The Good Neighbour

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The United States of America prides itself on being the strongest regional hegemon in the world. It sees itself as the worlds police force with the rights as well as the capability to impose its way of life on other states. Obviously, this is not always to be seen as a bad thing, however, the obnoxiousness in which it carries itself has tended to rub a lot of states the wrong way.


Being from England, as a child I grew up wanting to be American, my television was flooded with American shows as much as British, everything about Hollywood seemed newer and shinier. The trips we took as families were to hotspots Disneyland and New York, ethereal places which could not be recaptured in tiny rainy Britain. Time has changed my perspective. Behind the glamour lies an ugly history of genocide, gun violence and corruption. Being so close to the states in Canada has only affirmed this view in my mind. However, whilst Canada is generally respected by the States, Latin America is not nor has it ever been. The United States might be a good neighbour to us, but it has certainly not always been a great neighbour to Latin America.

Who can forget what Donald Trump has said about Mexico in the past.

The funniest thing is that Donald Trump is not the first president to not treat Latin America with respect, the anger felt is at times very justified


4 thoughts on “The Good Neighbour

  1. Hi there! First of all, I love the title you chose for your post this week. I like that you don’t specify who the “good neighbour” is. It is ambivalent, very much like the relationship between the United States and Latin America. Although one can already assume prior to reading your post that you are in fact being sarcastic, referring indeed to the U.S. as the “good neighbour”.
    I too come from Europe, and just like you I used to be full of admiration for the U.S. Like you said, life in America just seemed so much better, and becoming a citizen of the United States of America at the time would have been a dream come true. Growing up however I came to realize that nothing is either all black or all white, and that the U.S. nation is not all perfect. I figure the reason it took so long for you and I to see what Latin America already knew about the U.S. is because none of us is part of the Latin American community. As European citizens, we have never been subjected to the domination of the United States (in part I guess because of the distance between the two continents, and in part also because our European model is somewhat similar to that of the U.S.), as opposed to the Latin American people. Hence the North-South divergence of perspectives when it comes to characterizing the U.S as a good or bad neighbour.

  2. I also had that sense of awe of America when I ws younger (I guess that’s a demonstration of how efective and far-reaching their self-advertisement is) but as I grew up and learnt more about the darkside of it, I realized that it wasn’t as great as I had thought. I think that’s one of America’s greates achievements, they have managed to mostly convince themselves and the rest of the wolrd of their benevolence and marvelousness.

  3. First off, I love the title, very funny. It’s interesting that you feel that you were influenced by Americas image, as it seems that, in general, it was weaker and emerging states which were most influenced. As we all know, England is one of the oldest powers still around.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experiences of the US as someone who grew up in Britain! As someone who spent most of my life in Canada, it’s really interesting and helpful for me to hear the about the views on America from new perspective. I think one reason that the US has been a “good neighbour” to Canada is because of how similar we are to the US. While we preach diversity and multiculturalism, we still have the same history of genocide and Indigenous oppression and we have all the same present day issues of systematic oppression as they do. We approach economy, politics, and society in essentially the same way as the US, thus we do not pose a threat to the US. Latin America is so different from the US that I think it poses a threat to them, in that it makes them harder to control due to the many facets of Latin America that must be changed so that it agrees with the way that the US believes it should be.

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