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A journalistic sketch of the deteriorating living standards of the Latin American masses and their political options, stippled with provocative but undeveloped insights. MacEoin, a correspondent and publicist, notes that it seemed impossible that average levels of subsistence could drop below those outlined in his 1962 survey, Latin America: The Eleventh Hour. But his tour of urban slums proved the contrary. At one point MacEoin soundly but casually identifies the root cause: ""The process of decapitalization of Latin America has been going on for 400 years, but never at as rapid a rate as during the quarter century since the end of World War II."" With external debt soaring, much U.S. aid goes directly to U.S. creditors, not to the recipient nation; to ensure this bloodsucking, the U.S. operates an immense military assistance and intelligence network, even unto involvement in the Brazilian mass tortures. ""The repression can continue as long as the U.S. is willing to feed it."" Dismissing Cuba as having merely changed masters from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R., postulating the futility of guerrilla movements, and deploring the feebleness of the Christian Democratic movements, McEoin hopes for a victory of the ""progressive forces within the Church,"" but presents little evidence about the content of such a victory. Also acceptable though unlikely would be a Nasserite takeover by younger military officers. As a survey of current Latin American developments, the book remains shallow; as a polemic about intra-continental relations, it makes its point, offering a relatively radical perspective to a general audience, while remaining too tame for a Gerassi audience, and too slight for the left-liberal academic followers of Petras, O'Connor, Frank. et at.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1971
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston