Although the term ‘Third World’ has always created definitional problems and disputes, there can be little doubt that in the post-war period Africa and Asia formed the core of what we now call the Third World. Latin America’s relationship with the Third World and the degree to which it has formed part of the Third World’s challenge to the West is, however, more complex. Indeed the region has often been seen as a kind of international middle class, occupying an intermediate position between First and Third Worlds.1 This chapter will analyse the evolution of Latin America’s relations with the West on the one hand and with the Third World on the other. The first section will briefly review those factors which have linked Latin America to the West and set it apart from the rest of the Third World. The second section will examine the ways in which these factors need to be qualified and will trace the emergence in the 1970s of a closer — albeit still qualified — identification with the Third World. Finally, the third section will consider the present situation and, in particular, the way in which the region’s current political and economic difficulties have affected its relationship with both the West and the Third World.
KeywordsForeign Policy Debt Crisis Military Government International Economic Order American Foreign Policy
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