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Communism in Latin America

Guerrilla Insurgents

However, in the 1960s, at the height of its regional influence and revolutionary appeal, Cuba joined with the Soviet Union in funding and training Marxist guerrilla groups throughout Latin America. Following Cuba's lead, these movements chose armed conflict over electoral competition as a means to their deliverance from exploitation. What followed in many countries were two decades of civil wars and military-authoritarian rule as powerful elites turned to their armies, as well as to the anticommunist strategies of the United States, to repress the guerrilla insurgents. The most successful guerrilla insurrection was the Sandinista Liberation Front in Nicaragua, which eventually established the second officially socialist regime in Latin America. Although this regime was ousted through elections in 1991 with the help of an economic boycott and support of anticommunist Contra forces by the United States, Marxists remained a powerful force in the newly democratic system. As a wave of democracy began to overtake the continent by the late 1970s, many communist and guerrilla movements transitioned into political parties and contested for power through the democratic process.

Diverse forms of Marxism and communism developed in other countries, reflecting their diverse histories, sociologies, and levels of development. Indeed that was a major problem for Marxist movements, how to adapt a quite rigid ideological formula to different nations and circumstances. In Peru the socialist Aprista movement and the more rigid communist groups were bitter enemies for decades. Nicaragua had Christian socialists as well as independent Marxists and Leninists. Colombia has four different Marxist and guerrilla movements. Throughout the continent, rivalries between socialists and communists, and various types of each, have been intense.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceCommunism in Latin America - Anticommunism In Latin America, The Cuban Model, Guerrilla Insurgents, Democratic Transition, Conclusion, Bibliography