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Music, Politics, and Nationalism In Latin America: Chile During the Cold War Era By J ...

Chapter 1:  Changes in Society and Music, 1950s–1968
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Music, Politics, and Nationalism In Latin America:

Chapter 1

Changes in Society and Music, 1950s–1968

On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro’s rebel army toppled the Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba. In the already tense environment of the Cold War, the overthrow of Batista and subsequent establishment of a communist state in Cuba had a tremendous impact on Chile and other Latin American countries. For those in the political center and on the right, the specter of Castro’s Cuba generated intense and widespread fear that a similar development might transpire in Chile. As self-described centrist Marcela noted in an interview, “After what happened in Cuba, we were always worried that the same thing might happen in Chile; it was a very uncertain time, and all of us were very scared that the communists would try to turn Chile into another Cuba.”1 Many on the Chilean left were also reluctant to adopt the dramatic and forceful course that Castro took, and they remained devoted to the strategy of attaining power democratically, an approach that early leftist leader Luis Emilio Recabarren utilized in the 1920s and that Popular Front candidate Pedro Aguirre Cerda implemented successfully in his 1938 presidential victory. As Daniela, a middle-class supporter of the Socialist Party, recalled: “The