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Latin America: Revolution and Reaction into the 21 st Century.

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Presentation on theme: "Latin America: Revolution and Reaction into the 21 st Century."— Presentation transcript:

1 Latin America: Revolution and Reaction into the 21 st Century

2 Introduction Latin America (third world-non- industrialized nations) caught in struggle between capitalism vs. communism. Starting in 1964 there were military coups that took over governments (Brazil 64, Argentina 66, and Peru 68). In Chili everyone knew there was going to be a coup just not sure what side was going to do it (conservatives or liberal). President Salvador Allende was a socialist voting in to power, but he believed in reforming and working within the boundaries of the constitution. Many liberals felt he wasn’t acting quick enough and wanted a revolution while conservatives were against all his socialist reforms. Sept. 11, 1973 a military coup occurred and General Augusto Pinochet became the “dictator”. Thousands died or disappeared in the decades of repression that followed. In 1998 Pinochet was arrested for crimes against humanity Latin America was different than other third world countries because they gained independence earlier and need decolonize in terms of the economy. Industry started to bloom and workers began organizing and emerged as a political force. Political pattern emerged of the pendulum (conservatives =economic expansion and times of crisis=liberal forms). Contrary to revolutionary talk, Latin American societies remained pretty much the same. Changes in education, women, social services, and industry

3 Latin America after WWII Limitedly involved –economy grew due to war time demands Cold War helped to stimulate revolutionary actions in Latin America Main aim was to become economically independent Some countries after the war were still dominated by authoritarian reformers. Some were ousted from power which led to other military dictator using extreme repression against dissidence (torture and execution-dirty wars) Mexico Porfirio Diaz dictator (conservative) Francisco Madero-ran against Diaz-imprisoned and released and revolted. Took power, but didn’t really bring changes so he was ousted and assassinated in Victoriano Huerta then tried to impose Diaz style dictatorship-by 1914 ousted. (Villa and Zapata) Alvaro Obregon 1920-elected president of Mexico and followed by the presidents from the new “revolutionary elite”. President Lazaro Cardenas ( ) land reforms

4 Mexico and the PRI From 1940s-2000 Mexico controlled by the PRI (Party of the Industrialized Revolution) By end of 20 th century the stability brought by the PRI was undercut by corruption and lack of social improvement. Too far from 1910 revolution that kicked out Diaz. By 1944 armed guerrilla movements in southern provinces (heavily Indian) began. They called themselves Zapatistas in honor of Emiliano Zapata (peasant leader from the 1910 revolution). Government responded with repression and negotiations 1990s Mexico joined NAFTA-North America Free Trade Agreement hoping to spur their economy. Mexico hen became the 2 nd largest trade partner to the US 2000 national election ended PRI-Vicente Fox leader of the conservative National Action party (PAN) became president (promised to clean up corruption)

5 Zapata Zapatistas Zapatos mexfiles.net/2008/12/page/2/

6 Radical Option in the 50s Surge of radicalism after WWII due to cold war tensions In Brazil=Vargas and in Argentina=Peron both were populist authoritarian solution, but there were other solutions too. Desire to improve social and economic conditions Venezuela and Costa Rica reform minded democratic parties won elections. Failures of democracies, economics, and social reforms led some to consider radical solutions Guatemala Radical solutions -problems elected Juan Jose Arevalo president in 1944-spirited socialism Land reform and rights to rural and workers- intense nationalism vs. foreign interest in country-brought conflict (United Fruit Company) Colonel Jacobo Arbenz-elected president in 1951 and began nationalizing program- transportation, hydroelectric, and unused lands-Fruit Company opposed b/c they didn’t want to give up their reserve lands! Called on US for help. US saw Arbenz nationalization campaign as communist threat and began restrictions on G. In 1954 US organized dissident military force and invaded and toppled Arbenz government. Pro-American regime and all reforms halted…power back in the hands of few. Continued to see problems socially and economically that the government failed to answer. 

7 Cuban Revolution and Socialism in the Caribbean Remember US helped to free Cuba of Spanish control. Afterwards US heavily influenced country (imports and exports) Disparity between growing middle class and poor in the countryside Fulgencio Batista ruled Cuba-promised much reform (land, nationalization of resources, full employment) but never did them-became a dictator Fidel Castro-young leftist lawyer Batista opponent-in 53 launched unsuccessful attack and jailed Castro freed and fled to Mexico and came into contact with Ernesto “Che” Guevara-started a small military force and then moved to Cuba and recruited. By 1958 “26 th of July Movement”-ousted Batista. Debated over when Castro decided to go with communism (before/after). Once in power passed reforms that caused sweeping changes-collectivized farms, no foreign property. Relations w/ US cut off and relied more on Soviets for support Crisis-US sponsored invasion and Cuban Missile Crisis After fall of USSR, Cuba continued to socialist economic policy and became increasingly isolation like China and North Korea.

