Fidel Castro Meets Sukarno

sukarno_and_fidel_1960

Diplomatic relations between Cuba and Indonesia were established in 1960. The photograph shows Castro meeting the first president of  Indonesia Sukarno. Indonesia at the time had one of the largest communist parties outside of the Soviet Union and the people’s Republic of China. Sukarno came to Havana discussing areas of bilateral cooperation. The major areas in which they collaborated in were health and sports. It was during this period relations were most friendly. The attraction was natural in regards to similarities. Both the island nations had leftist leaders who wanted to challenge Western imperialism. They were believers in socialism and wanted to challenge the capitalist narrative in  international economic policy. Their involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement and anti-colonial politics made them targets of the United States. Castro was almost deposed by the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Sukarno did not survive politically, being overthrown by a CIA backed military coup.Sukarno could not save the PKI from the the army and lost power in 1966.  He would die  while under house arrest in 1970. A US backed anti-communist Suharto would rule from 1967 to 1998. Relations with Cuba declined after the fall of Sukarno. Fidel Castro would continue to  pursue an anti-colonial foreign policy in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.Castro gained respect in the developing world for his devotion anti-imperialism  and his promotion of international solidarity.

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