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Title: Coming to terms with Castro : Britain and the Cuban Revolution 1958-1965.
Author: Bush-Howard, Harold.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis aims to examine and interpret Britain's relations with Communist Cuba, Britain's attitude towards the Castro regime, and Britain's perception of the role Castro played in the Cold War between 1958 and 1965. In broader terms, it attempts to set British policy towards Cuba in the context of Anglo-American relations, and British opinion on how to deal with Cold War issues and how to contain Soviet expansion into the Third World. Although Castro made strenuous efforts to improve Anglo-Cuban relations, these were not devoid of friction. After 1960, in the context of US anti-Castro attitude, relations between Havana and London remained lukewarm but firm. Following the US embargo in 1961, Castro needed Western European diplomatic and economic connections both as a security against Soviet shortfalls, and as a means of countering Soviet dominance. While America remained hostile to Castro, Britain adopted a conciliatory attitude and wanted to establish a working relationship with the Cuban leader. This situation developed as Cuba strengthened her link with the Soviet Bloc. This was because Britain began to regard US Cuban policy as exacerbating East-West tension, and because London gave Cuba's Communist regime the same treatment granted to the Sino-Soviet Bloc. The British considered that US policy allowed Cuba to slip into the Soviet camp, and that it denied the West the opportunity to regain its lost influence in Cuba. London felt confident that the West still had a chance for influence in Cuba because-particularly after the Cuban Missile Crisis-Castro wanted improved relations with Western Europe, and had shown signs of being unhappy with the Soviet arrangement. The British held hopes that Castro could become a Latin American Tito. For the British, therefore, US policy appeared counterproductive and short-sighted. Disagreement between London and Washington surfaced as early as 1959, but policy conflict only became serious in 1964-as a result of Britain granting export credit to Cuba following an improvement of Cuba's balance of payments situation. This occurred at a time when Washington was celebrating the economic dislocation its embargo was having upon Cuba. Both London and Washington, however, succeeded in suppressing their quarrel, although British trading policy towards Cuba continued to be subject to market conditions, and diplomatic relations continued much as they always had been. A detailed examination is made of the reasons why Britain was interested in a working relationship with Castro. This interest came about as the result of domestic issues, of British opinion on how to deal with nationalist leaders in a Cold War context, and of the nature of Anglo-Cuban and Anglo-American relations. The main value of this dissertation, apart from its intrinsic value, is the attempt to fill a serious gap in the literature on Cuban- European connections following Castro's nationalist-turned-Communist revolution in 1959.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History History Political science Public administration