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Russia, Cuba and colonial legacies in the twenty-first century
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From Lenin to Castro, Early Encounters between Moscow and Havana [review]
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, In contrast to the rich and methodologically diverse historiography about relations and mutual influences between the United States and Cuba, surprisingly little work has been done on the Soviet Union and Cuba. The first two considered the politics of relations in the late- and post-Soviet eras.
Bain has now turned his hand to a history of encounters between Moscow and Havana before the Cuban Revolution.
He is eager to demonstrate that Soviet interest in Cuba predated the Revolution and, more generally, that in contrast to "traditional perception[s]," the Kremlin did not "suffer from 'geographical fatalism' with regards to Latin America as a whole, or Cuba specifically" Bain begins with an overview of Soviet foreign policy and a discussion of possible political models and theories for understanding this policy as well as a discussion of historiography.
The book concludes with a summary chapter that includes an interesting discussion of the ways in which Soviet historiography of the s, s, and s revised the history of Soviet-Cuban relations, and the Batista era, to satisfy the needs of the post relationship. There is much to admire about this effort; scholars in this field need more histories of Soviet relations with Cuba, Latin America, and the third world in general.