Geopolitics of the Caribbean: Ministates in a Wider World

Geopolitics of the Caribbean: Ministates in a Wider World

Geopolitics of the Caribbean: Ministates in a Wider World

Geopolitics of the Caribbean: Ministates in a Wider World

Excerpt

The Caribbean has long been a mecca for tourists, drawn by shimmering beaches and crystalline waters even more than exotic sights and peoples. In past centuries it has also been a prime haven for pirates, who preyed on the rich commerce of Spain with its colonies. Recently, the United States has become acutely aware of the Caribbean region as a primary channel for trade, especially petroleum imports, and as a key strategic locale, beset by swirling currents of revolution. All four of the Marxist-Leninist-inclined states of the Western Hemisphere--Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Suriname--are here, and it is in this area that the influence of the United States is most fiercely challenged by hostile ideologies and guerrilla assaults.

It is consequently most appropriate that an outstanding geographer, Thomas D. Anderson, presents this study of the geopolitics of the Caribbean. He describes in detail the natural and economic background of the problems of the basin, giving most attention to the smaller islands, which have been relatively neglected. The many ministates form a complex system, with special relationships both among themselves and with external powers.

Most people in the United States would be surprised to learn that, after Western Europe, the Caribbean islands include the most numerous group of democratic polities in the world. This fact adds to the U.S. responsibility and concern for the region dictated by its strategic significance. The problems the Caribbean basin represents for the United States are both political and economic, with many facets and complications. This volume should increase the understanding with which they can be met.

Robert Wesson . . .

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