At the end of 1988, UNICEF reported that half a million children had died during the year, in part because of cuts in social programs in the Third World. At the same time the World Bank estimated that in 1988 the seventeen most highly indebted countries of the global South had given rich economies and multinational lending institutions $31.3 billion more than they received from them. The World Bank also reported that since 1982 the Third World debt had doubled, despite the draconian cuts in domestic programs and the use of export profits to pay off the banks of America and Europe. The debt, the Bank said, now totaled $1.32 trillion dollars.
As a result, political strains were showing up in places like Argentina and Brazil. Democracy, only recently returned to those societies, finds it difficult to win popular support for the suffering demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the rules of the world market. Experts talk, with good reason, of the possibility that the military might once again take over....
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