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Since 1948 when as a young student Fidel Castro participated in the violence that rocked Colombian society and distributed anti-US propaganda he has been guided by two objectives a commitment to violence and a virulent anti-Americanism His struggle since and his forty-two years rule in Cuba have been characterized primarily by these goals In the 1960s Castro and his brother Raul believed that the political and economic conditions that produced their revolution existed in Latin America and that anti-American revolutions would occur throughout the continent Cuban agents and diplomats established contact with revolutionary terrorist and guerrilla groups in the area and began distributing propaganda weapons and aid Many Latin Americans were brought to Cuba for training and then returned to their countries At the Tricontinental Conference held in Havana in 1966 and attended by revolutionary leaders from throughout the world Castro insisted that bullets not ballots was the way to achieve power and provided the institutional means to promote his anti-American violent line He insisted that conditions exist for an armed revolutionary struggle and criticized those who opposed armed struggle including some Communist leaders in Latin America as traitorous rightists and deviationists Castros attempts in the 1960s to bring revolutionary anti-American regimes to power failed His support for guerrillas and terrorist groups in Guatemala Venezuela and Bolivia only produced violence and suffering to those countries and their people which repudiated violence as a means to achieve power Violence resulted in military regimes coming to power in several Latin American countries For the next two decades the Cuban leadership supported by the Soviet Union modified its tactics In addition to agents from the America Department the subversive arm of Cubas Communist Party Castro used his Armed Forces to help friendly groups achieve power in Latin America and Africa In Nicaragua Cuban military personnel weapons and intelligence supported and helped bring to power the Sandinistas In El Salvador a bloody civil war in part fomented and aided
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