February 08, 2008

INDIA : Make Terror Victims the face of Anti-Terrorism Campaign


The Congres it appears is just simply not getting it if this press report is anything to go by.

In a move aimed at turning the tables on the BJP, the Centre on Friday said it would reveal details soon on how the erstwhile NDA government had released the Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru few months before the terror strike.

If yesterday it was that sychophant and clown Abhishek Singhvi making a mockery of Terror Victims pain, today it is that mercenary Sriprakash Jaiswal.

Replying to questions at a press conference, Jaiswal said he would provide ”within 24 hours” the details of Afzal’s arrest and release under the NDA rule two months before the terrorist attack on Parliament.

If only the Congress acted with the same sense of 24 hour urgency to pre-empt attacks and take the battle to the door step of the Terrorists.

The BJP needs to shift gears in its Suraksha Sankalp Yatra. Rather than harp on the delay in hanging Afzal or the scrapping of POTA it needs to make the victims of terrorism the face of its campaign.

Just like the “Know Pratibha Patil” campaign, the BJP must work to bring together all victims and kith and kin of deceased on a common platform of anti-terrorism. By putting a face and name to the nature of Terrorism, the campaign would be much more personalised and potent. Especially given the many Muslim victims of terrorism in recent times it would also raise troubling questions to those who have been pandering and appeasing to that community while doing precious little to deliver real justice.

By making the voice of the Terror Victims and the voice of those brave women and men in uniform who shed their lives fighting terrorism the Anti-Terrorism Campaign will not just have tremendous credibility but it would frame the public debate in the right terms.

It would no longer be about the BJP scoring political points but it would be a Campaign serving National Interest.

Such a campaign would remind the Congress that this is not about a political contest.

Such a campaign will tell the Congress in no uncertain terms that it is the Terrorists against who tables ought to be turned not political rivals.

Such a campaign will deliver the tough message to the Congress that this is not about who has a worse terror record but about the safety and security of the Nation and Justice to the victims.

Offstumped Bottomline: If only the Congress focused on turning tables on the Terrorists instead of the BJP the 200 odd victims of 7-11 in Mumbai and the many terror attacks across the nation would today be resting easy with a sense of justice having been served. By making this about a political contest on who has a worse terror record the Congress has insulted the memory of every one of those brave men and women in uniform who shed their blood defending our freedoms and the memory of those deceased law abiding citizens who defied the fear mongering to go on with their way of life despite terror threats. The victims of terror must speak up and demand answers and justice of the Manmohan Singh UPA Government. Tolerating this delinquency would be fatal to the nation.

Congress’ slap in the face to Terror Victims


209 Mumbaikars died on 11th July 2006 while over 700 were injured.

42 killed over 50 wounded in Hyderabad in August 2007.

Many more dead and wounded in Malegaon blasts, Samjhauta express blasts and the various blasts in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi over the last 3 years.

If you were one of those who lost a loved one or experienced terror first hand and have been staring yourself in the mirror every single day wondering if justice would ever be served, the Congress has provided the answer.

If you are still torturing yourself with questions on why these attacks took place under Manmohan Singh’s watch, the Congress wants you to take comfort in the fact that LK Advani’s track record in preventing terrorist attacks was as bad. You can now sleep tight with the cold comfort that your fate would be no different if the BJP was in power.

If you are still not reconciled to the fact that justice will never be served under the Manmohan Singh UPA Administration, the Congress wants you to take comfort that LK Advani instead of bringing terrorists to justice actually helped release them. That ought to give you peace of mind for even if the Congress brings any terrorist to justice the BJP might just release them, so why bother with justice anyway ?

For the rest of agitated and concerned on when and where the Terrorists might strike next the Congress has a prescription to soothe those anxious nerves. The Congress wants to remind you that it is pointless to fret over the next terror attack for even if the Intelligence Bureau picks an Afzal a few months before a terrorist attack it does little to deter him and his associates from striking. After all despire the best intentions there is only so much the agencies of the state can do to put the fear of god into prospective terrorists.

If all of this is not enough to cure you of your obsessing compulsively on Terrorism remember laughter is the best medicine and who better to administer a dose of it than that inscrutable sycophant, courtier, mercernary and clown Abhishek Singhvi.

It is a different matter that all mass terror attacks took place during the Congress rule and Manmohan Singh despite his insomnia and amnesia finds time to pay lip service to Anti-Terrorismm.

Offstumped hangs its head in shame bowing to all those who have suffered from the Congress’ delinquency in dealing with terrorism.

Abkhazia Is Not Kosovo

Transitions Online

by David L. Phillips
7 February 2008

Moscow’s shrill denunciations of the West’s stance on Kosovo hold no water, as the Russians know better than anyone.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci recently made his case for recognition of Kosovo to the UN Security Council knowing that one of its permanent members was not prepared to hear him out.

Russia is not only prepared to veto the council’s resolution authorizing independence for Kosovo; President Vladimir Putin also has intimated that Moscow may recognize Abkhazia, a separatist enclave in the Republic of Georgia, if the United States establishes diplomatic relations with Kosovo. Such brinksmanship would destabilize the Caucasus and exacerbate problems between the United States and Russia at a time when world events require cooperation between the two powers.

Simply put, Abkhazia is not Kosovo. There are fundamental legal and political differences between the two territories.

Kosovo’s claim to independence is based on international law while Abkhazia’s is not. After NATO intervened in 1999 to stop the expulsions of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1244 explicitly requiring a plebiscite to determine the province’s future political status in accordance with the will of its people. Since then, Kosovo has satisfied international criteria for recognition. Abkhazia’s claim, however, falls far short of international standards.

Kosovo’s legal claim to independence was also affirmed by the 1974 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which established Kosovo as an autonomous province with the same rights as Yugoslavia’s republics. Although Slobodan Milosevic tried to curtail the province’s constitutional rights by declaring a state of emergency and imposing martial law, his efforts were overtaken by events as Yugoslavia slid into civil war during the 1990s. It is true that Resolution 1244 affirmed “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” – which by that time had been reduced to a rump state consisting of Serbia and Montenegro. However, that republic’s legal identity changed with Montenegrins voted to secede, leaving only Serbia as the successor state. And even before these events Kosovo had exercised its constitutional right in conducting a referendum that overwhelmingly endorsed independence. With ethnic Albanians comprising more than 90 percent of the population, the result was a foregone conclusion.

In contrast, Georgia was recognized by the international community within its current borders that included Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the Soviet Union ceased to exist. When the Georgia-Abkhazia civil war broke out in 1992, the United Nations developed a process to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity – not establish a protectorate stewarding Abkhazia’s independence.

Political leaders from Kosovo and Abkhazia have dramatically different visions of the future that help measure their readiness for self-rule. Kosovo’s leadership has endorsed an extensive package of minority rights for ethnic Serbs and promised autonomy for communities where Kosovo Serbs predominate. (Despite the majority’s rhetorical commitment, many non-Albanians, chiefly Roma, fear a new round of violence and have elected to remain outside the province.) Georgia’s political factions have also spoken of their good intentions toward minorities, promising to encourage minority rights and local self-government so that conditions are created for, in particular, Abkhazia’s reintegration into the political and social fabric of Georgia.

Abkhaz leaders have taken a different and more insidious tack. They actively block the UN’s efforts to create security and economic conditions enabling the return of internally displaced persons because they know full well that a majority of Abkhazia’s original population support reunification with Georgia.

The scope and scale of human rights abuses further distinguish Kosovo from Abkhazia. Kosovar Albanians were victims of atrocities on a massive scale. After a decade of gross human rights abuses, Serbia’s leaders launched an ethnic cleansing campaign in 1998 that resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 and the displacement of a million. The international Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has indicted Serbs responsible for these events and charged them with genocide or crimes against humanity. In my many visits to Kosovo, I have not met a single ethnic Albanian who supports Serbia’s rule.

Abkhaz separatists, in contrast, perpetrated violence directly aimed at the expulsion of ethnic Georgians. When the Soviet Union fragmented, Georgia emerged as a weak state victimized by infighting and incompetence. Ethnic Abkhaz made up less than one-fifth of Abkhazia’s total population and only became the largest language community by expelling 200,000 ethnic Georgians.


Russia has not been helpful in either conflict. Through its position on the Security Council, Russia provided diplomatic support to Belgrade during the Yugoslav wars. It also instigated the Georgia-Abkhaz civil war by financing and arming Abkhaz separatists.

Peacekeepers or occupiers?

In its relentless effort to undermine Georgia’s statehood, Russia has imposed a trade embargo, cut off energy supplies, and a Russian aircraft dropped a missile on Georgian territory. It antagonizes Georgia by issuing Russian passports to ethnic Abkhaz and granting them Russian citizenship. Russia even set up polling stations in Abkhazia so that Abkhaz could vote in last December’s parliamentary elections. As the only country contributing troops to the UN peacekeeping force for Abkhazia, Russia’s deployment is nothing more than a thinly veiled occupation.

Russia’s approach to both Abkhazia and Kosovo suggests scorn for the UN Charter. Russia has pledged to veto the “supervised independence” plan devised by the UN’s special envoy to Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, against the wishes of the majority of Security Council members and the European Union. Russia’s willingness to go it alone and block authorization of Kosovo’s independence underlines its contempt for the international community.

Russia would be well advised to let events in Kosovo take their course. It should also abandon its provocative policy toward not only Georgia, but other states in its “near abroad.” Challenging the United States may bring some short-term gratification, but it also carries a cost.

David L. Phillips is a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. He worked on the Balkans and Caucasus as a senior adviser to the U.S. State Department during the Clinton administration.

Venezuelan Government Official Calls U.S. Threat Assessment “False and Dishonest”

February 8th 2008, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com

National Assembly Member Carlos Escarrá (ABN) Mérida, February 7, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com) -- The administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is part of a “small group of radical populist governments” that run counter to the “dominant trend” toward democracy in Latin America with a “competing vision that appeals to many of the region’s poor,” according to the Annual Threat Assessment of the United States Intelligence Community. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell reported that Venezuela’s “continued regional activism” pushes an anti-U.S. message on other Latin American nations, sometimes financially.

"Inspired and supported by Venezuela and Cuba, leaders in Bolivia, Nicaragua and -more tentatively- Ecuador are pursuing agendas that undercut checks and balances on presidential power, seek lengthy presidential terms, weaken media and civil liberties, and emphasize economic nationalism at the expense of market-based approaches," McConnell testified before the U.S. Congress on February 5th.

Carlos Escarrá, the Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Venezuelan National Assembly, called many aspects of the testimony “false, dishonest, and injurious.” He brought attention to the fact that the United States has invaded and kidnapped the presidents of Latin American countries and supported the April 2002 coup against President Hugo Chávez.

“Venezuela, on the other hand, in compliance with articles 152 and 153 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has full respect for the sovereignty of other states,” Escarrá asserted.

McConnell predicted that the Chávez administration will “generously finance” the presidential campaign of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN) in El Salvador in the elections set for March 2009. Salvadoran President Antonio Saca said this act of “interference” would be “unacceptable”.

FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes denied plans to receive funds from Venezuela and claims that his party proposed a campaign finance control law in the congress four years ago, but “the rightist parties have not wanted to pass that law.”

Another problem highlighted by the intelligence director is “the determination of the Cuban leadership to ignore outside pressure to carry out significant economic reforms,” which is “reinforced” by Venezuela`s support for its “key ideological ally.”

The report also expressed concern about the “rapport” that Chávez has built up with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nicaraguan President Carlos Ortega, both of whom have been rivals of the United States since the 1980s. Venezuela and Nicaragua recently proposed a joint military force for Latin America, and inaugurated a corn processing plant intended to combat food shortages, facilitated by a technology transfer from Iran.

Venezuela’s National Assembly defended its policies, stating, “we believe in a multipolar world, where among equals we can construct a distinct humanity.”

President Chávez is “incapable of meddling with other countries,” Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa chimed in supportively, praising Chávez’s “sincere desire to help” and a firm commitment to Latin American integration and solidarity.

McConnell further criticized the Venezuelan government’s “lack of antidrug cooperation,” accusing Venezuela of facilitating the flow of drugs in the past three years.

The Director of the Venezuelan National Antidrug Office (ONA), Colonel Néstor Reverol, called U.S. claims that Venezuela is trafficking drugs “irresponsible, baseless, and aimed at creating a biased negative opinion at the national and international level.” Reverol called attention to the fact that for the third consecutive year, Venezuela ranks third in drug confiscation worldwide, according to the United Nations World Drug Report from 2007.

The Venezuelan National Assembly accused the United States government of carrying out a prolonged destabilization campaign in Venezuela, claiming that “the United States government is behind every lackey of the opposition that is pursuing a distorted campaign about what is happening in Venezuela.” This follows Chávez’s allegation in late January that “the US empire is creating conditions to generate an armed conflict between Colombia and Venezuela.”

“I can guarantee that the United States government has no intention, no plan and absolutely no expectation of invading, attacking or interfering in the affairs of any other country in the region,” responded U.S. Embassador to Colombia William Brownfield, who is the former U.S. Embassador to Venezuela.

McConnell suggested public opinion may be shifting against Chávez, whose “leadership ambitions are likely to encounter growing opposition as time passes.” The intelligence director added that the narrow electoral defeat of the proposed constitutional reform referendum last December was a “major psychological boost” to Chávez`s middle class opposition, but high oil prices will allow Chávez to maintain significant support from his base and “continue co-opting some members of the economic elite who are profiting from the consumer-led boom.”

2007 public opinion polls conducted by the independent Venezuelan polling firm Datanalisis showed 64.7% approval of Hugo Chávez´s presidency. In Latin America-wide polls by the Chilean non-profit NGO Latinobarometro, Venezuela ranked second only to Uruguay in public satisfaction with democracy in their country.

Venezuela To Receive Three More Hostages Held By Colombian Rebels

February 6th 2008, by Kiraz Janicke - Venezuelanalysis.com

Relatives of hostages awaiting their return in Caracas (ABN) Caracas, January 5, 2008, (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez confirmed on Monday that Venezuelan authorities are ready to carry out the rescue operation of three former Colombian legislators soon to be released by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Relatives of the hostages arrived in Caracas yesterday to await the release of their family members.

"They have said they want to hand them over to Venezuela. We are ready. We urge the FARC to continue giving demonstrations of this type, independently of the attitudes of the Colombian government that is subordinated to the United States, independently of the warmongering character of that government," Chavez said during a speech to commemorate a civil-military rebellion he led in 1992.

The FARC released a statement on Saturday where they said they would unilaterally release the three ex-congress members, Gloria Polanco de Losada, Luis Eladio Perez and Orlando Beltran, for health reasons and as a gesture of "recognition for the persistent efforts to achieve a humanitarian accord by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Senator Piedad Cordoba." However, they did not give the exact date for the release.

Chavez and Cordoba, at the behest of the Colombian government, were mediators in the search for a humanitarian accord that aimed to achieve the exchange of 45 high profile hostages held by the FARC for 500 guerrillas held in Colombian jails, from August until November last year, when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe abruptly terminated the mediation saying Chavez had broken diplomatic protocols.

Despite the rift, Chavez successfully brokered the release of Colombian politicians Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo on January 10 after the FARC decided to liberate them as gesture of "apology" to Chavez and Cordoba for the actions of the Colombian government.

However, tensions between the Venezuelan and Colombian governments increased when Chavez then called for the removal of the FARC from U.S. and E.U. lists of terrorist organizations and to instead grant them "belligerent status." The Colombian government reacted angrily, claiming Chavez's call constituted "interference," in Colombian affairs.

The decision by the FARC to release a second round of hostages came only days before a massive demonstration on February 4 against FARC kidnappings in Colombia and overseas heavily promoted by the Colombian government.

Initially the anti-FARC demonstration was promoted on the internet networking site Facebook. Toby Muse writing for AP commented, "For weeks, invites to the march flew through cyberspace, mainly among the typically young - and relatively wealthy - who crowd Facebook in a country where only about one in four can afford to use the Internet regularly."

While the demonstration was portrayed as simply a "spontaneous" and "independent" initiative of ordinary citizens, it was heavily funded and promoted by big business and the Colombian state. All major radio, television and newspaper outlets in Colombia provided free advertising in the days leading up to the march, the Colombian stock exchange closed down, employers pressured workers to attend, and the Colombian government closed down schools and public services for the day. Colombian embassies also organized the demonstrations overseas and the Colombian government paid journalists in Paris, Tokyo, and Dubai to promote the rallies.

The key slogans of the march were, "No more kidnappings, no more FARC!" However, many Colombians criticized the narrow focus of the march for being one-sided and not taking up the question of the violence and kidnappings carried out by rightwing paramilitary death squads.

In addition to the 45 high profile hostages, the Colombian government alleges that the FARC also hold a further 700 hostages for extortion. However, there are more than 3,000 hostages held in Colombia, the majority by paramilitary groups. Critics have also pointed out that the march was organized and dominated by Colombia's wealthy middleclass. Maria Jimena Duzan, a columnist for the Colombian daily El Tiempo wrote, "I doubt that the victims of the paramilitaries have their own select club on Facebook," - the victims of the paramilitaries tend to be concentrated in Colombia's impoverished countryside.

The center-left political party, Polo Democrático Alternativo (PDA), (Alternative Democratic Pole), along with a number of trade unions held a separate rally in Bogotá on the same day under the slogan "For the humanitarian agreement: no war, no kidnapping."

Relatives of the hostages also criticized the march for "promoting hate" and polarizing the country and said it does not represent them. Instead, they gathered in the Colombian church Voto Nacional to pray for the release of the hostages. Astrid Betancourt, sister of Ingrid Betancourt, former presidential candidate of Colombia held by the FARC since 2001, accused Uribe of "manipulating the pain of the families."

Uribe used the opportunity to call for the eradication of the FARC "from Colombian soil" and to push forward with military plans, including the enclosing of the insurgent camps where the 45 hostages are held. These statements contrast sharply with the ones issued by hostage's relatives and many humanitarian movements and peace promoters, who demand Uribe to desist from a military rescue which would put the lives of the hostages in danger.

Relatives of the hostages have repeatedly called for the reinstatement of Chavez as a mediator due to his leftwing credentials with the FARC. However, the anti-FARC demonstration yesterday featured a significant anti-Chavez/anti-Venezuela component, with many marchers carrying placards in English and Spanish that read, "Chavez go home," and "No to communism, no to Chavez, no to the FARC."

Venezuelan opposition parties also held a 3,000-strong anti-FARC demonstration in Chacao, a relatively wealthy suburb in Caracas on Monday.

Changes in store for South Korea

South Korean president-elect Lee Myung-bak and his conservative Grand National Party promise economic progress for "company Korea," a tougher stance on North Korea, and closer ties with the US.

By Axel Berkofsky for ISN Security Watch (08/02/08)

The "Bulldozer" will take over in South Korea on 25 February.

On that day, Lee Myung-bak, who earned his nickname from his days as chief executive and president of Hyundai Engineering and Construction plastering South Korea with highways and bridges during the 1970s and 1980s, will be inaugurated as the country's new president, taking over from his predecessor Roh Moo-hyun.

Lee and his conservative Grand National Party (GNP) won a landslide victory in December presidential elections, gathering 48.6 percent of the vote, almost 20 percent more than his closest rival, Chung Dong-young from for the pro-government United New Democratic party (UNDP), which won just 26.2 percent.

His sweeping victory, however, was somehow spoiled by ongoing criminal investigations centered around accusations about his involvement with BBK, a financial firm that defrauded investors of millions of dollars.

Moreover, only 60 percent of South Korea's electorate bothered to vote at all - the lowest turn-out since South Korea's first democratic election in the 1980s.

