Ranging from the 1840s through the early twenty-first century,
this study of shared political, economic, and cultural histories
fills significant gaps in our understanding of Paraguayan-U.S.
relations. Frank O. Mora and Jerry W. Cooney tell how an initially
rocky beginning between the two countries, marked by diplomatic
posturing, shows of military force, and failed business schemes,
gave way to a calmer period during which the United States backed
Paraguay's territorial claims against its neighbors, prospects grew
brighter for American entrepreneurs, and Paraguay embraced
It was not until the 1930s that the two countries engaged in
earnest as the United States attempted to mediate the Chaco War
between Paraguay and Bolivia. Then, as the authors write,
"hemispheric solidarity in World War II, the cold war in Latin
America, the 'balance of power' among states in the Río de la
Plata, and the question of U.S. support for, or aid to, Latin
American dictators" became matters of mutual interest.
The dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-89) spanned much of
this era, and a shared attitude of realpolitik typified
U.S.-Paraguayan relations during his rule. Post-Stroessner, the
United States has stood by Paraguay during its transition to
democracy, despite lingering concerns about such issues as drug
trafficking and intellectual piracy. The countries should grow
closer with time, the authors conclude, if Paraguay resists the
continent's leftward political shift and remains a solid partner in
U.S. antiterror initiatives in South America.
Subjects: History, Political Science
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