John Bolton: We Own the Western Hemisphere

National security adviser John Bolton told CNN Trump has dusted off the “Monroe Doctrine” and it will be used to force Maduro out office. 

Not the original doctrine, of course, but the neocon modified version. The original attempted to prevent intervention in South and Central America by European powers, at the time ruled by monarchs and autocrats. This was a failure because at the time (1823), the US didn’t have the means to enforce the doctrine. 

Mark Hertsgaard argues the Monroe Doctrine was from its inception designed to intervene in Latin America and establish an American empire in the hemisphere:

The United States has acted like an empire from the beginning, repeatedly using force to expand its territory. It started by pushing Native Americans off their land. In the War of 1812, it drove the British into Canada once and for all, a display of strength that convinced Spain to give up its claim to the Southwest. With the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, the United States declared unofficial control over the entire western hemisphere. In 1898 it expanded overseas, “liberating” Cuba and the Philippines from Spain but making them virtual American colonies; it also chose an “Open Door” strategy of relying on economic more than military strength to dominate overseas. The first half of the twentieth century included dozens of foreign interventions to ensure friendly governments and protect U.S. business interests, especially in Central America.

Ensuring “friendly governments”—or rather governments “friendly” to neoliberal economic policies—is the underlying premise behind the neocon version of the Monroe Doctrine.

When Bolton talks about “democracy,” he’s talking about returning to the status quo prior to the rise of socialism in Latin America, that is to say mass poverty and the strip mining of natural resources.

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