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A Flood of Cuban Migrants — The Mariel Boatlift, April-October 1980

One of the most contentious events in mass migration started on April 1, 1980 when several Cubans took control of a bus and drove it through a fence of the Peruvian embassy in Havana; they requested – and were granted — political asylum. After Fidel Castro retaliated by having the Cuban guards protecting the embassy […]

Books, Defectors, and Song — The Cuban Missile Crisis, as Seen from Moscow

The Soviet Union, in Churchill’s famous words, was a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”; as such it made it extremely difficult for outsiders – including foreign intelligence services — to separate fact from fiction. The United States had a range of sources to gather intel:  spies, bugs, publicly available information like brochures and […]

Keeping “Enemies” Close: Diplomacy in Divided Cities

The twentieth century continues to captivate the attention of policy professionals, academics, and the general public. This is due to more than its contemporary salience; the century epitomized ideological contest on a global scale. As the threshold between Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism, the setting of both world wars, and a witness to the decades-long contest of […]

In the Heat of the Cold War: Diplomats in a Divided Germany

Ever since the Foreign Service’s infancy, Foreign Service spouses have traveled with their partners to all corners of the world, helping to represent America and her interests overseas. Many of these spouses were former Foreign Service Officers themselves. Helen Brady Lane is one such individual, who entered the Foreign Service in 1957 and left after […]