Guide Cuban-Latin American Relations in the Context of a Changing Hemisphere, Student Edition

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The result is an array of themes and topics that will resonate with historians, humanities scholars, policy analysts, and social scientists alike. Why do rivalries between states persist in the face of a common threat, and under what conditions do such rivalries end to yield more cooperative relations? Toward this end, Darnton examines the relationships of eleven Latin American states from the s through the s: Each was allied with one another—and with the United States—via the anticommunist Rio Treaty. Yet, despite confronting a common threat, intra-alliance rivalries that predated the Cold War continued; and while some states eventually achieved rapprochement, others failed despite having similar incentives a common threat to do so.

Darnton explains these outcomes by assessing the degree to which key state institutions opposed rapprochement and the conditions under which their opposition gave way to support.

History of Latin America

This focus is important, since even when national leaders want to end a rivalry and take steps toward this goal, parochial interests embedded in powerful state bureaucracies—especially the military and foreign ministry—can thwart these endeavors. Such benefits include enhanced stature for these agencies within the state, greater autonomy and policy influence, and of course, budgetary resources. Darnton outlines the parochial interest theory in Chapters 1 and 2, then applies it to various case studies.

The Argentina—Brazil case receives extensive attention. Although presidential summits in , , and all sought rapprochement, guardian agencies repeatedly blocked these efforts.


Yet only Honduras and Nicaragua managed to end their long-standing rivalry stemming from a territorial dispute and achieve rapprochement. Between and , the Honduran and Nicaraguan presidents signed an Accord on Territorial Asylum that addressed the threat of insurgents using the disputed region to launch attacks against either regime, accepted a ruling on their land dispute by the International Court of Justice, and finally cemented a new era of fraternal relations at a presidential summit. By contrast, during the same period to and despite having similar incentives to put their rivalries away and confront their common insurgency threat, El Salvador and Honduras failed to do so, as did Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

What made the difference between reconciliation and continued rivalry, Darnton contends, was the dearth of resources Honduras and Nicaragua had to continue their rivalry and address the new threat. By comparison, the more prosperous El Salvador and Costa Rica felt less compelled to accept this policy trade-off. Andean and Southern Cone rivalries displayed similar dynamics during the s debt crisis.

Buried under mountains of external debt, national economies contracted, development plans stalled, poverty increased, unemployment spiked, and economic hardship battered households. Yet under these conditions only one dyadic rivalry—Argentina and Chile—was abandoned and rapprochement achieved, whereas rivalries between Ecuador and Peru, Colombia and Venezuela, and Bolivia and Chile remained unresolved.

Thus, in the Southern Cone where the Argentine and Chilean militaries faced leftist insurgencies and had developed internal security missions in response, the debt crisis forced policy trade-offs that saw the military accept bilateral rapprochement. In the Andean Ridge countries, where insurgency threats had not risen uniformly, only the militaries of one party to a given rivalry had devised new internal security missions: In these latter cases, the presence of economic constraints alone proved insufficient to facilitate rapprochement, and efforts to achieve bilateral reconciliation bore no fruit. | Cuban-Latin American Relations in the Context of a Changing Hemisphere |

Unlike some works, it offers a refreshing view of Cold War relations between Latin American countries themselves, rather than primarily with the United States. It is ambitious in scope, theoretically rigorous, and clearly written. It is a fine work of qualitative political science whose hypotheses are empirically tested.

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This well-researched, insightful volume shines a bright light on how Mexico navigated the mid to late decades of the Cold War roughly through the mids. Keller persuasively documents the need for this two-level enterprise. Privately, however, his government spied on Cuban activities and Mexican Cuba sympathizers and shared this intelligence with Washington.

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It also worked closely with US intelligence operatives in Mexico as it monitored and ultimately repressed leftist dissidents. In reality, for Mexican leaders the domestic political capital gained from rebuffing the United States and from expressing solidarity with Cuba was equally important.

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Its tradition of welcoming foreign political exiles—which preceded the Cold War—set the stage for wide-ranging skulduggery, revolutionary scheming, and cloak-and-dagger operations once the Cold War began. Hoping to burnish their own soft power and influence international opinion, the superpowers created front organizations to promote cultural exchange, sponsor conferences, subsidize magazines and book publications, and support the works of leftist opinion molders.

