The Contra War
Ronald Reagan's ambassador to the United Nations. Her 1979 article,
"Dictatorships and Double Standards," provided the ideological
backbone to Reagan's policy in Nicaragua. We'll be reading the article
for today's class.
|The emergence of left-leaning insurgencies in El Salvador
and Nicaragua, coupled with what was perceived as a dramatic expansion
of Soviet power worldwide, brought to a close the period of human rights
diplomacy. Perhaps the most clear-cut symbol of the change came in
In today's class, we'll be examining the ramifications of this shift,
with a focus on the Central American policies of Ronald Reagan. Reagan's
administration provided "covert" assistance (although everyone
knew about it) to the contras, a somewhat ragtag group of rebels
fighting the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. For today's
reading, an introduction to the historiographical debate over RR's
policies, and then an examination of the Iran-contra affair, which
brought this era in inter-American relations to a close.
Coatsworth, The United States and Central America,
Carothers, In the Name of Democracy, pp. 237-262.
(IN PACKET) Kirkpatrick, "Dictatorships and Double Standards"
meeting with Contra leaders (L to R) Alfonso Robelo, Arturo Cruz and
Adolfo Calero. In the officially released photo, Oliver North (at far
right) was cropped out--a testimony to the sensitive nature of his
|For the Iran-contra affair, begin with this brief reading, a good summary
of the basic events. The affair triggered a lengthy investigation by Independent
Counsel Laurence Walsh, who summarized his findings in this report.
to course schedule