The US and its Bad Neighbor Policy
By Lazaro Farinas
Posted: Monday 23 April 2018 | 09:31:55 PM
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick, so you can go far.” That is the definition of the Big Crow’s policy implemented by President Theodore Roosevelt at the beginning of the last century. What became known as the Roosevelt Corollary established that “if a European country threatened or endangered the rights or property of US citizens or businesses, the US government was obliged to intervene in the affairs of that country to ‘reorder’ it”.
With the implementation of this Corollary, the American President was actually putting into practice the doctrine that James Monroe, who was the fifth president of this country, had proclaimed before the Congress in 1823. “America for Americans,” the president told the congressmen and the world. Of course, you have to understand that for Americans, Americans are Americans. Roosevelt, with his big stick, gave free rein to this country’s interventions in Latin America. Just a few weeks ago, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a public statement that the old Monroe Doctrine was still in force.
Many countries have been invaded by U.S. military forces since Monroe proclaimed his famous doctrine, but even more have been the ones that have secretly suffered this country’s interventionism in its internal affairs; many governments overthrown in one way or another, many were the military dictatorships established with his support, many were the pressures to overthrow democratically elected rulers.
Fortunately, military interventions have disappeared from the hemisphere, but have been replaced by conspiracies, pressure and sanctions. Many Latin American countries have received and continue to receive this form of interference.
Venezuela and Cuba are classic examples of this approach, but countries such as Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua and others cannot be left behind.
What is happening with Venezuela is incredible. The United States and its allies in the region and the Western world have mounted a campaign of disinformation about the homeland of Simón Bolívar and his government that is on the edge of infamy. Ever since the late Commander Hugo Chávez became president of that country through fully transparent and democratic elections, the United States and its international right-wing cronies began mounting a disinformative campaign against him and his government. In reality, they did not settle for anti-Chávez propaganda in the national and international media, but from there, they went on to practice, with a coup d’état, an oil strike, unbridled violence in the streets, etc.
The Venezuelan government is accused of everything in international organizations, in the discredited OAS, in the forums of the United Nations, in Unasur, now it has just been vetoed at the Summit of the Americas and in the Washington Congress, measures are being taken and sanctions are being created against the rulers of that nation.
The country that has set a record for holding democratic elections is accused of being an infamous dictatorship. A country that has held 20 elections in less than 20 years in power, fair and transparent elections, elections that have been supervised and observed by foreign organizations. They accuse the government of fraud in these elections, but we must ask ourselves, how is it that by fraud they lost the elections that took place a few years ago to elect the National Assembly?
According to them, Nicolas Maduro is an ironclad dictator, but how is it possible for such a dictator to accept freedom of the press, from which he is subjected to dirty campaigns. The right always says the same thing and uses the same speeches. When Donald Trump was running for president of the United States, he got tired of proclaiming that the American electoral system was fraudulent, but when he won the elections, he did not mention the issue any more.
Now that presidential elections are to be held again on 20 May in Venezuela, an international campaign has already begun to discredit them, despite the fact that several opposition candidates are running for the presidency. All the polls are giving it to Maduro as a winner, but what if an opposition candidate wins? Would they do like Trump did?
I don’t know if the day will come when a U.S. government will stop thinking of Latin America as its backyard and start to respect it. It is my hope that the day will come when you will truly forget what you have done so far and come to the conclusion that you must relate to that region with respect, that you will forget the Monroe Doctrine and the Big Club and that you will erase the carrot and stick theory. Because I love this country where I have lived for so many years and because I love Latin America, the region where I was born, I do not lose hope. Maybe I’m daydreaming.