A detailed examination of the roots of revolution and counterrevolution in Central America and the Caribbean, this book draws on the research of an interdisciplinary team of noted scholars. The authors give special attention to the institutional and structural causes of stability and instability—in particular, the traditional role of the United States; the current economic crisis; the changing role of the Roman Catholic church; the influence of the military and security forces, the oligarchy, and the business sector; the problems of instituting socioeconomic reform; the politics of subsistence; and the revolutionary opposition. Following the thematic chapters, a country-by-country focus is employed to assess the situations in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Jamaica, and a section devoted to the international dimensions of the crisis looks at Mexican, Soviet, Cuban, and U.S. policies toward the region, The editors' concluding chapter explores prospects for the future of this troubled area.
Preface -- Structural and Institutional Sources of Stability and Instability -- Ten Theories in Search of Central American Reality -- The United States and the Caribbean Basin in Historical Perspective -- Autumm of the Oligarchs -- Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Central American Church -- The Economic Dimensions of Instability and Decline in Central America and the Caribbean -- Stability and Instability: A Country Focus -- El Salvador: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Living Museum -- Guatemala: The Origins and Development of State Terrorism -- The Revolution in Nicaragua: Through a Frontier of History -- Honduras: Bastion of Stability or Quagmire? -- Fear of Adjusting: The Social Costs of Economic Policies in Costa Rica in the 1970s -- Jamaica: From Manley to Seaga -- The International Dimensions of the Crisis -- Mexican Policy Toward Central America and the Caribbean -- Soviet and Cuban Policy in the Caribbean Basin -- Reagan's Central American Policy: Disaster in the Making -- Postscript: Toward a New Central American Policy