The FAR up to the Special Period, 1959–1990: The Third World’s Most Impressive Armed Force?

  • Hal Klepak
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


The small band of soldiers one sees in so many photographs marching down the Malecón (Havana’s magnificent ocean drive) in early January 1959, or accompanying their comandante in his triumphal parade through the smaller cities of Cuba and finally Havana itself in that first week of the new era, does not look much like an army. Instead, its young and grimy ranks seem something of a ragtag affair. But the illusion is just that.


Armed Force Special Period Internal Security Central Intelligence Agency Compulsory Military Service 
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  1. 2.
    This is discussed in greater detail in Damián Fernández, “Historical Background: Achievements, Failures and Prospects,” in Jaime Suchlicki (Ed.), The Cuban Military under Castro, Miami, University of Miami Press, 1989, pp. 1–26.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Luis M. Buch Rodríguez and Reinaldo Suârez Suârez, Otros pasos del gobierno revolucionario cubano, Havana, Ciencias Sociales, 2002, pp. 90–92.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See this throughout Peter Kornbluh (Ed.), Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba, New York, The New Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    For a recent Cuban view of the Bay of Pigs, see Juan Carlos Rodríguez, The Bay of Pigs: The Bay of Pigs and the CIA, Melbourne, Ocean Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Yuri Pavlov, The Soviet-Cuban Alliance, 1959–1991, Miami, North-South Center Press, 1996, pp. 83–88.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Piero Gleijeses, Misiones en conflicto: La Habana, Washington y África 1959–1976, Havana, Ciencias Sociales, 2002, pp. 335–345.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Gleijeses, Misiones en conflicto, pp. 346–391; for a description of some of the action, see César Gómez Chacón, Cuito Cuanavale: Viaje al centro de los héroes, Havana, Letras Cubanas, 1989.Google Scholar

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© Hal Klepak 2005

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  • Hal Klepak

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