|The following year, the most
dangerous part of the Cold War was reached. Click here to jump to the Cuban
Missile Crisis description on page eight. Cuba became the Soviet
Union's most effective supporter of Communism. They supported
movements in Latin America and sent soldiers to win a civil war in
Angola. Castro also helped setup a regime in Ethiopia. In return,
Cuba received billions of dollars in Soviet aid.
Castro, like most other new communist governments, gave all the land from wealthy owners to the peasants. Unlike the others, though, Castro improved health care and education. This was about the extent of the concessions Castro made to the people. Censorship was overwhelming, dissidents were shot, party bureaucrats wasted money on inefficient programs and rich lifestyles.
Elsewhere in the world of the 1970's, six nations professed to be Marxist-Leninist. Ethiopia aligned itself with the Soviets in 1974, following a bloody coup, before ethnic divisions and economic breakdown took hold. Mozambique and Madagascar in Africa as well as Laos and Afghanistan in Asia, also faced communist governments.
All of these countries though were tracing their paths over those of China and the Soviet Union. By the late 1970's communism was taking some serious blows.