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Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America

Edited by Jessica Stites Mor

Publication Year: 2013

With the end of the global Cold War, the struggle for human rights has emerged as one of the most controversial forces of change in Latin America. Many observers seek the foundations of that movement in notions of rights and models of democratic institutions that originated in the global North. Challenging that view, this volume argues that Latin American community organizers, intellectuals, novelists, priests, students, artists, urban pobladores, refugees, migrants, and common people have contributed significantly to new visions of political community and participatory democracy. These local actors built an alternative transnational solidarity from below with significant participation of the socially excluded and activists in the global South.
    Edited by Jessica Stites Mor, this book offers fine-grained case studies that show how Latin America’s re-emerging Left transformed the struggles against dictatorship and repression of the Cold War into the language of anti-colonialism, socioeconomic rights, and identity.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Series: Critical Human Rights


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

In the process of editing a volume with such a wide scope, I’ve incurred numerous debts, only a small fraction of which I am able to recognize here. My intellectual debts began in 2007, when Tufts University hosted a symposium on indigenous movements and intellectuals in the Americas at which José Antonio Lucero...

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Introduction: Situating Transnational Solidarity within Critical Human Rights Studies of Cold War Latin America

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pp. 3-18

One of the central problems of political life in the twentieth and now the twenty- first centuries has been that of what determines the unity of a political community. When direct actions of political collaboration and solidarity occur between distant, unequal, or often quite different parties to create...

Part I: Critical Precursors to Transnational Solidarity

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pp. 19-98

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1. The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, Transnational Latin American Solidarity, and the United States during the Cold War

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pp. 21-47

In June 1958, Carlos Padilla Pérez, a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, addressed a gathering of Argentines organized by the Amigos pro Libertad de Puerto Rico in Buenos Aires. He thanked them, his “fellow citizens of Our América,” for their solidarity and evoked the image of a shared history and a common heritage. Just as the...

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2. Latin America Encounters Nelson Rockefeller: Imagining the Gringo Patrón in 1969

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pp. 48-73

In August 1969, Gustavo Borja Moncayo, a middling bureaucrat at the Ministerio de Industrias y Comercio in Quito, Ecuador, learned that he had a severe stomach ulcer. His doctors recommended a delicate surgery that would cost the exorbitant sum of U.S. $1,500 and necessitate a journey abroad. This crisis propelled...

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3. The Mexican Student Movement of 1968: National Protest Movements in International and Transnational Contexts

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pp. 74-98

Viewed from the perspective of other developing nations, Mexico’s 1968 student movement emerged from an era of stability at home and instability elsewhere in Latin America. The 1968 Summer Olympics bestowed international legitimacy on the Mexican state; by contrast, turmoil defined other...

Part II. Solidarity in Action

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pp. 99-174

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4. Cosmopolitans and Revolutionaries: Competing Visions of Transnationalism during the Boom in Latin America

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pp. 101-119

In the novel and film Memories of Underdevelopment (Memorias del subdesarrollo), the protagonist, a bourgeois intellectual Habanero and would- be writer, reflects on the rapid changes taking place in Cuba in the early 1960s. “The Revolution,” he says, “is the only complicated and serious thing that has occurred...

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5. Transnational Concepts, Local Contexts: Solidarity at the Grassroots in Pinochet’s Chile

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pp. 120-142

In the Chile of dictator Augusto Pinochet, the concept and practice of solidarity offered an alternative type of citizenship in poor and working- class urban communities torn apart by repression, fear, and economic misery. Solidarity offered a sense of dignity and belonging in a dictatorial regime that was actively marginalizing...

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6. Cuba’s Concept of “Internationalist Solidarity”: Political Discourse, South- South Cooperation with Angola, and the Molding of Transnational Identities

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pp. 143-174

The Cuban Revolution is usually associated with “international solidarity,” particularly because of Cuba’s numerous civil cooperation projects in Latin America realized over the past two decades. But the phenomenon as such, its ideological background, its development and transformation are largely unknown. Already in the first years after...

Part III. The Influence of Transnational Solidarity on Postnational Responsibilities

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pp. 175-236

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7. “As the World Is My Witness”: Transnational Chilean Solidarity and Popular Culture

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pp. 177-208

On November 21, 1973, the Chilean football (soccer) team lined up in the National Stadium without an opponent. Militarized police guarded the stands as the captain Francisco Valdés kicked the ball into an open net. That “goal” qualified Chile for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. Their scheduled opponent, the Soviet Union, had refused...

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8. The Politics of Refuge: Salvadoran Refugees and International Aid in Honduras

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pp. 209-236

A 1983 issue of Refugees Magazine, published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), includes a photograph of a Salvadoran family resting after their arrival at a refugee reception center in Honduras. The young mother sits on the ground and leans her head, hair tousled, against the wall...


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pp. 237-249

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9. Desire and Revolution: Socialists and the Brazilian Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s

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pp. 239-267

In 1993, as part of a graduate school exercise at ULCA, James N. Green wrote a “self- interview,” reflecting on twenty years of participation in the struggle against authoritarianism and for gay rights across the Americas. In the early 1970s, while a member of a radical Quaker group, Green joined solidarity groups that advocated against torture and repression...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 269-284


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pp. 285-286


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pp. 287-305

E-ISBN-13: 9780299291136
E-ISBN-10: 0299291138
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299291143
Print-ISBN-10: 0299291146

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Critical Human Rights
Series Editor Byline: Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, Series Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 828621051
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Human Rights and Transnational Solidarity in Cold War Latin America

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Human rights advocacy -- Latin America -- International cooperation -- Case studies.
  • Solidarity -- Latin America -- Case studies.
  • Latin America -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • Cold War -- Social aspects -- Latin America.
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