The former business executive and mayor of Seoul from 2002 to 2006 seems unimpressed by all of this, and he and his aides are intent on brushing this all aside and focusing on what Lee is and he represents: A "CEO President" running "company Korea" with his mind set on promoting economic growth and job creation; tougher on North Korea than his predecessors; and much to the chagrin of the opposition and his critics, determined to expand security and defense relations with the US.

In short: South Korea might be in for a change in terms of style of governance and substance under Lee's leadership.

Jobs, economic growth and 'global' Korea

Three weeks before taking office, Lee and his so-called the Presidential Transition Committee published the incoming administration's policy priorities focusing on job creation, economic growth and increasing the country's international competitiveness.

The plan outlines 192 major tasks - including corporate tax cuts, de-regulation and corporate governance reform. It also reaffirms Lee's ambitions, on paper, to achieve 7 percent annual growth and create 3 million new jobs during his five-year tenure.

All of this is part of the president-elect's so-called "Plan 747": 7 percent growth, a US$40,000 per capita income target and making South Korea the seventh biggest economy by 2013.

That certainly sounds good on paper or behind a microphone in downtown Seoul, but for the time being the country's GDP per capita is US$24,500, economic growth in 2007 amounted to a (by Korean standards) modest 4 percent and South Korea has yet to join the club of the world's top 10 economies.

Not surprisingly, the assessments coming from the political opposition and his critics on "Plan 747" range from "unrealistic" to "wishful thinking" and "entirely unrealistic."

The "Bulldozer," however, rolls on regardless.

Lee plays Washington's tune

Boosting South Korea's military ties and cooperation with the US seems to be very close to the top of Lee's policy agenda, at least judging by the number of times he announced over recent months that he would upgrade the current defense alliance with Washington, among other things, expanding his country's combat capabilities when fighting alongside the US military.

After years of strained security and military ties under his predecessor Roh, Lee is making all the right noises as far as Washington is concerned.

Among other things, Lee has recently announced plans to reconsider an earlier agreement with Washington that would have Seoul resume wartime operational control of its military by 2012.

Under the current Korean-US agreement, Korea's military forces are under US command in case of a military confrontation with the North, and the president-elect hinted at the possibility that this might stay the way it is beyond 2012 should Pyongyang further delay the complete and verifiably dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program.

Complying too much with the US approach and policies towards North Korea, however, will not go down well with the Korean public, which has less favorable views on the operational expansion of US-Korean military cooperation and the 28,000 US troops stationed on Korean soil, says Antonio Fiori, Korea expert at Bologna University in Italy.

"South Korea's civil society is opposing [even] closer military links with the US and a president whose policy approach towards the North is too similar to hard-line positions in the US," Fiori tells ISN Security Watch. "Strengthening defense links with the US could be perceived as recklessly jeopardizing South Korea's autonomy."

The incoming president is having none of this and seems to believe (at least on the record) that the expansion of US-South Korean security ties aimed at strengthening joint combat capabilities to fight a war with North Korea will be welcomed by Pyongyang.

"So far, South Korea-US ties have been neglected for the sake of South-North Korean relations. Strengthened ties between South Korea and the US will help make South-North relations better. And if South Korea-US relations improves, North Korea-US relations will get better," Lee said in a recent statement.

Realistically, the vast majority of analysts and commentators would agree that the exact opposite is likely happen.

"Pyongyang could conduct more missile tests at some point. Or it could trigger another naval clash in the West Sea of Korea or suspend cooperation with the South on the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The most likely option for the North, however would be to delay or refuse talks with the South," says Tong Kim, research professor with the Ilmin Institute of International Relations at Korea University in Seoul and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

He tells ISN Security Watch: "The problem with the president-elect's policy is that he does not spell out South Korea's role in the denuclearization process other than closer cooperation with the United States."

Indeed, projecting military force alongside the US might make headlines for a couple of days, but is probably not the most effective option to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsular.

Engaging North Korea, 'conditionally'

The incoming president, however, is not all hard-line and has a couple of carrots to offer North Korea (and here is the catch as far Pyongyang is concerned) after it completely and verifiably gets rid of its nuclear weapons program.

If Pyongyang complies with this request, the incoming president promises to do his share to boost North Korea's GDP per capita beyond US$3,000, promote South Korean investments in North Korea's special economic zones (SEZs), and create an "inter-Korean joint economic community."

This must sound tempting to any country continuously on the brink of economic collapse, but North Korea being the (unpredictable) way it is, might want to do things differently.

While Lee will continue to put emphasis on the word after as in after de-nuclearization before providing North Korea with the badly need economic and financial aid, North Korea is likely to continue insisting on economic and financial aid while de-nuclearizing at its own pace.

This, however, is very unlikely to work with Lee and his administration, Seung Y Kim, professor of international relations at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, tells ISN Security Watch:

"The Lee administration will stand for 'conditional engagement' as opposed to the previous 'unconditional engagement course,' which offered the North economic aid even when it tested missiles and worked on its nuclear program."

"The de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsular is Mr. Lee's point of departure and he will want to control the speed and areas of assistance towards North Korea, including South Korean investments in North Korea's special economic zones (SEZs) like the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC)," Kim says.

"So far, the regime in Pyongyang essentially welcomed investments in Kaesong and elsewhere in North Korea as an opportunity to pocket a good share of the profits in hard currency by 'permitting' the South to do business in the North," he adds.

Unification on the backburner

Earlier in January, Lee announced plans to merge the Unification Ministry with the Foreign and Trade Ministry, a measure aimed at "streamlining our overblown bureaucracy," Byungki Kim, vice-dean of Korea University in Seoul, tells ISN Security Watch.

In reality, however, says Professor Seung Kim, Lee and his conservative advisors have additional motivations to get rid of the ministry in charge of inter-Korean relations.

"Mr Lee is surrounded by advisors for whom the Ministry of Unification has long been an obstacle to re-directing South Korea's foreign policy focus on expanding relations with the great powers, the US, China and Russia," he says.

Merging the ministries is part of Lee's plans to reduce the government from the present 18-ministry structure to a 13-ministry framework cutting more than 7,000 jobs. Getting the necessary bills through parliament to implement the changes, however, may be challenging as they require a two-third majority vote, he adds.

The UNDP is opposed to the reduction of ministries in general and the abolition of the Unification Ministry in particular and has five more seats than the GNP in the parliament.

And North Korea?

Pyongyang, it seems, has for the time being chosen to wait and see. It has commented surprisingly little on the South's new president and his plans to turn some carrots into sticks when dealing with the North.

However, Pyongyang's recent decision to postpone the first round of inter-Korean bilateral working-level meetings on the repairing of a cross-border railway could be an indication of what is yet to come when Lee takes office later this month.

While some analysts were quick to suspect that postponing the bilateral encounter was a clear message from Pyongyang, others think North Korea is just being pragmatic.

"Even if they hold talks now and agree on things, the agreements may mean nothing under the new government," Koh Yoo-hwan, professor at South Korea's Dongkuk University, was recently quoted as saying in the Financial Times.

In the meantime, Korea's national assembly has ordered an independent investigation into Lee's involvement with the BKK, even though state prosecutors had previously cleared him of any involvement in illegal activities. The investigation is set to be completed before he takes office but once he becomes president he will be immune from prosecution.

For Lee and his supporters, 25 February cannot probably arrive soon enough, and Washington can hardly wait, either, though the jury is still out on North Korea.

Dr Axel Berkofsky is Adjunct Professor at the University of Milan and Advisor on Asian affairs at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre (EPC). The views expressed here are the author's alone.

Deterrence, Missile Defense, and Collateral Damage in the Iranian-Israeli Strategic Relationship

Dr. W. Andrew Terrill

Strategic Studies Institute

One of the central concerns of U.S. strategic analysts examining the Middle East is
the danger that Iran may develop a nuclear weapons capability which it could use to
threaten the security of other regional states. These fears exist despite the recent
declassification of a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) “key judgments” summary suggesting that the Iranian nuclear weapons development program was frozen in 2003. The NIE also states that technical problems have handicapped Iran’s ongoing nuclear enrichment effort under which natural uranium is processed into feedstock and then “enriched” for use as reactor fuel (peaceful use when used only for nuclear energy) or “highly enriched” for use in nuclear weapons. These conclusions by the U.S. intelligence community about the restraints and setbacks in the Iranian program are extremely good news, but they are not the whole story.


UAE Stresses Peaceful Nature of Iran's N. Activities

TEHRAN (FNA)- The United Arab Emirates' Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Thursday reiterated his country's firm stand against launching a military strike on Iran, underlining the peaceful drive of Iran's nuclear programs.

"The UAE does not believe its neighbor is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons," Shaikh Mohammad said, adding that he can see the promising signs of a near resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, and all countries must exert more efforts towards this end.

The remarks were made at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday, following a round of talks between the two leaders. Shaikh Mohammad said he and Merkel discussed various regional and international issues.

He pointed out that he reiterated the UAE's stand on solving the Palestinian issue and establishing a Palestinian state, as well as the necessity of helping Lebanon and Iraq achieve peace.

The German Chancellor said she hoped Iran would respond to the positive signals from Europe, which is sure that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. She said that cooperation with Iran would lead to reaching an understanding.

Concerning Afghanistan, Shaikh Mohammad said the country was still suffering from the destruction of its infrastructure, while there were many foreign forces still on its land, especially NATO forces, and it needed serious and active efforts to achieve peace, stability and development.

Shaikh Mohammad said his visit to Germany will bolster bilateral ties and open avenues of cooperation especially in higher education, renewable energy and technology.

Merkel reiterated the keen interest of Germany to set up a real partnership with the UAE at the governmental and private sector levels.

This current partnership does not reflect the level of strategic relations the UAE and Germany share, Merkel said, adding that the two countries cooperated in the development of infrastructure and logistics, especially building airports and roads, while potential avenues of future cooperation include health, medicine, education, energy, transportation and others.

In reply to a question from Gulf News about the Dubai-Berlin route, Merkel said she hoped that Emirates airline would operate flights to Berlin in the near future, pointing out that the two countries were holding negotiations in this regard, but it would take time until the new Berlin Airport is opened.

Merkel said there was cooperation between Germany and the UAE in particular, and between the European Union and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in general in all fields, which must not be limited to economic cooperation but should include cultural, medical and educational cooperation.

She expressed hope that an agreement would be concluded between the EU and the PGCC to establish a common chamber of commerce.

SocGen's risky business

The rogue trader scandal is more than a simple story of devil-may-care high rolling and protocol circumvention.

This week, the focus of the investigation into the multi-billion-euro rogue trader scandal at Societe Generale should widen. The bank will continue to portray 31-year-old trader Jerome Kerviel as a young hothead arriviste who pulled the wool over the eyes of his colleagues -- and some of it will be true. But this lone-wolf excuse is specious.

A culture of risk

It is more than a simple story of devil-may-care high rolling and protocol circumvention. Bets can spin out of control -- ask any casual poker player -- but Kerviel's superiors will need to explain an employee under their watch managed to rack up 7 billion euros in debt before anyone noticed. The scale of the loss shows that the bank's internal risk controls were, at best, woefully inadequate, at worst, non-existent.

"Such schemes are only conceivable in a very lax risk environment where back-office, middle-office, and front-office functions are weakly segregated (if at all), and in a bank that brings far too little independent oversight to bear on its trading unit," writes Louis Gagnon, a professor of finance at Queen's University's School of Business and a former senior risk manager at Royal Bank of Canada. He adds that it is not difficult to imagine who, between risk takers and risk managers, had the upper hand at Societe Generale.

Thus the ultimate responsibility for the fiasco goes all the way to the top. Kerviel's immediate superiors have already been culled, but the board has surprisingly rejected the resignations of Chairman Daniel Bouton and Chief Executive Philippe Citerne, who now have to guide the bank out of this mess. They will paint Kerviel as a mysterious monster, a lone operator who spiralled out of control, but this is absurd casuistry. The rogue trader was the product of an environment where risk taking was embraced -- even encouraged -- as long as it made money for the bank.

Failure in four areas

Bouton and Citerne look to have failed in four areas:

Controls on employee mobility: Societe Generale's management failed to implement controls preventing employees from being reassigned to the trading floor after spending time working in the back office, which is responsible for detecting fraud. Kerviel, who was promoted to the bank's Delta One products team in Paris after over four years working in the company's compliance department, knew how to hide huge cumulative trading losses from the bank's risk reports by submitting fake offsetting counterparty trades to the back and middle office. He would often get notified of his large positions by the back office and, each time, he would submit fictitious offsetting counterparty trades to eliminate these exposures.

Security failures: Societe Generale says that Kerviel managed to circumvent internal controls by using stolen computer access codes. Kerviel claims the bank must have known what he was doing because of the profits he had generated previously, and suggests his bosses turned a blind eye as long as he was not in the red.

Lack of communication: There was no mechanism at Societe Generale to alert management about abnormal transactions by individual traders.

Looking in the wrong place: Compliance officers clearly failed to look at the entirety of Kerviel's trading activity, or his "gross positions". It seems they studied only his net positions, which show account balances but not the positions that may have offset one another.

Be more like Goldman?

Goldman Sachs, which last year escaped most of the bond market turmoil plaguing fellow brokers by taking a short position against the mortgage market, is a company with a much-admired set of risk controls.

Bloomberg columnist Michael Lewis attributes Goldman's avoidance of the sub-prime squalls last year to ex cathedrae pronouncements that offset risky trades. "The only difference between Goldman and everyone else was that Goldman had, in effect, an entirely separate enterprise, sitting on top of the firm, with the power to reverse the judgment of its own supposed experts in various markets. They were able to do this, apparently, without ever saying a word about it to their own traders. Instead of telling the fools trading sub-prime mortgages that they are wrong, and that they should unwind their positions, they simply offset their trades."

The actions of Goldman's top brass are a perfect illustration that risk management is as important in investment bank leadership as risk taking, and that transparency and proper controls are among a bank's most valuable assets in good times and lean.

February 07, 2008


Published:November 15, 2000
Dimensions:400 Pages, 6 x 9 in
Published By:Smithsonian Institution Press
BUY at Amazon

The nomadic Baluch of the highland Sarhad region of southeastern Iran depend upon a cultural multiplicity that has enabled them to respond flexibly to the predictable unpredictability of their physical, political, and economic environments. Remaining nomadic not only for pastoral purposes but also to pursue other forms of production, they engage in livestock pastoralism, runoff and irrigation cultivation, arboriculture, gathering, smuggling, trading, migrant labor, and guiding illegal emigrants. During periods of political autonomy, Baluch raided other groups and earned a reputation as fierce warriors. Since being conquered by the Shia Persians in 1935, they have replaced raiding with trading and have honed their identity as devout Sunni Muslims.

Drawing upon twenty-seven months spent among the men, women, and children of the Yarahmadzai tribe of Iranian Baluchistan, Philip Carl Salzman shows that such labels as "pastoral", "nomad", "chiefdom", "Muslim", and "subsistence" are misleading, because they reduce a complex and mutating multiplicity to an imagined essence. Relating the details of the group''s life -- from tent living and the division of daily labor to kinship ties and religion -- Salzman discusses how Baluch shift between decentralized, egalitarian, segmentary lineage politics and centralized, hierarchical, chief-based politics.

Maintaining that scholarly conceptions of society have too often overemphasized unitary structural integration, Salzman argues that alternative stances or tendencies can remain embedded in a culture''s repertoire, ready to be called forth in response to changing conditions.

Salzman, Philip, Dr WEBPAGE

Camel waiting at owner's tent for snack. Iranian Baluchistan, photo taken from in front of Salzman family tent.

P. C. Salzman speaks with Ja'far Yarahmadzai, headman of Dadolzai herding camp

Nezar Mahmud Yarahmadzai, brother of tribal Sardar (chief) on left, Shams A'din Yarahmadzai on right, lucky P. C. Salzman in the middle

Scholar: Tribalism Rules in Iran, Iraq and Syria

In an era of increasing interaction between the United States and the countries of the Middle East, it has become ever more important for Americans to understand the social forces that shape Middle Eastern cultures. Based on years of his own field research and the ethnographic reports of other scholars, anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman presents an incisive analysis of Middle Eastern culture that goes a long way toward explaining the gulf between Western and Middle Eastern cultural perspectives. Salzman focuses on two basic principles of tribal organisation that have become central principles of Middle Eastern life - balanced opposition (each group of whatever size and scope is opposed by a group of equal size and scope) and affiliation solidarity (always support those closer against those more distant). On the positive side, these pervasive structural principles support a decentralised social and political system based upon individual independence, autonomy, liberty, equality, and responsibility. But on the negative side, Salzman notes a pattern of contingent partisan loyalties, which results in an inbred orientation favouring particularism: an attitude of my tribe against the other tribe, my ethnic group against the different ethnic group, my religious community against another religious community. For each affiliation, there is always an enemy. Salzman argues that the particularism of Middle Eastern culture precludes universalism, rule of law, and constitutionalism, which all involve the measuring of actions against general criteria, irrespective of the affiliation of the particular actors. The result of this relentless partisan framework of thought has been the apparently unending conflict, both internal and external, that characterises the modern Middle East.

Daniel Pipes -- Director, Middle East Forum

"Salzman, an anthropologist, has peered deeply into the social structure of Middle Eastern societies to develop an original, powerful, and persuasive theory about the reluctance of peoples from that region to accept modern ways. In a nutshell, he points out that they overwhelmingly divide into tribal members or the subjects of despotism; they are not citizens. The insights are deep and the implications plentiful. It's one the handful of most important books I've read during nearly four decades of studying the Middle East."

Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government, Smith College, author of Women Living Change and Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine

"...argues that the confrontation that has erupted across the globe may have as many Arab as Islamic roots. Culture and Conflict in the Middle East defines the patterns intrinsic to Arab culture and shows how they shape behavior in ordinary daily interactions in the region as well as in broad-based political confrontations. This lucidly written study should be on the reading list of every introductory course on the Middle East. Salzman's book blends fascinating case studies with a deep understanding of how culture functions across time and space in the Middle East."


February 07, 2008 - Michelle Mostovy-Eisenberg, Staff Writer

In order to fully understand Middle Eastern politics and society, you must first grasp the underlying basis of Arab culture -- specifically, the tribal organization central to life in the region, according to anthropologist and author Philip Carl Salzman.

During a lunchtime event held last week at the Center City law firm of Pepper Hamilton, about 50 people gathered to learn about the roots of contemporary Arab life and the potent affect it can have on conflicts in the region. The lecture was sponsored by the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank.

Salzman discusses the tribalism issue in depth in his upcoming book, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, which will be released this month from Humanity Books. In it, he traces certain facets of Islam -- such as jihad and honor killings -- and provides a historical context to understand the modern-day implications of the tribalism that influences Middle Eastern culture in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Salzman, an anthropology professor at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, is no stranger to studying different cultures. He has carried out extensive field research among nomadic and pastoral peoples in Baluchistan (Iran), Rajasthan (India) and Sardinia (Italy), among others.

During his talk, he presented a slide show of photographs that he's taken over the years of a number of tribes. There were also images of the anthropologist himself living in a tent among tribal communities during his research.

'Loyal to Their Groups'

According to Salzman, the ancient tribal notion of kinship -- a bond to an individual's immediate family -- supercedes the influence of elected officials, and has done so for hundreds of years. During his lecture, the scholar explained that tribes are not formed by strangers coming together; rather, they are developed among the descendants of a common ancestor on the male line. During any conflict, these individuals will combine their resources with other closely related relatives against more distant ones, and the whole tribe will then stand together against outsiders.

"They identify themselves as part of the group," explained Salzman. "Group loyalty is critical to the culture.

"We see th[is] tribal opposition in all the Arab states today," said Salzman, pointing specifically to the conflict now raging between Sunni and Shi'ite populations since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Though both groups are associated with the Prophet Mohammad -- the founder of Islam -- they each view the threat of the other group as being worse than the threat of infidels.

