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Title: The Soviet attitude to political and social change in Central America (1979-1990) : case studies - Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala
Author: Paszyn, Danuta Maria Sylwia
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis analyses Soviet policy towards Nicaragua during the ten year rule of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and towards the guerrillas fighting for political and social change in El Salvador and Guatemala respectively. It covers the period from the Sandinista victory in July 1979 until the loss of power in February 1990. The Soviet-Nicaraguan relationship is analysed in the context of both parties' relation with the United States, which conditioned the evolution of Soviet-Nicaraguan links. Much of the existing literature, particularly work published in the United States, on Soviet policy towards Central America tends to treat the subject in isolation and as a result we often come across distortions as to the motives behind the Soviet policy towards the region. In addition, the study pays attention to the important and independent role played by Cuba in Central America which so far has been much underestimated. While the treatment of Soviet policy towards Central America has been overshadowed by Soviet-Nicaraguan relations, the USSR's attitude towards the armed struggle in El Salvador and Guatemala has been neglected It is crucial to look at this in more detail in order to assess adequately the Soviet aims in the area. The study aims to counter the tendency found in the western literature which overemphasizes the ideological and strategic factors motivating Soviet policy towards Nicaragua and Central America as a whole. The analysis concludes that the USSR was primarily driven by political and tactical objectives to cause problems for the United States in its "strategic backyard". This was Moscow's reaction to its perception of being undermined by the United States in its own spheres of influence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available