the Historical and Global Context

U.S. Department of State • Public domain

In moving toward at least partial implementation of Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, the Trump administration has resurrected the issue of Cuban nationalization of U.S. properties in Cuba in 1960.

The conflict between the United States and Cuba over the nationalized U.S. properties is a particular case in a historic and still unfolding global conflict between the global powers and the Third World.  The conflict became manifest in 1955, when leaders of twenty-three newly independent Asian and African nations met in Bandung, Indonesia.  They sought to restructure the global economic patterns established during European colonial domination, and to this end, they advocated unity and economic cooperation among the newly independent nations, among other strategies.

The leaders of the emerging Third World project met in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where they founded the Non-Aligned Movement. Among the founders were the giants of the era: Tito, Sukarno, Nasser, Zhou En-lai, Nkrumah, and Ben Youssef.  Cuba was among the founders, represented by the President of the Revolutionary Government, Osvaldo Dorticós. Revolutionary Cuba and Latin American movements, reflecting on their historical semi-colonial and contemporary neocolonial situation, were forging a perspective similar to the newly independent nations of Africa and Asia.

The Non-Aligned Movement drew from the principals of the UN Charter, including the “equal…

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