In the Arab world, no legitimate leadership exists above the hierarchy of tribal leaders, noted Salzman, and that is why they won't accept state rulers. With the tribal framework, it's nearly impossible to have a constitution or a regime of law and order, thereby "generating a society where all groups are on an equal basis."

Tribal members "are loyal only to their groups," he reiterated.

This has a direct effect on the way the United States and other "outsiders" deal with Arab countries, such as Iraq, where working with the tribes is necessary, explained the writer.

Said Salzman: Because the method and ideology seem confusing and vary so completely from American culture, "we cannot assume that they think the way we do" -- or, for that matter, ever will.

China: cracks show in the ice


Life is becoming more difficult in China, for people and policymakers alike. The immediate problem for millions this year has been the freeze. Ice and snow have brought power lines down and closed highways and rail services. President Hu Jintao has presided over two Politburo meetings called specifically to discuss the extreme weather. Members of the nine-man Politburo Standing Commission (PSC) have fanned out across badly affected areas in a propaganda blitz intended to demonstrate their utmost concern.

The snow might seem a temporary distraction: blizzards blow over; lines get reconnected; normal services resume. The government can give the economy a policy prod to make up for lost activity. However, the cold spell has thrown some accumulating problems into relief: infrastructure weaknesses, energy shortages and inflation all predate the bad weather:

For all the investment thrown at it over past years, infrastructure has shown itself wanting in a crisis. Granted, it has had to cope with extreme conditions, but why such widespread disruption?
Policy may have made energy shortfalls worse. Beijing has kept energy prices down while costs have risen dramatically on international markets, leaving domestic producers with little incentive to supply.

Late last year the Politburo met not to discuss the weather, but inflation. The 2007 consumer price index (CPI) rose 4.8%, peaking at 6.9% in November, driven up by food. Prices have spiked during the freeze despite the clampdown underway before the weather turned. The CPI could now rise close to 7.0%.

People will eventually stop complaining about the snow, but they will moan forever if prices keep climbing and energy keeps being rationed. Add to this the grumblings of millions who piled into the stock markets last year. Coming into February the stock market had lost around 30% since its mid-October peak. It can be expected to bounce around bungee-like this year, at some discomfort to small investors.

Elsewhere, despite the priority accorded the rural economy over the past five years, the countryside continues to fall behind. The government tweaks policy where it can to support incomes. But the more it pumps into the countryside to prop it up, the more resentment is likely to build among the urban poor.

Mention will be made of the snow at the March National People’s Congress. However, more time will be devoted to longer-term problems. The leadership has managed to avoid slipping up badly on the ice. But will it do anymore than tread water when it comes to fundamental policy?

Keeping the oil flowing


Concerns about energy supplies have dominated newspaper headlines since the Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis of 2005. Yet are these concerns legitimate?

'Peak oil' theory

Physical scarcity of hydrocarbons is not an issue, despite Jeremiahs who forecast a point in time at which the maximum global petroleum production rate is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline. The 'peak oil' theory should not stick: new reserves are being discovered around the world on a regular basis. The bringing on stream this week of Iran's vast Azadegan field -- estimated to have some 26 billion barrels of oil -- and expansive, still largely untouched provinces in Russia, such as Yamal and East Siberia, show that the Earth is far from running on empty.

Oil: geopolitical weapon?

The inter-relationship of consumer and producer states is a longstanding phenomenon, which historically overcame major obstacles, such as the East-West confrontation during the Cold War. For many observers, energy security -- or insecurity -- epitomises the perceived readiness of producer states to cut off energy supplies willy-nilly. The lack of readily available substitutes for oil and gas further exacerbates the fears of consumer states. But energy-rich states have concerns too, and they are rooted in energy nationalism realpolitik.

Most, if not all, governments of energy-rich states have either already established or are seeking to establish control over their country's natural resources, which they -- very fairly -- see as part of their sovereignty and, at a time of record high prices, a means to development. These producer states fear 'consumer cartels' almost as much as consumer states fret over a possible disruption of supply.

They may drive a hard bargain, but they also need and depend on consumers, like any storekeeper or market seller. Global energy producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran, rely heavily on exports of oil and gas, with Russia's federal budget receiving -- on some calculations -- up to 25% from the sale of energy commodities.

Concerns on both sides are likely to persist given the geophysical imbalances in the distribution of oil and gas deposits across the globe, and increasing political divides between consumer and producer states.

Yet the ideological divide between Russia and the West today is not fundamental. Russia is still interested in being a reliable energy partner to Europe. Moscow would also think twice about wielding its 'oil weapon' to blackmail the West: it runs contrary to Russia's interests because of the undiversified nature of its economy, and the numerous personal interests of the Russian political and economic elite that are tied to oil and gas revenues.

In fact, to strengthen and perpetuate the relationship, Russia has shown readiness to invest billions of dollars in constructing bypass pipelines -- such as Nord Stream, South Stream and Bourgas-Alexandroupolis -- to ensure that Europe remains a good customer for its oil and gas in the future. The mutual dependency of the energy inter-relationship also provides a buffer for Russian-European relations in the diplomatic sphere, as has been frequently acknowledged by the Russian leadership.

Russia may be arrogant and insecure, but its energy policy is entirely rational and pragmatic. Oil and gas will continue to flow to the West regardless of who is in power in the Kremlin.

The bogey of Terrorism returns…..


The Hindu reports:

The Bharatiya Janata Party has cancelled or postponed a number of rallies planned for the next several weeks, following a perception that terrorists could target Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani.

What was the cause ?

Credible intelligence information was personally conveyed to Mr. Advani by National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan on Monday evening.

The Pioneer went further to say the NSA had specific information on suicide squads.

So how did the nation react to this news ?

Some in the media took some cheap pot shots at the BJP decision to once again remind us how petty and partisan the mainstream media. The others pretty much glossed over this rather serious piece of intelligence.

In fact to best appreciate the lackadasicial attitude of the nation towards National Security consider this. On a day when the nation’s shadow Prime Minister was warned of a possible suicide squad and the principal Opposition has had to pull back on legitimate political activity under the threat of terrorism not a single mainstream newspaper carried an editorial on the UPA Government’s abject delinquency on pre-emptively fighting terrorism.

In fact it is amazing how glamour has replaced substantiative issues in the mainstream media. Sania Mirza’s decision to not play in India saw the Telegraph carry an editorial, the Indian Express had two op-ed pieces on Sania, the Hindu found space to talk about Hamas and the U.S. Presidential Primaries, the Times of India carried yet another editorial on Sania while the Hindustan Times while addressing Terrorism retrospectively in the context of the IC 814 hijacking sentences raised few questions about the Manmohan Singh Government’s Anti-Terrorism record.

Offstumped Bottomline: As the Manmohan Singh lead UPA Government continues to play lip service to Anti-Terrorism it is disturbing that the nation has lulled itself into a complacement stupor on the threat of terrorism. The mainstream media is guilty of great disservice to the nation by not holding the UPA Government to account for its dismal record in fighting terror. As the bogey of terrorism returns to haunt it is time the government stopped drawing false comfort and explained to the nation how it plans to pre-empt terror.

Smart Move” - Russia may revalue the Ruble

Reposted from Timothy Post

Thank to Fred Wilson for the heads-up on the NY Times article this past weekend titled, Waving Goodbye to Hegemony.

Here’s an excerpt from the article where the author discusses Russia and the role he sees it playing in the post-American unipolar world,

…. In exploring just a small sample of the second world, we should
start perhaps with the hardest case: Russia. Apparently stabilized and resurgent under the Kremlin-Gazprom oligarchy, why is Russia not a superpower but rather the ultimate second-world swing state? For all its muscle flexing, Russia is also disappearing. Its population decline is a staggering half million citizens per year or more, meaning it will be not much larger than Turkey by 2025 or so — spread across a land so vast that it no longer even makes sense as a country. Travel across Russia today, and you’ll find, as during Soviet times, city after
city of crumbling, heatless apartment blocks and neglected elderly citizens whose value to the state diminishes with distance from Moscow. The forced Siberian migrations of the Soviet era are being voluntarily reversed as children move west to more tolerable and modern climes. Filling the vacuum they have left behind are hundreds of thousands of Chinese, literally gobbling up, plundering,
outright buying and more or less annexing Russia’s Far East for its timber and other natural resources. Already during the cold war it was joked that there were “no disturbances on the Sino-Finnish border,” a prophecy that seems ever closer to fulfillment.

Russia lost its western satellites almost two decades ago, and Europe, while appearing to be bullied by Russia’s oil-dependent diplomacy, is staging a long-term buyout of Russia, whose economy remains
roughly the size of France’s. The more Europe gets its gas from North Africa and oil from Azerbaijan, the less it will rely on Russia, all the while holding the lever of being by far Russia’s largest investor. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provides the kinds of loans that help build an alternative, less corrupt private sector from below, while London and Berlin welcome Russia’s billionaires, allowing the likes of Boris Berezovsky to openly campaign against Putin. The E.U. and U.S. also finance and train a pugnacious second-world block of Baltic and Balkan nations, whose activists agitate from Belarus to Uzbekistan. Privately, some E.U. officials say that annexing Russia
is perfectly doable; it’s just a matter of time. In the coming decades, far from restoring its Soviet-era might, Russia will have to decide whether it wishes to exist peacefully as an asset to Europe or the alternative — becoming a petro-vassal of China….

Here’s the comment I left on Fred’s blog in response to the article:


Interesting article but the analysis of Russia is not based on facts.

The birth rate of Russia will surpass its death rate in 2010 and there will then be population growth. Russia has the world’s 3rd largest currency reserves of almost $500 billion. The Russian government has almost no debt. The personal tax rate is 13% and people pay it.

There is almost no consumer debt in Russia today. That is both a blessing and an opportunity for growth. The sub-prime crisis in the US and Europe will impact the Russian stock market negatively but have a zero impact on the “real” economy.

The percentage of people with home mortgages is less than 2.5%. Think about what that means. The average family living in an apartment in some provincial city of a million people (say Volgograd) owns an apartment that’s worth $1,000 per square meter. At 80 square meters the apartment might be small and ugly (by our standards) but it’s still worth $80,000. That family owns it outright - 100%.

This year or next the home equity industry will reach critical mass and that very same family will be able to take out a mortgage for $10,000 or $15,000. Since they have free health care, rising wages, no car payments, no mortgage, and free education for their kids almost all that money will be spent on consumer products. If you think the consumer products boom now (and there is!) wait until all that illiquid home equity is made liquid.

The automobile market in Russia is the fastest growing in the world. It’s natural resources are second to none.

There are a number of rumors that the Russian government is going to revalue the Ruble UPWARDS. Very unusual but brilliant. The Ruble is worth approx 25 to 1 right now (25 Rubles buy 1 US Dollar). After the elections in March (yes, Medvedev will be elected) the Russian government may make it so that 1 Ruble buys 4 US Dollars. Essentially, we would all trade 100 of today’s Rubles for 1 “new” Ruble note. Yes, they will need to print new paper.

The rationale behind such a move is very smart. The US Dollar will I believe within the next 5 years lose its place as the reserve currency of choice. The other options are obviously the Chinese currency and the Euro. The Russians want the Ruble to be part of that mix. The revaluation changes the perception of the Ruble.

So to close. The gist of the article is that the uni-polar world will become multi-polar. I disagree with the author’s assertion (quite black and white) that there will be 3 dominant players instead of 1.

I would suggest that it is more realistic that the number will be closer to 10 countries/zones. Think Japan, Britain, Brazil, India, Russia, the EC, China, the Asian Tigers, Australia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Scandinavia. To limit it to 3 is too myopic.

So, if one is like Howard Lindzon and looking for investment opportunities, don’t forget Russia and the Russian Ruble.

Al-Qaida roots itself in Lebanon

Le Monde diplomatique
Last year the Lebanese army besieged the Palestinian camp of Nahr al-Bared, where a previously unknown organisation, Fatah al-Islam, was dug in. These events, like attacks on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, reflect the appearance of radical Sunni Islamist networks, some of them linked to al-Qaida, which is now treating Lebanon as a key base

By Fidaa Itani

“We were forcibly thrust into a battle that does not concern us. I would rather not have had to fight the Lebanese army,” said Shahin Shahin, a Fatah al-Islam military commander, to a negotiator during the siege of the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared by the Lebanese army. It was not then yet known that he was a son of Osama bin Laden and a high-ranking al-Qaida official. His misgivings about the fighting reflected his organisation’s ambivalence towards Lebanon — whether to see the country as a battleground on which to confront the United States and its allies, or just as a rear base for the training and transit of al-Qaida operatives.

Two days after the army gained control of the camp, on 4 September, the head of Lebanese military intelligence, Georges Khoury, acknowledged that the Fatah al-Islam combatants were members of al-Qaida. But the roots of the organisation in Lebanon reach deeper into the past. In the 1990s Lebanese courts found Salafists (see “Who is a Salafist?”, page 10) guilty of forming terrorist cells linked to al-Qaida. The militants were Lebanese following the example of Salem al-Shahal, who started Lebanon’s first Muslimun (Muslim) and Shabab Muhammad (Youth of Muhammad) groups in Tripoli in 1974. Shahal tried to impose sharia in the city, starting by attempting to prevent young people going to the cinema. His influence spread to several Syrian towns, but at the time Salafist values lacked solid roots.

In those days the Sunnis were middle class traders, shopkeepers and civil servants, or illiterate country people. They expressed their support for Arab nationalism and the Palestinian struggle by joining Nasserite or leftwing movements. However, several Sunni groups moved closer to radical Islamism after Syrian troops occupied Lebanon in 1976, bringing repression with them. At the same time the influence of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood started to increase, threatening the regime in Damascus with armed incursions by its military wing.

When the civil war in Lebanon ended in 1989, with the signature of the Taif accord, the Salafists, whose influence was still only limited, mainly targeted other Islamic organisations, al-Ahbash (1) or the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP). These attacks were an opportunity for the Salafist groups to perfect their intellectual and missionary skills, recruiting in many towns and villages. They were particularly successful with middle-class graduates, as well as with students of theology who had been in Saudi Arabia and stayed in contact with radical ulema there. But the groups still lacked cohesion, the best known being al-Hidayah wal-Ihsan (Preaching and Charity), which was reorganised by the son of the movement’s founder, Dai al-Islam al-Shahal.

On 31 August 1995 one of these groups assassinated Sheikh Nizar al-Halabi, the head of the AICP, and caused a stir. It was the first time that a Salafist group had eliminated an opponent. Members of the organisation confessed to committing the murder and persisted in taking exclusive responsibility to the end. However, the Lebanese authorities and Syrian intelligence (which controlled the country) chose to pin the crime on Abdul Karim al-Saadi (aka Abu Mahjen), the Palestinian leader of Asbat al-Ansar, which was based in the Ayn al-Hilwah refugee camp, near Saida in southern Lebanon. In 1999 the same group, originally formed by veterans from the war in Afghanistan, was blamed for the assassination of four judges in Saida central court.

Point of departure
At this point links between the Salafists and al-Qaida started to develop. An organisation that was probably Chechen, and certainly connected to Bin Laden, asked Bassam Kanj (aka Abu Aisha) to help infiltrate Muslim combatants into Israel. In 1988 Kanj had given up his studies in the US and taken a crash course in global jihad in Afghanistan. Following the request from al-Qaida he set up the Dinniyeh organisation, but asked for two years’ grace to establish it as an anti-Israeli resistance force, alongside Hizbullah.

In May 2000 Russian negotiators, who were supervising the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon with the Syrians, gave the Lebanese and Syrian authorities a recording of a conversation between Kanj and Chechen mujahideen, which led to a Lebanese army raid on Dinniyeh on New Year’s Eve 2001. At the same time the Syrian authorities, operating on the other side of the border, arrested radical Islamists, confirming the network’s trans- national nature.

Al-Qaida waited till the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 before openly calling for units to be set up in Lebanon. But al-Qaida also operates as a form of franchise, with a far from centralised organisation, leaving considerable freedom of movement to local units. It was well established by the end of 2005 when the Lebanese authorities first succeeded in catching the members of a network, subsequently referred to as the “Network of 13”, led by Hassan Nabaa, a Lebanese national. The group, which also comprised Saudis, Syrians and Palestinians, supported al-Qaida and the Iraqi resistance movement, operating in Lebanon and Syria where it clashed on several occasions with the secret service, particularly in border zones. It is said to have shot down a Syrian helicopter.

The arrests prompted a controversy because the prisoners’ confessions contained details of their involvement in the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, on 14 February 2005. But there is doubt about how the confessions were obtained, and the group’s alleged link with the young Palestinian Ahmad Abu Adas, who claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Hariri in an earlier video recording (2).

In spring 2006 there was a split in Fatah al-Intifada, an organisation with close links to the Syrian regime that broke away from Yasser Arafat’s Fatah in 1983. About 70 of its members joined a Palestinian officer of Jordanian origin, Shaker al-Absi (Abu Ali), setting up Fatah al-Islam. The dissidents dispersed to Palestinian camps: Burj al-Barajneh (southern suburbs of Beirut), Ain al-Hilweh (Saida), Shatila (Beirut) and the two camps at Badawi and Nahr al-Bared, in the north. They were joined by some 50 militants led by Shehab al-Qaddur (Abu Hurayra), a Lebanese who spent most of his life undercover, after being arrested by the Syrians in Tripoli in 1986 when he was 14.

From the outset Fatah al-Islam was supported by the jihadist representative at Ain al-Hilweh, with the assurance of al-Qaida funding. Meanwhile some of its members received training from the military leader of the Jund al-Sham group, also located at the camp. This organisation was started in Afghanistan in 1999 by jihadists from the countries of al-sham (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan) and adopted a radical stance.

The war of 2006
In July 2006 the 33-day war between Israel and Hizbullah erupted. The jihadist groups took advantage of the confusion to extend their influence. They also made use of the decision by the Islamic state in Iraq (instituted by al-Qaida) to expel any elements lacking specialist military skills or unable to blend in with the local population. Fatah al-Islam attracted many of these lost soldiers, prompting a hostile response by Fatah and other groups belonging to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which wanted to “cleanse” the Ain al-Hilweh camp. The Lebanese army, which had just deployed in force to the south of Litani following the end of the fighting between Hizbullah and Israel, was worried about leaving these jihadists only a short distance from the 12,000 strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil). Fatah al-Islam decided to take refuge in the north, an area with a Sunni majority, considered friendly.

Several meetings paved the way for this move, not only with the local Salafists but also with members of parliament belonging to Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, concerned about Hizbullah’s growing influence. Al-Absi held talks with a Sunni MP from Tripoli, a doctor who once had leftwing sympathies and who expressed his fear that the Shia Hizbullah might turn on the Sunni (3). Al-Absi replied that, without entering into conflict with a force fighting Israel, he would not allow anyone to harm the Sunni.

So Fatah al-Islam established itself at Nahr al-Bared, publishing its first statement on 27 November 2006. Meanwhile a large number of combatants connected to al-Qaida passed back and forth through Lebanon, either via the official crossing-points or illegally across the Syrian border. Some dispersed, after a brief stay at Nahr al-Bared, to set up their own networks in areas with a high proportion of Sunni inhabitants. Recent recruits have come from other Arab countries but also Russia, Chechnya and Turkey.

At the end of 2006 Ahmad Tuwaijiri, a senior Saudi al-Qaida member, arrived in Lebanon. He met Fatah al-Islam leaders several times, as well as other Salafist groups. Funding flowed in, with public and private donations from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait offered by prosperous businessmen who want to help the jihad.

The various Salafist organisations (4) were also keen to regroup, the better to resist the Shia threat. The political crisis in Lebanon and occasional clashes between Sunni and Shia, and between supporters of the parliamentary majority and opposition, created a favourable context (see “Why there is deadlock”).

