Case 141 - Guatemala, Human Rights, and U.S. Foreign Policy
Fox, Annette Baker
Following the 1985 inauguration of Guatemala’s first civilian president in 20 years, Mario Vinicio Cerezo, the Reagan administration sought to help the new government pursue political and economic reforms. It did so both on the merits and to turn Guatemala into a success story for the Reagan administration’s anti-communist policies throughout Central America. This case study raises the following questions about the terms of Washington’s dealings with Guatemala during this period: Who were the potential negotiators and what could they negotiate? What were the elements of U.S. efforts, objectives, and potential leverage, both in Guatemala and in the region? What were the expected and likely results? Apart from diplomats, what other administrative and legislative officials and interest groups took part?
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