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HAITIAN REVOLUTION HAI

BOLIVARIAN LIBERATING ARMY VEN / COL / ECU / PAN / PER / BOL

GUEMES GAUCHO MILITIA ARG

With the French and American revolutions in the background, the winds of change began to blow strongly in the hemisphere at the end of the 19th century. Haiti was the first country to become independent, with a slave revolt that still reverberates today and after defeating the most powerful empires of the time. In South America, the independence struggles were long and bloody, with a Creole oligarchy, more progressive in some places and less so in others, that sought to overthrow the Spanish crown. The incorporation of the dispossessed classes in the war was key to the independence struggles. In addition, prominent figures such as Bolívar and San Martín would be an inspiration for future struggles.

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REPUBLIC OF SEGOVIA NIC

MEXICAN REVOLUTION MEX

CUBAN INDEPENDENCE WAR CUB

The success of the independence campaigns in the first half of the 19th century did not mean sovereignty for the Latin American continent. Cuba was a paradigmatic example. Its independence came late, only at the end of the century. However, Spanish colonialism was immediately replaced by U.S. neocolonialism, encapsulated in the infamous Platt Amendment. The United States militarily invaded many countries in the region in order to instal regimes that would serve its economic interests. But the response did not take long. In Nicaragua, Augusto César Sandino led one of the first guerrilla movements to confront U.S. imperialism and its puppets. In this context, the event that shook the continent in the beginning of the 20th century was the Mexican Revolution. With «bandits» like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata at the forefront, the common people took up arms to make the oligarchy tremble and inspire the struggles to come.

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POPULAR UNITY CHI

CUBAN REVOLUTION CUB

SANDINISTA REVOLUTION NIC

The period following World War II was one of great revolutionary changes in Latin America. In the midst of the Cold War, leftist movements and guerrillas sprung up everywhere to challenge U.S. hegemony in its «backyard.» The Cuban Revolution was a watershed moment, establishing a socialist bastion that for more than 60 years has heroically resisted just 90 miles from U.S. territory. There were other historic triumphs, some in armed struggle, such as the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, others at the ballot box, as was the case of Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity in Chile. But Washington’s response was swift. Led by the CIA and allied armed forces, there were coups d’état, massacres, torture and the disappearance of thousands of people. In several Latin American countries, military dictatorships were set up to carry out the most savage neoliberal experiments. However, it was not the end of history…

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ARGENTINAZO ARG

PLURINATIONAL STATE BOL

BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION VEN

In 1962, Fidel Castro spoke of a wave rising throughout the continent to conquer «true independence». However, with progress and setbacks, it took almost 40 years for that scenario to materialize. With Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela working as the spark, several progressive governments came to power in Latin America to drastically change the political chessboard, replacing Washington’s hegemony with integration among equals. The road has not been easy, it has been full of difficult decisions, mistakes, coup attempts and imperialist blockades. But the struggle continues!

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