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Lecture 8

LACS 1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Moncada Barracks, Che Guevara, University Of Havana

Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Course Code
LACS 1002
Silvina Danesi

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LAC after 1945: (Short) Democratic Opening and Revolutions
The brief post-World War II Wave of Democratization (1945-1950)
- From military governments/dictatorships to democracy: Guatemala (1945); Haiti (1946);
Argentina (1946); Bolivia (1947); Brazil (1945); Ecuador (1944); Peru (1939-1945);
Venezuela (1941/1948)
- “Continuous” democracies: Colombia; Costa Rica & Uruguay; Chile
- “Continuous’ political instability: Paraguay; Central America
Mario Vargas Llosa
- Peruvian writer
- 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature
- famous for describing structures of power in LAC
- described the Mexican political regime from the 1920s - 2000s
- “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship”
Mexico’s long-term Political Stability 1920s - 2000
- hegemonic (dominant) party system
- there was only one party who won the elections from 1920s-2000
- PRI - Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party)
- exercised control/dominance over the other parties by controlling the electoral system
through electoral fraud for more than 70 years
- applied repression when necessary
- absence of freedom of expression; led to corruption, violation of human rights
- weak institutions; no separation of power
Cold War
- during World War Two, allies fought against the axis powers
- after the war former allies US and SU were superpowers; they both had atomic bombs
- Soviet Union (SU, USSR, URSS) one party Communist state led by Joseph Stalin, who came
to power in the 20s; millions of his own citizens died during his brutal regime
- 20 million died in forced labour camps “The Gulags” and executions
- 20 million Soviet soldiers and civilians also died in World War Two
-cold war: war between capitalism and democracy vs. communism and controlled economy
- called the cold war because there was never a direct confrontation between the superpowers
US interventions in LAC during the Cold War
- believed LAC politicians were not able to rule themselves; unable to fight against communism
- US had to help LAC fight against communism
- reduce the spread of communism in the western hemisphere
- protect US economic interests
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