The Forces That Shaped History South of The Border

Richard Moe at The American Scholar:

“Latin America doesn’t matter,” President Nixon told his advisors in 1973. “People don’t give a shit about the place.” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger agreed, saying “what happens in the south has no importance.” That same year, Arana writes, “Kissinger received concrete evidence of the massacres,” but “stated that ‘however unpleasant’ these circumstances might be, the overall situation was beneficial to the United States.” As he told the Argentine foreign minister as the killing was happening, “We want you to succeed.”

The story of the past hundred-plus years is replete with other examples of U.S. intervention in Latin America, most notably in the early 20th century when, during the nation’s brief flirtation with colonialism, it encouraged the people of Panama to separate from Colombia and allow the United States to build a canal. Curiously, Arana gives the episode only passing attention. President Theodore Roosevelt, who contributed to the chaos in Colombia by encouraging its revolutionaries, got what he had long sought: “exclusive control, in perpetuity, over the Canal Zone.”

more here.