NPR has launched an ambitious series of programs looking at growth of left-leaning governments in South America. The programs are interesting in that they often offer more nuanced information than you get from most mainstream media--for example Castro and Chavez are not demonized, and issues of economic inequalities are mentioned. That's commendable. But, I have to say that as I listened to the reports, I kept wondering when the nefarious role of US intervention (particulary in Latin America) was going to be given its due. The answer is,unfortunately, never. This history is important, how else can US citizens understand the distrust and anger voiced by governments such as those in Venezuela or Cuba. It also struck me as tragic that there was nothing in the reports on NPR about the US role in spreading torture throughout Latin America in since the 1960s--a legacy that continues to reverberate in today's so-called "war on terror."
For some great resources on the less savory history of the US in South America take a look at this resource page from Third World Traveller.