Autopsy of the Monroe Doctrine: The Strange Story of Inter-American Relations

Autopsy of the Monroe Doctrine: The Strange Story of Inter-American Relations

Autopsy of the Monroe Doctrine: The Strange Story of Inter-American Relations

Autopsy of the Monroe Doctrine: The Strange Story of Inter-American Relations

Excerpt

The story of the Monroe Doctrine is the story of inter- American relations. From the experience of several years of interpreting Latin American affairs for newspapers in the United States, I discovered, some time ago, that all roads led to the Monroe Doctrine. There was no problem of Pan Americanism, political or economic, which had not been, in one way or another, at one time or another, related to the Monroe Doctrine or one of its multiple derivatives. Historical documents, treatises, textbooks, the official utterances of statesmen, and the newspaper editorials on both sides of the Rio Grande gave ample evidence of that.

Of course, only ignorance of the original sources, the scope, and the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine could have resulted in its transformation into an ever-changing and ever-timely international issue which is continuously breaking into the front-page. Only this general ignorance could account for the differences, suspicions, and resentment which the Monroe Doctrine has sown in more than a century of inter-American relations. And these suspicions and this resentment, despite the optimistic assurances to the contrary which have come lately from official circles, are very much alive today. The over- enthusiasm of naïve or interested commentators who seem to think that all the problems of Pan Americanism have been solved by the pleasant smiles exchanged at Montevideo is premature and childish.

But, how had the misunderstanding arisen? How had this myth, this legend of the Monroe Doctrine been allowed to take form, a gigantic form? To find out, I undertook the writing of this book.

I must, here, frankly make a confession. When I set out on my search for the truth about the Monroe Doctrine, I

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