The relationship between Mexico and Cuba grabbed international headlines early in the twenty-first century due to a rift in a relationship generally understood to be unique, special, and friendly since Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba in 1959. Much of the goodwill between the two countries existed because Mexico retained its allegiance to Cuba between 1964 and 1970, when all other Latin American countries severed relations with Cuba. In one of the first English-language studies to examine relationships in a trilateral context, Christopher White portrays a broad-based history of this unique and complex association and identifies the processes that led to the recent strain between the two countries. White asserts that Mexico and Cuba utilized the Cold War to define themselves as influential leaders in the developing world through their exertion of autonomy in international relations. White also views this relationship as an example of an alternative path from that taken by many developing world nations that buckled under the pressures of being caught between the United States and the Soviet Union.