The Soft War: The Uses and Abuses of U.S. Economic Aid in Central America

Tom Barry, Author Grove/Atlantic $0 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8021-0003-0
The authors of The Central America Fact Book examine a less prominent but perhaps more destructive side of the war in Central America: economic aid from the United States, which they call ""intervention with a smile,'' and its relationship to the military doctrine of Low Intensity Conflict. The focus is primarily on the Agency for International Development and its central role in the economics and politics of the region. The basic argument is that the injection of large sums of aid, while providing short-term stability, deepens the region's dependency on outside capital and works against the interests of the Central American poor. According to the authors, American taxpayers' money is ``being liberally handed out to oligarchs, financiers, and U.S. investors'' throughout the region. Barry and Preusch conclude that U.S. economic aid programs in Central America, far from being instruments of peaceful revolution, make violent revolution inevitable. (February 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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