After Fidel Castro's guerrilla war against dictator Fulgencio Batista triumphed on January 1, 1959, the Cuban Revolution came to be seen as a major watershed in Latin American history. The three decades following Castro's victory gradually marginalized Cuba from the Latin American mainstream. But, as long-time Cuba observer Thomas C. Wright shows, the Cuban Revolution owed its vast influence in Latin America to the fact that it embodied the aspirations and captured the imaginations of Latin America's masses as no other political movement had ever done. After reviewing the background to Castro's Cuban Revolution, Wright examines the radical social and economic transformation of Cuba and Castro's efforts to actively promote insurrection against established governments and bourgeois power throughout Latin America. He then analyzes,in detail, the military revolution in Peru, the Allende government in Chile, and the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. Then Wright looks at the phenomena that affected all or major parts of Latin America-the impact of fidelismo, U.S. responses to revolution, rural guerrilla warfare, urban guerrilla warfare, and the new-style institutional military regimes created to fight revolution.
He concludes with a summary of the rise and fall of Cuban influence in the hemisphere and offers an overview of the Latin American political landscape in the 1990s. An engaging synthesis for students and scholars interested in the Cuban Revolution and its impact on Latin America in the second half of the twentieth century.