Week Nine’s Readings

This weeks reading is a outline of how and why did the US dominate and got great control over Latin America. What is interesting is that for positive or negative, the US still has and will for the future to come have huge impact on that region on the world and the actions they caused in it. This chapter more or less talks about and takes place during the beginning of the 20th century to the mid point of that century and I would like to argue that themes of the chapter was the various US military interventions in Latin America and economic power that came from US downwards and how that power sometimes influenced more then the military did.

On pages 186 in the textbook, there is a chart of all the US military interventions in Latin America between the years of 1898 to 1958. The countries appear to be mostly located in Central America or the Caribbean that that there was large gap of interventions during the 1910’s and a large gap between the 1930’s and 1940’s In 1898, Cuba and Puerto Rico was the first to feel the force of the US military during the Spanish-American civil war which can be intercepted as something very symbolic. The Spanish, the first external rulers of Latin America was driven out of the first territories they every held in the New World is paced over the a state which will have massive control and have consistent interventions with Latin America. Hell, Puerto Rico is a territory in the US now and is not even considered or being considered a state. With this, I continue on to Guatemala who was one of the many countries to have a elected government overthrow by US intervention all because of Bananas. Arbenz was not a communistic but wanted his people to grow his nation but naturalization its biggest resource. Due to UFCO’s connections with the US government, they funded a government overthrow and Arbenz was deemed a Communist threat that had to be get ten rid of, even though this was a mistaken fact in the first place.

Going to the economic forces and how they shape Latin America and the US’s impression of that region on the minds of their citizens is detailed and interesting. Like UFCO in Guatemala, a lot of US businesses seemed to be unconsciously exporting US culture to the region and acting as a spreading of cultural imperialism without a real conscious effect, this is in the case of Coco-cola. Yet one of the main companies talked about in this chapter is Disney and how they depicted that region to the growing minds of the young people of the US. Walt Disney at that time made films that would increase goodwill at the request of the US government and this was a time called the “Good Neighbour” policy under FDR. Remember that gap I talked about earlier, during that time, the US government avoided military interventions in the region and promoted goodwill towards those countries. This would not really last though due to the rising tension of the Cold War and the fear of the countries in the region turning Communist (especially after the Cuban revolution in 1959). The market after that period was used exporting cultural views of the US onto that region and at times was used to create interpretations in the minds of both of the people in Latin America and the US.

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