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North Korea and the Latin American revolution, 1959-1970 Taylor, Moe (William David)

Abstract

In the 1960s the North Korean leadership embraced the variety of radical Third Worldism associated with Cuba’s Tricontinental Conference of 1966, which advocated a militant, united front strategy to defeat US imperialism via armed struggle across the Global South. This political realignment led to exceptionally intimate political, economic, and cultural cooperation with Cuba and a programme to support armed revolutionary movements throughout Latin America. In the process, North Korea acquired a new degree of prestige with the international left, influencing Cuban and Latin American left-wing discourse on matters of economic development, revolutionary organization and strategy, democracy and leadership. North Korea and Cuba became leaders of a radical Third Worldist tendency within the international communist movement that challenged the leadership of Moscow and Beijing, rejected the economic liberalization occurring in the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc, and championed militant internationalism. While most studies of this era in North Korea focus on its relationship with the Soviet Union, China, and events internal to the Korean peninsula, this dissertation shows how important Cuba and Latin America were to the North Korean leadership’s international perspective and foreign policy formulation.

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