Zagoria, Donald S.
March 1979
Foreign Affairs;Spring79, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p733
This article focuses on new alliances forged by the Soviet Union in developing countries as of March 1979. Since 1975, seven pro-Soviet communist parties have seized power or territory in Africa and Asia with armed force. In the spring of 1975, after a North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam, the Communist Party of North Vietnam took control of the South and its puppet Pathet Lao seized power in a demoralized Laos. In February 1977, in a red terror directed against other military leaders who had previously shared power with him after the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam and his group of communist officers seized power in Ethiopia. In April 1978, the People's Party of Nur Mohammad Taraki launched a successful armed coup in Afghanistan against the military government led by President Mohammad Daoud. In June 1978, in South Yemen, the communist group in a ruling coalition of leftists carried out a successful armed coup against President Salim Robaye Ali, the leader of the non-communist leftists, and his army supporters. Finally, in January 1979, after a North Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, Hanoi replaced the pro-Chinese communist government of Pol Pot with a pro-Soviet regime. Over the longer run, there is room for optimism. Soviet expansion in the Third World has already run into a variety of forces that will work against it. In many parts of the Third World, such as Northeast Asia and non-communist Southeast Asia, the Russians have not been able to expand their influence very much.


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