John Bolton performed in Miami before veterans of the operation in the Bay of chinos (a failed attempt by the CIA and Cuban emigration to overthrow Castro in 1961). It was impossible to think of a better audience for a loud statement – and Bolton did not disappoint. Once again scolding Russia for what it “carried out military flights to Venezuela, delivering 35 tons of unknown cargo and hundreds of soldiers,” he said that “the people of Venezuela, countries in the region, the United States and many others condemned these actions»:
“This incredible region must remain free from internal despotism and external domination. We must all reject the forces of communism and socialism in this hemisphere and in this country (USA, not Cuba – approx. VIEW.) The fate of our Nations will not be determined by other powers. They will be formed by those people who call our hemisphere home. Today, we are proud to announce that the Monroe doctrine is alive and well.
That is, us President’s national security adviser resurrected what was buried, albeit unofficially, by previous our administrations. Bolton, in fact, developed what Donald Trump said last September, speaking at the UN General Assembly. Then the US President said:
“Here in the Western hemisphere, we are committed to protecting our independence from the invasion of foreign expansionist powers. This has been the official policy of our country since the time of President Monroe – we do not accept the intervention of foreign States in this hemisphere, especially interference in our internal Affairs.”
The fact that trump remembered the “Monroe doctrine”, already then drew attention. After all, the American presidents have not mentioned it publicly for a long time: so great was the irritation of Latin American neighbors from the mere mention of it. But trump still did not say that the doctrine is alive – but Bolton decided to officially resurrect it. What for? And what is this doctrine?
She is named after the fifth us President James Monroe – in his address to Congress in December 1823, he outlined the new principles of American foreign policy:
“The citizens of the United States have the most friendly feelings for their brethren on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, for their freedom and happiness.
We have never participated in the wars of the European powers concerning themselves, and this is consistent with our policy.
We resent caused us to grievances or prepare for the defense only in case of violation of our rights or threats against them…
We must declare that we must consider their attempt to extend their system to any part of the hemisphere as a threat to our peace and security. We have not and will not interfere in the Affairs of existing colonies or dependent territories of any European power. But as for the governments of countries that have declared and maintain their independence, and those whose independence, after careful study and on the basis of the principles of justice, we have recognized, we cannot consider any intervention by a European power to oppress these countries or to establish any control over them other than as an unfriendly manifestation towards the United States.”
The reason for the appearance of this statement was rumors that the European powers (primarily France) are preparing for intervention in Latin America to return to the power of Spain the former Spanish colonies, which declared their independence a few years before. Given that almost all the territories South of the United States were under Spanish rule, it is clear that the States feared European intervention in the region for which they had their plans. In reality, there was no serious threat to the European invasion. To return the lost colonies were already unrealistic, as shown by the war of independence of South America, which was then almost won by Simon Bolivar.
And Britain, which was then the mistress of the seas (and actively contributed to the anti-Spanish uprising in South America and helped the rebels) would not allow European fleets to the American shores. As a matter of fact, London and prompted Washington to the very idea of the doctrine of Monroe – the British offered their yesterday’s subjects together to declare that it will not allow the intervention of continental Europe in the Affairs of the Western hemisphere. From the point of view of London, all right – Spain has already lost the continent, now it is important not to allow France there. The States should be a Junior assistant, in this case, a kind of attorney.
But the States decided to speak on its own behalf – to raise its prestige and show independence from the British. And at the same time and put on the form of Russia – the second superpower of the time, which owned to the same part of the American continent, that is, Alaska.
The Monroe doctrine did not really protect Latin Americans from Europeans – it justified our claims to the subjugation of the entire Western hemisphere. Soon the United States tore off Mexico half of its territory, by the beginning of the XX century, forced out of Caribbean Spain, taking away her Cuba, separated from Colombia Panama for the construction of the canal there. Military interventions, coups, economic expansion – all this has become a normal practice of American policy South of the United States. Not surprisingly, Latin Americans hated the Yankees with all their hearts – and the Monroe doctrine was synonymous with American neocolonialism and imperialism.
At the same time, direct military interventions over the years have become increasingly rare, and after the uprising in Cuba and almost impossible. The failure of the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the subsequent Caribbean crisis buried the Monroe doctrine – if the USSR managed to get under the very side, then what can we talk about? That is, the attitude to Latin America as its backyard in Washington remained – that’s just the opportunity to act openly by force (as before in same Central America and the Caribbean) was no more.
Of course, the relapse was still (the occupation of the Dominican Republic in the mid-60s, the capture of Grenada in 1983, the invasion of Panama in 1989). The Panamanian operation was the last us military action in Latin America – that’s why Washington’s hints about a possible operation against Venezuela are so ridiculous. Bolton can say anything, but the Americans do not want to fight against the Venezuelan army and will not: the losses are large, there is no possibility to win quickly, and the reputational losses are huge. Not to mention the fact that the intervention in Venezuela will lead to the opposite result desired by the Americans – instead of the fall of Maduro, it will seriously strengthen its position, uniting all Venezuelans for the sake of repelling aggression. But why does Bolton remember the Monroe doctrine? To intimidate Latin Americans with Russia and China. Here, they say, these are new colonizers who, as before, Europeans, seek to dictate their terms to you, and we, Americans, will protect and save you. Trust in such primitive propaganda among Latin American elites there is no – for two centuries there is well learned what is actually the “Monroe doctrine” and what interests the Yankees.
In fact, the States with all desire can not resurrect the “Monroe doctrine” – they have neither the strength (moral and geopolitical), nor the possibility (changed the balance of power in the world). Moreover, the very talk about it can lead to the opposite results for the United States.
First, to the growth of anti-Americanism in Latin America – the people of its countries really want Americans to decide their own fate, that’s only Americans they consider themselves, not us residents. Secondly, to the retaliatory claims to the United States by global players – the same Russia and China. Do you want to observe the Monroe doctrine? Then stop first interfering in the internal Affairs of Europe (as promised in 1823) and Asia (which does not belong to the Western hemisphere). Go back to the days (until the end of the XIX century), when America was not a global power and claimed only to rule in his hemisphere – then we’ll talk.
It is impossible to enter twice into the same river – as it is impossible, realizing that you cease to be a superpower, to try to keep at least something, to return to such a convention in the past “Monroe doctrine”. Swinging at world domination and defeated loses everything. And Latin Americans will soon demonstrate to the States that the Yankees ‘ sphere of influence ends where the “trump wall”will take place.