Commentary: US failed to buy loyalty from Latin America * Mareeg.com somalia, World News and Opinion.
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Commentary: US failed to buy loyalty from Latin America

By He Xi-For the US, the Latin American continent has been an important neighbor with strategic significance. In order to have a firm control over the region, the White House adopted a “puppet strategy” of using economic aid to buy loyalty.

 

However, history has proved that its calculation came to naught as the US dollar failed to buy the loyalty of its neighbors. Nowadays, with the decline of its economy, the US is losing control over Latin America.

 

 

During the Cold War, the success of the Cuban Revolution threatened US hegemony in the Western hemisphere in terms of both geopolitics and ideology. In a bid to prevent the emergence the second socialist country in the West, Washington, in the 1960s, adopted a plan called “Alliance for Progress” to establish economic cooperation between the US and Latin America.

 

The US then selected Chile as a prototype, hoping to build the latter into a “democracy window” of the US in Latin America. During the 1964 Chilean presidential election campaign, it supported reformist Eduardo Frei Montalva who was sympathetic toward American capital. A donation of $3 million brought Frei the crown.

 

From 1962 to 1969, Chile received $1 billion in US aid, the most among Latin American countries in terms of per capita amount. However, things didn’t go the way the US had wished. Frei adopted an independent foreign policy after he took office, and even published an article criticizing the “Alliance for Progress.”

 

Things got worse after Salvador Allende, who was more disobedient to the US, assumed the presidency in 1970. It marked the ultimate failure of the superpower, who had spent $1 billion and eight years on the program.

 

History shows the loyalty of neighboring countries could not be bought. The plan to turn Chile into a “democracy window” proved to be an example of its flawed diplomacy.

 

But the White House reapplied the strategy of trading “friendship” with money in March. US President Barack Obama visited Cuba and Argentina with hundreds of businessmen to expand US investments in Latin America.

 

However, Latin America disappointed the US again. The US and Cuba barely reached consensus on Cuban migrants in the US, the Guantanamo military base and domestic political agendas because of the huge differences in political systems and ideologies.

 

In addition, ties between Argentina and the US also showed no signs of recovery, though the US added $2.5 billion in investments. According to a poll by two universities in Argentina, 45 percent doubted the ability of the US to contribute to world peace.

 

Since the Latin American countries, with a unique political and social culture, value independence very much, the US plan to trade “friendship” with money is destined to fail.

 

Both history and reality have proven that the US is doomed to fail to control other countries with money. The White House launched these policies towards Latin America hoping to protect its own interests and hegemony, but turned a blind eye to the regional reality as well as its people’s aspiration for independent development.

 

Its strategies, featuring dollar diplomacy and a big-stick policy, exposed its hegemony and power politics in the Western hemisphere. These are also the reasons why US plans have repeatedly been frustrated.

 

(The author is an associate researcher with the Institute of Advanced International Studies under Sun Yat-Sen University)

 

Source: People’s Daily

 

 

人民日报评美国对拉美政策:美元买不来忠诚

 

一直以来,拉丁美洲对美国都具有重要战略意义。为了牢牢控制拉丁美洲这个邻居,通过经济援助扶持符合美国国家利益的代理人,是白宫重要的政策选择。但回望历史,这一做法效果欠佳,美元并没有买来邻居的忠诚。时至今日,随着其经济实力下滑,美国对拉丁美洲的控制力不断下降。

 

冷战时期,古巴革命的成功令美国在西半球的霸主地位遭到地缘政治和意识形态的双重挑战。为防止西半球出现第二个社会主义政权,美国于20世纪60年代实施了争取进步联盟计划,选择智利作为样板国家。

 

1964年智利总统大选来临时,美国赞助了主张走改良道路,对美国资本持温和态度的德华多弗雷300万美元,巨额的援助让弗雷高票当选。美国希望借此把智利打造成拉美的民主橱窗

 

19621969年,美国援助智利10亿美元,智利成为人均接受美援最多的拉美国家。然而结果却让人大跌眼镜。这之后,弗雷却不再听命于美国,坚持独立自主的外交政策。他亲自撰文,尖锐批评了争取进步联盟计划。1970年,更不愿听命于美国的阿连德当选为总统。美国在智利耗时8年,斥资10亿美元,最后铩羽而归。这一段历史表明,10亿美元买不来邻居的忠诚,白宫预想的拉美民主橱窗反而成为美国外交失败的注解。

 

今年3月,奥巴马率领几百位工商界精英出访古巴和阿根廷,旨在推动美国资本在拉美加速扩张。白宫重拾外交传统,再次希望用美元换友情。然而,拉美的现实情况让美国再次失望。由于美古两国政治体制差异较大,意识形态冲突明显,在美古巴人问题、关塔那摩军事基地问题、两国国内政治议题等方面难以达成共识。而美国给阿根廷带去的25亿美元的投资计划也并未让两国关系焕然一新。阿根廷民众对美国心存疑虑,该国两所大学的民调显示,45%的受访者不认为美国在维护和平方面能够发挥积极作用。拉美国家漫长的寻求独立自主的传统和特殊的政治社会文化,注定了美元的购买力会大打折扣。

 

从历史和现实来看,美国试图用金钱来购买控制力是无法成功的。白宫对拉美外交政策的出发点,都是为了捍卫美国国家利益,维护美国的霸主地位。然而,美国不顾拉美国家的实际情况,不尊重拉美人民独立探索自身发展道路的意愿,企图以美元开路、用枪炮做后盾,在西半球赤裸裸地推行霸权主义和强权政治。这是美国控制这些国家的企图屡屡受挫的根本原因。

 

(作者为中山大学国际问题研究院副研究员)

 

来源:人民日报

 

 

 

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