Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… The End of the American Empire

01 Fidel Castro and Uncle Sam

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The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías knocked Washington off-balance and stripped it of confidence. Breaking the traditional rules of diplomatic courtesy, US President Obama refrained from extending condolences to the people and government of Venezuela, unlike the heads of state of most other countries. Those in the American corridors of power must have lost their nerve.

In this case, Chávez’s extraordinary personality didn’t cause this state of affairs; rather, the tectonic policy shift that embodied Chávez’s philosophy devastated the USA. For two centuries, South America provided solid and reliable support for a country whose very name… the United States of America… incorporated claims to speaking on behalf of both parts of the American continent. In 1823, the fifth US President, James Monroe, proclaimed in a message to the US Congress that all territories south of the American border were the USA’s “exclusive sphere of influence”. It’s worth remembering that the text of the so-called Monroe Doctrine stated that the USA would consider any attempt on the part of any other country to interfere militarily or politically in the affairs of any state in the Americas as hostile, a threat to its peace and security. Without any diplomatic frou-frou, Senator Lodge explained the essence of Monroe Doctrine by saying, “The American flag must fly over the territory from the Rio Grande to the Arctic”.

The Monroe Doctrine was a guide for several generations of politicians as they replaced one another at the helm of the American state. After World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Monroe Doctrine be part of the Covenant of the League of Nations. By using brute force, Washington kept South America under its thumb. After American troops invaded Mexico in 1846, the USA de facto carved that country up {part of it became the south-western USA after the American victory: editor}. Besides that, the USA propped up bloody puppet juntas in Central America like those of General Anastasio Somoza García in Nicaragua. US President Franklin D Roosevelt threw out a famous cynical bon mot concerning him, “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch”.

After the Second World War, Washington didn’t loosen its iron grip on Latin America; it still held it under its tight control. Subservient Latin American delegations at the UN comprised an infamous “voting machine”; it was one of Washington’s major policy tools in the early years of the Cold War. The Cuban Revolution was the first peal of thunder. The multiple, but unsuccessful, attempts to suppress it marked the beginning of the end for the empire south of the American border. A bloc of states chose to reject Washington’s diktatBrazil’s economic and political weight grew exponentially, Nicaragua broke free, Panama snatched the Panama Canal from America’s grip, and Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela went on to head an anti-American front in Latin America. All this became a nightmare for the proponents of the outmoded Monroe Doctrine. The 200-year-old American Empire is no more, never to return. Judging from their nervousness, the power élite in Washington is unaware or is unwilling to recognise that. So much the worse… for them!

zorin_v19 March 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2013_03_19/203903965/

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