POL326Y1 Lecture 17: USFP Middle East Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
Mid-East Foreign Policy
We must understand the social structures within Latin America
o They use the income habits
o Latin American independence followed pattern of American independence
A rebellion of the elites against the constraints of the colonial powers
The main issue: the trade between colony and colonial power and the move towards
The United States favored authoritarian means to maintain stability in Latin America
o Democracy is inappropriate by Americans because of non-white races, Catholic church (dominant
institution in Latin America), viewed
o This wasn’t only contrary to the interests in America (redistribution of land), but America
considered all countries through the lens of modernization theory
Mod theory: all societies were under trajectory of colonial countries
A leveling of property at the feudal stage of development would thwart the further
development of the surplus
Countries were stagnant in their development; Americans favored military strongmen as
the ideal institutions to maintain stability
Good neighbor policy: the promise that America wouldn’t interfere in the domestic affairs of Latin
American countries
o Does it suggest change American foreign policy? No.
The overwhelming majority of Latin American countries were under military rule
Cold war
American policymakers viewed international politics through the lens of communist threat
The exclusionary systems make Latin America vulnerable for communist influences
The United States chose the first of these two options
o such was evident in ’54 intervention in Guatemala: the second wave of democratization
o their elections brought to power of Jacob Benz
o this threatened land interests of major American corporation which had implications for an
American corporation
the issues with the overall policy was quickly demonstrated as well; resulted in the wave of military
reversals; this was called bureaucratic authoritarianism
by 70s, only Columbia and Venezuela were under the civilian government
Costa Rica was an exceptional case; this prevented a military intervention
Cuban revolution
Demonstrated fragility of the social systems America tried to stabilize
Banana republic: exporters of bananas and coffees; America tried to duplicate the success of Guatemala in
o Cuba v. Guatemala differences
o The Cuban military had already been defeated; castro was a good student of history
the Kennedy administration announced a new policy (the alliance for progress)
o alliance for progress: an attempt to push authoritarian governments into more stable directions
through lowering the appeal of radical movements
o issue: when Latin American elties experienced
Petro dollar: The United States went off the gold standard; the general features of OPEC is that these
profits left many deposits at high interest rates;
o the resource countries of Latin America
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Latin America faced a debt crisis
o The military regimes were on the brink of collapsing
o The third wave of democratization: needed austerity
Created a political problem from the perspective of an average Latin American: why are we
imposing poverty on countries that have nothing to do with this debt?
o Democratization in Latin America occurred in the last decade (1980s) where democracies were
established but no economic progress
o Venezuela was encouraged to take out massive debts; needed austerity
Resulted in the rise of bus fares and riots
Hugo Chavez: prosecuted for 2 years, won presidency for 52% of vote
o Ushered in strong American dominance in religion
o Bolivarian: aimed to create a United States of Latin America but failed to do so; an economy;
rejected by these two new moments
o This set of movements of the fact that the US secured foreign policy establishment; took Latin
American relationship for granted
o After 9/11: shifted from Latin America to middle east
The perception that Latin America slowly moved under the dominance of US
o 2002: The United States backed an attempted coup against Chavez government
Rex Tillerson: encouraged Venezuelan military to take care of issues in Venezuela
The military was purged in rejecting elements of Maduro government
A new coup government demonstrated a pattern
o The United States backed an oil strike; delegitimized elections in Venezuelan government
The opposition was ready to boycott elections as they didn’t have the numbers to do so
Venezuela has often been accused of being an authoritarian government
Chavez spent on social programs and expansion of education but also outside in providing
oil in Caribbean countries; did little/nothing to do so
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff
o A judicial coup: de Silva (her successor) was investigated for corruption in the Brazilian oil company
such information was released through intel agencies
Hugo Chavez: denounced war on terror
o this was contrary to international law; unlikely to diminish terrorism
Faced very few constraints on its use of power: perfect case study on to test hypotheses on USFP
o US supports rise of democracies and human rights
o US consistently supported human rights and democracy; supported military regimes and in many
cases, provided training to support gross violations of human rights
Such came attention to the international public
Trained Latin American partners to harmful treatments in interrogation
The idea that America supported human rights were far from the truth; stressed stability
through maintaining social structures in Latin America
With regards to the promotion of democracy, the US’ role is pretty difficult to defend on role of human
o A coherent view on American foreign policy that rests on the US constitution isn’t a document that
relies on democracy, but it represents the distrust of majoritarian governments
It was designed to constrain power of majorities; this was the case in many Latin American
states, especially in Venezuela
It isn’t that America rejects democracy, but rather populist democracy
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