by Arley Gill
The Monroe Doctrine was hatched in 1823 by the United States of America. This policy by the Americans declares that any 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.”
James Monroe was the president at the time.
In 2019, National Security Advisor John Bolton unashamedly and unreservedly made it known to the world that not only the philosophy, but also the practice of the Monroe Doctrine, was relevant. He said, “the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well.” He went on to announce fresh new sanctions against Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, referring to the 3 regional nations as the “troika of tyranny”.
Recently, the world sat and took notice of a failed insurrection or coup in Venezuela; a coup attempt that was aided and abetted by Washington. No one in their right mind, especially Juan Guaido – that fake president – will openly call for a coup by the military and civilians to topple a government, the way he did. Clearly, he is a US stooge, planted to provoke the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro; Guaido is behaving, as if to say in Grenada parlance, “touch me, nuh.” He’s behaving in a manner to give the US some excuse for a military intervention or to further escalate their unjust policies against Venezuela.
The Helms-Burton Act, passed by American legislators and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, is a consistent piece of legislation which, together with the Monroe Doctrine, aims to further promote the U.S. interest in the Caribbean and Latin America. Helms-Burton specifically targets Cuba. President Donald Trump has decided to activate Title 111 of that act, allowing persons to sue for property confiscated by the Cuban revolution.
Michael Behn, who is not Cuban, has just filed a legal action against Carnival Corporation for using the docks in Cuba, once owned by his grandfather and taken by the revolution almost 60 years ago. In another legal action, Javier Garcia-Bengochea filed suit against Carnival Corporation for docking in Santiago de Cuba that his family once owned. Legal actions are also taken against the State of Cuba by Exxon Mobil for the use of an oil refinery and other properties expropriated in 1960. This conjures up memory of the millions Haiti had to pay France for their independence. These payments to France, above all else, have ensured that Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Now, Cuba represents the global soul of humanity. During all their struggles against the US blockade, they have assisted many countries around the world – including Grenada – in health and education, in particular. Cuba has played a critical role in fighting against colonialism and oppression; assisting the weak nations against the almighty ones. What is it that Cuba has done to deserve this? They do not harbour terrorists, drug dealers and criminals. They have fought to build a fair and just society. Why Cuba?
Saudi Arabia enjoys great friendship with the United States. They brutally murdered a journalist in their Turkish embassy; and, barring some meaningless words of condemnation from the western powers, no sanctions were imposed on Saudi Arabia. Recently, they publicly beheaded convicted persons. No public outcry against human rights. Instead, Saudi Arabia is enjoying increase sale of oil and by extension revenue, due to America’s unilateral imposition of sanctions against Iran.
Saudi Arabia is a society that has no elections or democratic tradition. No one is saying to them they need to have elections. Their political culture is acknowledged and respected by the US and other western powers.
Venezuela duly had their constitutional elections which President Maduro won. The cynics may wish to argue that the elections were not free and fair; but, that can be said about so many other elections around the world. An election issue in a sovereign nation does not provide a legal reason for foreign powers to initiate regime change and to destroy a society, in the process creating a massive human catastrophe and the biggest refugee crisis in the Western Hemisphere this century.
The Monroe Doctrine continues to be the basis for the US hegemonic domination in the region. They’re engaged in bullying weak and vulnerable nations into submission, while the United Nations remains incapable of bringing any moral bearing to a world that creaks with political immorality and injustice. The weak have to fend for themselves!