I reviewed Princeton historian Robert Karl’s very good article on the intersection of the Cuban Revolution and Colombian domestic politics. The review was published today on the H-Diplo forum. In the review, I write:
“In his recent article, Robert Karl addresses that question from a Colombian perspective. In doing so, Karl sounds a note of caution about the growing trend toward a Latin Americanization of the Cold War—or perhaps a Cold War-ization of Latin American history. Local dynamics and historical interpretations dominated early Colombian impressions of Cuba’s revolution; the Cold War took a bit longer to arrive. Though Fidel Castro was a ‘ghost’ haunting Colombian politics from 1957-1962, his spectre was not initially one of Soviet-backed intervention. Instead, Karl shows how the Cuban revolution was a mirror for Colombia’s own incipient democratization rather than a refraction of the Cold War. Recent Colombian experiences, notably La Violencia, the toppling of Colombian dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, and Colombia’s own democratic pact, were the most important factors that shaped how political elites and the press viewed events in Cuba.”
The full review is available here.
Karl’s original article, published in Cold War History, is available here.