The local members of al-Qaida took advantage of the Future Movement’s pressing need for militia to counterbalance Hizbullah. Although it appreciated the risks involved in dealing with fundamentalist factions, Hariri’s party nevertheless adopted this short-term expedient in its struggle with Hizbullah, Syria and Iran. Al-Qaida acted pragmatically, seizing the opportunity to raise funds to recruit dozens of additional combatants, organise more training sessions at Ain al-Hilweh, prepare plans for attacking Unifil in the south, and spy on the embassies of western and Gulf countries in Beirut.

A blind eye
Syria opted to turn a blind eye to such activities, leaving its opponents in the Future Movement to suffer the consequences. Syria increased pressure at home, disposing of many militants who subsequently took refuge in Lebanon.

In the first half of 2007 some 20 groups connected with al-Qaida were active, with visits by high-ranking operatives, the influx of combatants and the departure of affiliated individuals for Europe (France, UK, Netherlands and Germany) once they had completed training. In partnership with Fatah al-Islam, al-Qaida set up a vast network that survived the fighting at Nahr al-Bared intact. It trafficked arms through Syria, purchased others from local dealers and seized PLO stockpiles at Nahr al-Bared.

The situation flared on the night of 19 May, when an intelligence unit of the Internal Security Forces decided to raid an al-Qaida group in Tripoli’s al-Mitayn Street. The men, who were also wanted by the Saudis, were giving technical support to the Iraqi mujahideen. But they were operating under the protection of Fatah al-Islam. Fighting very quickly spread to the camp at Nahr al-Bared. The conflict lasted 106 days, claiming the lives of 170 soldiers, 47 Palestinian civilians and 200 Fatah al-Islam combatants. Although more than 150 leaders and members of the organisation managed to slip away, 40 combatants were killed during the last few days of fighting, most of them executed with a bullet in the back of the head. The army occupied a deserted camp and prevented any civilian or humanitarian organisations from gaining access, even banning photographs in the vicinity. Army bulldozers flattened buildings, covering up any trace of fighting.

In June, a month after the fighting started, the Lebanese security forces discovered that Shahin was Saad bin Laden. He had managed to enter the camp a few days after the start of the battle and became popular with the combatants. The security forces had noticed his arrival in Lebanon a few months earlier. Saad, one of the most active leaders in the operations section of al-Qaida, had set up cells and support units all over Lebanon, in collaboration with al-Qaddur.

Despite the military setback at Nahr al-Bared the Islamist groups linked to al-Qaida have not cut back their activities in Lebanon. They are at work in the Palestinian camp of Ain al-Hilweh, the predominantly Sunni Beka’a valley and poor quarters of Beirut. When I met Shahin six weeks after the start of the fighting, he asked: “Do you really believe that we only have the 500 combatants encircled in Nahr al-Bared?” The assassination of political leaders, and attacks in Beirut and against Unifil, attributed to Fatah al-Islam in an army press conference on 4 September, confirm the scale of the organisation in Lebanon. The intelligence service provided further proof, following the arrest of more than 200 members of the Salafist and jihadist movement.

Commentators repeatedly ask why al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, never referred to the battle of Nahr al-Bared, simply blessing the 24 June attack on the Spanish contingent of the Unifil in the south. According to Shahin, al-Qaida was unhappy about becoming bogged down in the fighting inside the camp. It was also concerned at Fatah al-Islam’s political isolation, most of Lebanon’s political parties, including the Salafists, having withdrawn their support. The siege reduced al-Qaida’s margin for manoeuvre and prompted the army to carry out hundreds of raids and arrests.

Too high a price
However, as the political crisis in Lebanon grinds on, prompting all the factions to arm and train their combatants, al-Qaida may be able to lurk in the shadow of the largest Sunni group, the Future Movement, which is hiring combatants under the cover of private security companies. Hariri’s organisation has so far assembled about 2,400 militia and plans to recruit 14,000 more in northern Lebanon alone. But the siege of Nahr al-Bared convinced part of Lebanon’s Sunni elite that an alliance with al-Qaida came at too high a price.

This fighting also prompted growing interest in the Sunni community for the Salafist cause. Christian soldiers damaged some of the mosques in the camp and desecrated copies of the Qur’an, particularly in Roumieh prison where the jihadists are being held. Several websites have appeared, openly proclaiming their support for al-Qaida and glorifying the martyrs of Fatah al-Islam. One writes: “Patience — al-Qaida is back in Lebanon: the end of Nahr al-Bared marks the start of al-Qaida.”

Exhausted by a local conflict with no prospect of a political solution, thousands of young Sunni envy the Shia, who have succeeded in monopolising resistance against Israel. They are pleased to see al-Qaida’s attacks in the West and its (albeit limited) success in Iraq. A new generation is returning to the mosques, drawn by Salafist and jihadist ideas, in the larger context of discredited Sunni authorities, including the Dar al-Ifta (a Sunni religious body), the Islamic solidarity funds and religious courts. These bodies are paying for their support for the Future Movement and for their corruption. There is a feeling of injustice and a lack of any hope of an issue to the conflict with Israel. Al-Qaida may play on both the fear of Shia and Hizbullah, the danger of the Sunni being sidelined, and on anti-US sentiment (whereas the government and official Sunni organisations are seen as Washington’s allies). Some think radical Islam holds the solution to these problems and are consequently prepared to follow al-Qaida.

But al-Qaida — though not necessarily all the groups claiming its support — seems to be treating Lebanon primarily as a rear base, a training camp and secure staging post on the road between Europe and Iraq. It is a place for technical innovation, where the organisation can develop new resources: small, radio-controlled aircraft carrying 30 kilo charges, remote-controlled explosive devices that can withstand the jamming system deployed on US armoured vehicles in Iraq, and even software so that al-Qaida leaders worldwide can communicate over the net and coordinate activities undetected by local intelligence services and the US National Security Agency.

Under these conditions, as Shahin explained, al-Qaida has nothing to gain from involving itself in Lebanon’s domestic strife.

It remains to be seen how the organisation will reconcile such relative neutrality with Zawahiri’s recent condemnation of Unifil and the attacks that followed. Will local groups claiming allegiance to al-Qaida agree to steer clear of Lebanese affairs? Whatever the answer, al-Qaida’s future in Lebanon looks secure.

Translated by Harry Forster

Fidaa Itani is a Beirut-based journalist

(1) A Sufi group, founded by Abdullah al-Harari, an Ethiopian, which explains the name Ahbash (Arabic for Ethiopian). The group was manipulated by Syrian intelligence.

(2) See the investigation published by the daily Al-Akhbar, Beirut, from 7 to 10 September 2007, in particular www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/46169

(3) The doctor confirmed this meeting in a television interview. He maintained that the Lebanese security forces had helped the radical organisation Jund al-Sham move from Ain al-Hilweh to Nahr al-Bared, to link up with Fatah al-Islam, under the cover of a humanitarian operation.

(4) The most important organisations are: Al-Ittihad al-Islami (Islamic Union), Wakf al-Turath al-Islami (Muslim Heritage) in Tripoli, Wakf al-Ihya al-Islami (Islamic Renaissance) also in Tripoli, Wakf al-Nur al-Khayri (Beneficial Light) in Shaba, Arqub Wakf al-Burr al-Khayri (Pious Good Works) at Danniye, the wakf of the Abdul Rahman Ibn Ouf Islamic centre and mosque in the Beka’a, the Irshad (Orientation) organisation and Ibda (Invention) school at Akkar. They cover the whole of Lebanon.

Third World Politics in an Age of Global Turmoil The Latin American Challenge to U.S. and Western Hegemony, 1965–1975

Diplomatic History
Volume 32 Issue 1 Page 105-138, January 2008

Third World Politics in an Age of Global Turmoil: The Latin American Challenge to U.S. and Western Hegemony, 1965–1975*

Hal Brands *

The period between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s has, of late, been a fruitful field for scholars of the Cold War and international relations. Historians have produced groundbreaking work on the close of the Vietnam War, the nature of détente, evolutions in great-power relations, the demise of Bretton Woods and subsequent reconstruction of international finance, as well as many other issues.1 Earlier focused largely on the intricacies of U.S.-Soviet diplomacy, the literature on this era is now considerably richer and more diverse.

One subject that has remained comparatively neglected, however, is the Third World response to the political, military, and economic turmoil that shook the international system in the decade following 1965. Although Odd Arne Westad's recent book stands out for its analysis of the Vietnam War's impact on revolutionary movements, for the most part Third World perspectives have been the province of specialists writing on the foreign policies of specific countries.2 As a result, our understanding of the ways in which Third World policies and perceptions fit into a more complete history of this period of upheaval remains rather tenuous.

In this essay, I discuss the trajectory of Latin American statecraft during the late 1960s and early 1970s with an eye to better incorporating these perspectives into scholarly analysis. This essay does not attempt a comprehensive account of Latin American diplomacy, nor does it claim to represent "Third World" (itself a nebulous term with shifting meanings3) views in their entirety. Rather, I simply explore the reactions of officials in a number of Latin American countries to the major international events of this period—most notably the U.S. failure in Vietnam, the emergence of détente, the breakdown of Bretton Woods, and the oil shocks of 1973–1974—and analyze how these reactions influenced the policies of Latin American states toward each other, the United States, and the broader world. In other words, I focus on the relationship between global events and the policies pursued by Latin American leaders.

As I argue, the global disruptions of the late 1960s and early 1970s fostered a Latin American challenge to U.S. and Western hegemony in world politics and economic relations. Within Latin America, the major international events of this period were widely interpreted as representing a decline in U.S. and Western power and the corresponding ascendancy of the Third World. Washington's defeat in Vietnam and concurrent rapprochements with China and the Soviet Union seemingly showed a superpower in retreat, while the breakdown of Bretton Woods and the oil shocks appeared to shift economic power toward the developing countries. At the same time that Latin American leaders thus saw an opportunity to become more assertive in their relations with the United States and the developed world, domestic political imperatives pushed them in the same direction. Beginning in the late 1960s, the necessities of regime legitimization and internal order led numerous Latin American governments—representing a wide array of ideological orientations—to pursue bold policies abroad in an attempt to externalize domestic problems, conceal internal divisions, and exploit intensifying nationalism.

In these circumstances, Latin American leaders moved to redress what they considered the deeply prejudicial diplomatic and economic arrangements that had structured world affairs since World War II. They challenged Washington's long-standing dominance in the region, seeking new allies as counterweights to U.S. power and denouncing the White House's familiar invocations of a "special relationship" with Latin America. They proposed to collaborate to offset U.S. and Western economic influence, and called for a fundamental overhaul of world commerce and finance. They rejected the Cold War as an organizing framework for regional affairs, and instead proclaimed their solidarity with the Third World. In sum, at the same time that officials throughout the developed world were trying to reconstruct a shaken global order, Latin American officials sought to transform that order fundamentally.

To be sure, this movement was neither entirely coherent nor universally supported by Latin American governments. The Central American countries played little part in these events, for instance, and levels of enthusiasm for a collision with Washington and the West varied significantly across the region. At a broad level, however, the desire to exploit geopolitical and economic change was present throughout Latin America, and, in conjunction with the domestic impulses toward more assertive foreign policies, shaped the regional foreign-policy agenda.

Ambitious as it was, though, by 1975 or so this Latin American challenge had largely failed. Washington strongly resisted the movement, and the other major powers proved indifferent to the idea that they should serve as counterweights to U.S. power. Ideological cleavages eventually fractured hemispheric solidarity and allowed the United States to avert the feared scenario of a region united against American influence. Finally, by the mid-1970s, international economic conditions had become unfavorable to most Latin American and developing countries, undermining the autonomy of governments dedicated to contesting U.S. and Western primacy. Although the regional and world scenes had changed considerably since the late 1960s, many of the goals advanced by Latin American leaders therefore went unrealized.

Nonetheless, this episode retains important implications for the study of how great-power and Third World politics interacted at a time of flux in the international system. It demonstrates that a period of distress for the West was a time of opportunity for those developing nations unsatisfied with existing systems of world commerce and diplomacy. It shows that a number of signal events in the attempts of Western and U.S. policymakers to shore up a creaking global order (most notably the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the emergence of détente, and the decision to abandon Bretton Woods), actually encouraged Third World actors to mount additional challenges to that system. Finally, it indicates the ways in which this movement was undermined by a combination of great-power resistance and the fragmentation within Latin American politics and economy. In sum, the course of Latin American diplomacy reveals both the extent and limits of challenges to the international order during a period of turmoil.

The global order was in flux in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Domestic disruptions rocked countries throughout the world. The Vietnam War laid bare the limits of U.S. power, while the emergence of U.S.-Soviet and Sino-American détente appeared to herald the restructuring of international power relations. NATO had survived the French challenge of the 1960s, but in an era of increasing European independence, its future cohesion remained unclear.4 International economic relations were similarly unsettled. The gold and sterling crises of the late 1960s demonstrated the shakiness of the major Western economies, and the subsequent abandonment of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s marked conclusively the end of the postwar international financial regime. The oil shocks of 1973–1974 delivered massive inflation and depressed growth to the West and unprecedented profits to Third World oil exporters, causing a sharp swing in world economic power.5 The global consequences of these developments were potentially momentous; as one informed observer put it, "the fall of the western world" could not be ruled out.6

In Latin America, these events had a profound influence, causing ruling groups of all ideological inclinations to question the durability of U.S. and Western power. Latin American leaders had long had an uneasy relationship with U.S. hegemony, and attempts to temper the exercise of North American influence dated back at least to Argentine-led resistance to Washington's Pan-American initiatives of the 1880s. As the United States and its allies struggled to meet the economic and political challenges of the late 1960s, a feeling that conditions were now right for another such challenge took hold.

A chief cause of this sentiment was the surprising ineffectiveness of U.S. intervention in Vietnam during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1967, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had warned that defeat in Vietnam would occasion "a reappraisal in many quarters of the real weight and reach of U.S. power," and this prediction rang true as American forces failed to stamp out the Communist-led insurgency.7 Leftist elites in Latin America, whose Marxist inclinations predisposed them to see Vietnam as symptomatic of a general crisis of U.S. power, seized on this setback as evidence that Washington could no longer subdue determined revolutionary movements. Cuba's Fidel Castro cited the war as proof that "the empire is not invincible," and Chilean president Salvador Allende likewise characterized Vietnam as emblematic of "a resistance [that grows] stronger every day" to America's hegemonic pretensions.8 The Southeast Asia conflict, they argued, had impaired U.S. strength for some time to come. It had (according to Allende) produced "deep-seated internal problems" within the United States and "world-wide repulsion" abroad, depriving U.S. officials of both international and domestic support.9 Other Latin American observers agreed with this formulation, arguing that, with the United States divided at home and reviled in the world, American power could not but be in eclipse.10

Indeed, as early as the late 1960s, it was common to assert that Vietnam and the general decline of the United States might make it difficult if not impossible for Washington to intervene in Latin America. When a revolutionary junta took power in Lima in 1968, Foreign Minister Edgardo Mercado believed that U.S. preoccupation with Vietnam would dissuade it from serious meddling in Peru.11 Allende too evinced optimism, telling a confidant that, given America's current domestic and international traumas, it would be "more difficult for them to operate in Latin America."12 Castro also argued that Vietnam had, to an extent, defanged U.S. policy.13 Even Brazil's military government, which publicly denied that Washington's eventual withdrawal from Vietnam detracted from its status as "chief world power," privately worried about the consequences of the American defeat.14 U.S. officials did in fact recognize the declining credibility of American power; a 1969 memo lamented that "everybody assume[s] . . . today that the U.S. will no longer intervene anywhere in Latin America at any time."15

The emergence of détente led to similar questions about the extent and efficacy of American might. As analyzed by Latin American officials of all ideological and political stripes, the U.S.-Soviet and Sino-American rapprochements of the early 1970s appeared to herald the passing of U.S. hegemony. In many cases, the fact that the United States had been willing to establish closer ties with former enemies seemed to confirm American exhaustion. Leftist leaders in Peru, Chile, and Cuba saw détente as "a reordering of power relations in the world," in which Washington, "whipped in Viet Nam," was "fending around trying to see what it can salvage."16 Conservative assessments were much the same. In the wake of Henry Kissinger's October 1971 visit to Beijing, Argentine military leader Alejandro Lanusse cited recent developments as proof that "no state is so powerful" as to single-handedly manage the world balance of power. Brazilian leader Emilio Garrastazu Médici, as close an ally as Washington had in Latin America, argued that the era of U.S. dominance had been replaced by a "new world order."17

This notion of what Castro called a "revision of forces" gained additional adherents as a result of the economic and financial disruptions of the early 1970s.18 At first glance, the breakdown of Bretton Woods should have given Latin American leaders little reason to be upbeat. Most Latin American economies had stagnated during the mid- to late 1960s, and the general economic mood of the region was one of pessimism.19

Upon deeper analysis, however, the West's financial distress represented an opportunity. Primarily, the breakdown of the international financial order implied the end of a system that most Latin American leaders viewed as prejudicial to their countries’ interests. During the 1960s, the idea that the world economic system victimized underdeveloped countries in Latin America and elsewhere had become an axiom of regional thought. The rising prominence of dependency theory within the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) gave voice to a widespread concern that the Latin American nations were but junior members of a system that privileged the "industrial core" at the expense of the "periphery." Because the Western nations controlled access to technology, capital, and world markets, the argument went, they were able to lock the underdeveloped world into serving as producers of raw materials and consumers of higher-cost manufactured goods. The trade arrangements negotiated by the Latin American countries, wrote ECLA analysts, "implied a kind of dependency because their growth was almost totally subordinated" to the whims of the "central economies." From this perspective, advanced by moderates like Chile's Eduardo Frei no less than by radicals like Allende, it was precisely the power of the U.S. and Western economies that was the problem: as long as these nations retained their economic dominance, Latin America would be unable to escape its peripheral position and underdevelopment.20

Within this context, the breakdown of Bretton Woods looked to many Latin American officials to be a moment of weakness for the developed countries, a window in which the Third World might exert a greater influence on the reconstitution of the global economic order. If the Latin American countries pooled their resources and integrated their economies, they might increase their negotiating power and thereby deal with the developed countries on more equal terms.

