Communism spread in the Latin America led to the formulation of the containment policy by the United States. This policy was meant to stop the spread of communism by containing it to the countries which were already exercising it. During the period of containment, the United States was exercising a democratic form of administration and wanted all Latin America to adopt it. This led to power struggle as Latin America defended their form of administration. The United States at some instances used military to overthrow communism administration especially in Cuba.
The United States was also using dictators to help them fight communism in the Latin America. This was seen as contrary to what they were advocating since use of dictatorship led to suppressing of individuals who were practicing democracy (Mabry, n. d). Different policies were formulated by the United States with an aim of “protecting” the Latin America from French interference and also from dictatorship caused by communism administration. The United States wanted to ensure “free world” in the Latin America.
All the policies formulated and the debates revolved around these two notions that is the creation of a free world and also stopping French interference in Latin America. During the 19th and the 20th century, the united was operating a protectorate form of leadership and thus any policy or debate which they were involved in revolved around protecting the Latin America or protecting their own safety. All the policies were thus though not similar connected to one another with policies being formulated to strengthen the already existing ones or meant to cover areas which had not been tackled by other policies.
After the United States became a superpower through the Monroe doctrine, it had almost all rights to make amendments and policies as it deemed fit and any counter attack of a policy was easily defended using these many policies. Also, all the countries feared opposing it which gave it a wider footage in Latin America (Lemoine, 1997). However, the united state’s policies were not without criticism even to date. The Monroe doctrine which was formulated under the notion of complete isolation on the Americas from the European interference did not serve this purpose.
Initially before its extension, this doctrine was living to its standards but the vision of isolation could have been far much fetched. Instead of isolating the Americans from European interference, the doctrine only served to isolate the United States and making it a super power over the Latin America. This can be verified with the extensions which had been made in the Monroe doctrine. The idea of giving United States the right to mediate and arbitrate cases regarding border disputes involving the Latin America is a best example of the United States’s control over the Latin America.
If the aim of the Monroe policy was to protect the Latin America from European interference, then it should have granted these countries authority to handle such cases (Rosenfelder, 1996). While the Monroe doctrine initially sounded like it was a call for all Americas to have a common destiny, it later turned out that it meant that it was a call for only the North Americans leaving out the Latin and the Central America. Monroe doctrine was founded on the slogan for “America for Americans” but its sincerity is questionable.
All the activities under this doctrine are only done the United States way while rules are imposed on the Latin America. though meant to create a “free world” in Latin America, the doctrine and other policies like the Truman’s containment policy only served to increase the influence of the united states mostly in the western hemisphere. The fear of communism spread in Latin America was cited as the major reason why the United States involved itself during the cold war era. However, the threat which communism was posing was being exaggerated.
Being a super power, communism could not have been a sufficient reason as to why United States engaged itself during the cold war. Its urge to dominate was the motivating factor rather than the desire to encourage democracy and contain communism. This is clear in that though United States claimed to bring democracy in Latin America, the use of dictators in Latin America was contradictory (Community Geography Project, n. d). The United States involvement in Latin America though had some positive impacts in enhancing and encouraging democracy, it had negative impacts too.
This involvement led to the delaying of the independence of most of the states in the Latin America. Though most of the nations in the western hemisphere were independent, the United States had the right to intervene in any internal affairs as it deemed fit. This curtailed their independence and freedom. The containment policy also led to many wars which destroyed and hindered development. Another negative impact of United States’s involvement in Latin America was that it contributed to the strained relationship experienced even in the modern world.
The Latin Americans feel that the United States only wanted to use them to gain political influence without minding their welfare. To improve this tainted perception, the United States should strive at amending all the contentious clauses in the Monroe doctrine and other doctrines. The Latin America should be given total freedom without interference from the United States. United States should also strive at engaging in negotiations with Latin America to restore the strained relationship between these two states.
Reference: Community Geography Project, (n. d): The Monroe Doctrine. Retrieved on 9th February 2009 from, http://www. upa. pdx. edu/IMS/currentprojects/TAHv3/Content/Monroe_Doctrine. html. Lemoine, M. (1997): Manifest Destiny. Retrieved on 9th February 2009 from, http://mondediplo. com/2003/05/03lemoine. Mabry, D. J. (n. d): Manifest Destiny. Retrieved on 9th February 2009 from, http://historicaltextarchive. com/sections. php? op=viewarticle&artid=297. Rosenfelder, M. (1996): U. S. Interventions in Latin America. Retrieved on 9th February 2009 from, http://www. zompist. com/latam. html.