Latin American Politics: Revolutionary Change

The drivers of revolutionary movements and change differ among countries in Latin America, such as in Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua.  However, there are some common features that explain why violence and revolutionary governments emerge.  Also, revolutionary violence often did not lead to the consolidation of revolutionary governments.  In the post-Cold War period, with the exception of Cuba, revolutionary governments began a tumultuous process of democratic transition that led to very imperfect democracies, including the rise of caudillismo – Mexico being somewhat at outlier, at least until the rise of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.  Answer the following questions:

1. What are the common drivers of revolutionary change and why are there such few examples of consolidation of revolutionary governments (Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua being the exceptions?

2. Mexico and Nicaragua democratized but Cuba did not. What variables explains Cuba’s resistance to democratic change?

3. What are the challenges to consolidating democratic rule in post-revolutionary governments?