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HIST222: Modern Latin America

Unit 9: Latin America in the 21st Century   By the late 1980s, many Latin Americans had grown weary of military rule. The fall of the Soviet Union and the diminishing threat of international Communism prompted demands for democratic elections and a return to civilian rule across the region. By the early 1990s, democratically elected leaders had taken charge of most of the major nations in Latin America. Nevertheless, the region continued to face severe economic and social challenges in the 1990s and 2000s. Many Latin American countries struggled under the weight of generations of failed economic development projects. They owed large debts to American and European investors and did not have the money to expand domestic economies. The region also suffered from chronic problems resulting from the unequal distribution of wealth. Many poor people turned to the illicit drug trade for income and nations like Colombia and Nicaragua became centers for illegal drug production and distribution. Frustration over the uneven distribution of wealth also led to the emergence of anti-neoliberal political movements in countries like Mexico and Venezuela. These political movements championed the political and economic rights of poor, often indigenous people and challenged the political power of large corporations and the supposed benefits of free-market, global trade for developing nations. 
 
In this final unit, you will study contemporary political, economic, and social movements across Latin America and examine how post-colonial development in the region has led to profound criticisms of globalization and free-market capitalism. You will also explore the ways in which certain Latin American nations, such as Brazil, have emerged as regional and international powers and evaluate what the future may hold for the other nations of the region.  

Unit 9 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 15.25 hours.

☐    Subunit 9.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 9.2: 7.5 hours ☐    Subunit 9.2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.2.2: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 9.2.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.2.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 9.2.5: 2.75 hours

☐    Subunit 9.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.5: 0.75 hours

Unit9 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - evaluate the current state of contemporary Latin America, taking in mind its pre-Colombian, colonial, and post-colonial history, to surmise its future challenges and advantages in a world of globalization; and - analyze and interpret primary source documents from the 19th and 20th centuries, using historical research methods to garner a more profound understanding of Latin American history.

9.1 Reestablishing Political and Social Order   9.1.1 Gradual Social Reform Measures   - Reading: Voltaire Network: James Petras’s “Latin America’s 21st Century Socialism in Historical Perspective”

Link: Voltaire Network: James Petras’s [“Latin America’s
21<sup>st</sup> Century Socialism in Historical
Perspective”](http://www.voltairenet.org/article162483.html) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article on socialism in 21<sup>st</sup>
century Latin America. Pay special attention to Petras’s discussion
on the effects of neoliberalism in Latin America.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 1.5 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.1.2 Compromise and Political Moderation   - Reading: Foro de São Paulo: “Declaration of Caracas – XVIII Meeting of the Forum of São Paulo”

Link: Foro de São Paulo: [“Declaration of Caracas – XVIII Meeting of
the Forum of São Paulo”](http://forodesaopaulo.org/?p=1628) (HTML)
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read this declaration of Caracas. You may download
the PDF by clicking on the link at the bottom of the webpage.
Remember that anti-neoliberalism is used to describe liberals who
are socialist, socially libertarian, and opposed to neoliberalism -
understood as a market-driven approach to economic and social
policy. This reading covers the topics outlined in subunits 9.1.2
and 9.1.3.     
    
 Reading this declaration should take approximately 30 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.1.3 Rise of Anti-Neoliberal Political Movements in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico   - Reading: RIFF-RAFF Magazine: Harry Cleaver’s “The Chiapas Uprising and the Future of Class Struggle in the New World Order”

Link: *RIFF-RAFF Magazine*: Harry Cleaver’s “[The Chiapas Uprising
and the Future of Class Struggle in the New World
Order](http://www.eco.utexas.edu/~hmcleave/chiapasuprising.html)”
(HTML)   
    
 Instructions: Read this article, which first appeared in 1994,
shortly after Zapatista rebels led an armed uprising against the
Mexican government in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. In this
article, Harry Cleaver discusses the economic, social, and political
goals of the indigenous rebels and works to situate the rebellion
within a global political and economic context. Cleaver concludes
that the Chiapas Uprising was more than a local revolt against
inequitable economic and political conditions in southern Mexico. He
argues that the Zapatistas are part of a broader reaction to
neoliberal political and economic policies that emphasize business
expansion and global economic development at the expense of workers
and poor people in developing nations.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.2 Economic Development and Stagnation   9.2.1 Foreign Debt   - Reading: Revista de Economia Politica: Arturo Guillén’s “The Effects of the Global Economic Crisis in Latin America”

