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Revolutions, Repression, and Democratic Reform in Latin America

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Presentation on theme: "Revolutions, Repression, and Democratic Reform in Latin America"— Presentation transcript:

1 Revolutions, Repression, and Democratic Reform in Latin America

2 1970s – Latin America overview
Political violence Democratic governments overturned by the military The idea that the Cuban Communist govt. had survived U.S. attempts to overthrow it encouraged other revolutions The U.S. increased support for its allies in Latin America, determined to defeat communism

3 Brazil 1964 – the army overthrew the President
Suspended the constitution Outlawed political parties Exiled all opposition Death Squads – detained, tortured and executed thousands of citizens Promoted import substitution industrialization

4 Chile 1970 – Salvador Allende – new President
Socialist reforms to redistribute land from the wealthy to the peasants Nationalized heavy industry and mining Including American owned copper mines Opposed by Richard Nixon

5 Allende’s popularity

6 Chilean coup d'état Allende was overthrown by General Augusto Pinochet (supported by the U.S.) Allende was killed in the Presidential palace Thousands were killed. Many Allende supporters executed en mass in soccer stadiums Pinochet stopped the socialist reforms Encouraged foreign investment



9 Pinochet ruled Chile for two decades

10 Argentina’s “Dirty War”
Isabel Martinez Peron became president upon the death of Juan Peron Military seized power and suspended the constitution Dirty War Conservatives crush socialist opposition Seven year war between the military and what it called terrorists Over 9,000 Argentines died. Thousands go “missing”

11 Disappearances

12 Madres de la Plaza de Mayo

13 Disappeared

14 Nicaragua 1979 – overthrow of dictator Anastasio Somoza by socialists
Sandinistas (FSLN) took power Received political and financial support from Cuba Command economy – nationalized property owned by the elites and U.S. companies

15 The United States President Jimmy Carter (1977- 1980) Ronald Reagan
Stopped the flow of U.S. arms to some regions Promised Panama sovereignty and control of the canal in 1999 Tried, but failed to get along with the Sandinistas Ronald Reagan Wanted to undo the Nicaraguan Revolution and remove Sandinistas Armed and trained counterrevolutionaries called Contras Financed by both legal and illegal (from arms sold to Iran!) funds



18 Iran-Contra Scandal Nicaragua
U.S. sold arms to Iran (through Israel as intermediary) in exchange for the release of American and Israeli hostages in Lebanon. Those profits then funneled to Contras! Contras were unable to defeat the Sandinistas Sandinistas called for free elections in 1990 They lost the election to middle-of-the-road Violeta Chamorro

19 El Salvador The FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front)
Inspired by the Sandinistas Organized an effective Guerilla force The U.S. responded Gave millions of dollars to the Salvadoran Army Hard to continue after Salvadoran Death Squads killed Catholic Clergy and thousands of civilians FMLN negotiated an end to the war after the U.S.S.R. fell and the Sandinistas lost power

20 Military dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile
Fell apart due to high number of noncombatant deaths and govt. corruption Argentina Military rule collapsed after Argentina tried to take the Falklands from the British and the U.S. supported the British in the Falkland Islands War 1982

21 Chile Despite economic growth, Chileans resented the violence and corruption of the military under Pinochet 1989 – Chile elected a civilian President Brazil Began converting to civilian rule 1989 – first popular presidential election

22 Oil importers Oil exporters Debt Brazil and others
Had to borrow money to pay the high cost of oil Oil exporters Mexico and Venezuela Made money at first, but borrowed money to increase production When the price of oil fell in the 1980s, they could not repay their debts Debt By 1988, Latin America was $ 400 Billion in debt

23 U.S. involvement continued
1983 – President Reagan authorized a military invasion of Grenada 1989 – President George H.W. Bush sent a military force to Panama to arrest Manuel Noriega who was associated with drug smuggling and attacks on U.S. personnel

24 Latin American after the fall of the Soviet Union
Neo-liberalism Capitalism, free-market policies Milton Friedman University of Chicago economist

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