Regional integration was not a new idea; its genesis in Latin American politics went back to Bolivar. More recently, Frei and Inter-American Development Bank President Felipe Herrera had backed integration initiatives such as the Central American Common Market and Latin American Free Trade Area (both of which, incidentally, enjoyed U.S. support).21 During the early 1970s, though, as the rise of dependency analysis and the demise of Bretton Woods evoked calls for a greater Latin American voice in world economic affairs, there emerged a new—and increasingly anti-U.S.—wave of integrationist sentiment. In late 1971, Lanusse called for measures to build "an autonomous center of economic gravitation," sentiments echoed by the Peruvian junta and Colombian president Misael Pastrana, a leading Latin American moderate.22 Venezuelan president Rafael Caldera cited Venezuelan participation in OPEC as an example of how underdeveloped countries might combine "so as not to find ourselves at the mercy . . . of the developed countries." For these leaders, the crises of the early 1970s presented a chance to redress long-standing inequalities.23

This possibility seemed all the more likely after the oil shocks of 1973–1974 brought record profits to the Latin American petroleum exporters (Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia).24 Even many non-oil-exporting countries benefited during these years from high prices for commodities such as copper, sugar, zinc, and cocoa. In 1974, the value of Latin American exports grew by 70 percent from the previous year, with the oil producers enjoying an uptick of nearly 200 percent. Overall, the region enjoyed a trade surplus of around $3 billion in 1973 and $4.8 billion a year later.25

For many Latin American analysts, this rapid reversal of economic fortunes confirmed what Vietnam, détente, and the undoing of Bretton Woods had indicated: a sea change in world power dynamics. In January 1974, White House adviser Jack Kubisch predicted that "the Latins are . . . not likely to overlook the possible shifting in the power balance between developed and developing countries, as resources of value to the developed countries become increasingly critical and possibly increasingly scarce."26 Indeed, the oil shocks and concurrent spike in commodity prices promoted a distinct sense of empowerment among Latin American observers. For a country like Venezuela, which saw its export earnings and GDP soar in 1973–1974, oil reserves looked to be a nearly unbeatable diplomatic weapon. "Oil moves history today," President Carlos Andrés Pérez declared; those countries that exported it could now dictate the terms of their relations with importers.27 It was not just Venezuelan officials that were flush with oil-induced optimism. ECLA, the closest thing to a truly Latin American organization, was positively exultant. The oil crisis confirmed "the vulnerability of the powerful and the strengthened position of the weak," the commission declared in its 1973 report.28

All told, the geopolitical and economic trends of the late 1960s and early 1970s convinced many Latin American officials that post-World War II international relations had reached a watershed. Coming on the heels of the Sino-Soviet split, the emergence of détente and Western economic weakness seemingly demonstrated that ideological confrontation and superpower preeminence, those most salient characteristics of the postwar era, had ceased to exist. "The appearance of new centers of power, the destruction of alliances that seemed unshakeable, the decrease of tensions and the understanding . . . between old rivals," declared Mexican president Luis Echeverría, "indicates with clarity that we have arrived at the end of the Cold War." The superpower-dominated order had given way, replaced by what Pérez called "a multipolar situation."29

This was certainly cause for optimism; Echeverría and his colleagues saw little to lament in bipolarity's demise. In Echeverría's view, the "antagonism of closed blocs" that defined the Cold War had impinged upon the flexibility of Latin American countries, locking them into either cooperation or confrontation with the United States. This system of "politico-economic bipolarity" with "the hegemony of the United States" at its center, seconded Peru's Mercado, had meant that the Latin American nations were forced to accept restrictive arrangements like the Rio Pact and risked incurring Washington's wrath if they pursued relations with the Eastern bloc.30

As bipolarity broke down, however, this rigidity would break down with it. Latin American countries could exploit the emergence of a multipolar order, using the increased fluidity of international politics to bolster their own diplomatic leverage. They could seek closer political and economic ties with Europe, China, or the Soviet bloc, using these new partnerships to (in Mercado's words) "break the old patterns of intercourse that were always prejudicial to us." They might play the growing number of world powers off one another, gaining (according to Perez) "a greater liberty of action" with respect to the United States. They could move beyond Cold War rivalries that were largely irrelevant to Latin American interests, devoting greater attention to North-South issues. With sufficient cooperation, they might form what Mercado called a "common economic front," vastly expanding Latin America's diplomatic and economic influence.31 In sum, the major international events of the late 1960s and early 1970s had shown that the gap in power between the West and the rest was closing quickly, and created numerous opportunities for those willing to practice bold, confrontational diplomacy.

It was not just international developments that pushed Latin American governments toward more assertive foreign policies. This movement owed also to domestic factors, such as the need to divert attention from social or political clashes at home, legitimize authoritarian rule, or co-opt nationalist sentiment. This tendency was present in countries with widely varying political systems and, in conjunction with the global trends described above, created a new climate of Latin American diplomacy.

The origins of this situation lay in the evolution of Latin American politics and society since the Cuban Revolution. This event and its aftermath had altered political and social dynamics throughout the hemisphere, presenting both challenges and opportunities to national leaders. In some cases, the Cuban example inspired left-wing threats to long-established governments such as Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In other instances, the threat of insurgency and "communization" provoked coups by military rulers who then faced the task of legitimizing their governments with something other than repression alone. At still other points, the increased visibility of issues like underdevelopment gave rise to growing nationalism and consciousness of foreign economic domination. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, these issues had led to the rise of revolutionary regimes in Peru and Chile, and in numerous other countries forced officials to devise new strategies for maintaining domestic order.32

This ferment deeply affected the foreign policies of any number of Latin American countries. In Mexico, the PRI used independent diplomacy as a key component of its domestic legitimization project. In the early 1960s, the Lopez Mateos government developed relatively warm ties with Cuba in order to defuse leftist agitation and mask the granting of extensive economic concessions to powerful conservative elements. This balancing act became all the more relevant after the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, which revealed that Mexico's "social peace" rested upon shaky—and profoundly repressive—foundations. After becoming president in 1970, Echeverría became a vigorous advocate of international economic redistribution and greater autonomy of the United States. This stance simultaneously served his foreign-policy goals, appeased the Left, and diverted attention from deep-seated socioeconomic inequalities and governmental repression. By being "outwardly leftist" in international affairs, Echeverría bragged in 1975, he had "won a social peace unknown to his seemingly more authoritarian predecessors." For this chief proponent of regional solidarity and "tercermundismo," a dynamic foreign policy drew on both internal and external concerns.33

The same was true of Peru, where Juan Velasco's left-leaning regime seized power in October 1968. Castro's shadow loomed large for Velasco; it had been the outbreak of a limited insurgency in the mid-1960s that, as one junta member recalled, "rang the bell that awakened the military to the reality of the country," demonstrating the incendiary potential of Peruvian underdevelopment.34 Upon taking office, Velasco launched a "non-capitalist"—but also non-Communist—revolution, aimed at achieving extensive social change and economic redistribution without violent upheaval.35 To achieve the domestic popularity needed to carry out this program, Velasco relied on a confrontational foreign policy. Having come to power at a time when several disputes with Washington had made Peruvian nationalism rise to high crest, Velasco married his diplomacy to this sentiment in order to achieve unity within the junta and support within national politics as a whole. Nationalism was one of the only proclivities holding together a ruling clique that disagreed oneconomic and social issues, and twitting the United States was popular among key domestic groups, such as students and intellectuals, whose backing Velasco cultivated.36 Indeed, Mercado later acknowledged that the junta's assertive diplomacy had allowed it to overcome what was initially a "very difficult" internal situation.37

In Argentina, another military regime also matched its foreign policy to domestic imperatives. This junta, which resided between Peru's and Brazil's on the spectrum of radicalism and reaction, deliberately sought the appearance of an autonomous foreign policy. Doing so served to co-opt certain aspects of a Peronist legacy that, Foreign Minister Luis Maria de Pablo Pardo admitted, had left an "indelible leftist imprint" on national politics. This was especially important at a time when the junta was under pressure to permit the Peronists, with their strongly nationalist foreign platform, to reenter Argentine politics. For President Alejandro Lanusse, it was thus necessary to "generate the image of an independent policy" which could provide domestic political capital as well as diplomatic and economic gains.38

In Brazil, foreign policy fit within a more conservative domestic program. Prior to the Cold War, Brazil had a long tradition of competition with the United States. In the early 1960s, President Jânio Quadros declared that Latin America "needs another Nasser" and pledged to maintain "absolute freedom" of action in foreign affairs. In practice, the military leaders who seized power in 1964 reversed this trend, cooperating closely with Washington.39 Nonetheless, the military regimes that ruled following the coup, especially Médici's, pursued a selectively independent foreign policy in order to tap into the substantial reservoir of Brazilian nationalism. Despite its widespread use of torture, detention, and killing of opponents, the military government was not blind to public (or at least elite) perception. During the early 1970s, 80 percent of the Brazilian Congress thought that the country should adopt "an active policy of increasing its national power," and only dwindling minorities endorsed the proposition that "Brazil should follow the political orientation of the U.S."40 In these circumstances, pursuing a more vigorous diplomacy and avoiding too close an overt association with Washington were central to maintaining domestic support for the military regime.41

Even in Allende's Chile, fully on the other side of the political and ideological spectrum, there was a strong internal impetus toward challenging the United States and the world economic order. In a sense, Allende's program for revolutionizing Chilean society required a forceful foreign policy. His promise to expropriate foreign holdings in Chile's major industries, which was central to this project, automatically implied a collision with Washington. Additionally, the makeup of Allende's Popular Unity coalition continually pushed the president to become still more confrontational. The need to please the Leftist Revolutionary Movement and other "ultra-left" groups moved Allende effectively to deny compensation to expropriated U.S. copper companies (by counting their previously earned "excess profits" against them) and to maintain a drumbeat of anti-U.S. contumely. Additionally, Allende was well aware that a clash with Washington could be helpful as a tool of domestic mobilization. For Allende, railing against the "imperialist forms of dependency and exploitation" perpetuated by the United States served as a powerful rhetorical expedient. Casting Washington as the implacable enemy of the Chilean masses created the useful (and not inaccurate) image of a foreign foe opposing his revolutionary program, and allowed him to tar his domestic antagonists for their "complicity" with the "U.S. monopolies." By attacking U.S. interests and policies, Allende thus tended to domestic political needs as well.42

There are certainly other examples of the links between domestic and foreign policy. In Venezuela, for instance, it was no coincidence that the trend toward increasingly nationalistic and assertive foreign policies during the late 1960s and 1970s occurred as the Caldera and Pérez governments sought to minimize social and political conflicts that might threaten that country's still-nascent democracy.43 The cases discussed above, however, should suffice to establish the point that, at the same time that their readings of the international situation convinced many leaders that there was an opportunity for more energetic diplomacy, the internal dynamics of their societies pushed them in a similar direction. The dictates of domestic politics merged with the impulses created by global strategic and economic shifts, setting the stage for a confrontation with the United States and the developed countries.

This challenge took shape on two levels. First, it was evident in the foreign policies of several states that actively sought to increase their diplomatic flexibility and influence. Second, it was manifest in a number of political and economic issues that were present on not simply a bilateral but a regional scale.

Within the first category, the emergence of this movement was perhaps most pronounced in Peruvian diplomacy. Through the mid-1960s, Lima had been largely acquiescent to Washington's Cold War policies, but under Velasco the Peruvian junta consistently attacked U.S. hegemony and the parameters of the inter-American system. Velasco and his aides called themselves "Nasseristas," and indeed sought to play the major powers off one another. Lima expropriated the U.S.-owned International Petroleum Company (IPC) and, in response to threats that the United States might retaliate with economic sanctions, hinted at a possible accommodation with Moscow. "We all remember what happened in Cuba," Mercado taunted.44 This particular threat worked; Richard Nixon too was thinking of Nasser. "We cannot succumb to the Aswan syndrome where Peru is concerned," he told advisers in explaining his initial decision not to punish the junta.45 Velasco and Mercado subsequently continued to woo Moscow in hopes of lessening U.S. leverage on Peru. In 1969, Mercado established diplomatic relations and signed a trade pact with the Kremlin, trumpeting "the end of an era in which our trade was channeled in only one direction."46

As U.S. weakness grew more pronounced in the early 1970s, so did the independent streak in Peruvian diplomacy. To decrease Peruvian reliance on U.S. capital and technology, Velasco secured Japanese financing for an expansion of the telecommunications industry and Soviet support for irrigation projects.47 In late 1973, Lima imported two dozen Soviet tanks. The deal, which followed a U.S. refusal to sell tanks to Peru, was (in the words of one Foreign Ministry official) a blow to Peru's "technological-military dependency on the United States." Military ties between Washington and Lima had long been a source of U.S. influence in Peru; as these ties frayed, the junta would have less need to court American favor.48

More broadly, Peruvian diplomats mounted a concerted attack on the so-called special relationship between the United States and Latin America. Mercado denounced U.S. attempts to treat Latin America "only as a higher rung than other regions of the world in the scale of priorities."49 Seeing the underdeveloped nations as sources of diplomatic support, Velasco stressed Peru's solidarity with the Third World, that "vast insurgency of the poor nations of the earth," rather than with the U.S.-led "inter-American community." The junta assumed a prominent role in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Group of 77, supporting initiatives such as the UN Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States and the New International Economic Order. Although Peru and the United States conducted a limited rapprochement in 1974, Lima's determination to erode American influence in the Western Hemisphere remained clear.50

Allende's Chile pursued a similar course. While Allende professed his desire for friendship with the United States, he also worked to undermine the U.S. role in Chile and in Latin America more broadly. He cultivated relations with Peru and Cuba in an effort to find allies and offset the power of Washington, a strategy one historian has characterized as "protect[ing] Chile's flanks so that it could deal with its principal enemy."51 Indeed, within Chile, Allende moved resolutely against U.S. interests. He expropriated U.S. holdings in mining, telecommunications, and finance, and declared that by taking control of its vital industries, Chile could escape the U.S. economic orbit. "We cannot continue to be exploited as an underdeveloped nation," he told U.S. officials.52 As a hedge against the various hostile responses that these policies might elicit, Allende solicited military, economic, and technological assistance from the Soviet Union.53 With U.S. power apparently in decline, Allende's government moved energetically to curb Washington's remaining influence.

Such opportunism was not the peculiar province of governments hostile to the United States; leaders generally friendly to Washington maneuvered contrary to American purposes as well. In Venezuela, Caldera and Pérez preserved basically amicable relations with the United States while using American weakness to bolster Venezuela's economic and diplomatic position. Whereas in 1970, low oil prices and Venezuela's dependence on a U.S. market had forced Caldera and his ministers to trek to Washington in seek of higher import quotas, following the oil shocks the tone of this relationship changed markedly. As oil prices spiked, Caracas announced that it would nationalize U.S.-owned oil companies a decade ahead of schedule and publicly trumpeted the waning of American power. The emergence of multipolarity, Pérez announced, "has altered the bonds of economic, political, [and] cultural dependency" that previously restricted the developing countries, permitting "a greater freedom of action" with respect to Venezuela's natural resources. Amid the international turmoil of the early 1970s, Pérez believed, the dynamics of U.S.-Venezuelan relations must change too.54

The urge toward more independent diplomacy was felt even in countries that were essentially allies of the United States. In Brazil, the Médici government, riding a commodity-driven economic boom, pursued an expanded global role for the country. Foreign Minister Mario Gibson Barboza, whom U.S. officials characterized as "the image of the suave statesman," gave a widely noted speech in 1970 in which he welcomed the end of the age of "two great poles of power" and heralded "a new phase" in Brazilian foreign policy.55 Beginning at roughly this time, Médici increased Brazil's role in the Third World and sought to diversify its relations with the developed countries. Brazil purchased Mirage fighters from France, worked to coordinate economic and diplomatic policies with the Central American republics, and in 1972 Gibson Barboza made a month-long tour of Africa during which he attempted to gain new markets for Brazilian goods and new stature for Brazilian diplomacy.56

With respect to the United States, Médici pursued what he called a policy of "firmness and tenacity." He challenged Washington on relatively minor issues such as territorial sea limits, and turned a cold eye to schemes through which the United States sought to limit the diffusion of global power. Brazil refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, arguing that this "discriminatory" regime did not impose a "just balance" between the nuclear and nonnuclear powers.57 To the consternation of U.S. officials, Brazil subsequently imported reactor and uranium-enrichment technology from West Germany.58 As early as 1970, the U.S. embassy in Brasilia had characterized Brazilian policy as one of "increasing independence of and divergence from that of the United States." The subsequent course of Brazil's diplomacy confirmed this judgment.59

This tendency toward autonomy was not confined to the foreign policies of Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Venezuela; the regional climate as a whole showed much the same trend. Hemispheric bodies became forums for confrontation as Latin American diplomats searched for means of gaining leverage on Washington. In June 1969, representatives of twenty-one Latin American countries signed the "Consensus of Viña del Mar," an unprecedented display of unity against U.S. economic policies. The document demanded, among other things, that the United States lower tariffs on Latin American goods and revamp its aid policies toward the region.60 The Organization of American States (OAS), which through the mid-1960s had essentially been a tool of U.S. policy (as when it gave after-the-fact sanction to a 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic that violated any number of OAS norms), evolved into an increasingly anti-U.S. organization. Peru and Bolivia used the regional body to coordinate multilateral backing in a fisheries dispute with the United States, as did the Panamanian government in its fight for revision of the Panama Canal treaties.61 Some governments aimed to limit U.S. influence in the OAS by reforming the body or abolishing it altogether. Latin American officials grew more attracted to the idea of coordinating policy through ECLA, which Herrera called "a Latin American institution," rather than the OAS.62 By the mid-1970s, U.S. officials dreaded regional meetings. "Never has anything been scheduled that is such a guaranteed failure," griped Kissinger of one upcoming ministerial.63

The desire to gain flexibility by establishing firmer ties with the Soviet bloc, Western Europe, and Asia was also present on a regional scale. Although Soviet-Latin American relations had warmed during the 1960s, it was in the early 1970s that the idea of using outside powers to balance against U.S. economic and diplomatic influence took fullest form. Echeverría traveled to Moscow and Beijing in an attempt to lessen Mexico's dependence on the U.S. market, explaining that "it is neither convenient nor healthy that three-fourths of our trade be exclusively with one country."64 Venezuela concluded a petrochemical contract with the Soviet Union, and Argentina inked an agricultural agreement with the European Economic Community. Mexico made similar efforts in Europe, Canada, and Japan. Even the Central American regimes searched for new fruit and coffee buyers.65 For the most part, the outside powers responded enthusiastically to these overtures. Moscow, Britain, and France had long been interested in expanding their contacts in Latin America, and a booming Japanese economy had plenty of money to loan. By the mid-1970s, the Soviet political and economic presence in Latin America was at a postwar peak, and the same could be said of European and Japanese influence.66

Amid this search for new partnerships, Latin American diplomats also took a more favorable view of normalizing relations with Cuba. Beginning in the late 1960s, Cuban diplomacy mellowed considerably from its revolution-for-export phase of earlier years. Havana no longer demanded conformity to Che Guevara's ever-changing foco theory of revolution, and instead heaped praise on near any leftist or nationalist movement opposed to U.S. hegemony. Castro, for instance, lauded the "courage" and "integrity" of the decidedly non-Communist Peruvian junta, and urged Uruguayans to elect a popular front organization (the Frente Amplio).67

This more tolerant diplomacy allowed Castro to benefit from the broader regional mood. As Castro concentrated on building political and economic relationships with his neighbors, fears of Cuban-sponsored revolution subsided. "Cuba's interventionism . . . is no longer enough of a threat to warrant continuing [OAS] sanctions," reported U.S. officials in 1971.68 In 1972, Peru launched an initiative to lift OAS sanctions on Cuba. The measure was meant mainly as a display of Peruvian autonomy and a slap at the United States. The Foreign Ministry said that a "spirit of independence" informed the initiative, which was slyly described as the hemispheric "correlate" of U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Chinese détente.69 This gambit failed, but regional enthusiasm for the idea built over the next two years. Because of "the determination of a growing number of Latin-American governments to decide their own foreign policies," one U.S. official admitted, support for Washington's position was eroding. "We have to loosen up or we isolate ourselves," Kissinger soon concluded. With Castro on his best behavior, Washington's anti-Cuba policy came under heavy fire from countries now determined to challenge the United States.70

Another area of contention was the role and extent of U.S. investment in Latin America. Economic nationalism had built throughout Latin America during the 1960s, and by the 1970s the doctrine enjoyed what one scholar calls an "ideological moment."71 Building on dependency analysis, numerous leaders rejected U.S. ideas on the relationship between foreign direct investment (FDI) and economic growth and concluded that local prosperity would come only when the less-developed countries (LDCs) liberated themselves from the oppressive presence of foreign capital. "Under-development is not the absence of economic resources," explained Echeverría, "but the burden of unbalanced structures imposed by external domination."72 Economic nationalism often translated into measures against foreign and especially U.S. capital during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mexico, usually investment friendly, tightened rules on FDI in the telecommunications industry. The Andean Pact, composed of five South American countries, enacted stringent restrictions on FDI in 1971. Bolivia seized U.S.-owned Gulf Oil, and the Jamaican government moved against North American firms as well. Guyana nationalized the strategically important bauxite industry, while Peru periodically expropriated U.S. companies.73 This intensifying antipathy to "economic colonialism" was obvious at OAS meetings. In 1971, Secretary-General Galo Plaza captured the general mood by demanding "the total exclusion of foreign capital from those sectors of vital national interest."74

The trajectory of the Andean Pact between 1969 and 1971 demonstrated how these sentiments fused with common Latin American analyses of geopolitical and world economic trends. Peru had been a driving force behind the Pact's founding in 1969, and Peruvian leaders repeatedly declared that they saw the group as an anti-hegemonic coalition designed to coordinate resistance to U.S. economic policies.75 After Allende took power in 1970, Santiago and Lima pushed the other members (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia) to pass stricter rules for FDI. By bringing their industries under greater national control, Mercado wrote, these measures would help the Andean countries overcome the "so-called international division of labor . . . which . . . sustains the power of the industrialized countries." Allende too lent full-throated support to economic integration, saying that it "eliminates the suicidal competition" that had previously distracted its members from cooperating to counter U.S. economic power.76

This emphasis on North-South conflict went hand in hand with an ever-greater tendency for Latin American governments to align (rhetorically and ideologically, at least) with the Third World. During the 1970s, many leaders followed Peru's example in rejecting the primacy of the Cold War and placing foremost importance on the divide between the developed and underdeveloped countries. "The Third World is not only a reality," said Echeverría in 1973, "it is also an ideology" derived from the Latin American peoples’ growing awareness "of the external factors that prolong their misery." Even Brazil's Médici, as strong an anti-Communist as there was, acknowledged the "dichotomy" between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.77 Between 1970 and 1975, Peru and Mexico assumed leading roles in the NAM and Group of 77, and some Latin American leaders proposed setting up commodity agreements (modeled along the lines of OPEC) with other Third World countries. By 1974, Kissinger was seriously troubled by the prospect of Latin America "sliding into the non-aligned bloc and compounding our problems all over the world."78

Drawing on their interpretation of global events and the imperatives of domestic politics, Latin American officials thus sought to redress long-standing imbalances of international power during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their actions displayed little of the subordination or passivity with which scholars often characterize the Latin American "side" of inter-American relations, and instead displayed a growing energy and activism.79 Taken together, their diplomatic, political, and economic initiatives constituted an effort to break existing patterns in Latin America's foreign relations—and a serious challenge to U.S. hegemony in the region.

