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B.A. Part-I Political Science , DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS,

The recent spread of democracy in Latin America and its persistence has been unprecedented. In 1978, military had withdrawn from power in the Andean country of Ecuador. Thereafter, in a short span of time, armed forces began organising elections and after handing over power to the elected civilian leaders returned to the barracks. In less than ten years, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay, all had gone democratic. Even the long-established personalist dictatorships such as those of General Stroessner in Paraguay and ‘Baby Doc’ in Haiti fell to the tide of democracy. Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras—after decades of civil wars and repression let loose by the military and the ruling oligarchies—also fell to the wave of democracy engulfing the region. Mexico, having never experienced democracy in the 20th Century, began a slow process of political liberalisation that eventually culminated in the victory of the opposition candidate in the presidential elections of 2000. As if not to be left behind, the ‘socialist’ Cuba of Fidel Castro has also lurched in its own way and at its own pace towards a sort of democracy.

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