Differential Effects of American Destabilization Policy in Chile in the 1970s and Cuba in the 1990s

3121 Words13 Pages
Differential Effects of American Destabilization Policy in Chile in the 1970s and Cuba in the 1990s Just three years after taking office in 1970, Chile’s military removed the leftist President Salvador Allende from power. In Cuba, nearly forty years after his ascension to power in 1959, Fidel Castro continues to control a communist regime. In Chile in the early 1970s and in Cuba in the early 1990s, the United States exasperated severe economic crises. In addition, the United States attempted to foster political opposition to create ‘coup climates’ to overthrow both leaders. The similarities in these histories end there. Chile’s open, democratic political system allowed the U.S. to polarize the nation, paving the way for Pinochet’s U.S. backed military regime. In Cuba, however, thirty years of tight communist control negated the effectiveness of America’s effort to sow political dissent. This paper explores the impact of explicit American policy to overthrow both leaders, and proposes that divergent political, economic, and military structures contributed to vastly different outcomes. The Nixon administration sought to uphold a “cool but correct” diplomatic stance toward Chile. The fact that Allende was democratically elected forced the Nixon administration to be less explicitly aggressive about their role in Chile, causing them to turn to economics as a primary method for destabilizing the nation. The U.S. sought to “isolate, weaken and destabilize Chile until the country was ungovernable” in order to create a ‘coup climate.’ Essentially, the U.S. began a long term strategy to destabilize the Chilean government economically, politically, and militarily, looking to exploit all possible weaknesses. Chile wa... ... middle of paper ... ...ly. vol114 no3 (Fall 1999): 387-408. Kornbluh, Peter. The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability. New York: The New Press, 2003. LeoGrande, William and Julie Thomas. “Cuba’s Quest for Economic Independence.” Journal of Latin American Studies. vol 34: 342-363. Oppenheim, Lois Hecht. Politics in Chile: Democracy, Authoritarianism, and the Search for Development. 2nd ed. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999. Otero, Gerardo and Janice O’Bryan. “Cuba in Transition? The Civil Sphere’s Challenge to the Castro Regime.” Latin American Politics and Society. vol44 i4: 29-57. Pérez-Stable, Marifeli. The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Valenzuela, Arturo. The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Chile. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.

    More about Differential Effects of American Destabilization Policy in Chile in the 1970s and Cuba in the 1990s

      Open Document