Link: *Revista de Economia Politica*: Arturo Guillén’s [“The Effects
of the Global Economic Crisis in Latin
America”](http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0101-31572011000200001&script=sci_arttext) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article, which discusses the recent changes
in the environment of international trade and finance, particularly
as they concern the Latin American nations.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.2.2 Austerity Policies   - Reading: Socialist Studies: Ruth Felder’s “Austerity and Its Aftermath: Neoliberalism and Labour in Argentina”

Link: Socialist Studies: Ruth Felder’s [“Austerity and Its
Aftermath: Neoliberalism and Labour in
Argentina”](http://www.socialiststudies.com/index.php/sss/article/view/185) (PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Under the abstract, click on the PDF link to download
the file. Read this article, which showcases the economic effects of
the austerities measures implemented in Argentina in the 1980s.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 1.5 hours.  

 Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). This article
is attributed to Ruth Felder, and the original version can be found
[here](http://www.socialiststudies.com/index.php/sss/article/view/185). 
  • Reading: Center for Economic and Policy Research: Mark Weisbrot’s “IMF ‘Rescue’ Won't Help Latin America”

    Link: Center for Economic and Policy Research: Mark Weisbrot’s “IMF ‘Rescue’ Won't Help Latin America” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article, which discusses the recent economic crisis, how it has affected Latin America, and speculates over Latin America’s future in the event of an intervention by the International Monetary Fund.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This article is attributed to Mark Weisbrot, and the original version can be found here.

9.2.3 Unequal Distribution of Wealth   - Web Media: History Spot: John Coatsworth’s “From Marx to Metrics in Latin America's Economic History”

Link: History Spot: John Coatsworth’s [“From Marx to Metrics in
Latin America's Economic
History”](http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts/latin-american-history/marx-metrics-latin-americas-economic-history) (QuickTime)  
    
 Instructions: Listen to this podcast. In this podcast, Coatsworth
takes us on a journey through the economic history of Latin America
in the 20<sup>th</sup> century.  
    
 Listening to this podcast and pausing ot take notes should take
approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: This podcast is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/). It is
attributed to John Coatsworth, and the original version can be found
[here](http://historyspot.org.uk/podcasts/latin-american-history/marx-metrics-latin-americas-economic-history).

9.2.4 Globalization and Economic Policies   - Reading: Share the World’s Resources: Rajesh Makwana’s “Neoliberalism and Economic Globalization”

Link: Share the World’s Resources: Rajesh Makwana’s [“Neoliberalism
and Economic
Globalization”](http://www.stwr.org/globalization/neoliberalism-and-economic-globalization.html) (HTML)  

 Instructions: Read this article, which discusses the ways in which
the national economies of Latin America and the Caribbean have
integrated into the international economy through trade, foreign
investment, capital flows, and migration.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.2.5 The Lost Half-Decade: 1997–2002   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Argentina’s Lost Half-Decade” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Argentina’s Lost Half-Decade” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read this article about Argentina’s lost half-decade.
In the period 1997–2002, Argentina plunged into a devastating
economic crisis.  

 As you read, consider the following study question: Do you think
Argentina’s economic crisis was due to external contagion, or did it
have an internal origin?  

 Reading this article and answering the study question should take
approximately 30 minutes.

9.2.6 Regaining Economic Prosperity   - Reading: Transcend Media Service: Professor James Petras’s “Latin America: Crises, Upheavals, Roads to 21st Century Capitalist Development”

Link: Transcend Media Service: Professor James Petras’s [“Latin
America: Crises, Upheavals, Roads to 21<sup>st</sup> Century
Capitalist
Development”](http://www.transcend.org/tms/2010/11/latin-america-crises-upheavals-roads-to-twenty-first-century-capitalist-development/) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article on 21<sup>st</sup> century Latin
America. You may click on the link at the bottom of the webpage to
download the PDF. Pay special attention to how and why the Latin
American countries have moved beyond crises and improve their
economic performances in the last decade.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This article is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/deed.en_US).
It is attributed to James Petras, and the original version can be
found
[here](http://www.transcend.org/tms/2010/11/latin-america-crises-upheavals-roads-to-twenty-first-century-capitalist-development/).
  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Latin America and Globalization” and “Answer Guide”

    Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Latin America and Globalization” (PDF) and “Answer Guide” (PDF)

    Instructions: After you have completed reading all of the resources for subunits 9.1 and 9.2, you should try to answer the questions as best as you can. After you have completed the assessment, or if you are having difficulty answering a question, refer to the “Answer Guide” and reread the relevant article. This assessment will help you understand Latin America’s role in the global economy as well as prepare for the final exam.
     
