Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

End of the Monroe Doctrine

Posted by Charles II on March 15, 2009

For almost 200 years, the US has used The Monroe Doctrine to make the Western Hemisphere into its sole preserve. I guess we let the British hang onto a few tropical resorts.

And now that may change.

Venezuela just invited the Russians to build an airbase on one of their islands, La Orchila, about 100 miles northeast of Caracas and about 2 mi x 4 mi.

[Update: Map removed 3/16]

Conveniently, they have a gas station right next door.

9 Responses to “End of the Monroe Doctrine”

  1. And of course, there’s not a damned thing the US can do about it, being tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And also of course, none of the people who were so intent on pissing off Hugo Chavez in the first place will ever admit that this wouldn’t be happening if the US government hadn’t spent so much of the past six years trying to kick him out of office by any way they could dream up.

  2. Stormcrow said

    It’s better than that.

    Right now, we’re worse than bankrupt, so our ability to project serious military force over a prolonged period will remain at a low ebb until and unless we recover. Assuming we ever do recover from this economic collapse, which I now think is doubtful.

    The longer the nakedly obvious looting goes on, the more I am coming to accept John Robb’s take on our future as a major power, to wit, we don’t have one.

    And the ability of even the smaller nations to ruin the whole day for an invading power who has to cross significant numbers of intervening nations’ sovereign territory has come a long way in the last 50 years. As our troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate.

    The Russians were able to swamp Georgia because they are directly and closely contiguous, and the population differential is just too large. That state of affairs just no longer holds between the US and Venezuela. Or even between the US and Mexico.

    No nation-state whose leadership is in its right mind is going to take on the United States on its own soil. For the same good and excellent reasons nobody in their right mind is going to take on the Russian Federation or the PRC on their home soil. Even if the PRC does end up folding as a consequence of its own economic collapse.

    But we can kiss the Monroe Doctrine goodbye. Probably for keeps.

    • OleJer said

      Forget the Monroe Doctrine, tain’t thar no mor. I think it was President Carter who abrogated it and we have been embroiled in foreign conflicts ever since: Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., sucking money, lives and loyalty from America ever since. And now we have a President who is abrogating the U.S. Constitution. I hope you enjoy our new found form of economic slavery. You ain’t seen nuttn yet.

      • Charles II said

        Um. You do know what the Monroe Doctrine is, Jer?

        No, it’s pretty clear you don’t.

        Quoting Wikipedia “The Monroe Doctrine is a United States policy that was introduced on December 2, 1823, which stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention.”

        Unless you can name examples of European countries colonizing countries in the Western hemisphere in, say, the last hundred years, it’s time to go back to the books. Not your books, since they are obviously full of manure.

        If you’re trying to change people’s minds, it helps to know WTF you’re talking about. Instead, you just confirm the suspicion that Obama’s opponents are ranting, ignorant lunatics.

  3. Charles II said

    And that might be a very good thing, Stormcrow.

    I am not fond of the Russians. They are notorious for coming in invited or not, and staying long past any welcome they had. But this base far beyond any of their support capabilities.

    So, my guess is they’ll decline the Venezuelans’s offer. But not before US policy recognizes the fact that a Good Neighbor Policy does not include bossing the neighbor around and invading them when we don’t like what they do.

  4. The one bad result is that this might wind up strengthening the hand of the nutball gangsters running the Cuban exile community in Miami and environs. I can just imagine them right now, squawking about Fidel and Hugo and Vladimir.

  5. Charles II said

    And don’t forget Mauricio, and Michele, and Evo, and Inacio…

    Any except the blind can see that Latin America has swung left in reaction against heavy-handed US policies and corrupt oligarchies.

  6. For a start, Venezuela is not letting the Russians build a base – they have offered them the use of a Venezuelan airbase for operations – ie, refueling bombers – but there is no offer to host a permanent presence — at least not yet. Second, speaking as a Canadian, the Monroe Doctrine was a bunch of imperialistic bullshit from the start and good fucking riddance to bad rubbish. I just wonder how long it will be before we see the CIA and NSA guys up to their old tricks in Latin America, or will the American wingnut right skip the government agencies altogether and start funding anti-government death squads in El Salvador and Nicaragua again on their own?

  7. Charles II said

    It’s a quibble over “building a base” vs. “use of a base,” Rev. The Russians would extend the runway. And the Russians have a habit of staying wherever they’re invited.

    The Monroe Doctrine… yes, “imperialistic bulls–t” pretty well covers it.

    Death squads… they’re still in operation, and they’ve always been a public-private joint venture. Who snatched Chavez, after all, if not a death squad that got outplayed? Mexico is filled with death squads, and I sure wouldn’t want to be a union organizer in Guatemala.

    Ultimately, what needs to happen to end that is not so much what El Norte does, but the healing of divisions in Latin America. What keeps alive the violence is the hatred of mestizos for their own Indian heritage.

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