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(SOCIOLOGY) merchant class in a colony; usually dependent on exports of raw material from the colony (or former colony) in exchange for overpriced imports from the former colonial power.

As a class, the compradors are usually nationalistic--they usually want the trappings of independence. However, they are totally dependent on the global economy and its structure of hegemony. The rich nations benefit from excellent terms of trade, specialization in manufactured goods or intellectual property, etc.

After nominal independence, the comprador class usually become very powerful in the former colony; major powers like the USA or the EU ensure the comprador remain the de facto leaders of the colony. Anti-US rhetoric is usually just political theater or may reflect petty rivalry on the part of the compradors with their foreign masters.
Eventually, the terms of trade become so bad that the relationship breaks down and the country suffers a sovereign debt default, revolution, or permanent FUBAR status. At this point the comprador class has to share power with the local Junker class.
by Abu Yahya May 17, 2010
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