Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History Welcomes Author Frank Villafaña
Special Guest Speaker Will Address Cuba, Congo, and the Cold War
LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2009) — Florida Southern College's Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History, in conjunction with the Modern Language and History and Political Science departments, welcomes author Frank Villafaña for a special lecture beginning at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 21 in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room on campus. Villafaña, author of Cold War in the Congo: The Confrontation of Cuban Military Forces, 1960-1967, will address Fidel Castro's attempt to exert Cuban influence in the Congo in the context of the Cold War of the 1960s. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Villafaña's book examines the reasons for Castro's involvement in Congo and explores how Cuban exiles contributed to the ouster of Castro's influence in the African country. Villafaña considers whether Castro was operating with a master plan, of which Africa was a key. Villafaña discusses why Castro chose Che Guevara to head the ill-fated military expedition. Cold War in the Congo presents the complicated story that places Africa at the confluence of numerous Cold War players, including the CIA, Cuban exiles, Castro, and the Soviet Union.
Frank Villafaña was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1960, he left Cuba and attended the University of Alabama, where he earned a bachelor's and master's degree in engineering. He earned a doctorate of engineering from Cleveland State University in 1990. He worked with Ethyl Corporation from 1968 to 1984, and with Avery Dennison Corporation in the U.S. and the Netherlands from 1984 to 1999. After retiring, Dr. Villafaña spent nine years traveling and conducting research on Cubans in the Congo.
For more information, please contact the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History at 863.680.3001.