Testing The Monroe Doctrine

Venezuela is all the foreign service people can talk about these days…..analyst like myself see a different scope to this situation than the Trump administration…..

I see this situation as a test for the 200 year old Monroe Doctrine……is there a history buff handy to explain it to you?


Well let me fill that position with a couple of short videos that can made it simple and easily understandable…..

Another look……

If there are those that appreciate the hard work it takes to keep a blog up to date….I have a few post that also talks about this “Doctrine”……



The US has used this document to do a lot of things in the Western hemisphere……mostly they were about regime change…..and most were assaults of duly elected leaders….leaders that corporate America did not want to continue……

The situation and the rhetoric in DC about Venezuela is testing the Monroe Doctrine yet again……

The threats that failing governments and foreign influence pose to the United States have not been the norm in the Western hemisphere. Since the institution of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has opposed efforts by European and other powers to meddle in the United States’ backyard, keeping a watchful eye on its neighbors. There has been much turmoil the last fifty years — Pinochet’s reign in Chile, the civil war in El Salvador, drug-fueled gang violence in Colombia, and others, are all conflicts that divided nations, destabilized the region, and engrossed the world.

Despite the violence and attention, Latin American conflicts have generated, the United States was largely successful in limiting influence from foreign nations and overseas organizations seeking to exploit these conflicts and undermine the integrity and influence of the United States. Now, the Monroe Doctrine faces perhaps its most challenging test yet: recent unrest in Venezuela. The growing discontent in the country has reached a boiling point, with the specter of civil war looming and national security concerns that threaten the safety of the United States.

Once again the US is using an aging document to justify their interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation…this is regime change for the sake of regime change….nothing more.
To illustrate this pointy…..
After a failed US-backed coup on Wednesday, the Trump Administration is visibly losing patience on its determination to impose regime change in Venezuela. While still giving lip-service to the idea that the US can force a “peaceful” exchange of power through sheer force of will, they are also talking up direct military intervention.

The always hawkish John Bolton was of course the most open about this possible US attack, saying that he’s been told by Admiral Faller that US troops are “on the balls of our feet ready to go” into Venezuela.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others only suggested that invading Venezuela was “possible,” but talking up the intervention in such a way as to suggest that a lot more possible after that failed coup.

Adding to speculation that such a war could be imminent, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has cancelled his planned trip to Europe at the last minute, with officials saying he needs to stay to coordinate policy on Venezuela.

Gen. Joe Dunford, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that the focus right now is on collecting intelligence on Venezuela. How successful they are being is unclear, as officials seemed to assume that coup was going to be successful.
Will we or won’t we?

Monroe Doctrine Turns 195

Closing Thought–07Dec18

I regret that I missed the day but December is the 195th anniversary of the issuing of the Monroe Doctrine…..this is important because it has been used on various occasions to go to war for this country….

In his December 2, 1823, address to Congress, President James Monroe articulated United States’ policy on the new political order developing in the rest of the Americas and the role of Europe in the Western Hemisphere.

The statement, known as the Monroe Doctrine, was little noted by the Great Powers of Europe, but eventually became a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy. Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams drew upon a foundation of American diplomatic ideals such as disentanglement from European affairs and defense of neutral rights as expressed in Washington’s Farewell Address and Madison’s stated rationale for waging the War of 1812. The three main concepts of the doctrine—separate spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention—were designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe. Monroe’s administration forewarned the imperial European powers against interfering in the affairs of the newly independent Latin American states or potential United States territories. While Americans generally objected to European colonies in the New World, they also desired to increase United States influence and trading ties throughout the region to their south. European mercantilism posed the greatest obstacle to economic expansion. In particular, Americans feared that Spain and France might reassert colonialism over the Latin American peoples who had just overthrown European rule. Signs that Russia was expanding its presence southward from Alaska toward the Oregon Territory were also disconcerting.

