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Topoi (Rio de Janeiro)

Print version ISSN 1518-3319On-line version ISSN 2237-101X


JOFFILY, Mariana. US Foreign Policy, the Coups in Brazil, Chile and Argentina, and Human Rights. Topoi (Rio J.) [online]. 2018, vol.19, n.38, pp.58-80. ISSN 2237-101X.

Based on documents from governmental agencies, this paper analyses US policy regarding the military coups in Brazil (1964), Chile (1973) and Argentina (1976) in a period when concerns about human rights were rising in the US public sphere, challenging the Cold War logic of counterinsurgency. We argue that the dilemma created by the damage to the image of the US due to its association with authoritarian regimes was addressed in terms of a case-by-case evaluation of the risks a retreat would pose to the economic, political and security interests of the US. In a historical process that would later lead to Jimmy Carter’s election, the language of human rights was progressively incorporated into US foreign policy, first unwillingly and then strategically, at moments when neither the businesses nor the security of the US were threatened.

Keywords : Southern Cone dictatorships; US foreign policy; human rights; Cold War.

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