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Unformatted text preview: US Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights in Latin America I. Explanations for political development in Latin America- tradition of hierarchal societies (class consciousness) and colonialism, lack of education and economic development, US support of rightist military dictatorships, influence of the Catholic church, corruption and weak governmental institutions II. Historical survey of US intervention for democracy A. Imperial Era- Wilson used military force and imposed elections to promote democracy (elections as the only indicator of democracy, not respect of freedoms and civil rights or adherence to the rule of law). FDR- Good Neighbor Policy, non-interventionism. Latin America should learn democracy by making its own mistakes. B. Cold War- highly inconsistent policies- JFKs alliance for progress, Jimmy Carter- respect for Human Rights versus a strong preference for authoritarian regimes on the basis that they were tougher on communism (Reagan). C. Post Cold War- Democracy is the centerpiece of our foreign policy. Bush Sr: Haiti (1991)- military coup of Aristede- supported his return to power (Clinton also). Clinton- supported democracy, sold NAFTA on the basis that it would help to foster democracy in the region, specifically Mexico. GW Bush, trying to support democracy throughout the world as a means of supporting our strategic interests (stopping the threat of Islamic fundamentalism). Currently, competitive elections are held in every LA country (except Cuba). But democratic governments arent necessarily more effective at addressing social and economic problems, and these governments are very fragile....
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