Economic and Social History of the Americas

Economicand Social History of the Americas

Economicand Social History of the Americas

of chapter 2 of The United States Wages Cold War in Latin America, byStephen Rabe

Thebook is a detailed yet succinct assessment of the U.S. policies inLatin America during the Cold War. Latin America endured a torridtime even after the completion of the war. The region wascharacterized by systematic abuse of human rights, authoritarianism,dictatorship, and state terrorism from 1945 to 1989. Though much joyaccompanied the end of the Cold War, chapter two of this book relaysthe challenges facing this region. The downfall of the Soviet Unionand deliverance of Eastern Europe did not prevent these regions fromsuffering. Countries like Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina,and Chile endured horrendous extents of political violence. As thischapter rightly illustrates, the United States continuouslyinterceded in the internal matters of Latin America to destabilizeconstitutional administrations, aiding the tortured and murdered aswell as showing anticommunism. The chapter demonstrates thedecision-making aspects of the United States leaders in thatparticular environment.

Thechapter also discusses the different policies construed by the U.S.towards Latin America even before the onset of the Cold War. Theyinclude the Monroe Doctrine declaration among other gyrations andcorollaries used by the presidents to validate their policy verdicts.One of the most controversial remarks is the Kennan Corollary. Thedocument was extremely racial compounded with xenophobic perceptionsof the United States administration. As highlighted by this chapter,the U.S. leaders justified their interventions in Latin America usingdifferent mechanisms. As exemplified, the U.S. is confident thatLatin America lies within its territory. In other words, it is in itszone of hegemony. Therefore, the U.S. has the right to intervene soas to protect the region. The U.S. could implement any measures itdeems fit to protect the zone.