Political overview

A Political Overview of Latino America


Cold war; In the 1950s, the Cold War moved close to the United States and in Latin America. The nations of Latin America faced many critical problems, including widespread poverty and poor health care. The United States feared the politics of socialism and communism would be particularly appealing to the countries of Latin America. At the same time, many United States citizens worried about the threat to their own security and businesses in Latin America. This led the United States to take up a very aggressive military strategy of containment. Through the Cold War, the United States removed some democratically elected leaders of Latin American countries through covert C.I.A. operations and replaced them with leaders who were more friendly to the United States. Arguably, this interference with the democratic system in these countries created a blowback because many Latin Americans rejected the United States involvement. Many of the leaders became dictators and oppressors as well.

Late 20th century military regimes; By the 1970s, leftists had acquired a significant political influence which prompted the right-wing ecclesiastical authorities and a large portion of the individual country’s upper class to support coup d’états in order to avoid what they perceived as a communist threat. This was further fueled by Cuban and United States intervention which led to a political polarization. Most South American countries were in some periods ruled by military dictatorships. However, by the early 90′s all countries had restored their democracies.

Washington Consensus; The set of specific economic policy prescriptions that were considered the “standard” reform package were promoted for crisis-wracked developing countries by Washington, DC-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the US Treasury Department during the 80′s and 90′s.

During the first decade of the 21st century, South American governments have drifted to the political moderate left, with leaders being elected in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela. Despite the move to the left, South America for the most part still embraces free market policies, and it is taking an active path toward greater continental integration. Recently, an intergovernmental entity has been formed which aims to merge the two existing custom unions. The first, Mercosur: Southern Common Market: is a Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay founded in 1991. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. The official languages for Mercosur are Portuguese and Spanish. The second custom union is The Andean Community which is a trade bloc comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Thus forming the third-largest trade bloc in the world. This new political organization known as Union of South American Nations seeks to establish free movement of people, economic development, a common defense and the elimination of tariffs.

“All the efforts and actions show that Latin American governments working jointly are embracing common goals to reach more consistent and stable political, economical and social systems”.


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    About the Books

    Author Lucila Ortiz offers an easy Spanish reference guide for business's people; travelers and anyone that has the desire to learn the Spanish Language and Culture. Trade is one of the most enduring issues in the contemporary US-Latin America relations. To strengthen the development of this trade relationship, author Lucila Ortiz presents the Spanish Instructive Planner: Spanish for Beguiners, and A Primer for Spanish Language, Culture and Economics; an informative guide that helps English-speaking individuals grasp, manage, understand, and conduct business in Spanish, and for all travelers as well.


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