It would have been better had our old teachers not limited their 80s courses on the “self-determination of the people” and the “not interfering with other countries in sovereign decisions” and included the details of an expansionist policy of which we were victims in their lectures. We are victims. And hopefully we will stop being victims.
The Monroe Doctrine (1823), for example, summarized in “Latin America Considered a Sphere of Influence for the United States,” a definition of U.S. foreign policy deeming that “any intervention by the European states in America would be seen as act of aggression that would demand intervention by the United States.”*
This was taken so seriously in the United States that one finds a few milestones when reviewing the summary of this continent’s history: “Occupation of the Falkland Islands by Great Britain in 1833, a blockade of French ships against Argentine ports from 1839-1840; the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata, from 1845 to 1850; the Spanish invasion of the Dominican Republic from 1861 to 1865; French intervention in Mexico from 1862 to 1865; the English occupation of Nicaragua’s coast and England’s occupation of Guayana Esequiba in 1855.”*
This is all a campaign — in “defense” of that sphere of influence’s interests — that paradoxically the Americans themselves joined in the other excessive sphere of influence: Latin America and the world of North Americans. For example:
1846: The United States militarily forces Mexico to cede part of its territory, including Texas and California. 1898: The United States invades Spanish-occupied Cuba, which ends [with Spain] ceding them Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii. 1901: Cuba is “persuaded” to indefinitely lease its Guantanamo Naval Base. 1903: The United States “encourages” Panamanian separation from Colombia and acquires the rights to the Panama Canal; one year later the Panamanian Constitution includes a section that permits U.S. military intervention “whenever Washington deems it necessary;”* they invade Panama five times until 1918. 1915: Marines occupy Haiti and establish a protectorate until 1934.
In 1926: The United States creates a National Guard in Nicaragua; Augusto César Sandino creates a peoples’ army and responds: “I want a free homeland or death.” 1946: The United States opens the School of the Americas in Panama. 1961: Mercenaries invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs but are defeated; the CIA supports a coup against Ecuadorian president José María Velasco Ibarra, “who demonstrated too much friendliness toward Cuba.”*
1967: The Green Berets in Bolivia assassinate Ernesto Guevara [sic]. In 1971, The Washington Post confirms that the CIA tried to assassinate Fidel Castro several times. 1973: The United States supports the military seizing power in Uruguay, while in Chile a coup d’état organized by the United States topples the elected government of president Salvador Allende; Augusto Pinochet is placed in power.
Is that everything? No, I am out of space. That’s why the American position with Venezuela is incensed in regard to Venezuela, which the U.S. classifies as a “threat” to its national security; furthermore, we are obligated to refuse the magnanimous Obama’s lessons about the freedom of expression.
I would rather ask Edward Snowden. Him I can believe.
*Editor's Note: These quotes, accurately translated, could not be verified.