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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 120 / 153

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The 1980s are often referred to as the “Lost Decade” for Latin America… this essentially means that Latin America was suspended in a period of political and economic crisis. Or as your book puts it: a time of “stagnation, uneven growth, debt crisis, and international economic restructuring.”

 All of this weakened the economies and made politicians susceptible to international pressure (especially from the US). This was especially true for the three counties experiencing civil war.

The 1984 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) helped a bit, giving select exports from the Caribbean and Central American countries privileged access to US markets.

US, Western Europe and Japan had conservative governments so the type of political pressure they favored leaned toward global economic integration.

The multilateral trade initiatives (e.g. NAFTA) had the express intent of forming regional trading blocs are were seen as vehicles of global international integration.

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