The Cuban military in Angola: The limits of internationalism

Ian-Illych Martinez, Florida International University


The Cuban military involvement in Angola has often been seen as a response to the wishes of the former Soviet Union. Yet, Castro intervened in Angola following his theory of internationalism. Internationalism, as conceived by Castro, sent Cubans on a voluntary basis to serve abroad, either in the military or in the civilian sector. This thesis will illustrate that from its inception, Castro sent military troops to Angola to divert domestic concerns and to boost Cuba's alliances throughout the world. Angola is different from other internationalist missions, because in Angola--for the first time--regular combat troops were used. Castro intervened in Angola to prevent a collapse of the Moviemento Popular de Libertacao de Angola (MPLA) government, and stayed on to ensure the viability of the MPLA. The primary sources are interviews conducted by the author, of participants in the Angolan civil war. The secondary sources consulted are works on Cuba, Southern Africa, Portuguese colonialism and Angola.

Subject Area

International law|International relations

Recommended Citation

Martinez, Ian-Illych, "The Cuban military in Angola: The limits of internationalism" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI1390770.