Please answer the following question with a 4-6 page paper, double-spaced, size 12 font, 1-inch margins. Papers over 6 pages will be accepted, but try to limit any discussion over the limit to only what is necessary to make your argument.
Good luck! Prompt is on the next page.
Santa Pesadilla is a small country in Latin America. The country has typical socioeconomic and demographic characteristics for the region. Economic inequality is high and has been since independence. The country has struggled to develop an industrialized economy; it’s manufacturing capacity has grown over the years but is among the lowest in Latin America and is very far below levels seen in Europe and the United States. Racially, the country is 10 percent Caucasian; the remaining 90 percent is mostly mestizo, with a substantial number of Indigenous and Afro-Latino citizens as well.
Politically, things aren’t going well either. For most of the 19th century, big landowners ruled the country with little input from ordinary citizens. At first they competed for power using private armies in a series of coups and dictatorships, but by the 1870s power was being awarded via elections. Still, elections did nothing to get the rural oligarchs out of power, as the big landowners were able to manipulate elections to preserve their dominance; on two occasions, they also sponsored brief military coups to remove overly reformist presidents.
Later, after the Great Depression, the oligarchs were finally ousted by Raúl Malsueño, a charismatic leader supported by the urban sectors of society, including those individuals in the business community who did not have ties to the rural aristocracy and the working class/proletariat. Like the oligarchs, he held elections but was able to stay in power until his death in the late 1960s. Democracy has faltered since then, with coups and constitutional crises common until the 1990s.
More recently, the economy has been stable and democracy has consolidated, although it is still fragile. And recent economic strain driven by debt and inflation are causing new bouts of political conflict. Given all this, the president has turned to you, an expert in Latin American politics, to advise her as she navigates these difficult issues. She has requested that you prepare a briefing on the history of debt crises, economic reform, and IMF bailouts in the 1980s and 90s in Latin America. She specifically requests that you do the following:
Why has Santa Pesadilla had such difficulty achieving economic development and political stability and democracy?
The president does not have time to brief you on the minute details of Santa Pesadilla, so she asks that you use general knowledge about Latin America as a region to suggest reasons why the country has had such troubles, and what might be done about them. She specifically requests that you:
Cite factors in other Latin American countries that might inhibit economic growth and development in Santa Pesadilla. The President wants you to give historical context, but don’t lose sight of dynamics in the modern era.
Explain why democracy in Latin America has not always smoothly followed the transition to capitalism and industrialization, as it did in Europe and the US.
Cite one thing that President’s administration could do that would, in your expert opinion, improve the country’s chances of economic and political development.
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