1 minute read

Communism in Latin America


While the turn of the nineteenth century ushered in a wave of socialist ideology that gained much momentum in the art, culture, and politics of Latin America, with the new millennium came a waning tide for socialist ideals and movements. The twentieth century witnessed varieties of communist movements in Latin America, including international Marxists, Fidelistas, guerrilla insurgents, and communist parties participating in the political process. Although democracy seems to have outlasted the alternatives, the book is not closed on the future of the partially consolidated and still transitioning democratic regimes of the region. With continued economic and political instability and an exceptionally large income gap, Latin America might be ripe for renewed Marxist appeals, as it was in the late nineteenth century. Although guerrilla insurgents and socialist parties remain and leftist coalitions may be securing power in states such as El Salvador, the future may likely see a rise in new forms of statism and authoritarianism, but a return to the failed model of Marxist-Leninism or even a resurgence of strong Marxist movements is unlikely.


Alexiev, Alexander A. Marxism and Resistance in the Third World. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1989.

Huntington, Samuel P. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

Kryzanek, Michael J. U.S.–Latin American Relations. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1996.

Löwy, Michael, ed. Marxism in Latin America from 1909 to the Present: An Anthology. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1992.

Wiarda, Howard J. Comparative Democracy and Democratization. Fort Worth, Tex.: Harcourt College Publishers, 2002.

Wiarda, Howard J., and Harvey F. Kline, eds. Latin American Politics and Development. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 2000.

Howard J. Wiarda

Esther M. Skelley

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