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10-08-2015, 22:36

Nationalism and the Military: The Examples of Argentina and Brazil

The military became the power brokers of twentiethcentury Latin America. Especially in the 1960s and 1970s, Latin American armies portrayed themselves as the guardians of national honor and orderly progress. In the mid-1970s, only Colombia, Venezuela, and Costa Rica maintained democratic governments. A decade later, pluralistic systems had been installed virtually everywhere except in Cuba, Paraguay, and some of the Central American states. The establishment of democratic institutions, however, has not managed to solve all the chronic problems that have plagued the states of Latin America. Official corruption continued in many countries, and the gap between rich and poor is growing, most notably in Brazil and Venezuela, where a leftist regime led by President Hugo Chavez aroused massive protests by adopting policies designed to redistribute the wealth in this oil-rich country.