Yet mere assertiveness hardly guaranteed success. The ultimate effectiveness of this movement would depend on a number of factors, some within the control of Latin American officials, others not. How, for instance, might Washington respond? Would the Soviet Union, China, and Europe meet Latin American expectations by emerging as significant players in the region, or would they shrink from serious competition in an area long considered a U.S. bailiwick? Would the Latin American countries—many of which were distrustful or even fearful of their neighbors—cooperate in the name of regional solidarity, or might some see greater value in allying with the United States? Would the economic conditions that had given rise to Latin America's growing self-confidence persist, or would the West reassert its traditional strength?

By the close of Gerald Ford's presidency, all of these questions had been answered more or less conclusively. And as it turned out, the answers were almost uniformly unfavorable to Latin American desires for greater autonomy and influence. Broadly speaking, there were three major impediments to the dramatic changes envisioned by the likes of Mercado, Echeverría, and Allende. First, the centers of international power failed to conform to Latin American expectations, and Washington remained the only outside actor willing to take decisive action in the region. Second, Latin American leaders never established the cooperation necessary for a successful confrontation with the United States. Third, for many countries, the economic gains of the early 1970s proved temporary or even illusory, leaving them in a position of weakness rather than strength.

Regarding the first of these issues, Latin American observers seriously misjudged the ways in which global events would impact the behavior of the major powers. This miscalculation was particularly glaring with respect to the United States. Whereas Allende and Castro had hoped that the decline of U.S. power would inhibit Washington from acting forcefully in Latin America, the actual outcome was precisely the opposite. Realizing that the unveiling of the "Nixon Doctrine" and withdrawal from Vietnam were tacit admissions that the United States was in relative decline, Nixon and Kissinger felt pressed to show that Washington would still act forcefully on behalf of its interests.80

This plan underlay the dramatic U.S. invasion of Laos and bombing of Cambodia, and was in full effect in Latin America as well. Perceiving a serious challenge to U.S. sway in the region, the administration took sharp (if not always publicly avowed) action against its opponents. An example of this tendency was Nixon's response to the spike of expropriations in Latin America. Since 1969, U.S. officials had characterized the rising number of seizures as a challenge that demanded an answer. State Department official J. Wesley Jones called the IPC dispute a test of U.S. "credibility and integrity," and argued that the Latin Americans would "certainly respect us more" if the administration demonstrated its resolve by imposing sanctions on Peru.81 This counsel was not immediately adopted, but gained support as economic nationalism flared in 1970–1971. When additional expropriations in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Guyana forced the administration to set a policy on the issue in mid-1971, the Treasury Department argued that U.S. global credibility dictated a stern response. "The expropriation issue extends beyond its impact on our relations with LDC's," the department wrote. "A continued permissive attitude toward expropriations could have carryover effects in developed countries. The stakes are enormous."82 Treasury Secretary John Connally agreed, saying that the White House should "get tough" on Latin American expropriations because "we don't have any friends there anyway."83 In late 1971, Nixon concurred, deciding to deny foreign aid to any country that expropriated a U.S. company without "prompt and adequate" compensation.84 Desperate not to appear feeble at a time of U.S. retrenchment, the administration became more—not less—likely to react strongly when provoked.

The same consideration prevailed in U.S. policy toward Allende. In this case, the fear of looking weak was a primary factor in Nixon's near-obsession with toppling the Chilean president. "Our failure to react to this situation," Kissinger told Nixon in November 1970, would be perceived "as indifference or impotence in the face of clearly adverse developments in a region long considered our sphere of influence."85 Nixon put the matter more directly. "No impression should be permitted in Latin America that they can get away with this," he told the NSC. The United States must "show we can't be kicked around." Indeed, though there were a number of concerns that informed U.S. hostility to Allende, it was this need to avoid the appearance of another defeat that crystallized Washington's antagonism and gave it its urgent quality.86 Over the next three years, Nixon deployed various tactics—economic and political, covert and overt—to destabilize a government whose continued existence seemed to call into question U.S. resolve. U.S. policy became stiffer, rather than more permissive, and in Chile's case helped overturn a government that had been at the head of anti-hegemonic agitation during the early 1970s.87

If most Latin American officials misread their U.S. counterparts, they also overestimated the degree to which the other major powers would be willing to offset Washington's involvement in the region. Though the early 1970s did see greater Soviet, Chinese, and European involvement in Latin America, at no point did an outside actor provide support sufficient for a Latin American country to conclusively exit the U.S. sphere of influence (in the manner of Cuba in the early 1960s, for instance). China was especially unhelpful; despite Latin American attempts to establish economic and ties with Beijing, the People's Republic remained aloof. Beijing did modestly increase its economic links to the region, and exchanged recognition with several countries, but for the most part steered clear of the area. Premier Zhou Enlai was cold to a "Trotskyist," pro-Soviet Allende, and had long quarreled with Castro's Cuba. More broadly, with U.S.-Chinese détente in prospect, Beijing refused to anger Washington by meddling in America's "backyard." Zhou assured Kissinger that China had no interest in supporting anti-U.S. governments, and seemed almost pleased with the bloody denouement to the Chilean Revolution in 1973.88

Europe wasn't much more help. Although leaders such as Echeverría and Lanusse had seen the NATO countries’ growing independence of the United States as a sign that Western Europe might act as a diplomatic or economic balance to Washington, here too the results were minimal. French arms sales and West German nuclear commerce did provide a few countries with a modest autonomy from U.S. suppliers, but at no point was recourse to European support a meaningful option for a country embroiled in a dispute with Washington. NATO did not fragment during the early 1970s to the extent that many observers had believed it would. Latin America thus remained a relatively low priority for the major West European powers, an area not worth risking U.S. enmity over. Although French, West German, and British officials continued to explore ways of expanding their presence in Latin America, they remained respectful of Washington's regional primacy.89

Far more disappointing to some Latin American leaders—especially Allende—was Moscow's continuing diffidence. That the Kremlin should avoid confrontation with the United States over Latin America as détente unfolded might perhaps have been predicted. Since the Cuban missile crisis, the Soviets had appeased Washington by taking a low profile in the area. They focused on building political and economic relations with all Latin American countries, even those hostile to communism (a policy that one Soviet commentator ironically characterized as "businesslike"), and eschewed policies that might lead to conflict with the United States.90 Chastened by the Cuban missile crisis and its subsequent disagreements with Castro, the Kremlin wanted little part of revolutionary adventures or entangling alliances in Latin America.91

Some commentators speculated that the decline of U.S. power in the late 1960s might encourage Moscow to give greater support to its enemy's enemies in the Western Hemisphere, but here too reality fell short of expectation. Preoccupied with the Chinese threat and therefore anxious not to jeopardize U.S.-Soviet détente, Soviet leaders were careful not to provoke Washington.92 When Kissinger hinted that construction of a Soviet submarine base in Cuba might prevent further progress in U.S.-Soviet negotiations, the Brezhnev government discontinued the project.93 Moreover, although Moscow did sign trade agreements with Peru, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries, and even sold arms to Lima, it was unwilling to be drawn into more serious disputes between the United States and its neighbors or to become a patron to additional Latin American clients. Soviet disbursements to regional Communist parties remained at 1960s levels throughout the early 1970s, and quite low compared to the moneys given European parties.94

With respect to Allende, whose election posed the single greatest threat to U.S. policy in Latin America—and offered the single greatest opportunity for an expansion of Soviet influence—Moscow remained comparatively distant. Although Soviet intelligence had used Allende as an asset since the 1950s and provided him with campaign funds in 1970, after his election the Kremlin somewhat cooled to the Chilean leader. Soviet analysts doubted that Allende could hold power, and resented his demands for ever-greater military and economic support. Allende's requests for aid, commented one official, "implies that the Soviet Union would have to accept conditions that have never been contemplated in the relations of the USSR with the developing countries." Though Allende got a warm public reception and a relatively minor arms purchase from the Soviet Union, it was the wariness of the Kremlin's embrace that was most striking.95

In sum, the large powers failed to conform to the expectations of many Latin American diplomats and observers. Expanded economic relations with players other than the United States provided a marginal diversification of Latin American commerce, and Peru saw some diplomatic and technological gains as a result of its ties to Moscow. Overall, however, the Soviets and other outside actors simply refused to go beyond a very modest involvement in the area. Dreams of playing the powers off one another faded as it became clear that the United States was the only major actor willing to commit its influence and prestige—and increasingly aggressively at that—in the region.

A second problem was that, for all the exhortations to unity made by various Latin American leaders, on the most important issues there never arose the anti-U.S. consensus that at times seemed possible during the early 1970s. On a few nondivisive issues where most Latin American nations might have been expected to agree, regional collaboration did prevail. In the case of the Consensus of Viña del Mar, for instance, hemispheric solidarity had the desired effect. Unable to divide and ignore as earlier administrations had,96 Nixon obliged this show of unity by easing several restrictions on the use of U.S. aid and pledging to investigate the possibility of debt forgiveness for Latin America.97 Similarly, when several South American countries rallied OAS support in a dispute with Washington over territorial sea limits, Kissinger agreed to defuse the issue by referring it to the ongoing Law of the Sea Conference.98 With respect to the long-delayed Panama Canal negotiations, too, it was the threat that this issue might provide (as Kissinger put it) a "unifying cause" for the region that forced Gerald Ford to agree to a set of principles for treaty revision in 1976.99

Yet if Kissinger at one point feared that Latin America might "form a bloc, defined by its opposition to the United States," in reality action never caught up to rhetoric in terms of regional unity. During the early 1970s, U.S. officials worked assiduously to fracture Latin American opinion. Even as Kissinger sought to punish those who crossed the United States, he (somewhat paradoxically) remained conscious of the need to avoid fighting unwinnable diplomatic rows that would only encourage Latin American diplomats to join forces against Washington. At some points, in line with the belief that Latin Americans were "flattered to cooperate with us" and simply required "hand-holding," this strategy was mostly rhetorical. The 1973 announcement of a "new dialogue," for example, was more an effort to defuse accusations of U.S. paternalism than an actual departure in American policy.100

More substantively, Kissinger gave ground on issues on which the United States had little to gain and much to lose by an open dispute. As discussed above, he bent on the canal issue, and successfully removed Law of the Sea questions as irritants to U.S.-Latin American relations. When attempts to deny economic benefits to Peru as retaliation for the IPC expropriation resulted in what Kubisch called a widespread "alienation from U.S. leadership," the administration quietly backtracked, negotiating a settlement with Velasco in early 1974.101 Finally, as more countries favored ending OAS sanctions against Cuba, Kissinger reluctantly declined to oppose this initiative. In December, the U.S. delegation took a position of "absolute neutrality" on a vote that ended the OAS sanctions regime.102

Of course, the conciliatory aspects of American policy were often overshadowed by issues such as U.S. meddling in Chile (which, in the aftermath of the 1973 coup, was one of the worst-kept secrets in the hemisphere). Indeed, whatever gains Kissinger achieved through moderation were probably less important than those reaped from a second aspect of his strategy for rupturing Latin American solidarity: allying with friendly authoritarian governments in the region. The idea of a greater reliance on military regimes had been evident as early as Nelson Rockefeller's much-publicized report on Latin America in 1969, and fit well within the Nixon Doctrine's emphasis on finding supportive regional "sheriffs."103 In the early 1970s, Nixon, Kissinger, and Ford identified leaders that they hoped would advance U.S. interests in the face of a growing Latin American challenge. The Somoza government in Nicaragua and Argentine Foreign Minister Alberto Vignes received consideration for this role. At one point Nixon even looked to Echeverría, telling the Mexican president, "Let the voice of Echeverría rather than the voice of Castro be the voice of Latin America."104

Given Echeverría's views on international affairs, Nixon and Kissinger did not get very far with the Mexican president. They had greater success with other countries, particularly Brazil and post-Allende Chile. Brazil was one of the few Latin American countries that garnered Kissinger's respect. Because of its size, surging economy, and evident geopolitical ambition, Kissinger thought it certain that "in 50 years Brazil should have achieved world power status." On important political and security issues, moreover, Kissinger saw the military government as essentially friendly to U.S. aims. Médici certainly aspired to a greater world role and might occasionally feel compelled to demonstrate his independence of U.S. policy, but in the main Brasilia sympathized with Washington's anticommunism. Brazil was "trying to be supportive," Kissinger believed, even though it needed to "lean enough towards the non-aligned to maintain a credible Latin American posture." Accordingly, Kissinger viewed Brazil as Washington's closest ally in Latin America. "Stay in close step with the Brazilians," he told subordinates. Kissinger made concessions on a number of minor conflicts with Brasilia, in hopes of achieving cooperation against hemispheric "radicals."105

In this case, at least, Kissinger's analysis was astute. The Médici government, though determined to expand Brazil's international influence, always considered Washington more a partner than an adversary in Latin American affairs. "Any disagreement between the U.S. and Brazil should be considered a ‘lovers’ quarrel,’ " Médici once remarked.106 As the Left took power in Bolivia, Peru, and Chile at the end of the 1960s, and urban terrorism wracked the Southern Cone, anticommunism rather than regional solidarity defined Brazil's Latin American strategy. Médici eagerly cooperated with U.S. attempts to undermine the South American Left. He supported U.S. covert action against Allende, telling Connally that "something should probably be done . . . very discreetly and very carefully."107 In addition, Brazil almost certainly cooperated with the State Department and CIA to prevent the Frente Amplio from coming to power in Uruguay in 1971. "The Brazilians helped rig the Uruguayan election," Nixon later boasted.108 There is also circumstantial evidence indicating that Brazilian officials may have encouraged a coup against Bolivia's left-wing military government in 1971. In sum, rather than aiding South American movements and governments opposed to the United States, Médici collaborated with Washington in subverting them. "I wish he were running the whole continent," Nixon remarked.109

Brazilian policy also undercut Latin American efforts to achieve greater economic integration and diplomatic solidarity vis-à-vis the United States. The military government opposed the formation of a purely Latin American body to replace the OAS, and argued against reforms that would make that existing organization a vehicle for regional "isolationism." Given that Médici viewed many neighboring countries as enemies, he was also cool to integration schemes. Development was a region-wide concern, he allowed, but in the last analysis economic growth must be "the exclusive responsibility of each state." Because Brazil was by far the most powerful country in Latin America, its stance on these issues constituted a significant blow to any meaningful regional cohesion.110

The Chilean government became another valuable U.S. ally following General Augusto Pinochet's coup in September 1973. Like Médici, Pinochet saw the leftist trend in South America as an existential threat to his country and the Chilean junta therefore lurched rightward, toward an entente with the United States. Chile withdrew from the Andean Pact, re-privatized a number of industries seized under Allende, and compensated those companies whose holdings the former president had expropriated. The junta also mademenacing noises toward the left-leaning Peruvian junta (it was Pinochet's coup and subsequent hostility to Lima that prompted Velasco to purchase Soviet tanks), and by 1975–1976 the Chilean-Peruvian collaboration of years earlier had been replaced by talk of war. Like Médici, Pinochet made no secret of where his loyalties lay in the contest between radicalism and reaction in South America. "We are behind you," he told Kissinger. "You are the leader." Kissinger reciprocated by promising to support Chile in the event of war with Peru, and praised Pinochet for his "great service to the West in overthrowing Allende."111

By the mid-1970s, in fact, South America was going Washington's way. As revolutionary violence picked up in the Southern Cone, authoritarian governments increasingly rallied around anticommunism rather than anti-Americanism. In Uruguay, the armed forces seized power in 1973 after the civilian government proved ineffective in fighting leftist guerillas.112 In Peru, Velasco was overthrown in August 1975, replaced by a junta that, while still strongly nationalist, moderated the previous regime's hostility to the United States.113 In Argentina, the military gradually expanded its authority in combating several insurgent groups, and with Kissinger's enthusiastic support, seized power in 1976.114 Beginning in 1975, several South American militaries formed Operation Condor, pooling intelligence and security resources to track, jail, and kill their opponents. By this point, the feared "Latin American bloc" had, in South America at least, become an anti-Communist league tacitly allied to the United States.115 In the early 1970s, Washington had worried that Latin American diplomatic opinion might coalesce around an anti-U.S. position; by 1975–1976, there were few such fears. The ideological divisions highlighted by the rising leftist threat had caused the polarization of Latin American diplomatic opinion, leading a number of countries to identify with the United States and ensuring that the level of solidarity needed for a confrontation with Washington never materialized.

The third barrier to more independent diplomacy was the disappearance of the economic conditions that had raised regional hopes in the early 1970s. The material gains that resulted from rising oil prices proved evanescent or simply nonexistent; Western economic debility was temporary too. By the second half of the 1970s, it was obvious that much of Latin America—and the Third World as a whole—had been weakened, rather than strengthened, by the economic events of the previous years.

