BACKGROUND ON THE U.S. ROLE IN LATIN AMERICA

 

 

I. THE MONROE DOCTRINE (1823)

A. AFTER INDEPENDENCE IN LATIN AMERICA (EARLY 1800S), THE U.S. FEARED THAT SPAIN, PORTUGAL, RUSSIA, ETC. WOULD GAIN ECONOMIC CONTROL OVER LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS:

B. WAS THERE REASON FOR THESE FEARS ?

1. SPAIN DID INVADE MEXICO & C. AMERICA IN 1829 & 1832

2. SPAIN MADE WAR IN PERU & CHILE IN THE 1860s

3. FRANCE OCCUPIED VERACRUZ IN 1838 (TO FORCE MEXICO TO PAY DEBTS)

a. & INSTALLED MAXIMILIAN IN 1862

C. PRES. JAMES MONROE ISSUED THE MONROE DOCTRINE IN 1823, DECLARING THE AMERICAS WERE NO LONGER OPEN TO EUROPEAN COLONIZATION

1. THE U.S. WOULD REGARD ANY ACT OF INTERVENTION AS AN UNFRIENDLY ACT AGAINST THE U.S.

2. L.A. NEVER OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED THE DOCTRINE

3. THE U.S. HAD EMERGED AS A WORLD POWER & WISHED TO EXTEND ITS INFLUENCE THROUGHOUT THE W. HEMISPHERE

4. AFTER THE CIVIL WAR, RAPID INDUSTRIAL GROWTH PROMPTED A SEARCH FOR NEW MARKETS

5. THE U.S. ASSUMED A SELF-APPOINTED ROLE OF HEMISPHERIC POLICEMAN TO MAINTAIN THE LUCRATIVE L.A. MARKETS

6. THE MONROE DOCTRINE JUSTIFIED U.S. INTERVENTION IN THE DOMESTIC AFFAIRS OF L.A.

a. THE U.S. HAS MAINTAINED L.A. AS AN ECONOMIC APPENDAGE

7. * 1866 = 1ST APPLICATION OF THE MONROE DOCTRINE

a. SEC. OF STATE WILLIAM SEWARD DEMANDED FRANCE ROMOVE ITS TROOPS FROM MEXICO

D. THE U.S. STANCE AGAINST INTERVENTION BY OTHER COUNTRIES DID NOT INHIBIT THE U.S. FROM INTERVENING:

1. THE U.S. DEFEATED MEXICO IN 1835 & ACQUIRED TEXAS IN 1845

2. THE MEXICAN AMERICAN WAR (1846-48) LED TO U.S. ACQUISITION OF CALIF., NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA

3. 1890s U.S. ANNEXED PUERTO RICO, MADE CUBA A PROTECTORATE (WITH THE PLATT AMENDMENT)

4. 1898-1934 THE U.S. INTERVENED MILITARILY IN:

a. CUBA
b. MEXICO
c. GUATEMALA
d. HONDURAS
e. NICARAGUA
f. PANAMA
g. COLOMBIA
h. HAITI
i. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

5. THESE AMOUNTED TO 34 INTERVENTIONS TO PROTECT THE SUBSTANTIAL U.S. INVESTMENTS

II. FDR'S GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY

A. BY THE TIME FDR BECAME PRESIDENT, ANTI-AMERICANISM LED TO ABANDONMENT OF MILITARY INTERVENTION IN L.A.

1. HE RENOUNCED THE RIGHT TO INTERVENE IN L.A. AFFAIRS

2. ABROGATED THE PLATT AMENDMENT

B. AFTER WW II, THERE WAS EXTENSIVE INVESTMENT BY MNC'S

1. CONCENTRATION OF CAPITAL BY 300 MNC'S & U.S. BANKS

III. ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS - COLD WAR CONTEXT

A. THE 1959 CUBAN REVOLUTION THREATENED U.S. SECURITY

B. JFK BECAME CONCERNED WITH THE POPULAR RESPONSE OF LATIN AMERICA TO FIDEL CASTRO

1. 1960 CASTRO EXPROPRIATED TEXACO, STANDARD OIL, SHELL

2. THE U.S. BANNED ALL EXPORTS TO CUBA

C. BAY OF PIGS

1. CIA FUNNELED MONEY TO CUBAN EXILES FOR ARMS & TRAINING

2. KENNEDY APPROVED INVASION OF THE BAY OF PIGS, BUT THE INVASION WAS CRUSHED

D. 1961: ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS - TO ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & PROMOTE GROWTH OF DEMOCARACY

a. BASED ON MODERNIZATION THEORY

1. TO PROVIDE ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO L.A. GOVERNMENTS WILLING TO ADOPT SOCIAL & EOCNOMIC REFORMS

a. "PROGRESS YES, TYRANNY NO"

2. THE MAJOR CONCERN WAS MAINTAINING FRIENDLY CAPITALIST REGIMES IN THE REGION

3. KENNEDY & JOHNSON CONTINUED TO INTERFERE & SUPPORTED DICTATORIAL REGIMES TO MAINTAIN POLITICAL ORDER

4. 1980s - SPREAD OF MILITARY OR MILITARY-BACKED GOVERNMENTS IN L.A.

