Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

James Siekmeier

Committee Co-Chair

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Committee Member

Michelle Stephens


This research looks at the left-leaning military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru ruled from 1968 to 1975. This government embarked on a crusade to modernize Peru through a series of reforms and changes in Peruvian foreign policy. The United States responded with non-overt economic pressure, and the ending of military sales to Peru. Peru bought weaponry from the Soviet Union against the wishes of the United States in 1973, and this resulted in a more conciliatory foreign policy from the United States towards the Andean nation. The shifting foreign policy is the opposite of how historians have characterized relations between the United States and Latin America.;My research contributes to the historiography of United States-Peruvian Relations by expanding on very limited coverage of the Velasco period. This is examined through a regional, high level diplomatic, and economic lens. This thesis argues that the United States is willing to work with left leaning Latin American governments if expropriated companies are properly compensated.;This period in American-Peruvian history is incredibly important to explaining the motivations and goals in U.S. foreign policy. The examination of Soviet Arms in Peru, and Peru's work in the early Drug War is a new addition to the historiography of this subject.