    Completing this assessment should take approximately 2 hours.

9.3 The War on Drugs   - Reading: Federation of American Scientists, Congressional Research Service Reports on Foreign Policy and Regional Affairs: “Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and US Counterdrug Programs”

Link: Federation of American Scientists, Congressional Research
Service Reports on Foreign Policy and Regional Affairs: “[Latin
America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and
US Counterdrug Programs](http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/)” (PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Scroll down to the “Americas” section, and select the
link for the report’s title to download the PDF. Read the first two
chapters: “An Overview of Illicit Drugs in Latin America and the
Caribbean” and “US Antidrug Assistance Programs in Latin America and
the Caribbean” on pages 1–21.   
    
 Reading these chapters should take approximately 1.5 hours.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Transnational Institute: Martin Jelsma’s “Introduction: Damaging Side Effects – The War on Drugs”

    Link: Transnational Institute: Martin Jelsma’s “Introduction: Damaging Side Effects – The War on Drugs” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article, which discusses the effects of the multibillion dollar industry that is drug trafficking in Latin America.
     
    Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.4 The Rise of Brazil   9.4.1 Population Growth   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Population”

Link: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) *Brazil: A
Country Study*:
[“Population”](http://countrystudies.us/brazil/26.htm) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article from *Brazil: A Country Study.*
Brazil is the most populous country in Latin America, as well as one
of the most populous in the world.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
      
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.4.2 Investments in Green Technology   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “The Environment”

Link: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) *Brazil: A
Country Study*: [“The
Environment”](http://countrystudies.us/brazil/25.htm) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article from *Brazil: A Country Study.*
This article analyzes the environmental problem that has attracted
most international attention in Brazil since the 1980s:
deforestation in the Amazon.  
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
      
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.4.3 Expanding Economy   - Reading: The South African Civil Society Information Service: Alexandre Luis Schultz Bier’s “Brazil's Economic Success: An Incomplete Project”

Link: The South African Civil Society Information Service: Alexandre
Luis Schultz Bier’s [“Brazil's Economic Success: An Incomplete
Project”](http://sacsis.org.za/s/story.php?s=288) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article on Brazil’s economic success.
Remember that the Brazilian economy is the world’s eighth largest
economy by nominal gross domestic product and the ninth largest by
purchasing power parity. Brazil is one of the world’s
fastest-growing major economies.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.4.4 Social and Cultural Identity   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Race and Ethnicity” and “Cultural Unity and Diversity”

Link: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) *Brazil: A
Country Study*: [“Race and
Ethnicity”](http://countrystudies.us/brazil/34.htm) (HTML) and
[“Cultural Unity and
Diversity”](http://countrystudies.us/brazil/37.htm) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read these two articles from *Brazil: A Country
Study.* Brazil has one of the most multiracial populations in the
world, and its culture has been defined by its amalgamation of
traditional Iberian, indigenous, and African values. Pay attention
to how this reconciliation of diversity was achieved.    
    
 Reading these articles should take approximately 15 minutes.  
      
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.4.5 Recognition on the World Stage   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Multilateral Relations”

Link: US Library of Congress: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) *Brazil: A
Country Study*: [“Multilateral
Relations”](http://countrystudies.us/brazil/107.htm) (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article from *Brazil: A Country Study.*
Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, CPLP,
Latin Union, and many other organizations.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
      
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.5 The Future of Latin America   - Reading: The World Bank’s “What Future for Latin America?”

Link: The World Bank’s “[What Future for Latin
America?](http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:21700239~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html)”
(HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article, which discusses how Latin America
is in danger of becoming globally irrelevant in the next 20
years.   
    
 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Pinpoint Politics: Scott Edwards’s “Competing Visions for Latin America’s Future”

    Link: Pinpoint Politics: Scott Edwards’s “Competing Visions for Latin America’s Future” (HTML)
     

    Instructions: Read this article on Latin America’s future. As you read, consider the following study questions: Why is Brazil the dominant actor in the region? Is this likely to change in the near future?
     
    Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Final Exam   - Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation’s “HIST222 Final Exam”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s [“HIST222 Final
Exam”](http://school.saylor.org/mod/quiz/view.php?id=113)  

 Instructions: You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School
account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an
account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after
clicking the link.