin America.
In the aspect of international relations Cuba is a small country but it
has a big country's foreign policy. It has tried to carry out such a policy
since the beginning of the revolution, but only in the second half of the
1970s did it have the condition-internal resources, lack of U.S. opposition,
and an African context that welcomed what Cuba seemed able to provide
a visible and important actor actually shaping the course of events.
In the process of such a policy, it, despite Cuba's resource limitation
has maintained more diplomatic missions, inteligence operatives, and military
advisers and troops abroad, especially in the Third World covering
Africa, Central America and Caribbean Basin, than other developing nations.
What are main factors that have influenced Havana's internalistic or
globalistic foreign policy behavior from the second half of 1970s to the
present? And how can we define the characteristic of its concrecte policy
realized in the Third World?
One school of thought holds that Cuba's foreign policies and activities
are essentially Soviet-directed. It might be called the "surrogate thesis." A
second line of interpretation maintains that Cuba has its autonomous foreign
policy motivated by ideology. One might call it "autonomous thesis."
A third school of interpretation of Cuba's behavior atresses factors of economic
and pragmatic necessity. That is "economic-pragmatic thesis."
I think that each of these interpretations provides a useful but only partial
insight into the matter. Therefore, it will be more logical to analyze
Cuban foreign policy on the basis of complexities combined by the mentioned
three elements than on the basis of only one element.
The most important goal of Cuban foreign policy is to secure the survival
of revolutionary regime and to realize ideological purposes. Obviously
these two goals are very important, but don't explain the dynamics of
Cuban foreign policy satisfactorily. Hence in order to explain cuban behavior
more usefully, it, in addition to these two elements is necessary to
view it in terms of Castro's particular world view and mindset ; his power
motivations and strategic relationship with Soviet Union and the major institutional
interests of his regime.
In conclusion, since the establishment of Castro regime, an autonomous
characteristic reflecting this particular world view and mindset combined
with nationalistic and Marxist-Leninist elements has been dorminant in its
foreign policy. In case of African policy, we might to a certain extent see
surrogate characteristic of Cuban policy reflecting Cuba-Soviet relationship,
but we have to understand this in the context of the first characteristic.
More recently, especially after the early 1980s, Cuba stresses pragmatic
elements coping with internal and external environment changes.