The Cold War, Part I
With the end of World War II, the anti-Nazi alliance between the Soviet Union and the United States began to fray. By the time the American republics had created the Inter-American System in 1947-1948, intense hostilities had surfaced and a Cold War had developed between the world’s two most
powerful states. It was fueled by changes in the international structure and global distribution of power produced by World War II, Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe, ideological conflicts, misunderstandings, mutual suspicions, and security threats. Throughout the conflict, each superpower sought to protect itself against the other, developed powerful alliance systems for selfdefense (NATO and the Warsaw Pact), and amassed formidable conventional and nuclear arsenals to preserve their security. The Cold War lasted four decades. It ended when Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the division of Europe ceased. Initially, the Cold War carried less urgency for Latin American states than their northern neighbor, but in time, some Latin American governments displayed much greater concerns for communist, if not Soviet, expansion.