N+1 : Obama reopens the veins of Latin America
By Nikil Saval
December 2nd, 2009
If anyone was worried that the Obama administration would represent a break with the past, the President’s recent actions in Latin America should assuage any lingering concerns. As Obama was preparing to announce an escalation of American commitments in Afghanistan, he was also preparing, more quietly and furtively, to recognize Sunday’s elections in Honduras, which took place under a military coup government, as well as to expand the US military presence in Colombia to seven military bases, under the pretext of enlarging the limitless “war on drugs.” Latin America has long been the testing ground for US policies that found more forceful expression elsewhere—”empire’s workshop,” Greg Grandin has called it. From the 1901 Platt Amendment, which legitimated US indirect control over Cuba, to the proxy wars in Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, the essential character of the US was seen most clearly in the countries just to the south. The events of the last few months reveal no fundamental change.
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