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2012-02-06 Right-Wing Dictatorships in Latin America.docx

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Western University
Geography 2142A/B
Mireya Folch- Serra

Right-Wing Dictatorships in LatinAmerica February 6, 2012 Aconsequence of the Cold War Midterm -short questions encompass history of geopolitics and theories and concepts of Cold War -25 questions on those topics -choose 18 out of 25 -*short* -point form -one essay question answered in essay form -about Latin America -encompasses all themes, readings -dates, important figures -midterm based on readings and lectures Historical Background of United States involvement in theAmericas -Monroe doctrine (1823) -Meant to foster pan-Americanism i.e. an hemisphere to be shielded from the conflicts of the rest of the world -Geopolitical domination of theAmericas has remained a central tenet ever since 1823 The USArole over time -in the 1840s the USAseized Texas following victory in the Mexican War -further annexations took place later on: -Cuba and Puerto Rico, acquired from Spain -in early 20 century, American troops deployed in Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, the Dominican Republic -Monroe doctrine invoked to justify incursions -1910 Mexican Revolution -seen as socialist revolution -peasants revolted -first governments after revolution were socialist-government -land reform, peasants received education Latin America as strategic reserve of the USA -Theodore Roosevelt (1907) “Dollar diplomacy” -control of the Panama Canal -monetary -Franklin D. Roosevelt (1930) “Good Neighbour Policy” -CentralAmerica’s plantations (bananas, coffee, etc.) taken by theAmerican corporations -they recognized the economic importance of LatinAmerica -South America’s economic importance: -theAmazons (Brazil), mining centers in Peru and Chile... USAInvolvement from 1959 to 1990 Latin America’s left and right politics during the Cold War -proxy wars fought in the shatter belts -Uruguay, Peru, and Colombia had Marxist guerrillas (left) -today, they are gone (except for Colombia) -Chile selected Salvador Allende, a socialist president in 1970 (left) -Argentina’s right-wing military “junta” conducted a dirty war against leftist dissidents (right) -Cuba’s revolution (1959) Fidel Castro (left) -Guatemala socialist president: JacoboArbenz (left) -left or right doesn’t necessarily mean democracy or not democracy -left and right: depends on market -left: more command economy -right: free market -“left” usually associated with the large, poor majority that wanted the rich to share with the poor Latin America’s Shatterbelt USA’s ‘Backyard’ -Cuba -Guatemala -Honduras -Nicaragua -Bolivia -El Salvador -all of them are close to the U.S.; most of them are in LatinAmerica except for Bolivia (located in SouthAmerica; many indigenous people in Bolivia) School of theAmericas -School was used to train soldiers from LatinAmerican countries -trained to repress their population and attack their people; not people who are outside of their country -Washington’s military, strategic, and intelligence support for right-wing (dictatorships) in Latin America -Ten of the graduates became dictator of their countries -opened in 1946 in the canal Zone (Panama) -moved in 1984 to Fort Benning, Georgia, USA -closed officially on December 15, 2000 Trained at the School of theAmericas -trained to repress and fight their own people -became really dangerous and aggressive Operation Condor -Asystem developed by fascist right wing dictatorships t share intelligence and security actions again leftist liberation movements in Brazil,Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia -condor: bird of prey -Washington backers of Operation Condor often made little distinction between real and imagined security threats -defend their own countries against their own people Operation Condor Countries -Brazil -Argentina -Chile -Paraguay -Uruguay -Bolivia Fascist dictatorships implemented to combat “Communism” -communism is represented as how peasants want land reform, better pay, education, -Many imprisoned and killed LatinAmericans were not communists, but aspired to implement a democratic rule -Opposition to right-wing dictatorships often was not really communist, but struggles for some form of lesser social change -little social change (e.g. access to goods, services, education, etc.) Human rights violations: the case of Guatemala Maya Indians -Maya Indians – impoverished workers of United Fruit Company -tropical fruits -Presidents Arevalo andArbenz tried to reform land tenure in the 1950s in favour of the Indians -...wanted monopoly of agriculture, etc.--> -The CIAimplemented a military coup to topple elected presidentArbenz in 1954 against the Indians -Guatemalans: most of them are illiterate; all they wanted was a piece of land Years of repression in Guatemala (from 1954 to 1994) -UN commission recorded 42,275 victims of human rights violations between 1962-1996) -56% executions and 14% forced disappearances -1.Majority civilians in rural areas (indigenous population) 83% -2.some have labelled it as “genocide” -Many refuges has fled to Mexico -the covertAmerican assault destroyed an possibility that Guatemala’s fragile political and civic institutions might grow -it permanently stunted political life and also set back the cause of free elections in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras – all of which drew the lesson that Washington was more interested in unquestioning allies than democratic ones -Ever since the cycle of violence and lawlessness unleashed
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