Vaky, Viron P.
December 1980
Foreign Affairs;1980 Special Issue, Vol. 59 Issue 3
Significant and cumulative growth sustained over the three decades since the end of World War II has transformed Latin American societies and institutions, and with them the very nature of the U.S. and Latin American relationship. Neither the scenery nor the actors are quite the same: Latin America stands at the beginning of the 1980's as the most highly industrialized region in the developing world. It has more than tripled its real product since 1950; its population is almost two-thirds urban and three fourths literate; its urbanization rates are the dizziest in the world. The government represents the shaky center ground on which the military and the Christian Democrats have met. The understanding between the military and the Christian Democrats now constitutes the new basis for official political power, but the understanding is a fragile one, for the participants' multifarious views are hard to reconcile. The military wants to concentrate on the elimination of the insurgency. For the Christian Democrats the problem is more complex than public order; they advocate a process of social and political reform as a basis for re-forming an internal political consensus, isolating the extreme Left, and making armed insurrection less appealing.


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