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South America Wars

This area is becoming more peaceful than it was in the past, even during the 20th century. There are now no serious likely occasions of international wars. All the existing international disputes are likely to be resolved by peaceful means, even those that occasionally break out, such as disputes between Ecuador and Peru.

There are still guerrilla wars and areas of interior tension, mainly a result of the extreme difference between rich and poor, and therefore a lack of social solidarity (group feeling).

The Andean states of the continent are the major source of the drug cocaine, a product of the Coca tree which grows in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. As the trade is illegal, this means that the main source of wealth in several countries is not in the hands of the state, or of legitimate business but goes to criminals, and cannot be taxed.

The election of a number of "leftwing" presidents in Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil causes the United States to be anxious in case they threaten US economic interests, such as Bolivia's nationalising its oil and gas industry. The US may try to destabilise these regimes, as it has done in the past. They tend to be allied with Cuba.
However, the last attempt, in Venezuela in 2002, to depose a regime unwanted in Washington failed. As the demand for oil in competition with China becomes more desperate there may be other attempts but the suppliers will always be in a stronger position than the buyers.

 Argentina   Falklands  
 Chile  Peru  Venezuela
Colombia  Suriname  

Last revised 29/07/07


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