In this article the author aims at providing a critical interpretation of Mao Zedong’s political strategy during the Cuban crisis of 1962. The close connection between the internal and external fight against revisionism established by Mao in the first half of 1962, in order to to annihilate the critics of the Great Leap Forward was strengthened by Mao’s ability to take advantage of the chances offered by the Cuban crisis. The Chinese leader’s solidarity with the Cubans, coupled with Mao’s position during the war with India, embarrassed the Soviets. Chruscev’s compromise with the Americans and the withdrawal of Soviet nuclear missiles, completed without the support of Cubans, seemed to confirm Mao’s accusation against Soviet revisionism and capitulationism. Mao managed to fully capitalize from Moscow’s strains in the Caribbean: the propaganda campaign launched within the country to support the Cuban revolution and criticize Soviet revisionism, helped Mao to reinforce his political struggle and eventually win over his opponents.
Keywords: Mao Zedong, People Republic of China, Cuban crisis 1962, Chinese foreign policy, Soviet Union, Chruscev