the components of limited democracy, the driving forces that influence democratic institutionalization, and criteria for measuring the move toward democracy.
Howard J. Wiarda, ed., The Continuing Struggle for Democracy in Latin America
( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1980), p. 3.
Some scholars differ concerning Mexico, under the domination of the same political
party since 1929, and Panama, in which the army assumes a major institutional role.
In Nicaragua the Sandinista-controlled junta that replaced the Somoza dictatorship
was, in turn, replaced by an elected government under President Daniel Ortega. The
regime's critics and supporters strongly disagree in describing the political system. Their
descriptions range from totalitarianism to democracy and pluralism with various political
shades in between.
North American economists and politicians tend to emphasize the internal causes
of the problems, while the Latin Americans usually focus on the external causes. During
a conference in Washington, D.C., a Bolivian congressman remarked: "We have inflation
of 3,000%. Capital markets have closed. The support to us from abroad has been mostly
of a lyrical nature. We have also had wrong internal policies and natural disasters. We
seek the understanding of developed countries. We ask that they take into account that
we are trying to survive." Suzanne Garment, "U.S. Neighbors Pledge Fidelity to Democracy", Wall Street Journal, January 25, 1985.
Both traditions were transplanted in Latin America during the colonial period. "We
would submit the Latin Americans had received and adapted elements of the monist as
well as the pluralist case. The colonies in the 1700s were by no means veiled in ignorance
and obscurantism, bound to the teachings of sixteenth-century Spanish theorists. Enlightenment ideas clearly attracted their own advocates, although arriving at a later juncture.
They did not displace the earlier tradition; they were in effect superimposed upon it. To
understand the Latin American philosophical world view is to recognize the concurrent
presence of both traditions." John D. Martz and
David J. Myers, "Understanding Latin
American Politics: Analytical Models and Intellectual Traditions", Polity 16 (Winter 1983): 214-41221.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Democracy in Latin America:Colombia and Venezuela.
Contributors: Donald L. Herman - Editor.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1989.
Page number: xi.
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