It would be inaccurate to say that the economic picture was entirely bleak for Latin America after 1973–1974. High oil prices lifted Venezuelan profits; Brazil's export-led success continued; Mexico went through a boom-and-bust cycle in the second half of the decade; and despite some lean years early on, Pinochet's Chile experienced sustained growth after 1975.116 For the most part, however, the progress of the early 1970s proved transitory or even illusory. What was not immediately apparent in the wake of the oil shocks, but soon became so, was that rising oil prices were in fact a disaster for most Latin American countries. For the non-oil exporters (all except Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador), high petroleum prices meant that import costs quickly dwarfed export earnings, leading to serious debt problems. The high commodity prices of the early 1970s momentarily shielded Latin American countries from this reality, but as coffee, copper, and fruit prices subsequently fell, the extent of the trouble came into focus.117 The oil importers lacked strong export earnings to compensate for high energy costs, and racked up massive foreign debts. Latin America's external debt rose faster than the average rate for LDCs during the first half of the 1970s, and by 1974 the region possessed one third of all LDC debt. In 1975, interest payments consumed 13 percent of export earnings, while debt service constituted another 27–30 percent. Through the 1970s, soaring foreign debts posed major challenges to Latin American development. For most Latin American countries, the oil shocks exposed a new vulnerability rather than a new power.118

While Latin America failed to make the long-term economic gains many observers had expected, Western financial hegemony proved more resilient than predicted. Though the Western world remained in an economic slump through the 1970s, by middecade the major capitalist economies and international financial institutions had begun the cooperation necessary to limit the growth of Third World economic power. They were, ironically, aided in this task by the oil shocks, which sent LDCs in Latin America and throughout the Third World deep into debt. The resulting Third World debt crisis gave an unexpected boost to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its major capital subscribers. The organization, which had lost its original mission with the breakdown of Bretton Woods, quickly took on the role of emergency lender to LDCs in need of debt relief. Thanks to the severity of the debt crisis, moreover, the IMF was now in a position to impose stricter-than-before conditions on loan recipients. There was a proliferation of IMF stabilization packages, which required borrowers to adopt austerity programs, reduce state control of major industries, and allow greater openness to foreign investment and trade. The IMF usually recommended the same general guidelines regardless of the country in question, and in doing so essentially further integrated recipient countries into an international economic system designed and managed by the developed countries. The World Bank adopted similar policies in the late 1970s, with the beginning of its "structural adjustment" lending. By the end of the decade, the international financial institutions and their predominantly Western sponsors had established economic conformity as the price of debt relief.119

The ways in which these trends proved debilitating to independent diplomacy and economic policies were soon evident. As Echeverría's presidency came to an end in Mexico in 1976, a combination of oil-induced inflation and economic mismanagement sent the country into a currency crisis. This event spelled the end of the postwar "Mexican miracle" and, despite the discovery of new oil reserves that provided a temporary recovery, marked the beginning of the downward slide to the debt crisis of 1982. Mexico received stabilization support from the IMF and the U.S. Treasury, but only after agreeing to contract the state's role in the economy and ease restrictions on FDI.120 As one scholar has noted, for all Echeverría's attempts to take a more autonomous posture, Mexico remained "as dependent as ever" on Washington and the international financial institutions.121

The same was true of Peru, where heavy borrowing and high oil prices led to a quintupling of the country's debt between 1970 and 1976. Velasco's successors eventually accepted an IMF stabilization package in 1977, demonstrating the degree to which even a country that had blazed the trail of Latin American diplomatic assertiveness remained in thrall to Western economic institutions.122 Chile too turned to the IMF in the mid-1970s, though in its case more enthusiastically. As the number of countries seeking IMF relief grew over the next several years, so did the fund's influence in Latin America and the barriers to alternative economic policies.

In sum, the Third World challenge to world economic order that many had predicted in the early 1970s never really took shape. Within Latin America, it was clear as early as 1975 that, a few alterations notwithstanding, the international economic balance was not far removed from its earlier state. In contrast to its jubilance of two years earlier, ECLA now conceded "the sensitivity of the Latin American economies to changes in the international power and decision-making centers."123 Over the next several years, it would be IMF conditionality rather than independent economic policies that dominated the regional scene. The 1970s, which had begun so promisingly for those who hoped to upend the traditional order of global economics, ended with Western hegemony intact, if slightly worse for the wear.

In many ways, this was true of Western economic relations with the Third World as a whole, where the 1970s saw not the emergence of a "common economic front," but rather the growing prosperity of a few petro-economies and the growing impoverishment of the rest. While Venezuela, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states reaped huge profits and played an expanded role in IMF lending and Euromarket finance, the majority of the underdeveloped countries received massive debt burdens as the chief financial legacy of the 1970s. In other words, the petro-economies escaped (in many cases temporarily), rather than elevated, the Third World.124 Just as ideological issues had caused the fragmentation of Latin American diplomatic opinion, so economic disparities opened widening gaps between the countries composing an increasingly heterogeneous Third World.

By the mid-1970s, the Latin American challenge that had taken root in the geopolitical and economic upheaval of previous years had largely failed. The advent of tougher, rather than more flexible, U.S. policies helped cause Allende's downfall and served notice that Washington was still willing to act boldly in the region, while the tepidness of other major-power involvement in Latin America meant that there emerged no counterforce against American influence. To the extent that a Latin American diplomatic bloc had taken shape, it consisted of South American military dictatorships that, whatever their disagreements with Washington (especially once Jimmy Carter became president125), evinced little interest in undercutting U.S. influence in the manner of Velasco, Echeverría, or Allende. The evanescence of the economic optimism of the early 1970s and the reassertion of Western financial hegemony eroded the material basis for increased Latin American autonomy, and rendered countries like Peru and Mexico more compliant with U.S. and IMF prescriptions.

To be sure, U.S. hegemony in Latin America was not what it once had been. The United States would soon agree to revised Panama Canal treaties; the OAS no longer ostracized Cuba; and both the outgoing Ford and incoming Carter administrations admitted that the paternalistic rhetoric of the "special relationship" needed junking.126 By and large, however, the fundamental power relationships structuring Latin America's intercourse with the world remained at least temporarily intact. Unable to overcome their economic weakness or form a united regional front, those Latin American nations that sought to transform the existing order were doomed to disappointment.

As this defiance faltered, however, another was taking shape. Washington had managed to protect its influence on a government-to-government and economic level, but would soon confront a new—and potentially more serious—threat. In the late 1970s, the locus of conflict between the United States and Latin America would shift from governmental relations with the larger hemispheric powers to interactions with broad-based popular movements and leftist insurgencies in Central America. By the close of that decade, in fact, one such revolutionary movement had seized power in Nicaragua, while civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador brought those governments to the brink of collapse. Having spent the decade after 1965 breaking one antihegemonic attempt, the United States would pass the next dozen years confronting another.

The Central American maelstrom was clearly a challenge of a different sort than that which characterized the early 1970s. It drew its force from the threat of social revolution and overturning U.S.-backed regimes rather than the use of creative diplomacy and increased economic power; on popular protest or alliance with Moscow and Havana (and the outright U.S. hostility this entailed) rather than exploiting the fluidity of a multipolar order. Yet this new disruption was also a legacy of the turbulence that preceded it. The ideological polarization and reliance on authoritarian methods that swept the region in the 1970s; the tendency of governments to divert or repress socioeconomic tensions rather than addressing them through meaningful reform; the growing prevalence of neo-liberal economic policies that placed Latin American countries and their poorest citizens in ever-greater states of dependence: all of these factors would eventually feed into the revolutionary violence and anti-Americanism of the 1980s. These expedients had shaped the contours of Latin America's foreign relations between 1965 and 1975, and they would provide fuel for the conflagration that followed.127

What can the trajectory of Latin American statecraft between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s tell us about the broader dynamics of world affairs during this period? One important theme is the tight intertwining of great-power and Third World politics. To a striking degree, initiatives meant to stabilize great-power relations (the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, the emergence of détente, the decision to abandon a rickety Bretton Woods system) set off profoundly destabilizing reactions in North-South affairs. Coming at a time when a growing number of underdeveloped countries had grown restive within the postwar order, events that looked to demonstrate Western weakness and geopolitical fluidity provided alluring opportunities for Third World diplomats. As a result, Western and great-power policies meant to calm a shaken global system instead gave rise to additional challenges to the international status quo.

A second theme relates to the multidimensional nature of international power during this period. Although Cold War and economic historians have tended to treat their subjects in isolation from one another, the course of Latin American foreign relations demonstrates that economic and geopolitical change were inseparable in their influence on the diplomacy of the 1960s and 1970s. A confluence of geopolitical adjustment and economic dislocation spurred the Latin American challenge, just as a mix of diplomatic and economic factors ensured its failure. Indeed, Latin American statesmen saw these issues as inextricable in terms of their effect on the distribution of global power, and to the extent that historians seek an integrated analysis of international dynamics during this period, so must they.128

Most fundamentally, this episode indicates that while the global order did become somewhat more flexible as a result of the events of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it ultimately retained sufficient resilience to avert the type of thoroughgoing transformations envisioned by Latin American officials. The economic fluctuations, redistribution of world power, and prospect of regional solidarity that characterized this period were powerful enough to tempt ambitious Third World diplomats into action, but not to permit them more than marginal success. The Latin American challenge thus ground to a halt against determined U.S. resistance, the indifference of other great powers, renewed economic difficulties, and regional polarization. The rise of this movement had demonstrated the possibility of Third World empowerment via the global turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s; its demise revealed the limits.


* The author thanks International Security Studies at Yale University for its financial support.

1. See, among others, Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Détente (Cambridge, England, 2003); Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissinger and the American Century (Cambridge, MA, 2007); Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third-World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (New York, 2005); Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001); Mary Sarotte, Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Détente, and Ostpolitik, 1969–1973 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001); Daniel Sargent, "From Internationalism to Globalism: The United States and the Transformation of International Politics, 1965–1980" (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 2007); Jussi Hanhimaki, The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (New York, 2004); Pierre Asselin, A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (Chapel Hill, NC, 2002); Francis Gavin, Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958–1971 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2004); Harold James, International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods (New York, 1996); Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959–1976 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2002); Margaret MacMillan, Nixon in China: The Week that Changed the World (Toronto, 2006).

2. Westad, Global Cold War, 158–206. For examples of the more specialized literature, see the sources listed in the notes below.

3. The evolution of the "Third World" is covered in H. W. Brands, The Specter of Neutralism: The United States and the Emergence of the Third World, 1947–1960 (New York, 1989), 323–28. In this essay, "Third World" connotes underdevelopment, not nonalignment.

4. Suri, Power and Protest, chap. 5; John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War (New York, 2005), chap. 9.

5. Alfred E. Eckes, Jr., A Search for Solvency: Bretton Woods and the International Monetary System, 1941–1971 (Austin, TX, 1975), 254–66; Gavin, Gold, Dollars, and Power, 167–88; James, International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods, 205–41.

6. Memorandum of Conversation, 17 December 1974, Box 7, Robinson Papers, Record Group (RG) 59, U.S. National Archives II (NA), College Park, Maryland.

7. Helms to Johnson, "Implications of an Unfavorable Outcome in Vietnam," 12 September 1967, Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS), online database.

8. "Castro Outlines Support for Other Revolutions," 5 August 1971, Castro Speech Database, University of Texas, Austin; Allende Speech to UNCTAD, 13 April 1972, in Victor Farias, ed., La izquierda chilena (1969–1973): Documentos para el estudio de su linea estratégica (Berlin, 2000), 3: 2143.

9. Regis Debray, Conversations with Allende (New York, 1971), 126.

10. See the views of Peruvian president Juan Velasco in Peru: Documentos fundamentales del proceso revolucionario (Buenos Aires, 1973), 55; Interagency Intelligence Memorandum, "Latin American Perceptions of the United States," 26 April 1976, Box 2, President's Country Files for Latin America, Gerald Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan (hereafter cited as GFL).

11. Dirk Kruijt, Revolution by Decree: Peru, 1968–1975 (Amsterdam, 1994), 104. The junta's perspective on U.S.-Peruvian relations is covered in Carlos Garcia Bedoya, Política exterior peruana: Teoria y práctica (Lima, 1981); Helan Jaworski, "Peru: The Military Government's Foreign Policy in Its Two Phases," in Latin American Nations in World Politics, ed. Heraldo Mudioz and Joseph Tulchin (Boulder, CO, 1984), 200–209.

12. Debray, Conversations with Allende, 126.

13. "Speech at WPC Award Ceremony," 14 October 1972; and "Banquet—Central Committee of Vietnam Workers Party," 13 September 1973, Castro Speech Database.

14. "Último dia em Viet Nam," O Globo (Rio de Janeiro), 30 March 1973, in Brasilia to State, NARA Archival Database (http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=4073); DIA Analysis, "Brazil's View of Changes in US Relationship," 16 April 1976, Box 2, President's Country Files for Latin America, GFL; John Dinges, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terror to Three Continents (New York, 2004), 11.

15. "A Strategic Overview," October 1969, Box 397, Subject Files, National Security Council (NSC) Files, Nixon Presidential Materials Project (NPM), College Park, Maryland.

16. Quotes taken from "El Pacto Andio es la via mas seguro para llegar al desarrollo económico," El Comercio (Lima), 20 June 1972; "Castro Interviewed in Ecuador," 5 December 1971, Castro Speech Database; also Allende speech before UNCTAD, 13 April 1972, in Farias, ed., La izquierda chilena, 3: 2142–43.

17. Entrevista de los presidentes de la Argentina y Brasil (Buenos Aires, 1972), 14; Médici, Nosso Caminho (Brasilia, 1972), 7.

18. "Castro Interviewed in Ecuador," 5 December 1971, Castro Speech Database.

19. Latin America's Development and the Alliance for Progress (Washington, DC, 1973), 205–17; OAS General Secretariat, External Financing for Latin American Development (Baltimore, 1971), 30–40.

20. ECLA, Economic Survey of Latin America, 1971 (Santiago, 1972), 23. Early expressions of dependency analysis include Fernando Enrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto, Dependencia y desarrollo en América Latina (Lima, 1967); Celso Furtado, Economic Development of Latin America: Historical Background and Contemporary Problems (New York, 1970). For more recent assessments, see Cristóbal Kay, Latin American Theories of Development and Underdevelopment (New York, 1989); Stephen Haber, "Economic Growth and Latin American Economic Historiography," in How Latin America Fell Behind: Essays on the Economic Histories of Brazil and Mexico, 1800–1914, ed. Stephen Haber (Stanford, CA, 1997), 1–19.

21. Letter to Herrera et al., 6 January 1965, in Teresa Pinochet de la Barra, ed., Eduardo Frei: Obras Escogidas, 1931–1982 (Santiago, 1993), 316; "Exposición del Doctor Alfredo Vazquez Carrizosa," 2 November, 1966, OEA/Ser G. VII/CE/CP-URC-13, OAS Archives, Washington, DC; Inter-American Economic and Social Council, "Analysis of the Economic and Social Evolution of Latin America since the Inception of the Alliance for Progress," 3 August 1971, OAS Archives; "Progress toward Economic Integration in Latin America," 25 August 1967, Box 3, Country File, National Security File (NSF), Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, Austin, Texas (hereafter cited as LBJL); Royce Shaw, Central America: Regional Integration and National Political Development (Boulder, CO, 1978).

22. Entrevista de los Presidentes de la Argentina y Peru (Buenos Aires, 1971), 30; Entrevista de los presidentes de la Argentina y Colombia (Buenos Aires, 1972), 13, 18; Garcia, Pólitica exterior peruana, 108.

23. Caldera, La solidaridad pluralistica de América Latina (Caracas, 1973), 81.

24. Mexico did not become a net exporter until the discovery of additional reserves in 1975–1976.

25. ECLA, Economic Survey of Latin America, 1975 (Santiago, 1976), 14–20.

26. Kubisch to Kissinger (January 1974), Box 8, Country Files, White House Central File (WHCF), NPM.

27. Carlos Andrés Pérez, Manos a la obra: Textos de mensajes, discursos y declaraciones del Presidente de la Républica, Tomo I (Caracas, 1975), 147.

28. ECLA, Economic Survey of Latin America, 1973 (Santiago, 1974), 2, 3, 9.

29. Speech to the Congress, 21 February 1973, Una Voz del Tercer Mundo (Mexico City, 1974), 15; Primer mensaje del Ciudadano Presidente de la República Carlos Andres Perez al Congreso Nacional, 12 de marzo 1975 (Caracas, 1975), 417.

30. Voz del Tercer Mundo, 14; Mercado, Ensayos (Lima, 1974), 91; Mercado, Seguridad, política, estrategia (Lima, 1974), 5, 152.

31. Primer mensaje del Ciudadano Presidente de la República, 417; Mercado Jarrin, Ensayos, 212; Mercado Jarrin, Seguridad, Política, Estrategia, 174.

32. Thomas Wright, Latin America in the Era of the Cuban Revolution (New York, 2000).

33. Mexico City to State, 5 January 1975, Box 5, President's Country Files for Latin America, GFL; Olga Pellicer de Brody, Mexico y la revolución cubana (Mexico City, 1972); Yoram Shapira, "Mexico's Foreign Policy under Echeverría: A Retrospect," Inter-American Economic Affairs 31 (Spring 1978): 34–43.

34. Interview with Jose Graham Hurtado, Expreso, 22 August 1972, quoted in Luigi Einaudi, "Revolution from Within? Military Rule in Peru since 1968," in Peruvian Nationalism: A Corporatist Revolution, ed. David Chaplin (New Brunswick, NJ, 1976), 409–14.

35. "Manifesto del Gobierno Revolucionario," Folder 6, Reel 1, Peruvian Political Party Documents (Princeton, NJ, 1989). The best account is Cynthia McClintock and Abraham F. Lowenthal, eds., The Peruvian Experiment Reconsidered (Princeton, NJ, 1983).

36. George D. E. Philip, The Rise and Fall of the Peruvian Military Radicals, 1968–1976 (London, 1978), 77–91; Rosario Arias Qunicot and Rosa Maria Santistevan de Noriega, Voces y ecos: Conversando con la generación de los 70 (Lima, 2002), 31–32, 75.

37. Maria del Pilar Tello, ed., Golpe o revolución? Hablan los militares del 68 (Lima, 1983), 292.

38. Memorandum of Conversation, 17 April 1971, Box 2085, Subject Numeric File (SNF), RG 59, NA; Alejandro Lanusse, Mi testimonio (Buenos Aires, 1977), 240–42; Daniel James, Resistance and Integration: Peronism and the Working Class, 1946–1976 (New York, 1988).

39. Jânio Quadros, "Brazil's New Foreign Policy," Foreign Affairs 40 (October 1961): 19–21, 26ISI; Vladimir Reisky de Dubnic, Political Trends in Brazil (Washington, DC, 1968), 132. On U.S.-Brazilian relations, see Joseph Smith, Unequal Giants: Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Brazil, 1889–1930 (Pittsburgh, 1991); Gary Frank, Struggle for Hegemony in South America: Argentina, Brazil, and the United States during the Second World War (Coral Gables, FL, 1979); Ruth Leacock, Requiem for Revolution: The United States and Brazil, 1961–1969 (Kent, OH, 1990), 221–50.

40. Airgram from Brasilia, 17 September 1971, Box 2131, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

41. See Foreign Minister Mario Gibson Barboza's speech reprinted in Rio de Janeiro to State, 26 October 1970, Box 2129, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA; Cíntia Vieira Souto, A Diplomacia do Interesse Nacional: A política externa do Governo Médici (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2003), 14–20, 68–72.

42. See "Unidad Popular: Programa básico de gobierno," in Farias, ed., La izquierda chilena 1: 115, 131; Victor Pey, Joan E. Garcés, and Gonzalo Martinez, Salvador Allende, 1908–1973: Obras Escogidas (Madrid, 1992), 565; William Sater, Chile and the United States: Empires in Conflict (Athens, GA, 1990), 165–72; also Mark Falcoff, Modern Chile, 1970–1989: A Critical History (London, 1989), 25–43.

43. María Teresa Romero, Política exterior venezolana (El proyecto democrático, 1959–1999) (Caracas, 2002), esp. 69–70.

44. Lima to State, 15 January 1964, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, vol. 31 (Washington, DC, 2004), doc. 470; Javier de Belaúnde Ruiz de Somocurcio, Político por vocación: Testimonio y memorias (Lima, 1996), 523–24; Mercado in Financial Times, 25 February 1969.

