CURTAINS OF THE COLD WAR
THE IRON CURTAIN:
The Iron Curtain was the boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. On the eastern side of the Iron Curtain lied the Soviet-lead Warsaw Pact, and on the western side lied the US-led NATO. Physically, the Iron Curtain took the form of border defences between the countries of Europe in the middle of the continent. The first use of the term was in a speech Winston Churchill gave in March 1946.
THE BAMBOO CURTAIN:
The Bamboo Curtain was the political demarcation between the Communist states of East Asia, and the capitalist states of the region. The Korean Demilitarized Zone became an important symbol of this Asian division. The term was used less often than Iron Curtain in part because while the latter remained relatively static for over 40 years, the Bamboo Curtain shifted frequently and was somewhat a less accurate description of the political situation in Asia.
THE ICE CURTAIN:
During the Cold War, the Bering Strait marked the border between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Diomede Islands, seperated by the two nations, are only 3.8 km apart. Traditionally, the people in the area had frequently crossed the border back and forth, but were prevented from doing so, and the border was completely closed during the Cold War. The border became known as the "Ice Curtain". In 1987, an American swimmer symbolically swam across the border to ease tensions between the two countries, and was congratulated jointly by the leaders of the two nations.
THE CACTUS CURTAIN:
"Cactus Curtain" was a term describing the line separating the US-controlled Guantanamo Bay naval base from Cuban territory. After the Cuban Revolution, some Cubans sought refuge on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which was stopped with a cactus barrier and land mines, that the Cuban troops planted in 1961, dubbed the Cactus Curtain.
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