Vietnam and Cuba By: Caden Ercole


There are many reasons to consider with regard to the effect the Cold War had on the country. To begin, a little background info. It began with the occupation of Vietnam by Japan and French forces in Vietnam. A communist trained leader known as Ho Chi Minh sought the independence of Vietnam and seized the capital of Hanoi, establishing North Vietnam, while the South was ruled by French forces.

This is my friend, Ho Chi Mihn. He was known as the Bringer of light and was the leader of communist forces in Vietnam and the Viet Cong. He was very popular with the people.

The French set Saigon as its capital and the new capital of South Vietnam. For years, conflict ensued between the two struggling nations until the North prevailed and French forces gave up. The French leader fell and Ngo Dinh Diem took control.

The US, afraid of Vietnam falling to communist forces, intervened and began to support the South. With American support, the South cracked down on Viet Cong forces. The US began working under the "domino theory".

The US war escalated when fighting began between US and Viet Cong forces. For the next few years, hundreds of thousands of people would die on both sides. Many cities were destroyed and thousands upon thousands of civilians were killed. Peace talks began in 1968, but the war dragged on for 5 more years.

Peace was finally made between the US and North Vietnam in 1973 during the Geneva Conference. When peace was made with the US, the North declared war on the South once again and gained control of Saigon, South Vietnam had fallen and the country was reunited under a communist banner.

Renamed to Ho Chi Minh City after the takeover of the communists.

War had decimated the country’s infrastructure and economy, and reconstruction proceeded slowly. Vietnam was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, though violence continued over the next 15 years, including conflicts with neighboring China and Cambodia. Under a broad free market policy put in place in 1986, the economy began to improve, boosted by oil export revenues and an influx of foreign capital. Trade and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U.S. were resumed in the 1990's.

This war had cost billions of dollars in damage and military costs, millions of lives were lost and even today, Vietnam remains a communist nation...


When revolutionist Fidel Castro took control of Cuba as its dictator, he cut off ties with the US as an agricultural and business conducting playground, seeking something greater for his country. Seeking aid for economic recovery, Castro sought the help of the US who refused.

In a plan known as the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy and administration sent in Cuban exiles trained by the CIA and attempted to overthrow Castro. The attempt was floundered and Castro was left in power.

Cuba sought the power of the USSR and they quickly became allies. Later, the US discovered the shipping and building of nuclear missiles distributed by the USSR. This situation soon became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A showdown ensued, almost reaching the point of war! The US embargoed Cuba, maintaining a blockade that would remain for a good part of the century. A deal was made between the US and the USSR that ensured the safety of Cuba and demilitarizing of missiles in the region. Cuba remianed under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro and remained a communist nation. They were embargoed, losing out on resources of all kinds, lost to the modern world until recently.

Both countries stand on opposite sides of the world and yet were afflicted by the lasting tensions of the Cold War. This goes to show even how the largest conflicts can effect the smallest of countries in separate and demanding ways.

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