Week 9: Commerce, Coercion and America’s Empire

This week we begin to see the continuation of external power in Latin America and the growing American (US) dominance in the region. This week is particularly important because we notice a shift in power and have to take consideration of another external power in the politics, economy, and social aspects of Latin America.

Being Latin American, the United States is always thought of as being this external threat, and militaristic power. Especially considering cases such as Guatemala, Chile, and Cuba (to name a few). But even today, we see how the United States, to some extent, still has the upper hand in Latin American politics. Either through trying to fight corruption or through commerce and trading policies. Yet, in this Trump era it is interesting to see how these relationships will build.

What I found interesting n Dawson’s argument is that although the United States has always been seen as this militaristic power in Latin America, there are other important aspects, such as the culture and how both Latin America consumed the United States and the United States consumed Latin America. Although I would argue that the United States was not only a consumer but also played a very important role in extracting much of Latin American resources., while Latin America act only as a consumer and producer of the United States’ raw materials.

Yet, it is also important to recognize the United States’ effort in providing aid to the region and helping with developing the states. Although some interventions might have delayed the process of democracy in some countries (and this is not to say that all countries have reached democracy), Latin America (some countries in particular) still looks up to the United States rather than looking at other regions in the world.

Questions: How should we consider the Trump era and the effect it can have in Latin America? To what extent has the United States’ interfered in the sovereignty of other states, and to what extent should this be allowed by the international community?

1 thought on “Week 9: Commerce, Coercion and America’s Empire

  1. Elena Munk

    Hi, I really like both your questions! For the second one I think the USA intervened a fair amount if not in the sovereignty of states, definetly in their politics/governments. I think it should typically not be allowed unless of course there are human lives/rights at risk, but I can see how it’s difficult for the international community to challenge the USA due to how much power they hold.


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