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16 Mar 2011
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The Second Cold War in Latin America
Instability in the Western Hemisphere
- Nixon administration heavily involved in Vietnam War and pursuit of tente
- Latin America only had one major international incident
- Latin America trade with US was declining in the 50s
- G77: demanded redistribution of wealth
- Carter opposed Soviet Union on human rights and Latin American (Right-wing)
dictatorship
- economic aid conditional on improvement of human rights
- received criticism from Washington if basic human rights violated
- Reagan: support and help for every force that was willing to force communism
- to uphold a Western-style, capitalism system regardless of repression
- to make sure Central America would not lose any more states to communism
- he ignored “economic aid must be a vital component, because of his own
requirements at home
- jeanna: huge differences between dictatorships (that regularly oppress their people
and violate human rights). In general, dictatorships do not go well with western
hemispheres, but they are also pro-America and open to capitalism, there is always
a chance in due time, once the political and domestic pressure is reduced, these
states will eventually transform into new and genuine and democratic systems.
- double standards: dictatorships in Eastern Europe do violate human rights,
but they are anti-America and anti-capitalist.
- cannot live with Eastern Europe dictatorships
- El Salvador:
- fear of Marxism
- importance for Reagen to deal with Nicaragua because Nicaragua involved
itself in El Salvador
The Contragate
- Nicaragua: total dictatorship in 1967
- Sandinistas challenged the Somoza
- by 1979, they do manage to overthrow the regime, supported by Mexico and
Costa Rica
- it was not a Leftish liberation movement even though it received aid from
Cuba, etc.- bourgeois political
- established a Leftist political regime
- had connections to Cuba, but not Marxist
- enough for Carter to isolate them
- Carter was in a dilemma
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- dual edge policy: isolate Nicaragua, make sure Cuba would not have a
serious influence on it
- offered economic aid as long as not become a puppet of Cuba
- condition: pro-America regime and not established a close link with Soviet
Union or become Marxist
- became part of the non-align movement
- Nicaragua was lost because Reagans administration could not tolerate a system
like that
- needed to be clear cut
- the minute Reagan came to power, he initiated a policy CIA covert actions
- CIA must be able to topple the regime and create an opposition to the
Sandinistas
- this was similar to how Vietnam started
- America condemned for their interference
- The Boland Amendments: only with Congress approval could the Reagan
administration pursuit after Nicaragua
- limit American involvement
- Reagan was adamant
- National Security Council: weapons from Iran, large amount of money came to US
- profit to support the contras
- Contragate Scandal: when American newspapers found more evidence, Reagan
was circumventing against wishes of American Congress
- Reagan nearly fell
- Reagan claimed he didnt know of it
The US Invasions
- Contragate Scandal:
- Reagans public ratings went down and public opinion was against such
involvement
- show extent/commitment to uphold its own doctrine and oppose communism
- overcome the Vietnam Syndrome
- Department of Defense, etc.: America would never get into a war without
clear objectives, with hand tied behind their backs
1. full public support and 2. Full government support
- direct national interest
- Reagan government decides to involve in Marxist Coup (1974) in Granada
- purpose of airport/pretext of Americans involvement in 1983
- the airport was to bring tourism
- enough for Reagan to initiate and American invasion
- poorly organized and managed campaign
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Document Summary

Nixon administration heavily involved in vietnam war and pursuit of d tente. Latin america only had one major international incident. Latin america trade with us was declining in the 50s. Carter opposed soviet union on human rights and latin american (right-wing) dictatorship. Economic aid conditional on improvement of human rights. Received criticism from washington if basic human rights violated. Reagan: support and help for every force that was willing to force communism. To uphold a western-style, capitalism system regardless of repression. To make sure central america would not lose any more states to communism. He ignored economic aid must be a vital component , because of his own requirements at home. Jeanna: huge differences between dictatorships (that regularly oppress their people and violate human r ights). Double standards: dictatorships in eastern europe do violate human rights, but they are anti-america and anti-capitalist. Importance for reagen to deal with nicaragua because nicaragua involved itself in el salvador.

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