U.S.-Latin American Relations

U.S.-Latin American Relations

U.S.-Latin American Relations

U.S.-Latin American Relations

Synopsis

This completely revised and thoroughly updated Third Edition of Kryzanek's widely praised text includes a wealth of new data and analysis on the key events and controversies that have shaped U.S.-Latin American relations through the first half of the Clinton administration. New and updated material addresses NAFTA, the recent Mexican political and financial crisis, Haiti, and other headline events since the last edition in 1990. In addition, the work includes a new chapter examining current issues of U.S. hemispheric relations including NAFTA, the drug wars, immigration, the impact of the global economy and multilateral solutions to regional problems. An important text for scholars and students in Latin American studies and international relations.

Excerpt

To look at the extensive political, economic, and social ties that currently bind the United States and Latin America, one might be surprised to find that this close relationship did not always exist. If we examine the earliest days of the U.S. republic, the record will show that despite our proximity to Latin America, the leaders of the new United States of America were not terribly interested in affairs to their south and instead defined this country's foreign policy objectives in terms of circumstances and conditions in Europe.

In many respects this concern with Europe rather than Latin America was a prudent position for the United States to follow. After all, this country was still viewed as a renegade that dared to challenge the power and authority of the British Empire. From the U.S. perspective it was quite possible that the Revolutionary War would enter a new stage, with Britain trying again to regain its colonial possession. the United States thus felt a need to turn its diplomatic attention to Europe as a means of building support for the democratic experiment and to offset any moves by the British to weaken this country's standing in the international community.

The foreign policy priority given to Europe over Latin America was also based on a perception that close ties with our neighbors to the south were not of primary importance to the future development of the United States. the Latin American colonies were, at least until 1810, securely under Spanish rule, and therefore relations would have to be handled in Madrid. Furthermore, the early leaders of this country had yet to achieve a firm bond with Latin America. Speaking a different language and practicing a different religion, the Latin Americans were often seen as a people with colonial experience far removed from that of the United States.

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