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Latin america - Essay Example

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Starting from a list of people to be eliminated in the Arbenz regime, given to them by the CIA, the organized workers unions were…
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Your Full Your 19 November Reading Response In Guatemala, in the guise of eliminating “internal enemies”, the repressive regimes started to crack down on people who opposed them in any way. Starting from a list of people to be eliminated in the Arbenz regime, given to them by the CIA, the organized workers unions were targeted next, and then the land given to peasants was taken back in order to give United Fruit Company its land back. Everyone who disagreed with the government was targeted, labeled a communist or an internal enemy. It is noteworthy, that the Mayan people in Guatemala were also repressed, with tens of thousands of them being murdered by the armed forces. The “internal enemy” was thus, anyone who held any anti-government sentiments, or could hold them (Byrne).
After the coup of General Pinochet in Chile, everyone with leftist leanings was considered to be an “internal enemy” to be destroyed. With the assent and approval of the US government, the repressive Chilean regime targeted many unions and their workers, universities were targeted too, as were students, and many people, thought to have leftist leanings, were kidnapped, to be tortured and/or killed. In Chile, an “internal enemy” was, thus, anyone who had communist leanings or was a communist sympathizer, a pretty vague term, which resulted in the death, torture and disappearance of many Chileans (Byrne).
In El Salvador, the situation was pretty identical too; here too the “internal enemy” was anyone who was against the policies of the regime. Guised under a crackdown against communists or subversive elements (“internal enemy”), the regime cracked down on dissenters, unions, students and community leaders and massacred a lot of its population (Byrne).
A few decades after the US support for Guatemala’s military governments, that ended up killing around 200,000 of Guatemalans, mostly Mayans (Carter), President Clinton felt it was important for the US to apologize so that a new era, where the US fostered democracy and democratic processes, could start. This could not be done without the US accepting its mistake and undertaking to support democracy. However, Clinton was criticized for doing that because those who were involved in US and Guatemala’s affairs feared that this would undermine all the good that the US had done to subvert communism and to win the Cold War. The critics point out that the US did not support military regimes, but rather was working for the “people’s right of self-determination.” (Carter).
Political Prisoner Retamozo (File 3721) was detained because he was suspected of being involved in capture of the Twenty-ninth Rural Infantry Regiment, in the town he was from. He was suspected of planning out the attack on the Regiment and being active in the “Montoneros” organization. C.G.P (file 7372), was abducted and was tortured in order to obtain information about anti-government movements (NCDP).
Works Cited
Babington, Charles. “Clinton: Support for Guatemala Was Wrong.” The Washington Post 11 March 1999: A1. Print.
Byrne, Hugh. “We Will be Known by the Company We Keep: Lessons from US-Latin America Policy for the Post-September 11th World.” The Latin America Working Group. 2002. Web.
Carter, Tom. “Guatemala Apology Deplored, Defended.” The Washington Times 12 March 1999 final ed.: A1. Print.
National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons. “Never Again.” 1984. 440-447. Print. Read More
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