Argentina, the United States, and the Anti-Communist Crusade in Central America, 1977-1984

Argentina, the United States, and the Anti-Communist Crusade in Central America, 1977-1984

Argentina, the United States, and the Anti-Communist Crusade in Central America, 1977-1984

Argentina, the United States, and the Anti-Communist Crusade in Central America, 1977-1984

Synopsis

Ariel Armony focuses, in this study, on the role played by Argentina in the anti-Communist crusade in Central America. This systematic examination of Argentina's involvement in the Central American drama of the late 1970s and early 1980s fine-tunes our knowledge of a major episode of the Cold War era.

Basing his study on exhaustive research in the United States, Argentina, and Nicaragua, Armony adroitly demolishes several key assumptions that have shaped the work of scholars in U.S. foreign policy, Argentine military politics, and Central American affairs.

Excerpt

The politics of individual Latin American countries cannot be understood fully if one examines only the internal workings of political systems. Especially during the cold war, many governments rose or fell primarily, or in part, because of external intervention or manipulation. The main external actor in the Americas was the United States. Among many electoral victories influenced by U.S. funding were those of Eduardo Frei Montalva in Chile in 1964, José Napoleón Duarte in El Salvador in 1984, and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in Nicaragua in 1990. Three of the most prominent U.S.-sponsored interventions or machinations against chosen enemies include the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected, mildly revolutionary government of Guatemala in 1954; the U.S. military intervention to block the return to power of the democratically elected but deposed President Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic in 1965; and CIA involvement in the destabilization leading to the overthrow of democratically elected President Salvador Allende in Chile. All of this was done in the name of fighting "Sovietbacked Communists" as very loosely defined by Washington and the conservative elite of Latin America.

Yet, while the United States was the primary external actor in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, it was by no means the only one. In the 1980s, for instance, Israel--the biggest recipient of U.S. aid and loans in the world--became a surrogate . . .

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