Map of Cold War Alliances

Added: 07-31-2018

This map provides context for a general world view of the Cold War powers, alliances, and opposition movements. The USSR claimed cultural and political allies in African countries across the continent. Opposition movements, often secretly funded by these global powers, were the cause of many civil wars and political conflicts in countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa United States (US) proxy support movement War opposition Angolan Civil War socialist Cold War map

Type Reading Time Author Date Source
graphic 2 minutes IAKOVOS ALHADEFF 09-16-2015 https://iakal.files.wordpress.com/
Type Reading Time
graphic 2 minutes
Author Date
iakovos alhadeff 2018-07-31 00:00:00 UTC
Source
https://iakal.files.wordpress.com/
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Key Takeaways
  • In relation to Africa, the West and East each claimed many nations as supportive of their cause. 
  • Many African states achieved independence from their former colonizers in the late 1950s and 1960s - precisely during the height of the Cold War battle for cultural influence. 
  • Rebel groups in Angola and Mozambique were supported by the USA and South African apartheid regime to oppose these young socialist governments.

Summary 

This map provides context for a general world view of the Cold War powers, alliances and opposition movements. In blue are the countries that supported the Western democratic movements, while red countries represent those that supported the USSR’s communist movement. Dark blue countries are those that officially sided with the USA through NATO, while dark red sided with USSR through the Warsaw Pact. The ‘X’ on some countries refer opposition movements within country, with the color of the ‘X’ demarcating the opposition movements allegiance.

Analysis 

In relation to Africa, the West and East each claimed many nations as supportive of their cause. For the USSR, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Congo were considered supportive of the USSR and had socialist leadership. The USA and western powers claimed Zaire (DR Congo), Kenya, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and South Africa among many others. In these countries, the USA either overtly supported or propped up ‘democratic’ governments through funding and military support. 

An Al Jazeera article on the role of Cuba in southern African conflicts highlights the importance of the Cold War’s impact on African independence. Many African states achieved independence from their former colonizers in the late 1950s and 1960s - precisely during the height of the Cold War's battle for cultural influence. Many young Africans sought a new style of governance that rebelled against Western democracy and prevented the same type of colonialism from continuing in more nuanced ways. 

The USSR and Cuba supported socialist/Marxist movements in countries like Tanzania, Angola and Mozambique. In each of these countries, the socialist movement became the dominant party and led their countries into the new era of independence. However, rebel groups in Angola and Mozambique were supported by the USA and South African apartheid regime to oppose these young socialist governments.

Notes 

"Between East and West: The Cold War's legacy in Africa" by Ana Naomi de Sousa: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/02/east-west-cold-war-legacy-africa-160214113015863.html



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