Drawing on thousands of pages of documents from the closed Cuban archives, from U.S. archives, and from the former East German archives, as well as published materials, this article explores the role that Cuba played in Africa after its dramatic dispatch of 36,000 soldiers to Angola in late 1975 and the first few months of 1976. The article focuses on the two most important aspects of Cuba's policy in Africa after 1976: its intervention in Ethiopia in 1977–1978 and its continuing presence in Angola, a presence that continued until 1991. The article analyzes Cuba's motivations, the extent to which Fidel Castro's policy was a function of Soviet demands, and the effect of Cuba's policy in Africa on relations with the United States. The concluding section offers an assessment of the costs and benefits of Cuba's policy in Africa.

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