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Latin America and the United States
Transcript of Latin America and the United States
2. What economic interests have shaped relations between the United States and Latin America?
3. How did the Cold War affect relations between Latin America and the United States?
4. What ties link Puerto Rico and the United States? Despite previous admiration for the United States, by the early 1900s, Latin Americans viewed the US as the "Colossus of the North"- a large power that threatened their independence. In 1823, Latin America accepted US President James Monroe's Doctrine, which stated that "the American continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers'', as a way to stop Spain from gaining back its power. During the early 1900s, America's intervening actions increased Latin Americans' distrust of their northern neighbor. Cold War Politics 23.1-Latin America and the United States Mexican War Which state, which had previously belonged to Mexico, did the US annex in 1845? Texas As a result, the US and Mexico fought the Mexican war from 1846 to 1848. In the end, Mexico had to give the US almost half of its territory. Spanish-American War During the 1890s, Cuban patriots were battling for independence from Spain and the Us joined the fighting after declaring war against Spain in 1898. The United States won the war and Cuba received its independence. However, despite the US's promise to "leave the government and control of Cuba to its people'', it instituted the Platt Amendment, which gave the US the right to intervene in Cuban affairs.
The US also gained Puerto Rico and the Philippines from Spain. Because of this, many Latin Americans felt that America fought the war solely for its own purposes. Panama Canal President Theodore Roosevelt offered Colombia $10 million for a strip of land across the Isthmus of Panama, but his offer was rejected.
Roosevelt then encouraged rebels in Panama to declare Panama's independence.
In 1903, the new nation gave the US a 10-mile wide "canal zone". Investments and Interventions North Americans bought sugar cane plantations in Cuba and copper mines in Chile. They built railroads and factories in Brazil and Argentina and invested in oil wells in Mexico and Venezuela. All these investments benefited the wealthy, but not the majority of the Latin American people.
In the early 1900s, as a result of unpaid debts, the US took over the Dominican Republic and remained until 1924.
US forces also occupied Nicaragua and Haiti, and intervened in the affairs of Honduras 6 times. Changing Directions In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Good Neighbor Policy with Latin America. He withdrew the US marines from Haiti and declared that "no state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another state."
Still, American companies owned large tracts of land, commercial farms, mines, and other valuable resources in Latin America. The US was also the chief trading partner of most Latin American nations. Battling Communism The US often supported dictators or military dictators in Latin America to keep leftists from gaining power.
In 1954, America helped overthrow a leftist government in Guatemala. Additionally, it sent forces to the Dominican Republic in 1965, to Grenada in 1983, and to Panama in 1989. Aid President John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress offered aid to Latin American countries of they made certain reforms.
The US has recently provided military aid to countries with rebel movements and has put military and economic resources into the war on drug trafficking. It has also offered financial aid to governments that agree to undertake economic reforms and support free trade.
Humanitarian aid also comes from non-governmental groups. Containing Castro Fidel Castro's revolution in Cuba alarmed the US. Communist Cuba supported revolutionaries and became an ally of the Soviet Union. Bay of Pigs Invasion In 1961, the US attempted to overthrow Castro by secretly training and arming Cuban exiles and setting them ashore at the Bay of Pigs, off Cuba's south coast. They were quickly defeated. Cuban Missile Crisis Castro allowed the Soviets to build missile bases in Cuba. In October, after the US discovered the missile bases in 1962, it set up a naval blockade of Cuba.
As a result, Soviet ships steamed to Cuba, some carrying atomic missiles. The United States Navy was able to force them to back down and remove its missiles. Trade Embargo In 1962, the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba and in 1977, the two nations set up limited diplomatic relations. However, Castro has denounced the US as an "imperialist" nation and the US has blasted Castro's dictatorship and his human rights abuse.
The US has eased some restrictions but it has not ended its policy of attempting to force Castro to change and has continued to protest human rights violations by Castro's government. Changing Trends The US has encouraged democracy in Latin America. It has aided anti-communist forces, but has also pressed rightist governments to make reforms. El Salvador The US gave massive military aid to El Salvador as its government battled leftist guerillas during the 1970s and 1980s. The US also urged the Salvadoran government to launch land reform and hold free elections.
After years of civil war, the UN finally helped rebel and government forces to reach a peace agreement in 1992. Nicaragua After the Sandinistas gained power in Nicaragua in 1979, the US aided the contras in a guerrilla war against the Sandinista government and imposed a trade embargo to damage their economy.
In 1990, the US ended the embargo and restored aid after Nicaragua held free elections and the Sandinistas lost. Mixed Feelings Latin Americans have mixed feelings about the US. Although many admire its rich cultural heritage and powerful economy, others resent its economic and social domination. Puerto Rico: A Special Case Starting in 1898, the US controlled Puerto Rico's government and economy. In 1917, America gave Puerto Ricans US citizenship to counter an independence movement. In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth, which means that it has its own constitution and elects its own governor and legislature. Puerto Ricans have to obey America's laws but they do not have to pay taxes to the federal government.
What rights of citizens are they deprived of? They cannot vote for the US president or be represented fully in Congress. Economic Development Until the 1950s, Puerto Rico's government depended solely on sugar. US corporations owned sugar plantations on the island, an most Puerto Ricans lived in poverty.
In the 1950s, Luis Muñoz Marín ,the first elected governor, supported the program Operation Bootstrap, which offered US companies tax savings to build plants in Puerto Rico.
Hundreds of American businesses set up factories to produce shoes, clothing, chemicals, and electronics. Though these companies benefited because of the lower wages, incomes for Puerto Ricans rose as the economy developed. The jobless rate remainde high and many Puerto Ricans migrated to the US. More than 3.1 million Puerto Ricans now live on the mainland, and almost 4 million live on the island. Future Status Some Puerto Ricans wish for independence while others want statehood within the US. However, most Puerto Rican voters have rejected these options and have repeatedly voted to continue the current status as a commonwealth.