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Backlash against the new Monroe Doctrine

China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-09 07:44

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. [Photo/Agencies]

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Jan 3 that he would call on the US government to put an end to the 200 years of the Monroe Doctrine and its interventionist policies at the upcoming North American Leaders' Summit to be held in Mexico City on Tuesday.

Lopez Obrador said that the Mexican government hopes to promote the unity and economic integration of all countries on the American continent, promote the common development of countries in the region, and solve the problems of development inequality and immigration.

He said that the region should not be dominated by any one country and should respect the autonomy and self-determination of all peoples.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. In 1823, then US president James Monroe issued the Monroe Declaration, declaring that America is America for Americans. This was the beginning of the Monroe Doctrine.

The Monroe Doctrine was, in large part, the product of a struggle between the rising United States and the European powers of the time for control of the American continent.

This gave Monroe the excuse to fully intervene in the Americas. The Monroe Doctrine proposed that Europe should no longer intervene in the Americas. In exchange, the US would remain neutral on disputes between European powers and their colonies.

Since the Monroe Doctrine was proposed, it has become the cornerstone of the US' strategic thinking. Although it has been packaged several times, especially some contents to safeguard the sovereignty of former colonies and backward countries, its nature as a strategic tool of the US has not changed.

During the Cold War period, the Monroe Doctrine was the main basis for the US to prevent the Soviet Union from entering the Americas. After the end of the Cold War, the Monroe Doctrine continued to influence the decision-making of the US.

For 200 years, the US, using the Monroe Doctrine as the rationale, has viewed the Americas as its backyard and a private sphere of operation. In recent years, under the "America First" thought, the Monroe Doctrine has evolved into the new Monroe Doctrine.

The US' plans for "regime change" in Venezuela during the Donald Trump administration were no longer even in the guise of the doctrine, being simply a barefaced intervention.

It is not clear how US President Joe Biden will respond to Lopez Obrador's call. But it's safe to assume that the Mexican president won't be the only Latin American leader to make such a demand.


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