During the liberal insurgence in Latin America, charismatic leaders spoke eloquently to the desires of the working class majority in their respective countries. They desired to give the poor greater rights, to expand education, and to nationalize industries among other things. Their rhetoric connected with the people and following their elections, there was an uptick in newly formed government funded social programs. Unfortunately, Cold War politics reared its ugly head and the United States perceived these nationalistic actions as communism. The United States used economic and social powers to put pressure on these democratically elected leaders, fuel rage within the upper classes, cripple economies, and pave the way for the rise of oligarchic regimes. Many perceived stability from this change in leadership; however, it eventually resulted in decades of violence and human rights violations. Now, Latin America stands at an important moment in history. Most countries within the region are growing but they are still grappling with inequality and heightened poverty. My paper is directed at U.S. policy makers and offers suggestions in order to improve foreign policy within the region and support those who have been marginalized historically by both the United States and their countries’ governments.
Don’t Cry For Me Argentina; the phrase flows harmoniously through my ipod headphones every long distance trip I take. Whenever I travel, I usually like to listen to full Broadway CDs to pass the time. One of my personal favorites is Evita. Originally featured on Broadway in 1979 (being revived this year with Ricky Martin) and made famous with a motion picture in 1996 by Madonna, concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron, second wife of former President Juan Peron. The show and movie chronicles Eva Duarte Peron from her humble beginnings as a poor girl in the countryside to her rise to power and early death. Dreams of being an actress, her first love takes her from her home to Buenos Aires, where she sleeps her way to the top, and eventually cross paths with then military Colonel Juan Peron. With her marriage to Peron and introduction to the Argentine bourgeois, Eva assists Peron on his path to the Presidency. The show culminates to the most infamous scene in the story that displays Eva, on the balcony of the Casa Rosada singing “Dont Cry for Me Argentina” in which she wins over the Argentine people.