latinamerica

Why Latin America Rejects US Military Presence

Ever since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 the United States has claimed territorial rights to the Western Hemisphere, essentially warning the rest of the world to back off from USA’s backyard. The American way of proclaiming itself the big cheese of the New World manifested by quickly ousting colonial competitor Spain from Florida and the Southwest and two decades later declaring war on Mexico, stealing a third of its sovereign territory to ensure that Texas, New Mexico and Arizona became part of the bountiful chosen nation fast expanding from sea to shining sea. Next came more than a century of constant military interventions from the 1850’s in Nicaragua and Panama that brought forced labor and slavery to the indigenous population. 

Long before the US became the global bully, it was the Western Hemisphere’s neighborhood thug. The 1898 Spanish American War born of the false flag sinking of the USS Maine facilitated colonial expansion and occupation of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Genocide-war casualty expert RJ Rummel estimates up to near half a million Filipinos died in the bloodbath when the US military invaded, conquered and re-colonized the freshly independent nation of the Philippines during the Spanish American War.

As the US ascended to global power throughout the course of the following century, it became increasingly intolerant toward other nations’ autonomy or any and all regional claims of a “Monroe Doctrine” of their own. Having fought its own colonial wars far beyond its own hemisphere, the United States increasingly engaged in tampering with other countries’ internal affairs, regularly resorting to assassination of foreign leaders and inciting coups as it so chose around the world. And true to its New World Doctrine, the US maintained tightest control over the hapless nations of Central America and the Caribbean.

As examples of various “Monroe interventions,” a brief history follows. In 1903 for global trading purposes the US wanted a canal, so it invaded Panama, snatching up its land to construct and hold the Panama Canal from its 1914 opening up until 1999. Over this last century countless US Marine invasions took place in Central American nations like Panama and Nicaragua. Cuba and Haiti in the Caribbean were also constantly victimized with military aggression and regime changes, in Haiti right up to the present. US backed coups of democratically elected leaders during the last half century alone occurred in 1964 Brazil, 1965 Dominican Republic, 1973 Chile (ushering in brutal dictator Pinochet), 1973 Uruguay, 1980 El Salvador (that brought Reagan’s death squads also to Nicaragua), a CIA linked plane crash in 1981killing Panama’s leader, and more coups and invasions in 1982 and again 1983 in Guatemala and 1989 Panama. And then there are the incessant economic sanctions and embargos used against smaller nations like Cuba and Nicaragua that resist US oppression. Over the years thousands of Latin Americans died in the name of America’s “manifest destiny.”

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