Course Description

Course Name

International Relations in Latin America

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level


Course name: International Relations in Latin America
Course code: POL 3450
Total contact hours: 48 hours

This course will analyze the beginning of the International Relations in Latin America and the most important historical facts that marked the politics in the region in the current era.
The focus of this course is on the historic background of the region before independence and post independence that helped to consolidate the American hegemony and the insertion of foreign investment, the North American imperialism and the Latin-American resistance.
The course also will study the international relations of the region during the Cold War, the military dictators, the polarization of Cuba, the Latin-American reverse, the economic integration, and the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. The course will analyze the return of popular governments in the Regions such Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Lula Da silva in Brazil.

The objective of the course is to discuss topics related to Latin American and promote participation of the students in resolving conflicts and promote deep analysis of all facts that involves each topic.
Students participate in various ways: writing essays, internet research assignments, socio-dramas and debating actual topics.
1. Transferring knowledge about backgrounds of countries and their major international affairs throughout history.
2. Analyzing causes of conflicts and their relation with politics in the region.
3. Discuss the future of the Region and look for new alternatives for its international relations that promote equality, peace, development and human rights.

Week 1
Session 1 and 2 Latin American International Relation before independence
We will study the pre-Columbian relations in the region, the European impact and
the relations hispano-portuguese in Latin America, the conflict of Iberian powers
against new powers in the region.
Week 2
Session 3: Origin and independence in USA
French and English influence in USA. Characteristic of the independence
process in USA, international politics of USA and the expansion of USA to the
south of the continent.
Session 4: Independence of Latin America:
Independence in Haiti and the fights in South America, the case of Brazil,
relations between the new countries, how Latin American faces the world, the
Monroe doctrine, and the panama meeting.
Week 3
Session 5 and 6: English hegemony (1828-1852)
Commercial hegemony of England, Mexico and USA 1821-1848, Centro America
and the Caribbean countries, disintegration of the Great Colombia, Ecuador and
Spain, the new congress in Peru and Chile, the confederation Peru-Bolivia, and
La Guerra del Pacifico, Argentina, Uruguay and la epoca de la Rosas, Brazil in
the slavery
Week 4
Session 7 and 8: American conflicts and the first foreign investments (1853-
Characteristics of this period, succession war in the USA, intervention of France
in Mexico, the Intervention of USA in Centro America and the Caribbean islands,
Spanish intervention in Dominican Republic and South America, the war of the
triple alliance, and La segunda Guerra del Pacifico.
Week 5
Session 9 and 10: The beginning of the US Imperialism and the resistance in Latin America (1883-1933)
The origin of imperialism, the first International American conference, US replacing England, war between USA and Spain, the Panama Canal, the Stick policy and the Dollar diplomacy, South American resistance against the US imperialism, the Mexican revolution and its international effects, Latin American and USA 1920-1932.
Week 6
Session 11 and 12: The policy of Buen Vecino 1933-1945
Economic crisis and Franklin Roosevelt policy, Roosevelt, the Caribbean and Mexico, The War of Chaco and its consequences, South America 1932-1941, inter-American meetings, the anti-nazi diplomacy of Roosevelt until 1940, America during second world war 1941-1945.
Week 7
Session 13: Cold War and the Defense of the Statu Quo (1946-1957)
The world after war, nationalism movements and democracy in Latin American, cold war and the beginnings of Latin American Dictators (1948-1957), the exemption of Bolivia revolution, Guatemala and the X interamerican conference, the fall of Vargas and Peron
Session 14: Polarization of Cuba-OEA (1958-1967)
Factors for the rebellion in Latin America, the fall of dictators and the visit of Nixon, Fidel Castro in Cuba and the democratic bloc in Latin America 1958-1960, the rupture between Cuba and the interamerican system, the conflicts in the western hemisphere .
Week 8
Session 15 and 16: Latin America 1968-1980
The power crisis in the USA, the Latin America ascend 1968-1973, the oil crisis 1973-1976, the return of the interamerican reformism, world tension and the return of the non communist governments.
Week 9
Session 17 and 18: Latin America 1980-1990
General tendencies of the decade, the Malvinas war, revolution and contra revolution in the Caribbean, Centro America and international conflicts, the crisis of the external debt, the drug traffic, ecology and the Indians problems.
Week 10
Session 19: Latin America In the present years
Dependency, domination and social sectors, rupture of integration, ambition and rivals. Development in Latin America. The return of popular governments in Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia, the crisis in Argentina and Brazil and the FREE TRADE Agreements as politic instruments.
Session 20: Oral presentations:
Students will have to work in a project about one specific policy in Latin America.
Week 11:
Session 21 and 22: Costa Rica
Costa Rica and international relations with the world.
Week 12:
Session 23: Final exam.
Session 22: Last session conclusions.

The focus of the course is to promote the interaction of ideas and arguments based on a balanced analysis of the subjects.
Most lectures will start with historical overviews or important happenings in the region. Throughout the sessions students can explain their point of views and will have the opportunity to write essays, and use Internet to complete assignments and debates.
All materials will be covered during the lectures by the professor or guest speakers. Students will be able to confront positions and participate of the debate during sessions.

This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.

Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.

Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
1) be disruptive in the classroom
2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

Participation (oral debates) 15%
Short Evaluation 25%
Oral presentations (workgroups) 20%
Final exam 40%

Aguilar, Alonso. ? El Panamericanismo: de la Doctrina Monroe a la Doctrina Jonson. México. 1969
Altvater, E. y K. Hubner. The causes and course of the International Debt Crisis. Zed Books. London, 1987.
Boesner, Demetrio. ? Relaciones Internacionales de América Latina. Breve Historia, Caracas, Venezuela. 1990.
Britto García, Luis. Dictadura Mediatica en Venezuela. Le Monde Diplomatique, Buenos Aires, 2004.
Cardoso, F. H y E. Faletto. Dependency and Development in Latin America. University of California Press. Berkeley. 1977.
Cohen, S. The making of United Status International Economic Policy. Praegerm New Uork, 2000.
Eco, Humberto. A paso de Cangrejo. Articulos, reflexiones y decepciones, 2000-2006. Random House Mondari, S.A, México 2007.
Eldelman Mark. Campesinos contra la Globalización. Movimientos Sociales rurales en Costa Rica. Editorial UCR, Costa Rica, 2005.
Fincher, Hugo. Super Poder USA. Publicaciones Concordia, Centro de Amigos para la Paz. Costa Rica, 2004.
Inglesias, Ivan (Ed). Almanaque Mundial 2007. Edition 53. Editorial Televisa Internacional, Mexico, 2006
Link Arthurs. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era. 1910-1917. Hapercollins. 1993.
Parenti, Michael. Against Empire. City Lights, Books. California, 1995.
Mander Jerry, Edward Goldsmith. The case against the Global Economy: and for a turn toward the local. Sierra Club Books, California, 1996.
Saxe, Eduardo. La Nueva Oligarguía Latinoamericana. Editorial EUNA. Costa Rica, 1999.
United States Information agency. ?an outline of American History?. US Information Agency. DC. 1994.

*Course content subject to change