Accession Number:



A Game of Simon Says: Latin America's Left Turn and Its Effects on US Security

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



A little over 200,000 votes in Mexicos 2006 presidential election determined whether or not the United States might soon share a border with a potentially communist country. A closer look reveals Mexico was nearly another domino in a rash of leftism that is sweeping through Latin America and the Caribbean LAC. In fact, there are as many leftist countries in the LAC region today as there were in Eastern Europe at the height of the Cold War. This research paper will determine why leftism is on the rise in the LAC and whether this phenomena threatens U.S. national security. The causes for a rise in leftism in the LAC are a combination of extreme inequality with regards to income per capita, an increased awareness among the people as to their inequitable situation, a poor display of U.S. foreign policy, and an increase in educational level throughout the region. In short, Latin Americans are smarter, poorer, and angrier with the United States for its inattentiveness since the end of the Cold War. The Bush administrations association of democracies with U.S. national security is shown to be questionable. Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales were both democratically elected, and their associations with known terror organizations and rogue states decrease U.S. security. In any case, most new leftist governments in Latin America are not true leftists. They are called leftist, but their external economic policies clearly resemble capitalism. Ironically, the effects of this situation on U.S. national security depends upon its future actions. Based on these findings, three policy proposals are recommended. First, the United States needs to pioneer fairer trade agreements with the LAC. Second, the United States needs to increase its foreign aid to the LAC, with earmarks for economic investments. Third, the United States needs to work harder at being a good neighbor to the LAC. These three steps should pull the region together and thereby increase the entire hemispheres security.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement: