Hi all. For this week’s post, I will be discussing and analyzing a video in relation to this week’s material, entitled “Commerce, Coercion, and America’s Empire III”. More particularly, I will be commenting on the remarks it made regarding U.S. Foreign Policy.
To begin, the video states that the United States asserted its dominance and influence in the Latin American region to acquire its wealth and natural resources. This is only partially true. As for every piece of legislation enacted by a global hegemonic power, there are a lot of reasons behind United States involvement in Latin America. Firstly, the United States, after its official founding, ironically enough as that might sound, was trying to establish itself as a global power and as a defender of liberty, equality and human rights. This is embodied by the Monroe Doctrine as well as following policy legislation from the U.S. government. Thus, it was mostly trying to extend its influence and to acquire power and control beyond its own borders. Following this reasoning, this was also part of the reason why the U.S. Government, and most prominently the American Intelligence Community, meddled in the affairs of many Latin American governments and tried to influence their elections. Simply put, the United States government was trying to expand its circle of influence and to partially or completely dictate the global political order, which it has consistently viewed as one where the United States must stand against any kind of regime that goes against its principles and interests. Other reasons for involvement non-exhaustively include pre-emptively or actively trying to minimize possible threats to U.S. national security and economic interests, and protecting or asserting the economic monopolies of U.S. companies in the region (such as the United Fruit Company, for instance).
Nonetheless, we may criticize this policy and the genuineness of its underlying motives. For example, many of the foreign policies implicating the United States in Latin America, although citing human rights, liberty and democracy as a motive, have actively caused the death and imprisonment of civilians, toppled democratically-elected politicians and governments for U.S.-backed authoritarian counterparts, cracked down on the rights and liberties of innocent people, and have caused the region to be wrought by mass poverty, inequality, authoritarian politics, and civil war. This is best exemplified by Operation Condor, as well as the continuing War on Drugs.