Those messages could not have been more distinct. The WPC held that peace corresponded to the interests of the Soviet Union, whose system and expanding communist offspring were contested and threatened by Western, capitalist imperialism led by the United States; by contrast, the CCF held that totalitarian systems marked the death of liberty, freedom of thought, and organic cultural expression. Centred on provisions of independence, respect for the church, and equality between Mexicans and peninsulars, the plan gained the support of many Creoles, Spaniards, and former rebels.


The consequences of that overthrow extended from Mexico through Central America. They formed a federation, the United Provinces of Central America , which held together only until , when regionalism led to the creation of separate countries in the region. Brazil gained its independence with little of the violence that marked similar transitions in Spanish America. Conspiracies against Portuguese rule during —98 showed that some groups in Brazil had already been contemplating the idea of independence in the late 18th century.

Still, the impulse toward independence was less powerful in Brazil than in Spanish America. Portugal, with more limited financial, human, and military resources than Spain, had never ruled its American subjects with as heavy a hand as its Iberian neighbour. Portugal neither enforced commercial monopolies as strictly nor excluded the American-born from high administrative positions as widely as did Spain. Many Brazilian-born and Portuguese elites had received the same education, especially at the University of Coimbra in Portugal.

The Changing Global Order- Regionalism in Latin America

Their economic interests also tended to overlap. The reliance of the Brazilian upper classes on African slavery, finally, favoured their continued ties to Portugal. The size of the resulting slave population—approximately half the total Brazilian population in —also meant that Creoles shied away from political initiatives that might mean a loss of control over their social inferiors.

The key step in the relatively bloodless end of colonial rule in Brazil was the transfer of the Portuguese court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in The arrival of the court transformed Brazil in ways that made its return to colony status impossible. The unprecedented concentration of economic and administrative power in Rio de Janeiro brought a new integration to Brazil. The emergence of that capital as a large and increasingly sophisticated urban centre also expanded markets for Brazilian manufactures and other goods.

Even more important to the development of manufacturing in Brazil was one of the first acts undertaken there by the Portuguese ruler, Prince Regent John: Brazil headed into a political crisis when groups in Portugal tried to reverse the metropolitanization of their former colony. With the end of the Napoleonic Wars came calls for John to return to Lisbon. At first he demurred and in even raised Brazil to the status of kingdom, legally equal to Portugal within the empire that he ruled. If he moved back to Lisbon, he might lose Brazil, but if he remained in Rio, he might well lose Portugal.

Finally, after liberal revolts in Lisbon and Oporto in , the Portuguese demands became too strong for him to resist. It was Dom Pedro who, at the urging of local elites, oversaw the final emergence of an independent Brazil. Matters were pushed toward that end by Portuguese reaction against the rising power of their former colony. Although the government constituted by the liberals after allowed Brazilian representation in a Cortes, it was clear that Portugal now wanted to reduce Brazil to its previous colonial condition, endangering all the concessions and powers the Brazilian elite had won.

By late the situation was becoming unbearable. The Cortes now demanded that Dom Pedro return to Portugal. When Pedro proclaimed its independence on Sept. There was some armed resistance from Portuguese garrisons in Brazil, but the struggle was brief. Independence still did not come without a price. Over the next 25 years Brazil suffered a series of regional revolts, some lasting as long as a decade and costing tens of thousands of lives.

The break with Portugal did not itself, however, produce the kind of disruption and devastation that plagued much of the former Spanish America. With its territory and economy largely intact, its government headed by a prince of the traditional royal family, and its society little changed, Brazil enjoyed continuities that made it extraordinarily stable in comparison with most of the other new states in the region. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.

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The independence of Latin America After three centuries of colonial rule, independence came rather suddenly to most of Spanish and Portuguese America. The wars of independence , —26 The final victory of Latin American patriots over Spain and the fading loyalist factions began in with the political crisis in Spain.


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Contact our editors with your feedback. History of Latin America. While the United States might welcome the election of more conservative governments in key countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela, it is unlikely that Washington, in a multipolar world, would be able to convince key Latin American governments to reverse their policies of full inclusion of Cuba into hemispheric affairs. Innovative Publisher of Academic Research.

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