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What led to the end of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone?

The end of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone was primarily driven by economic crises and popular resistance movements.

The Southern Cone, comprising Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, experienced a period of military dictatorships during the late 20th century. The end of these regimes was not a sudden event, but rather a gradual process influenced by a combination of internal and external factors. The most significant of these were economic crises and popular resistance movements.

In Argentina, the military dictatorship that began in 1976 was marked by severe human rights abuses and economic instability. The regime's decision to wage the Falklands War against the United Kingdom in 1982 was a disastrous miscalculation. The defeat led to widespread public disillusionment, exacerbating the economic crisis and leading to mass protests. This forced the military to call for elections in 1983, marking the end of the dictatorship.

In Chile, the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which began in 1973, was initially supported by the middle and upper classes due to its promise of economic stability. However, the economic policies of the regime led to a severe economic crisis in the early 1980s, causing widespread discontent. The regime also faced international pressure due to its human rights abuses. The combination of economic crisis, popular resistance, and international pressure led to a plebiscite in 1988, where the majority voted against Pinochet's continuation in power.

In Uruguay, the military dictatorship that began in 1973 was marked by severe repression and economic decline. The regime faced growing opposition from trade unions, political parties, and civil society groups. The economic crisis of the early 1980s further weakened the regime. In 1984, under pressure from popular protests and international condemnation, the military agreed to a transition to civilian rule.

In all three countries, the end of military rule was not just the result of economic crises, but also the result of sustained popular resistance. Despite the repression, people continued to protest and resist, demanding democracy and respect for human rights. This resistance, combined with economic crises and international pressure, eventually led to the end of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone.

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