Is It Premature To Declare The Monroe Doctrine Dead?

The Death Of The Monroe Doctrine
The notion that the US should challenge any regional hegemony that emerges with an aim to control a crucial region was known as the Monroe Doctrine and has guided US foreign policy for decades. In a little-noticed speech this week, Secretary of State John Kerry declared the Doctrine dead.

“In a speech in which he urged closer ties with Latin America, Kerry plainly stated, “The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” He went on to say the relationship continued to hold value, but that the relationship “we seek and that we have worked hard to foster is not about a United States declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other American states. It’s about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, cooperating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine, but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share.”

But declaring the Doctrine dead is the easy part.

Zachary Keck reacted to Kerry’s declaration saying that is “represents a dramatic break in American foreign policy” to abandon a theory that has been the “backbone” of US foreign policy since December 1823.

“Moreover, after denouncing the Monroe Doctrine to much applause at the OAS meeting on Monday, Kerry proceeded to outline a vision for the region’s future in which equal states cooperate based on mutual respect in pursuit of common ends like peace, prosperity, and freedom. He even sounded a somewhat optimistic note in talking about Cuba. This is the type of benevolent leadership that makes the job of a regional hegemon relatively easy. China would do well to take notes.” he states.

This week, the Obama administration also called for an expansion of the Panama Canal as a means to promote trade within the region. While Vice President Joe Biden contends the expansion will lead to a boom for American ports, some analysts are not convinced it will lead to more jobs.

“It’s not going to be there from the canal,” said Ed Sands, global practice leader at the transportation procurement firm Procurian told CNBC News.

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the conservative Heritage Foundation, penned an editorial in The Miami Herald in which he called for an approach in Latin America that more aggressively promotes democracy.

“It is not our role to pick and choose candidates in foreign elections. But we do have a responsibility to help our democratic friends in the region resist attacks on their democratic institutions,” he wrote.

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