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October 26 - The Cold War in Latin America 1945-1963

October 26 - The Cold War in Latin America 1945-1963 -...

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History of the Cold War October 26, 2007 The Cold War in Latin America, 1945-1963 Neglect of “Our Hemisphere” 1945-1952 o Truman administration took for granted US hegemony in Western Hemisphere o After defeat of Nazi Germany, no extra-hemispheric rival to US o Latin America seemed safe from communism o US pledges during WWII stirred Latin American hopes for economic aid No Marshall Plan for Latin America o US stressed private capital flows for economic development o 1949 – Point Four program for technical assistance Not large grants of loans o After 1948 – shift from pushing democracy to increasing military aid Buttressed dictators US gave Cuba $16 million in military and trained over 500 officers in 1950s Cuba under Batista Coups and Covert Action, 1953-1958 o March 10, 1952 – Batista coup in Cuba Condoned by US Disillusioned many Cubans Previously, Cuba had been very democratic o 1954 – Covert intervention in Guatemala Operation PBSUCCESS vs. Arbenz Small scale military action Psychological warfare Tried to get rid of democratically elected Arbenz Arbenz pursued economic nationalism, not communism Motives? Anti-communism o Arbenz was not a communist, but associated with and took some advice from communists o Believed to be “under the influence” of communism o Belief in greater degree of Soviet influence than actually existed o Desire to keep “OUR hemisphere” free of communism National security o Invoked Monroe Doctrine o If USSR gets a foothold in Latin America, then our hemisphere will not be safe Arbenz’s wife and CP Czech arms o Accepted a weapons shipment from Czechoslovakia
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Economic nationalism seen as proto-communism Economic interests: o United Fruit Company Major American corporation with part of the
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