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Latin American Specifics
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  1. Latin American Specifics A Quick-Hitter on Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, and Cuba

  2. You say you want a Rev-ah-loooo-chaaa-ahh-ahh-ahh-an… • Cuba: an Army officer named Fulgencio Batista was the corrupt leader of Cuba until the reign of Fidel Castro • Castro led a revolution and took control of the Cuban government in 1959 • Originally, Castro had the support of the lower and middle class as he promised • reform education • reform agriculture • improve health care • restore civil liberties • hold open elections • He also wanted a Cuba free from U.S. influence

  3. Get Rid of Castro • The Bay of Pigs was an attempt by the CIA to assassinate Castro by using Cuban exiles • The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest we ever came to nuclear war

  4. Mexican Problems • We talked about Mexico yesterday • To finish it up, you need to know Mexico faced the following problems: • Increased emigration (people leaving for the U.S. or other places to find jobs) • Peasant farmer uprisings (felt the government wasn’t doing enough to help) • Inability to pay debts due to inflation

  5. Nicaragua + U.S. = Bad Times • Nicaragua: A group called the Sandinistas took control of the government in 1979 • Sandinistas were pro-Marxist, allies with Cuba and moved Nicaragua towards Communism • This didn’t work for the U.S. (during Cold War) so the U.S. funded a group called the contras to begin a guerrilla war to overthrow the Sandinistas • U.S. put a trade embargo on Nicaragua in 1985; country struggled because of the money spent on the war (even with help from Cuba and USSR) • Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega peacefully gave up power in 1990 when he was defeated in free elections

  6. Chile • Chile’s leadership under Augusto Pinochet began in 1973 • Pinochet ended the legislature, outlawed political parties, and restricted civil liberties • Pinochet did allow Chile’s economy to operate under free market forces and with foreign investment (supply and demand) • This led to lower inflation but high unemployment (around 20% throughout Pinochet’s reign) • Unemployment led to unhappiness in Chile though and people voted him out of office in 1989

  7. Brazil • Land: Amazon River, World’s Largest Rainforest • Resources: Minerals, Timber, Farms (coffee and sugar) • Military controlled Brazil from the mid ’60s (fear of communism) until 1989 when there was a direct election for president • In 1993, Brazil voted for a republic vs. monarchy in a plebiscite (they chose the republic) • Great separation between haves and have-nots • Slums exist around luxurious high-rise apartments, wealthy shopping areas, and beautiful beaches • The city represents the growth of Brazil; the homeless of the favelas represent the progress still be attained

  8. Left: Rio de Janeiro; Right: Rio’s Favelas

  9. Brazil’s Economic Miracle • “Brazil is a country for the future, and always will be.” Double Rainbow? • Early 1900s: Rubber major export  rubber declines leading to hardships  coffee replaces rubber  coffee prices decline and natural disasters hurt economy • 1930s: Diversify economy (not just reliant on 1 export) by encouraging industry and building schools • 1950s: New capital (Brasilia) carved out from Amazon rainforest (goal: 50 yrs of progress in 5) • “Power in the world is a great nation that has territory, population, wealth, financial resources, technology, material goods, minerals.” • Brazil had almost all of these, leading to impressive growth • Steel, cars, and shoes were all produced • This economic miracle brought extreme wealth to few while bringing little or no benefit to most Brazilians (in the 1980s a handful of wealthy families owned more than 50% of land) • Read honors book paragraph p. 653