The Latin American Dream: How the Cuban Revolutionary Leadership Framed their Goal of Revolutionary Expansion in Latin America between 1959 and 1967
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This thesis considers how the Cuban revolutionary leadership led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara framed their goal of revolutionary expansion in Latin America, which was part of their official foreign policy, between 1959 and 1967. Inspired by internationalism and socialism, the Cuban leadership developed their own Cuban ideology that hoped to curb US influence and imperialism in Latin America by convincing the region’s population to engage in armed struggle. Drawing on speeches, interviews, and writings by Fidel and Che, this thesis examines how the leaders aimed to convince possible adherents and supporters in the continent to start their own revolutions. With the help of framing theory, this thesis finds that Fidel and Che focused on consolidating the new regime between 1959 and 1962 while aiming to create consensus amongst Latin Americans. They diagnosed problems with the region’s social situation and systems of government, though Che was more outspoken than Fidel. They also began to frame armed struggle as a solution as they attempted to inspire action in the region. When the regime became more firmly established, the leaders actively promoted armed struggle and called the continent to arms between 1963 and 1967. However, Cuba faced complex geopolitical and ideological situations, which led to domestic and international problems. This influenced the leaders’ framing as Fidel became more reserved and Che left Cuba to enact his internationalist beliefs. Armed struggle and revolutionary expansion became less realistic, which led to a reconceptualization of this failing policy from 1967 onwards.