5. 2/3 OF ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS FUNDS WENT TO THESE GOVERNMENTS

a. $10 BL. HAD BEEN FUNNELED BY 1968

E. STATE DEPT., CIA, PENTAGON SUPPORTED THE INTERESTS OF MNC's

1. THE CIA'S ROLE IN L.A. WAS TO CHECK REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS

2. IN ITS PREOCCUPATION WITH COMMUNISM,

THE U.S. HAS SHOWN LITTLE INTEREST IN DEMOCRATIZATION OR DEVELOPMENT

3. RE: IN CHICO MENDES, ARCHBISHOP: "WHY IS IT THAT WHEN I GIVE HELP TO THE POOR THEY CALL ME A SAINT, BUT WHEN I ASK WHY THEY ARE POOR IN THE FIRST PLACE, THEY CALL ME A COMMUNIST?"

4. THE CIA SUPPORTED THE MILITARY COUP VS. ARBENZ (GUATEMALA),

a. HE HAD NATIONALIZED UNITED FRUIT LANDS

IV. THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION

A. PROMOTED THE IDEA THAT EVERY STRUGGLE REFLECTED THE BROADER CONFLICT BETWEEN COMMUNISM & CAPITALISM

B. CONSIDERING CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES THREATENED BY COMMUNISM,

HE BUILT UP THE MILITARY IN HONDURAS TO CONTAIN "COMMUNISM" IN NICARAGUA & EL SALVADOR

C. WEALTH WAS CONCENTRATED IN THE HANDS OF A FEW

1. C. AMERICA: IN THE 1980s 20% RECEIVED 3.7% OF TOTAL INCOME ($90/YR)

2. EL SALVADOR: 2% OWNED 60% OF THE LAND

3. WITH THE GLOBAL RECESSION OF THE LATE 1970s:

a. THE COST OF LIVING ROSE, JOBS BECAME SCARCE, & VIOLENCE ESCALATED

b. THE MILITARY INTERVENED

4. VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL AMERICA IN THE 1980s DISPLACED UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS OF PEOPLE

a. MANY LEFT, FEARING BOTH POVERTY & DEATH

b. 20% OF EL SALVADOR'S POP. HAS LEFT, 1/2 TO THE U.S.

D. U.S. ROLE:

1. 1949 U.S. ARMY SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS TO TRAIN CENTRAL AMERICAN MILITARY OFFICERS

2. 1951 MUTUAL SECURITY ACT: FUNDS TO LATIN AMERICAN ARMIES

3. 1960 U.S. DIRECT INVESTMENT IN CENTRAL AMERICA DOUBLED DURING THE DECADE; REACHED $747 ML.

4. 1970 U.S. DIRECT INVESTMENT IN CENTRAL AMERICA DOUBLES DURING THE DECADE; REACHES $1.732 BL.

5. 1975 HARKIN AMMENDMENT PROHIBITS U.S. ASSISTANCE TO GOVERNMENTS WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

6. 1979 FSLN (FRENTE SANDANISTA LIBERACION NACIONAL) TRIUMPHS OVER SOMOZA

7. 1980 U.S. DIRECT INVESTMENT IN CENTRAL AMERICA DOUBLES DURING THE DECADE; $4.223 BL.

8. 1982 REAGAN PROPOSES CARIBBEAN BASIN INITIATIVE TO INCREASE ECONOMIC & MILITARY AID TO THE REGION

9. 1982 CONGRESS ADDS $200 ML. ECONOMIC AID & $12 ML. MILITARY AID TO CBI

10. 1982 CONGRESS APPROVES $24 ML. COVERT AID TO THE CONTRAS

11. 1984 ORTEGA ELECTED

12. 1985 REAGAN IMPOSES EMBARGO ON NICARAGUA

13. 1985 CONCRESS APPROVES $27 ML. IN "HUMANITARIAN" AID TO THE CONTRAS

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