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HIS344- Latin America.docx

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

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HIS344 Exam Review: US- Latin American Relations:
Potential Questions:
The Reagan doctrine- what was its essence? How was it implemented in Latin America?
Assess US- Latin American relations within the context of the early cold war
Assess US- Latin American relations either within the context of the early cold war or within the
context of the second cold war
Hemispheric solidarity  collective security ( tension)
Latin America and the “ Colossus of the North” USA
The importance of regional security arrangements coexisting with global collective security
arrangements Article 51 of the UN charter.
USA crusade against communism aid to latin America wasn’t simply a means by which to gain
allies against communism but also to ensure that latin American governments would not pursue
policies or embrace ideologies hostile to Latin American interests
oSecurity assistance
oEconomic aid  military aid
US unilateral interventionism + the preservation of Western i.e American interests.
The geographic importance of Latin America in the western hemisphere- a way for the soviets to
challenge the USA in its own backyard
Right wing dictatorships that retain close ties with Washington
The reversal of Roosevelt’s Good Neighbour Policy
Prevention of Cuban style revolutions in Latin America
US involvement in latin America proves that they were as adamant on protecting their ideological
interests in the western hemisphere and they were their economic interests
Roosevelt: Good Neighbor Policy
Truman: Containment- economic and security cooperation
Eishenhower: the revival of US interventionism Guatemala
Kennedy: Alliance for Progress-> economic development and democratization Cuba
Johnson: Militarism  Dominican Republic
Nixon: Initial little interest in Latin America- other preoccupations: ending the war in Vietnam,
détente with the USSR, opening to China. Active in defeating Marxism in Chile

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Carter: New policy of promoting democracy and hman rights in Latin America
Reagan: Campaign to combat the threat of Cuban and Soviet influence in central America
The Two Faces of US foreign policy towards Latin America:
Militaristic, intrusive, counterinsurgency features
Political liberalization, social reform, economic development and hemispheric cooperation  these
were often undermined by the former due to the chronic US fear of the spread of communism in
the western hemisphere.
The common denominator policy in latin America was underpinned by one clear goal: preventing
the spread of communism in Latin America.
The Evolution of Inter- American Relations:
Throughout the first three decades of the twentieth century the USA achieved a position of military,
political and economic hegemony in the Western hemisphere.
Latin American Post War Ambitions:
Nearing the end of WWII, many latin American statespersons hoped that the intensified US
interest in their region during the common effort against the Axis would result in a significant
expansion of US economic assistance after the war
Many sought to be privileged beneficiaries of US foreign aid by becoming active participants
in the post war order.
Roosevelt- Good Neighbor Policy: WWII relations
Indirect method of dominance whereby Washington relied on cooperative relationship with pro
American political, economic and military elites in the region- this was the defining feature of
Roosevelt’s relationship with Latin America.
Many of these links and ties were nurtured during the war period- Ecuador and several Caribbean
islands granted base facilities to the US forces. We observe a tightening of economic ties
The concept of hemispheric cooperation  the employment of pan- Americanism to mobilize Latin
American support for the elevation of US foreign policy goals.

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Argentina with its strong European population and ties to the old continent by virtue of economic
relations was particularly averse to the idea of pan Americanism
Roosevelt has mobilized latin America against Nazi Germany
Post WWII:
The advent of a system of collective security proposed in the Dunbarton conference of 1945 was
seen as a threat to Latin America’s foreign policy ambitions of achieving and fortifying
hemispheric solidarity
Undersecretary of state for Latin American affairs Rockefeller expressed a fear that a global
system of collective security might threaten the principle of hempispheric solidarity and cause the
US- Latin- American relations that had been fortified in the interwar period to unravel.
Despite the turbulent relationship between Argentina- USA, they made peace in 1946 with the
election of Peron to the presidency
Peron was a fervent anti- communist
Peron declared his support for US policy objectives during the cold war.
Truman Doctrine:
Policy of containment
Truman sought to enlist latin American states in the American global campaign to combat soviet
Inter- American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance- Rio Treaty  an armed attack against any of
the American states from outside the hemisphere would require collective measures to curb
Just as the USA had launched the marshall plan in Europe, they pursued similar measures in
Latin America
1951: Latin America Military Security Program was extended ( initially created in 1949)
oWashington concluded a number of bilateral mutual defense agreements with a number of
latin American states
oSupplied them with military and equipment advisors
oImplication: a growing sense of latin American dependency on US economic and military
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