Neo-colonialism plagues most of Africa, but the practice was refined in the Americas by the United States. For decades the U.S. “Yankees” regarded Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin as their “backyard” that they were bound to dominate and exploit.
Although the U.S. has always enjoyed the benefits of slavery, imperialism and colonialism, it has been self-conscious about its image. As the self-described bastion of democracy it has been unwilling to frankly acknowledge its relationship with smaller exploited countries. It has been much more convenient to use puppet dictators to oversee territories in the western hemisphere. Many of these dictators have been brutal and authoritarian. In fact, Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua was so tyrannical that he moved U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to tell the truth about the U.S. and neo-colonialism. Roosevelt said: “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
Not surprisingly, there has been constant resistance to Yankee imperialism and neo-colonialism by the masses of people who have suffered under grinding oppression, repression and poverty. This has prompted many military interventions by the U.S. What follows is just a short list of some of these military exercises:
- 1846: The United States invaded Mexico.
- 1903: The U.S. intervened in Panama and ultimately gained complete control of the canal region.
- 1903: The U.S. established a naval base at Guantanamo.
- 1914: U.S. troops occupied the Mexican port of Veracruz.
- 1954: The CIA backed a coup to overthrow Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz.
- 1961: The U.S. backed the Bay of Pigs invasion in a failed effort to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
- 1964: The U.S. backed a coup against President Joao Goulart of Brazil.
- 1965: U.S. forces invaded the Dominican Republic.
- 1973: The U.S. supported a military coup to overthrow the democratically-elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende.
- 1980s: The Reagan administration supported counter-revolutionary forces in their war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista revolution.
- 1983: U.S. forces invaded Grenada.
- 1989: The U.S. invaded Panama to get Manuel Noriega.
- 2004: U.S. forces entered Haiti and kidnapped President Jean Bertrand Aristide at gunpoint.
- 2009: The U.S. supported a coup against Honduras’ elected leader.
The U.S. has relied on armed invasions to prevent what it knows will be the results of socialist people-oriented government. The amazing accomplishments of the Cuban revolution have inspired people throughout the western hemisphere. Right now the U.S. is waging attacks against the people of Venezuela who have tried to bring socialism and progressive change to their country under the leadership of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution has used profits from their oil industry to fight poverty, provide health care, build schools, and feed the hungry. Such accomplishments do not occur in neo-colonial countries and the U.S. knows it. That’s why they try to crush revolution with violence. The Yankees may try to defeat the people, but revolutionaries everywhere know that the people will be victorious.