The End of the Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine – which in 1823 proclaimed all of Latin America to be a zone of exclusive US interest – is withering away. With hostility to US leadership and interests rife in the region, the best thing Barack Obama's incoming administration can do to improve relations is to declare the doctrine dead once and for all.

The Monroe Doctrine – which in 1823 proclaimed all of Latin America to be a zone of exclusive American interest – is withering away. Globalization and dynamic changes in the economies and politics of its myriad countries is providing Latin America with an opportunity to decrease the scope of its dependency on the United States, and thus to renegotiate, on better terms, its hitherto asymmetric relations with its giant northern neighbor.

Latin America’s increasing integration with the world is the key factor here. China, the world’s rising power, is eagerly strengthening its trade, investment, aid, and cooperation with the region. And Russia, deeply dissatisfied with its perceived second-class treatment by the US, is returning to the region with both business and weapon sales.

Russia may not be openly pursuing a renewed Cold War, but, in enhancing its position in Latin America, it sees itself as ending years of implosion and humiliation.

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