45. Lima to State, 28 September 1971, Box 2543, SNF, RG 59, NA.

46. "Peruvians and Soviet Sign Their First Trade Accord," New York Times, 18 February 1969; Ruben Berrios and Cole Blasier, "Peru and the Soviet-Union (1969–1989): Distant Partners," Journal of Latin American Studies 23 (May 1991): esp. 365–75.ISI, CSA

47. "Texto del protocolo económico-técnico entre Rusia y el Perú," El Comercio, 20 June 1972; Juan Velasco, La Revolución Peruana (Buenos Aires, 1973), 230, 237; Paul Sigmund, Multinationals in Latin America: The Politics of Expropriation (Madison, WI, 1982), 199.

48. De la Flor in Pilar Tello, ed., Hablan los militares, 61; Lima to State, 5 December 1973, NARA Archival Database.

49. Mercado Jarrin, Ensayos, 217; Mercado Jarrin, Seguridad, Política, Estrategia, 174.

50. Velasco Alvarado, Voz de la Revolución, 78; Kruijt, Revolution by Decree, 102–4.

51. Memorandum of Conversation, 19 February 1971, Box 2201, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA; Sater, Chile and the United States, 168–69.

52. "El Futuro de la revolución chilena," 1 May 1971, in Patricio Quiroga, ed., Salvador Allende: Obras escogidas, 1970–1973 (Barcelona, 1989), esp. 70; Memorandum of Conversation, 19 February 1971, Box 2201, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

53. "Conversación del ministro consejero de la embajada soviética con director del departamento económico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile," 25 January 25; and "Informe de delegación soviética," 27 November 1970, in "Chile en los Archivos de la URSS (1959–1973)," Estudios Públicos 72 (Spring 1998): 414, 422; also Jonathan Haslam, The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide (New York, 2005), passim.

54. Memorandum of Conversation, 4 June 1970, Box 943, VIP Visits, NSC Files, NPM; Primer mensaje del Ciudadano Presidente de la República, 417. On the background to the nationalization, see Stephen Rabe, The Road to OPEC: United States Relations with Venezuela, 1919–1976 (Austin, TX, 1982), 169–90; Judith Ewell, "The Development of Venezuelan Geopolitical Analysis since World War II," Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs 24 (August 1982): esp. 303–4, 311; Tomás Polanco Alcántara, Simón Alberto Consalvi, and Edgardo Mondolfi Gadat, Venezuela y Estados Unidos a través de 2 siglos (Caracas, 2000), 375–432.

55. Recife to State, 14 January 1973, Box 2129, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA; and Rio de Janeiro to State, 26 October 1970, ibid.; also Vieira Souto, A Diplomacia do Interesse Nacional, esp. 41–83, 99–110.

56. Tegucigalpa to State, 20 July 1971; and INR Intelligence Note, 11 December 1972, Box 2130, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

57. Arthur da Costa e Silva, Mensagem ao Congresso Nacional, October 22, 1969 (Brasilia, 1969), 109; Emilio Garrastazu Médici, Mensagem ao Congresso Nacional, March 31, 1970 (Brasilia, 1970), 72; Rio de Janeiro to State, 23 April 1970, Box 2129, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

58. William Lowrance, "Nuclear Futures for Sale: To Brazil from West Germany, 1975," International Security 1 (Autumn 1976): 147–66.CrossRef

59. Brasilia to State, 28 August 1970, Box 2134, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

60. A. D. Horne, "21 Latin Countries Present Manifesto on Links to U.S.," Washington Post, 12 June 1969; Alan McPherson, Intimate Ties, Bitter Struggles: The United States and Latin America since 1945 (Washington, DC, 2006), 68.

61. "Texto del discurso del Canciller de la Flor pronunciado en la OEA," El Comercio, 13 April 1972; Kubisch to the Acting Secretary, 28 August 1973, Box 2545, SNF, RG 59, NA; MemCon between Kubisch and General Garcia Bedoya, 29 October 1973, Box 2544, SNF, RG 59, NA.

62. Felipe Herrera, Nacionalismo, regionalismo, internacionalismo: América Latina en el contexto internacional (Buenos Aires, 1970), 164; see also Echeverría's press conferences of 2 and 5 April 1973, in Voz del tercer mundo, 89, 146.

63. Secretary's Staff Meeting, 10 April 1974, Box 3, Transcripts of Kissinger's Staff Meetings, RG 59, NA.

64. Echeverria's Press Conference, 1 April 1973, Voz del tercer mundo, 76.

65. Echeverria's Press Conference, 9 April 1973, Voz del tercer mundo, 217; Entrevista de los presidentes de la Argentina y Brasil (Buenos Aires, 1972), 31; CIA Directorate of Intelligence, "Latin America Looks to Eastern Europe," 29 March 1969, Box 3, Country File, NSF, LBJL; "Eastern Europe and Latin America," December 1972, 20-LATAM-1-3, vol. 8677, Library and Archives Canada (hereafter cited as LAC), Ottawa, Canada.

66. See, for instance, "Note de la Direction des Affaires Culturelles et Techniques," 16 February 1966, Documents Diplomatiques Francais, 1966 (Paris, 2003), 1: 310–13 (hereafter cited as DDF); "Entretien entre le général de Gaulle et le président Frei," 9 July 1965, DDF, 1965 2: 66–69; Francois J. Le Roy, "Mirages over the Andes: Peru, France, the United States and Military Jet Procurement in the 1960s," Pacific Historical Review 71 (May 2002): 269–300CrossRef, ISI; Memorandum from the Foreign Secretary to the Cabinet, 10 June 1966, Cabinet Conclusions (66) 76, CAB 129/125, National Archives of the United Kingdom, Kew, England; Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World (London, 2005), 58–65.

67. "Text of Castro Press Conference in Lima," 5 December 1971, Castro Speech Database. On Cuban policy, see Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions, 220–22; Jorge Dominguez, To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy (Cambridge, MA, 1989), 222–26. On the evolution of foco, see Matt D. Childs, "An Historical Critique of the Emergence and Evolution of Ernesto Che Guevara's Foco Theory," Journal of Latin American Studies 27 (October 1995): 595–624.

68. Meyer to Rogers, 5 April 1971, Box 3158, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA.

69. "La Cancilleria comenta la votación en la OEA sobre el caso de Cuba," El Comercio, 9 June 1972.

70. David Binders, "U.S. Is Believed Losing Control over Its Policy of Isolating Cuba," New York Times, 13 July 1974; Memorandum of Conversation, 15 August 1974, Kissinger Transcripts, National Security Archive (NSA), Washington, DC. Kissinger subsequently opened a dialogue with Havana. See Peter Kornbluh and James Blight, "Dialogue with Castro: A Hidden History," New York Review of Books, 6 October 1994, 45–49.

71. David Lehmann, Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, Politics, and Religion in the Post-War Period (Cambridge, England, 1990), 48–51.

72. Echeverría's speech on 25 July 1974, in Venezuela y México: Visita del Presidente de los Estados Unidos de México, Licenciado Luis Echeverría Alvarez a Venezuela (Caracas, 1974), 23.

73. Sigmund, Multinationals in Latin America, 37–38; CIA Report, "Trends and Implications of Prime Minister Burnham Nationalizing Guyana's Bauxite Industry," 1 April 1971, DDRS; Maurice Stens to Nixon, 27 August 1971, Presidential Directives Collection, Part II, NSA.

74. OAS General Assembly, Actas y documentos, tomo I (Washington, DC, 1972), 36; Stephen Kobrin, "Expropriation as an Attempt to Control Foreign Firms in LDCs: Trends from 1960 to 1979," International Studies Quarterly 28 (September 1984): 329–48.CrossRef, ISI, CSA

75. Garcia Bedoya, Política exterior peruana, 108; also Kruijt, Revolution by Decree, 103–5.

76. Speech at UNCTAD, 4 April 1972, in Farias, ed., Izquierda Chilena 3: 2141; Mercado, Ensayos, 137.

77. Speech of 12 April 1973, Voz del tercer mundo, 339–40; Entrevista de los presidentes de la Argentina y Brasil, 11.

78. Secretary's Staff Meeting, 15 February 1974, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA.

79. The majority of the literature on U.S.-Latin American relations downplays the agency of Latin American actors and emphasizes U.S. control of regional affairs. See Mark Gilderhus, "An Emerging Synthesis? U.S.-Latin American Relations since the Second World War," Diplomatic History 16 (Summer 1992): 429–52Synergy, ISI. A prominent example is Lars Schoultz's recent book, Beneath the United States, which consistently and explicitly hews to the puppets/colossus dichotomy. A recent dissent is Max Paul Friedman, "Retiring the Puppets, Bringing Latin America Back In: Recent Scholarship on United States-Latin American Relations," Diplomatic History 27 (November 2003): 621–36Synergy, ISI; also Haslam, Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile; Stephen Streeter, Managing the Counterrevolution: The United States and Guatemala, 1954–1961 (Athens, OH, 2000).

80. Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, 297.

81. Memorandum enclosed in J. Wesley Jones to Irwin, 3 April 1969, DDRS.

82. Treasury Department Position Paper, 13 July 1971, FRUS, 1969–1972 4: 399–404.

83. Benjamin Welles, "We Don't Have Any Friends Anyway," New York Times, 15 August 1971; also Connally to Nixon, 11 June 1971, FRUS, 1969–1972 4: 393–95.

84. See Hal Brands, "Richard Nixon and Economic Nationalism in Latin America: The Problem of Expropriations, 1969–1974," Diplomacy and Statecraft 18 (March 2007): 215–35.CrossRef

85. Kissinger to Nixon, 5 November 1970, Box H-029, Meetings File, NSC Institutional File, NPM.

86. NSC Meeting, 6 November 1970, ibid.; also Vernon Walters to Kissinger, ibid.

87. For various perspectives on Nixon's Chile policy, see Haslam, Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile; Sater, Chile and the United States, 171–84; Peter Kornbluh, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability (New York, 2004); and Sigmund, The United States and Democracy in Chile (Baltimore, 1993).

88. "De la entrevista al periódico mexicano Excelsior," 6 September 1971, in Farias, ed., La izquierda chilena 2: 1054–55; Memorandum of Conversation, 13 November 1973, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA. The effect of Sino-American rapprochement on Beijing's support for Third World movements is discussed in Qiang Zhai, China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950–1975 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2000), 193–215.

89. See, for instance, the perspective expressed in "Aufzeichnung des Ministerialdirektors Lahn," 3 December 1975, Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1975, vol. 2 (München, 2006), doc. 363.

90. Izvestia, 10 July 1966, in Current Digest of the Soviet Press, 18, no. 28, p. 9.

91. In 1967, Brezhnev characterized Castro as "dangerous." "Polish Record of Conversation," 24 June 1967, E-Dossier 13, Cold War International History Project Virtual Archive; also Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions, 216–19, Cole Blasier, The Giant's Rival: The USSR and Latin America (Pittsburgh, 1983), 105–7.

92. See Gromyko's "Foreign Policy Memorandum," 13 January 1967, in Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents (New York, 1995), 649–52.

93. Memorandum of Conversation, 16 February 1971, Box 1000, Haig Special File, NSC Files, NPM; TelCon between Kissinger and Nixon, 22 February 1971, Box 128, Country File, Henry A. Kissinger Office Files, NSC, NPM; Raymond Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan (Washington, DC, 1985), 76–83.

94. "Rendición de Aportes Entregados en 1966," 26 December 1966; "Aprobación de Aportes para 1970," 28 December 1969; and "Rendición de Aportes Entregados en 1973," 17 December 1973, in "Chile en los archivos," 398–402.

95. "Informe de delegación soviética," 27 November 1970; and "Informe sobre la situación chilena elaborado por el Instituto de América Latina de la Academia de Ciencias de la URSS," undated, in ibid., 414, 440; see also the analysis in Moscow to Ottawa, 5 October 1970, 20-Chile-1-3, vol. 8848, LAC.

96. During the 1940s and 1950s, U.S. officials had scrupulously avoided dealing with Latin American economic issues in anything other than bilateral negotiations (where U.S. power was greatest). See Stephen Rabe, "The Elusive Conference: U.S. Economic Relations with Latin America, 1945–52," Diplomatic History 2 (Summer 1978): 229–94Synergy; Stephen Rabe, Eisenhower and Latin America: The Foreign Policy of Anti-Communism (Chapel Hill, NC, 1989), passim.

97. Eliot Richardson to David Kennedy, 9 June 1969, FRUS, 1969–1972 4: 269–71; Kissinger Memorandum, 13 June 1969, ibid., 273; "U.S. Foreign Assistance in the 1970s," 4 March 1970, Presidential Directives Collection, Part II, NSA.

98. "Texto del discurso del Canciller de la Flor pronunciado en la OEA," El Comercio, 13 April 1972; Kubisch to the Acting Secretary, 28 August 1973, Box 2545, SNF, RG 59, NA; State to San Salvador, 23 April 1974, Central Foreign Policy Files, RG 59, NARA Archival Database.

99. Memorandum of Conversation, 24 May 1976, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA; Walter LaFeber, The Panama Canal: The Crisis in Historical Perspective (New York, 1989), 140–44.

100. Memorandum of Conversation, 7 February 1974, Box 1028, Presidential/HAK MemCons, NSC Files, NPM; Department of State Bulletin, 24 December 1973, 769.

101. "Exige Nixon indemnizaciones rápidas y suficientes a empresas," Excelsior, 20 January 1972; OAS, Final Report: VIII Annual Meeting of CIES (Washington, DC, 1973), 10; Kubisch to Kissinger (January 1974), Box 8, Countries File, White House Central Files, NPM. Peru pledged to pay $150 million to the U.S. government, which would then distribute the money to eleven expropriated firms. In return, Washington organized $150 million in private loans to Peru and refrained from blocking future aid projects.

102. "Cuba Policy," 15 August 1975, Box 2, President's Country Files on Latin America, GFL; Department of State Bulletin, 20 January 1975, 67.

103. See Department of State Bulletin, 8 December 1969, 505; Westad, Global Cold War, 197.

104. Memorandum of Conversation, 5 October 1973, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA; Memorandum of Conversation, 29 August 1974, Box 12, NSC Latin America Staff Files, GFL; Nixon quoted in Transcript of Conversation, 15 June 1972, Briefing Book no. 95, NSA.

105. Secretary's Staff Meetings, 11 November 1974 and 5 November 1975; and Meeting with Secretary Simon, 13 October 1975, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA.

106. Memorandum of Conversation, 8 December 1971, Box 911, VIP Visits, NSC Files, NPM.

107. Canberra to State, 17 June 1972, Box 954, VIP Visits, NSC Files, NPM.

108. "Conversation between President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers," 7 December 1971; Kissinger Memorandum, 20 December 1971; State Department Memorandum for Kissinger, 27 November 1971; Buenos Aires to State, 20 August 1971; and "Transmission of a Preliminary Analysis and Strategy Paper—Uruguay," 25 August 1971, Briefing Book no. 71, NSA.

109. "Conversation between President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers," 7 December 1971, ibid.; Canberra to Department of State, 17 June 1972, Box 954, VIP Visits, NSC Files, NPM.

110. Médici speech on 8 December 1971, Visita do Presidente Emílio Garrastazu Médici, 11.

111. Memorandum of Conversation, 8 June 1976, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA. On the junta's economic policies, see Phil O’Brien and Jackie Roddick, Chile: The Pinochet Decade: The Rise and Fall of the Chicago Boys (London, 1983), esp. 42–87.

112. For background on these events, see Montevideo to State, 3 November 1973, Box 2660, Subject Numeric File, RG 59, NA; Montevideo to State, 9 February 1973, Box 2662, ibid.; Nelso Caula and Alberto Silva, Alto el fuego: FF.AA. y Tupamaros, 1972–1973 (Montevideo, 1993); Eduardo Gitli et al., La caída de la democracia: las bases del deterioro institucional, 1966–1973 (Montevideo, 1987).

113. Stephen Gorman, "The Peruvian Revolution in Historical Perspective," in Post-Revolutionary Peru: The Politics of Transformation, ed. Stephen Gorman (Boulder, CO, 1982), 24–29; Lawrence A. Clayton, Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle (Athens, GA, 1999), 251–65.

114. On U.S. support, see Secretary's Staff Meeting, 15 March 1976, Kissinger Transcripts, NSA.

115. Dinges, Condor Years, is the best account.

116. Indeed, the fact that Latin America's overall economic numbers were better for the early 1970s than for the Alliance for Progress years owed substantially to Brazil's strong performance. Development in Latin America: A View from the IDB (Washington, DC, 1975), 170–71.

117. On commodity prices, see United Nations World Economic Survey: Fluctuations and Developments in the World Economy, Part I (New York, 1976), 16–17; ECLA, Statistical Yearbook for Latin America, 1976 (New York, 1977), 53.

118. United Nations World Economic Survey, 1974, pt. 1 (New York, 1974), 25, 72; "Aperçu Regionale: Amerique Latine, 1977–1978," undated, 20-LATAM, vol. 8572, LAC; Inter-American Development Bank, External Debt and Economic Development in Latin America (Washington, DC, 1984), 21; Economic Survey of Latin America, 1977 (Santiago, 1978), 12–15; Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Economic History of Latin America since Independence (New York, 2003), 313–26.

119. James, International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods, 269–341; Richard Peet, Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO (New York, 2003), 66–74; IMF Annual Report, 1978 (Washington, DC, 1978), 10–14; Eric Helleiner, States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s (Ithaca, NY, 1994), 123–68.

120. "Mexico—Use of Fund Resources," 23 September 1976, EBS/76/424; and "Mexico: Discussion with President-Elect," 2 December 1976, Box 6, Country Files, Central Files, IMF Archives, Washington, DC; Miguel D. Ramirez, "Mexico's Development Experience, 1950–85: Lessons and Future Prospects," Journal of Inter-American Studies and World Affairs 28 (Summer 1986): 39–65CrossRef; Olga Pellicer de Brody, "A Mexican Perspective," Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science 34 (Spring 1981): 4–12.CrossRef

121. George Grayson, Oil and Mexican Foreign Policy (Pittsburgh, 1988), 25.

122. Walter Robichek to the Managing Director, 3 April 1978, Box 10, Country Files, Central Files, IMF Archives; Daniel M. Schydlowsky and Juan Wicht, Anatomía de un fracaso económico: Perú, 1968–1978 (Lima, 1982), 97–106; Oscar Ugarteche, Teoría y práctica de la deuda externa en el Perú (Lima, 1980), 47–48; Ronald Bruce St. John, The Foreign Policy of Peru (Boulder, CO, 1992), 199–202.

123. UN Economic Survey of Latin America, 1975, 6.

124. James, International Monetary Cooperation since Bretton Woods, 341.

125. On Carter's difficulties with the military regimes, see Kathryn Sikkink, Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America (Ithaca, NY, 2004), 121–47.

126. Memorandum for Jack Watson (late 1976), Box 9, Cyrus Vance Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University; Joseph Smith, The United States and Latin America: A History of American Diplomacy, 1776–2000 (New York, 2005), 143; "At Long Last, Kissinger Turns to Latin America," U.S. News and World Report, 23 February 1976, 31–32.

127. See Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York, 1993), 218–66; William Robinson, Transnational Conflicts: Central America, Social Change, and Globalization (New York, 2003), 63–145; William LeoGrande, Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977–1992 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1998).

128. Scholars of diplomacy and geopolitics usually accord little analysis to questions of international finance and economics; those who discuss the latter issues devote little space to the former. See Suri, Power and Protest; Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation; Westad, Global Cold War; Wilfried Loth, Overcoming the Cold War: A History of Détente, 1950–1991 (New York, 2002); Gaddis, Strategies of Containment; James, International Monetary Cooperation; Fred L. Block, The Origins of International Economic Disorder: A Study of United States International Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present (Berkeley, CA, 1977); David P. Calleo and Benjamin Rowland, America and the World Political Economy: Atlantic Dreams and National Realities (Bloomington, IN, 1973). For exceptions, see Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times (New York, 1994); Sargent, "From Internationalism to Globalism."