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By Mario Vargas Llosa

This pleasant farce opens because the prim and correct Captain Pantoja learns he's to be despatched to Peru’s Amazon frontier on a mystery venture for the army—to supply ladies for the amorous recruits. Side-splitting problems come up as global of Captain Pantoja's amazing achievements begin to unfold.

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All were protected by the terms of the Treaty of Paris that guaranteed the safety of Spanish citizens in the new Cuba and respect for their property. It is for all these sociological reasons that the “official Spain” did not have any other choice but to recognize the “official Cuba” in spite of the governmental changes in both countries. S. occupation to the current chapter of the revolutionary era. During most of this postcolonial time, the successive Spanish governments extended to Cuba their strategy of Hispanidad (with a deep touch of neo-imperialism) promoted in Latin America.

In the 1910s and 1920s a huge number of Spanish emigrants made Cuba their new home, contributing to the strengthening of the Spanish fabric in the Cuban culture in the island. Researchers have shown that this phenomenon was impelled by the combination of four complementary forces and trends. The first was a case of special “illegal” migration. It was composed of thousands of Spanish soldiers, as mentioned above, who elected to stay during and after the war. In addition, many former soldiers who were actually repatriated to Spain later went back to Cuba as regular emigrants.

More ample and strategic considerations must be added to the equation. To interpret the continuation of Franco’s relationship with the castrista regime, one needs to consult the diplomatic records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, as few historians have done. 34 They worked diligently and successfully for the survival of the regime by providing Franco with a touch of liberalism in the Latin American context. In this way they managed to avoid a potential “domino effect” generated by the Mexican diplomatic boycott that refused, for over four decades, to recognize the Franco government.

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