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date: 22 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Latin America’s communist parties were shaped by the Soviet Union’s political priorities up to 1945. This sparked debate with those that emphasized the specificity of Latin American conditions, notably the Peruvian Marxist Mariátegui. The Cuban Revolution of 1959 launched a new continental strategy, based on the guerrilla warfare strategies advocated by Che Guevara. By the late 1960s, these had failed. The election of Salvador Allende to the Chilean presidency in 1970 briefly suggested an electoral strategy to socialism, until it was crushed in the military coup of 1973. Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution opened new hopes for a Central American revolution, but this movement was destroyed with the active support of the U.S.. In 1994 the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico signalled a new phase of resistance against neo-liberalism and a rising tide of new social movements carried Left governments to power in what President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela dubbed the era of ‘twenty-first-century socialism’.

Keywords: Latin America, José Carlos Mariátegui, Cuban Revolution, Che Guevara, Sandinistas, Zapatistas, new social movements, 21st-century socialism

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