An Analysis of Regime Change in Colombia

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An Analysis of Regime Change in Colombia Introduction As Charles Bergquist observes, "Crises in Colombia tend to generate cycles of violence instead of mutations in the political regime." The reason is simple: regime changes in Colombia tend to produce very little change in anything other than nominal rule. Since Colombia's independence from Spain in the early 19th century, Colombia has seen a series of civil wars and secessions (Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama the last coming rather conveniently at a time when the U.S. was prepared to pay millions for a canal through its nation preparation that later resulted in a multi-million dollar redress to Columbia). Colombia's political history, therefore, has been colored by outside influences pulling on the two dominant liberal and conservative parties, with violent exchanges, and long periods of instability being the consequences. While regime changes have occurred, they have not produced significant improvements. Rather, Colombia in the 20th century has become a nesting ground for paramilitary forces and drug traffickers, with U.S. Central Intelligence operatives contributing heavily to the violent conflict that has risen between regimes. This paper will examine the regime types that preceded the Rojas Pinilla regime in mid-20th century Colombia, analyze their similarities and differences, and discuss the extent to which Rojas Pinilla reached his goals and objectives. Columbia: Background to La Violencia The current
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