The Soviet Attitude to Political and Social Change in Central America, 1979-90: Case-Studies on Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala

By Danuta Paszyn | Go to book overview

8
Conclusion

The examination of the Soviet policy towards Central America in the preceding chapters leads one to a conclusion that the Soviet Union did not intend to establish socialism in Nicaragua or a second ‘Cuba’, nor to promote a social revolutionary change in El Salvador and Guatemala, but merely to cause problems for the United States.

Indeed, by the time the Nicaraguan revolution had taken place the Soviet view of the Third World and its liberation struggle was beginning to change. This stemmed from both internal and external factors, the declining impact of ideology on the Soviet perception of the Third World and the need to reverse economic decline in the Soviet Union.

The prospects for transition to ‘real socialism’ among the ‘socialist oriented’ and ‘revolutionary democratic’ states and the Soviet capacity to aid such a transition were questioned by many theoreticians. It was recognized that the economic, social and political underdevelopment of most of the radical states seriously impeded advance along the progressive path. Furthermore, the close ties of those countries with capitalist markets and the economic costs to disrupt them in order to form an alternative economic order, which was the socialist international division of labour, were fully acknowledged. Even the most progressive of these states, the ‘revolutionary democracies’ with ‘vanguard parties’, did not display a firm desire to implement far-reaching social transformation and had vacillated in their foreign policies. 1

The viewpoint that the USSR should develop ties with those countries of the Third World that chose the capitalist path of development

-116-

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