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“The unsettled nature of Latin American politics was well matched to the context of international relations as a whole. The late 1950s and early 1960s witnessed fundamental changes in the Cold War. . . Added to the concurrent collapse of European colonialism, these trends increasingly pushed U.S.-Soviet conflict into the underdeveloped world. . . They vied for access to the strategic real estate and resources of the underdeveloped countries . . . For the United States, this meant showing that democracy and liberal capitalism could serve as a path to wealth and political stability. For Moscow, it meant proving that state-directed socialism could bring about economic equity and social justice. The fight for the [underdeveloped world] revolved around ideology no less than economics or strategy.”
-Source: Hal Brands, historian, Latin America’s Cold War, 2012