Central America, International Dimensions of the Crisis

Central America, International Dimensions of the Crisis

Central America, International Dimensions of the Crisis

Central America, International Dimensions of the Crisis

Excerpt

Internal factors have undoubtedly provided the central impetus for change in Central America, but a wide variety of external forces are taking an active interest in the region. As the old order crumbles in Central America, foreign governments and nongovernmental actors are attempting to mold a new Central America that is consistent with their own interests and values. The developments in Central America during the 1980s will not be comprehensible without an understanding of the role being played by these external powers.

Central America today is situated within an international environment characterized by intense competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the developing world, the pursuit by Cuba of a foreign policy of activist internationalism, persistent divergencies between the United States and its Western European allies, and the emergence of regional Third World powers such as Mexico and Venezuela. Nongovernmental forces, including U.S. business firms, European political parties, and the Catholic church also have stakes in Central America. Central America has become a major battleground where these numerous forces are vying for influence and power.

The purpose of this volume is to describe and analyze the motivations, interests, and capabilities of official and nongovernmental external forces as they are likely to react to and affect the course of events in Central America. Taken individually, each chapter is an essay on the attitudes and behavior of its particular subject in today's world. Viewed as a whole, the volume seeks to explain the international environment as it interacts with Central America. The volume stands, in . . .

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