This thesis aims to identify the characteristics of populism and how those characteristics directly affected the politics and helped set the stage for later military dictatorships in Latin America. This text aims to look at how military regimes in Latin America placed blame on populist leaders and used their inefficiencies as a justification for taking power and establishing military rule. In many instances in Latin America, populist leader’s time in office was characterized by inflation and concern over foreign investment.

The concern over foreign investment and possible foreign takeover of local industries provides the background for another concern, that of outside (mainly communist) influence being introduced into the country. One question this paper looks at is why the Cuban Revolution is seen as the turning point for communism in Latin America when there were anti-communist policies during the Populist era.

This paper attempts to look at how the Cuban Revolution was seen as the turning point for Latin American countries in their fight against communists. This paper looks at how the US media responded to populist leaders anti-communist statements and how pre-Cold War ideologies are found in populist era rhetoric.

This paper hopes to bridge the threat of communism from the so called populist era, to the Cuban Revolution, and through into the military dictatorships.

Date of publication

Summer 8-14-2017

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Colin Snider, Ph.D. Matthew Stith, Ph.D. Amentahru Wahlrab, Ph.D.


Masters in History