8 Fidel Castro 1959 history.sandiego.edu/gen/ USPics33/1959castro.jpg aindealer/2008/02/large_ca stro.jpg

9 Search for Reform/ Military Option Nationalistic, pro-capital military government built authoritative regimes that served interests of US. However, in spite of revolutionary changes little actual economic and social changes occurred. In Mexico-PRI seemed to be out of touch Church provided guidance- Christian Democratic parties (Liberation and Catholic theology mixed with Marxism) Violence against clergy and nuns who spoke out for social reform. Church also helped overthrow the Paraguayan dictator in Out of the Barracks Soldiers had always been involved in Latin American politics, but as revolutions started many soldiers started to see themselves as the true representatives of the people and not political parties Military officers felt they were best equipped to handle problems of society b/c of their training even if it meant ending the democratic process Brazil-military w/ US support overthrew elected president after he promised sweeping social reforms (66 in Argentina (dirty war) and 68 in Chile) Military controlled president and handed down reforms (repression)

10 New Democratic Trends Redemocratization By 1980s soldiers returned to barracks because they realized they weren’t more successful than civilian gov. and end of cold war so less threat of interference. In 80s elections restored democratic rule in Brazil and Argentina. Not easy process-guerrilla groups, military, and US Faced big problems: debt, inflation, drug cartels threatened powers of governments US and Latin America Despite FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy (stopping direct intervention) after WWII the US was on a mission to contain communism and spread capitalism. US interfered when economic interests of private companies like the United Fruit Company (Guat.). They also interfered when politically when they felt another form of gov. was best. Grounds for US intervention were economic, political, strategic, and ideological. Direct intervention usually was followed by the establishment of “friendly” governments (conservative and often dictatorships). These governments became known as banana republics (reference to dependency of new gov., their tropical exports, and corruption).

11 US and Latin America In Nicaragua, Augusto Sandino led a resistance movement against occupying troops until assassinated by US trained Nicaraguan National Guard in Sandino became a hero-someone willing to stand up against tyranny. Became the figurehead of the Sandinista party that led a socialist revolution in the 1980s in Nicaragua. More foreign intervention, especially US, led to increased nationalistic reactions-not to help the poor to help the wealthy  US also thought that by economically developing regions in LA that social and economic success would come, but didn’t happen b/c the elites were the one benefiting. Policy changes: Carter-influence on civil liberties and ceded Panama Canal Reagan and Bush- led US back to strategic, economic, and defense considerations- direct interventions US toppled an authoritarian gov. in Panama and promoted drug smuggling-replaced with cooperative regime to US and backed w/ US troops. By 2000 same concerns but now also drug and terrorist concerns. Aid to Latin America mostly pledged to military purposes. (Mexico)

12 c-sar-sandino Augusto Sandino news.bbc.co.uk/.../html/nn1page1.stmnews.bbc.co.uk/.../html/nn1page1.stm –click to find out info on recent elections

13 Women’s Slow Change Slow to change concepts dealing with women. In his culture women were considered inferior Women were paid less and couldn’t participate in LA in politics Ecuador was the first to give the right to vote to women in 1929 Brazil and Cuba in 1932-most place not until the 40s or 50s Many revolutionary groups were worried that female votes were be too conservative (because of their typically strong affiliation to Church). While some conservative regimes gave women the right to vote banking on them creating a larger conservative body and stopping political change (Dominican Republic) Ability to vote didn’t guarantee real political rights-running for offices and equal pay. Caused some to join anarchist/ social/ labor organizations. By mid 90s women were closer to Western cultures. Women made up 9% of legislators in LA-higher than any other region in the world.

14 Movement of People 18 th century there was much migration to Latin America 19 th century there was much internal migrations: movement from rural to urban areas and movements to different LA countries seeking better opportunities-seeking strong economies 20 th century much migration to US-US had a strong economy and better opportunities as well as LA experienced huge population growth and there weren’t enough jobs for people. After WWII US and Mexico set up migration programs to get Mexican workers to US to work for very little in pretty bad conditions Also political refugees-Cuban middle class fleeing after Castro took power. Rates of urban growth have slowed in LA, but extreme poor neighborhoods and shantytowns (favelas)still exist. Industrial workers never united with migrate worker to form political organization= power to change. Industrial workers made labor organization linked to gov.

15 Cultural Reflections Very diverse place, but still discrimination (Indians) Still predominately Catholic Still strong Hispanic values (family/gender) Creations of Latin American culture-mix of Indian, African, and European (music and dance: tango/ samba) The struggles in LA for social justice, political gov, and economic security created dynamic tension which artists and authors have used as inspiration. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (my favorite author-One hundred Years of Solitude) –Magical Realism-reality of LA too absurd to be described in traditional forms /logical

16 books/5222 erature.com/staging/ biography/gabriel.ga rcia.marquez.asp du/INDY/archives/ /images/borges.jpg

17 Global Connections In 21 st century LA continues to search for economic growth, social justice, and political stability Society there largely remained “un-revolutionary” –meaning most peoples lives haven’t changed all that much. LA still most advanced part of the developing world compared to Africa and Asia New challenges in globalized world: distribution of wealth (1/3 of population still lives in poverty), distribution of opportunities (north Mexico benefited from US trade while southern Mexico has gotten poorer), integration into the world economy threatens culture (Indian culture), movement towards leftist politics, cultural issues (acceptance of Halloween and Christmas), spread of new religious ideas (Protestantism -10% of LA)


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