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Saturday 20 July 2019
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Commentary

Is Monroe risen?

REGINALD DUMAS

THIS ARTICLE consists of quotations only. I leave analysis and comment to others.

1. “(The United States) should consider any attempt on (the part of European powers) to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety…(W)e could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing (independent governments of the hemisphere), or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States.” (Message to the US Congress by President James Monroe, December 2, 1823.)

2. “If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power…

“We would interfere (with our southern neighbors) only in the last resort, and then only if it became evident that their inability or unwillingness to do justice at home and abroad had violated the rights of the United States or had invited foreign aggression to the detriment of the entire body of American nations." (Message to the US Congress by President Theodore Roosevelt, December 6, 1904.)

3. “In the field of world policy, I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others…” (Inaugural address of US President Franklin Roosevelt, March 4, 1933.)

4. “(U)nder the Roosevelt administration the United States Government is as much opposed as any other government to interference with the freedom, the sovereignty, or other internal affairs or processes of the governments of other nations…(U)nder our support of the general principle of non-intervention…no government need fear any intervention on the part of the United States…” (Statement by US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Montevideo, December 10, 1933.)

5. “President James Monroe…declared that the United States would unilaterally, and as a matter of fact, act as the protector of the region. The doctrine that bears his name asserted our authority to step in and oppose the influence of European powers in Latin America. And throughout our nation’s history, successive presidents have reinforced that doctrine and made a similar choice.

“Today, however, we have made a different choice. The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over. The relationship that we seek, and that we have worked hard to foster, is not about a United States declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other American states. It’s about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, co-operating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share.” (Remarks to the Organization of American States, Washington DC, by US Secretary of State John Kerry, November 18, 2013.)

6. “During a question-and-answer session after a speech in Austin, Texas…(US Secretary of State Rex) Tillerson praised the 1823 Monroe Doctrine as ‘clearly…a success…I think it’s as relevant today as it was the day it was written.’” (Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, February 2, 2018.)

7. “The night before Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela, (he) received a phone call from (US) Vice President Mike Pence (who) pledged that the US would back (him) if he seized the reins of government from Nicolas Maduro by invoking a clause in (Venezuela’s) constitution...

“That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between US officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr Guaido himself…The State Department (told) the (US) Federal Reserve…that (Guaido) is the agent for access to Venezuelan assets in US banks…” (Wall St Journal, January 25, 2019.)

8. “The United States stands with the Venezuelan people…And now it’s time for every other nation to pick a side. Either you stand with the forces of freedom or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.” (Remarks at a UN Security Council meeting by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, January 26, 2019.)

9. “She said (the) days of non-intervention are long gone, and today’s world is interconnected.” (Saturday Express, January 26, 2019, reporting Kamla Persad-Bissessar.)

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