Evolution or Chaos: Dynamics of Latin American Government and Politics

Evolution or Chaos: Dynamics of Latin American Government and Politics

Evolution or Chaos: Dynamics of Latin American Government and Politics

Evolution or Chaos: Dynamics of Latin American Government and Politics

Excerpt

The convulsions racking Latin America today far surpass in scope and depth the revolutions and turmoil of the nineteenth century. Cuba, once a faithful follower of the United States, has joined the Soviet orbit and is now striving to draw other members of the Inter-American System into that obedience. The countries of the Caribbean area, particularly those with unstable regimes, are most immediately threatened. Despite the failure of revolutionary forces launched from Cuba in 1959 and 1960, and the continuing protection offered by U.S. military and naval forces, the Caribbean political situation remains unsettled. Fidel Castro of Cuba has not renounced his intention of spreading political revolt and social reform throughout the hemisphere; he has only changed his methods. In place of armed might, he has been utilizing propaganda and agitation measures within the countries he hopes to subvert. Cuban diplomats have often spearheaded these operations, but now that a majority of countries have broken relations with Cuba, Castro has had to rely more heavily on nationalists and Communists determined upon emulating the Cuban experiment. Thus far, these movements have everywhere been contained in the Caribbean, and in most countries, notably Mexico, Castro's influence has declined as his regime has become more oppressive, his economy dangerously weakened, and his social revolution more slavishly modeled on the Soviet experiment. The threat of violence, however, hangs heavily over the area.

In the remainder of Latin America, Castro has his devotees in every country, but the personal bonds seem less close than in the Caribbean. University students have invoked his name in Peru and Chile, peasant leaders in Brazil, and labor leaders in Bolivia. In these countries, however, Castro is the symbol of the kind of reform that they expect to achieve in their own countries, not the . . .

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