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Cold War and US Intervention in Latin America - Essay Example

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Cold War and US Intervention in Latin America

The latter created an Eastern Bloc of countries, annexing them and designating them as Satellite countries. It was in fact these countries which later formulated the Warsaw Pact. United States, on the other hand adopted a policy of "containment" of communism, forming alliances with several countries, and eventually signing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (LaFeber)
Communism was gaining rapid popularity immediately after the World War II. To check the spread of Communism, the then US President Harry S Truman, laid down a set of principles pertaining to the US foreign policy, which indirectly authorized the policy of containment of communism. Under the policies of this doctrine, the US intervened in the Civil War of Greece, in an attempt to prevent Greece's falling to the Soviet Union. This intervention was followed by many similar ones to overthrow communist forces.
The first of these interventions came in 1954 in the form of Guatemalan coup d'tat, when the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) organised a military intervention to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz Guzmn, the democratically-elected President of Guatemala. The United States speculated Soviet influence and declared that the policies of the Arbenz government were Communist in nature. This operation lasted for nearly 10 years, during which an army of over 400 fighters was trained to fight against the national forces of Guatemalan. This, coupled with the economic and political sanctions levied by the US, achieved its end when Arbenz officially resigned.

The most historical of these interventions was the US response to the Cuban Revolution, which bought the world on the verge of a nuclear war. Tensions grew between the two countries when Cuba became a member of the Non Alignment Movement. The US imposed trade restrictions on Cuba, soon after it implemented some nationalizations. When all trade exchange between US and Cuba ceased in October 1960, Cuba turned to Soviet Union for assistance. This triggered an intense backlash from the US, which launched a full fledged policy of destabilising the Cuban government. This policy incorporated political, economic and military action, including the famous Bay of Pigs Invasion to overpower Fidel Castro's administration.

This was followed by a military coup in Brazil in 1964 to overthrow Joo Goulart in 1964, and a similar regime in Dominican Republic in 1965. Besides these, the US also tried to contain Communist influence in Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, and Peru.


Influence of the Civil Rights Movement on the New Left

The American Civil Rights Movement, which roughly extended from the 1945 to 1970
is one of the most celebrated movements in the history of mankind. It primarily dealt with the African Americans' demand for equality, but along its course, it encompassed several other issues dealing with the basic civil rights. As a matter of fact, it merged with different social movements like the Second Wave of Feminism, the Anti Vietnam war protests, the growing Hippie culture etc. thus, it influenced and in turn was itself influenced by many other movements.

The New Left emerged in the United States in the 1960's. It comprised of a group of young liberal, sometimes even radical college students of the US, who adopted a new form of political ideology called the social activism. ...Show more

Summary

The history of Latin America is replete with instances of US intervention, both before and after the Cold War phase. Between 1906 and 1934, the US sent troupes repeatedly and partially occupied several Latin American countries like Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua…
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Cold War and US Intervention in Latin America essay example
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