We celebrate the Monroe Doctrine here on IST……https://www.lawfareblog.com/anniversary-monroe-doctrine

Read!  Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

There’s Always The Monroe Doctrine

Nowadays we do not hear the Monroe Doctrine being used as it had been in the past.  It was referenced when the US invade Grenada, it was quoted when the USSR put missiles in Cuba, and it was used to start a war known as the Spanish-American War.

The document is not quoted much these days so most Americans have little idea what it is and what it is suppose to do.

Monroe Doctrine, (December 2, 1823), cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy enunciated by Pres. James Monroe in his annual message to Congress. Declaring that the Old World and New World had different systems and must remain distinct spheres, Monroe made four basic points: (1) the United States would not interfere in the internal affairs of or the wars between European powers; (2) the United States recognized and would not interfere with existing colonies and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere; (3) the Western Hemisphere was closed to future colonization; and (4) any attempt by a European power to oppress or control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States.

The doctrine was an outgrowth of concern in both Britain and the United States that the continental powers would attempt to restore Spain’s former colonies, in Latin America, many of which had become newly independent nations. The United States was also concerned about Russia’s territorial ambitions in the northwest coast of North America. As a consequence, George Canning, the British foreign minister, suggested a joint U.S.-British declaration forbidding future colonization in Latin America. Monroe was initially favourable to the idea, and former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison concurred. But Secretary of State John Quincy Adams argued that the United States should issue a statement of American policy exclusively, and his view ultimately prevailed.

What are the basic tenets of the Doctrine?

…the Monroe Doctrine laid out four basic tenets that would define American foreign policy for decades. The first two promised that the U.S. would not interfere in the affairs of European states, be they wars or internal politics, and that the U.S. would not interfere with European states’ extant colonial enterprises. In exchange, it stipulated that the Western Hemisphere was no longer open to further colonization and that an attempt on the part of a European power to colonize territory in the Western Hemisphere would be understood by the U.S. as an act of aggression.


But if you are a more visual person I offer this vid as an explanation……

I bring up this bit of history is because of the situation in Venezuela…..of which I have written posts…..https://lobotero.com/2018/08/06/death-from-above-in-venezuela/

The US attempted to influence the internal conditions of a sovereign country……

The Trump administration dabbled in aiding a military overthrow of Venezuela’s president but ultimately just met with coup plotters—a development that could still anger Latin American leaders wary of any possible US intervention, the New York Times reports. Seems American officials met with Venezuelan military officers at least three times abroad and listened to their plans, however vague, to kick out President Nicolás Maduro and install a transitional government. But according to those involved, the US never gave them the encrypted radios they requested and backed away when roughly 150 plotters were arrested in a crackdown. Apparently the whole thing began with an off-hand remark by President Trump.

“We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option,” the president said at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club last year, the Guardian reported. Those words inspired rebellious Venezuelan officers to reach out during the nation’s economic collapse, but US officials say the Venezuelans lacked specific ideas and hoped the Americans would offer a plan. According to an ex-military commander in Venezuela, the US dallied while coup plotters waited: “We were frustrated,” he said. No coup attempt happened, but the meetings could remind Latin Americans of past interventions like the US-backed Chilean coup in 1973 and support for right-wing Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s. “This is going to land like a bomb” in the region, says a former US diplomat.

Maybe it is time for a new “Monroe Doctrine”…..Our Dear Leader seems Hell bent on intervening in the situations in the Western hemisphere….maybe it is time for something new……

After the collapse of Chavism, which way will Latin America turn?

It wasn’t long ago that Venezuela, led by a fiery caudillo and dedicated to spreading its brand of populist super-socialism, boosted allies’ economies near and far with petrodollars. Hugo Chavez was spreading his Bolivarian revolution all over and times were good.

No más.


The original document has been used to intervene in the affairs of countries in the Western hemisphere…..time to set a new set of rules for intervention…..avoid at all costs.