In the fourth volume of this annual series, Robert G. Breene provides a comprehensive overview, analysis, and summary of the major political and economic trends and events in Central America, MERCOSUR, Andean and Caribbean nations, and Mexico. Analyzing these developments within the individual nations, their respective regions, and the world at large, the yearbook offers a timely look at the relevant background and information necessary to understand the changing nature of politics in Latin America today.
The volume's opening two chapters continue the coverage of the earlier volumes, presenting details of various Latin American elections with relevant background information. The remaining five chapters cover various aspects of the development of regional history during the year 2001. Chapter 3 on U.S. diplomacy examines the immediate impact of President Clinton's various Latin American trips and initiatives. The Hemispheric Left and support for the Hemispheric Left are treated in general terms in chapter 4, while the next three chapters examine specific nations, Colombia (chapter 5), Venezuela (chapter 6), and Cuba (chapter 7) where these forces were of particular importance during the year.
The material presented on Cuba is of particular interest considering the September 11, 2001 outrage; although, as the editor notes, it remains to be seen if the measures adopted at Guantanamo did keep Castro from dabbling in the aftermath. The final chapter continues the series' discussion of Latin American international organizations such as the Grupo de Rio and the Organization of American States. The continuity of the information presented in these volumes is one of their valuable assets as is the examination of the Disinformation Operation (DO) of the Hemispheric Left. Disinformation examples are many, ranging from the Harbury DO in Guatemala through Ruz Castro's Foro So Paolo and the totally misrepresented Zapatista National Liberation Army to the Great Gringo DO continues to operate with impunity.
This is a reference volume with a point of view. It is brimming with facts and provides information not readily available through the American media. Compact, yet comprehensive, it is essential reading for political scientists, Latin American area specialists, and historians.
Robert G. Breene, Jr. has been a fighter pilot, a newspaper correspondent in Central America, a professor of physics, and the owner and operator of a 600-head cattle ranch in Nevada. He is currently head of the Latin American News Syndicate in San Antonio, Texas.