The Legacy of the Monroe Doctrine: A Reference Guide to U.S. Involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Legacy of the Monroe Doctrine: A Reference Guide to U.S. Involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Legacy of the Monroe Doctrine: A Reference Guide to U.S. Involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Legacy of the Monroe Doctrine: A Reference Guide to U.S. Involvement in Latin America and the Caribbean

Synopsis

Ideal for student research and debate, this is the first single-volume reference work to examine, country by country, the history of U.S. involvement in 24 Latin American and Caribbean nations. It will help students to understand and debate the role of the United States in Latin America since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 and whether in the long run U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Latin American governments has been counterproductive. Each country and its relations with the United States is analyzed succinctly in an individual chapter. Dent, a noted expert on inter-American relations, organizes each chapter around major themes that illuminate both historical and contemporary issues, and shows how in recent years U.S. concerns have been transformed from issues of security and economic interests to drug trafficking, immigration, democratization, and trade pacts. Discussion of key events--wars, revolutions, and dictatorships--and lively accounts of the role of powerful individuals illustrate the causes and consequences of U.S. involvement.

Excerpt

Major factors in U.S.-Bolivian relations have included (1) Bolivia's economic dependency on mining and the trafficking of illicit drugs, (2) the detrimental effects of two wars--the War of the Pacific and the Chaco War--with its neighbors, and (3) U.S. investment and control of key industries. From independence in 1825 to 1938, Bolivia lost over half of its original territory to its bordering states: Chile, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. One of two countries in South America that have no seacoast (the result of territorial losses to neighbors), Bolivia has put considerable emphasis on international organizations and friendly relations with the United States to obtain economic assistance and political guarantees for national security and to regain its outlet to the sea.

With a record of chronic problems in governance, financial mismanagement, and economic stagnation, Bolivia has had to rely on foreign capital and financial advisors, as well as public assistance from the United States, to survive. During times of war Bolivia has solicited diplomatic assistance from the United States to mediate disputes and gain economic leverage. For most of the Cold War period Bolivia built close ties with the U.S. military, a relationship that often affected the success of democratic rule in Bolivia and efforts to combat drug trafficking. The negative effects of U.S. economic, political, and military involvement in Bolivia have contributed to outbreaks of anti-Americanism, regardless of the charitable motives of policymakers in Washington. Bolivia's revolution in 1952 stemmed from domestic grievances built up over a half century of foreign domination and economic exploitation by a small band of wealthy tin barons, but it has remained unfinished as a thoroughly social revolution. With a population sharply divided along racial, cultural, and geographic lines, Bolivia has struggled since independence to establish a sense of national unity to pacify regional/racial tensions that have made governing so difficult.

BOLIVIA AND THE UNITED STATES DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

The United States and Bolivian independence

During the colonial period Bolivia was an important mining region called Upper Peru. It included the highland community of Potosi, site of the seventeenth century's richest silver mines and a major source of Spanish wealth and power. Bolivia achieved its independence from Spain in 1825 and installed Antonio José de Sucre as president, a position he was to hold for life but in fact held only for several years. Between 1825 and 1880 Bolivia was run by a series of quasi-military strongmen, or caudillos, from regional . . .

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