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Mr. Gorbachev, Drink Down This Latte

July 30, 2021

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Iced Cold War

If I ask you to think about the Cold War, I can safely assume that the images you get in your head are that of nuclear missiles, dapper spies, and mysterious black briefcases. What if I told you that you can go ahead and add a warm cup of coffee to that list? Yep, even coffee wasn’t safe from the tug of war the Soviet Union and the United States were playing on the world stage. 

Do You Take Your Coffee Red or Blue

You see, generally, coffee exporting countries tended to be unstable, impoverished, and corrupt which made them prime candidates for revolutionary activities. Coffee exporting countries in Latin America throughout the late 1980s saw many popular uprisings, some of which with the backing of the USSR.

Coffee Republics

The Soviets, naturally, had a keen interest in keeping the export prices of coffee as low as possible to make the citizens of these countries dissatisfied with western ideals and in turn, embrace communism. In response, the United States backed the creation of the International Coffee Agreement or ICA. 

From The Coffee Class With Love

The ICA made sure that the price of coffee was stable and fair to coffee exporting countries. While some coffee exporting countries still fell to communist ideals regardless of the ICA, many were able to keep their economies from collapsing and retain their western governments giving the United States a win in this specific battle of tug of war.

Would you like to know more?

By John Toledo

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