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World Hist Did We Lose Latin America

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Did We lose Latin America?

When looking at the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America you can see that the U.S. has used “democracy promotion” if you will, as cover for U.S. imperialism in Latin America. The U.S. supported anti-communist regimes that were often undemocratic because they were capable of protecting U.S. interests during the Cold War. Looking back you can see that U.S. relations in Latin America since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. was merely changing its means of establishing U.S. friendly governments by promoting democracy in moderation.

One of the main goals of the U.S. policy in Latin America has been the protection of resources for extraction. The history of U.S. relations in Latin America shows that the promotion of democracy is secondary to economic and social factors.1 While the U.S. claims to have a belief of “promoting democracy” in Latin America, justification for U.S. intervention has been most times been questionable and inconsistent. U.S. policy has gone through cycles of concern and neglect and these range from the Alliance for Progress of JFK, to the almost apathy of Nixon/Ford, to the human rights concerns of Carter, to the military solutions of Reagan. At all times the U.S. has sought to keep just enough controlling influence over the states of Latin America, in an effort to prevent change.3 The Truman Doctrine was what mainly outlined the U.S. policy along with the self- appointed role of the U.S. as ‘global policeman’.

From 1947 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. national security policy toward Latin America was driven by trying to stop the spread of communism. Since 1979 the Soviet Union has helped to consolidate the revolutionary regime in Nicaragua, also by providing considerable aid, mainly through proxies, and other third parties—to revolutionaries elsewhere in Latin America, and which then increased its efforts to develop favorable political and economic ties with such countries as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Throughout years Latin America had been less important in the USSR's rivalry with the United States than other Third World areas such as Asia and the Middle East, where Soviet stakes were greater and Soviet power less controlled. To some degree the Soviet Union only had an interest in Latin America due to the ongoing competition with the United States, of which whom had some moral obligation to support revolutionary causes around the world. So therefore Moscow's basic aim in the region was always to outdo and undermine U.S. influence. Moscow tried doing this by strengthening Soviet diplomatic, economic, and military ties with governments of Latin America and by promoting radical change. Back in the 80’s Cuba was a key player in Soviet relations with Latin America both as a dependent ally helping Moscow's interests and also as an independent player influencing Soviet policies and tactics.



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