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What is the 'Monroe Doctrine'? In brief, it is a document that defines the entire Western hemisphere as a 'backyard' of the United States. It 'philosophically' justifies Washington's neo-colonialism, and the most barbaric coups it has been triggering, as well as covert and open interventions in the Caribbean, and in Central and South America.
And now, National Security Advisor John Bolton is using this term in connection with Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, outraging those who are opposing the US foreign policy in the region. What he means is clear, although it is never pronounced as bluntly as this: Countries in the Western hemisphere should never be allowed to go socialist, and they should be prevented from disobeying Western dictates.
In Doha, Qatar, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his outrage over Bolton's evoking of the 'Monroe Doctrine' now, when the West is doing all in its power to overthrow the democratically elected left-wing government of Venezuela:
"The theory and the practice of 'backyards' is generally insulting."
Lavrov also added that:
"Since 1945, when the UN was founded, the international law is being regulated by this universal and the most legitimate organization."
This is, obviously, not how the United States sees the world. Maybe it never even considered such an approach.
But back to the 'notorious' Monroe Doctrine.
Surprisingly, it was not always intended to intimidate and brutalize independent and progressive Latin American nations.
According to the definition of the United States Department of State:
"The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as 'the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.'"
So, in theory at least, this policy was supposed to be putting the brakes on European colonialist expansionism. This may sound almost unbelievable now.
How very unfortunate that it has evolved into one of the most unscrupulous tools of oppression in modern history!
Contrary to its original meaning, the United States used the 'Monroe Doctrine' in order to overthrow basically all patriotic, progressive and left-wing governments in the Western hemisphere; governments that resisted the selfish geo-political interests of Washington, or the interests of US corporations, including the infamous United Fruit Company, which was notorious for treating virtually all Central American countries as if they were its private plantations.
Then during the Cold War, US foreign policy towards Latin America was built on the belief that the 'Monroe Doctrine' should be invoked in order to prevent the spread of Soviet-backed Communism in the region.