Tuesday, December 01, 2009

U.S. policy and Central America

Rereading an article for class, I ran across this paragraph in an article about U.S. policy toward Latin America during the George W. Bush administration. Replace "Moscow" with "Caracas." How much has changed?

When civil strife erupted in Central America in the 1980s, these Reaganites saw only the veiled hand of Havana and Moscow behind the uprisings. They disparaged the notion that popular resistance might spring from decades of social inequality and military dictatorship. The rising tide of Latin America’s new left echoed the social and economic grievances that gave birth to Central America’s insurgencies. Dictatorships had been replaced by nominal democracies, but pervasive corruption and weak political parties made most Latin governments unresponsive to popular demands. Two decades of neoliberal economic policies had done little to alleviate the wretched living conditions of the poor. Under Bush, US policy would remain deaf to the winds of change sweeping the hemisphere, preferring the certainty of old ideological hatreds and the comfort of fighting old enemies (p. 359).

William M. Leogrande, "A Poverty of Imagination: George W. Bush's Policy in Latin America." Journal of Latin American Studies 39 (2007): 355-385.


Steven Taylor 6:00 PM  

For some reason, many in the US prefer to view the region through the prism of an arch villain, rather than by actually understanding the actual politics.

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