2/26/08 11:38 pm
i have been studying like crazy for the last few days. i have one paper left for thursday and my schoolwork-intensive week will be over and i will only then have to focus on my big term paper for my environmental history of latin america class.
in taking two courses on latin america (environmental history and caribbean & central american politics) i have quickly fallen in love with the region. while my passion is still undoubtedly in africa, latin america is incredibly fascinating. the volume of revolutions, coups, socialist movements, and brutal repression is awe-inspiring. i find myself reading as much as i can about the sandanistas in nicaragua. though they were ousted in 1990, their socialist reforms (while some weren't completely socialist, like their land reform policy) gives me hope that radical change is possible.
of course, i do not think that a corporate, left-moderate democrat like barack obama or a war hawk like hilary clinton will create effective social programs to deal with poverty, health care, education, resource privilization, and the like. our two-party electoral system puts significant constraints on the ideologies of prospective candidates. the only way any kind of social change could be facilitated would be through a complete overthrow of the government, and it would undoubtedly be violent. quite a conundrum, it seems. violence or equality?
anyway, i digress. latin america is very interesting. it's remarkable how involved the US was in the affairs many of these countries (the main ones being Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama), though foreign involvement in former colonial countries is never truly surprising. Nicaragua, with the Iran-Contra Scandal of 1986, and Panama, with chemical weapons tested by the US, are the two most interesting. I wish I could have been a Sandanista.