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Latin American Politics and Development (the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, the Spread of Guerilla Warfare and the Doctrine of National Security in Latin America)

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Latin American Politics and DevelopmentThe Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, the spread of guerilla warfare and the doctrine of National Security in Latin America |

During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. However, the relationship between the two nations was a tense one. Americans had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical rule of his own country. For their part, the Soviets resented the Americans’ decades-long refusal to treat the USSR as a legitimate part of the international community as well as their delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these grievances ripened into an overwhelming sense of mutual distrust and enmity. Post-war Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe fuelled many Americans’ fears of a Russian plan to control the world. Meanwhile, the USSR came to resent what they perceived as American officials’ rhetoric, arms build-up and interventionist approach to international relations.
By the time World War II ended, most American officials agreed that the best defence against the Soviet threat was a strategy called “containment.” In 1946, in his famous “Long Telegram,” the diplomat George Kennan explained this policy, The Soviet Union, he wrote, was “a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with the U.S. there can be no permanent modus vivendi (agreement between parties that disagree)”. As a result, America’s only choice was the long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies. President Harry Truman agreed stating, “It must be the policy of the United States”, he declared before Congress in 1947, “To support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by outside pressures”. This way of...

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