Essay on Reagan Administration's Foreign Policy in Latin America

Essay on Reagan Administration's Foreign Policy in Latin America

Length: 1885 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Reagan Administration's Foreign Policy in Latin America

Throughout the Cold War the United States considered the installation in Latin America of radical regimes-socialist, Marxist-Leninist, or “leftist” in any way- to be utterly intolerable. Any such development would represent an advance for the communist cause and a vital loss for the West. Acceptance of this outcome could weaken the credibility of the United States as the leader of the west and as a rival for the USSR. In the eyes of Cold Warriors, the consolidation of any left-wing regime in the Western Hemisphere would have dire and perilous implications for U.S. national security and for the global distribution of power. It was therefore crucial to resist this possibility by any means necessary in countries such as Grenada, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

The 1st Prime Minister of Grenada was Eric Mathew Gairy, an energetic, charismatic, and ultimately egomaniacal leader with personal interest in self-aggrandizement and unidentified flying objects. The opposition of Gairy’s movement to increase his own wealth appeared with the foundation in 1972 of a movement called JEWEL, Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation of people, combined with the Movement for the Assemblies of the People, MAP, to create the “New Jewel Movement,” NJM, led by Maurice Bishop and Bernard Courd. In the late 1970’s NJM began to promote a vague Marxist-Leninist ideology. While Gairy was in New York attempting to persuade the UN to establish an agency for investigation of UFO’s, the New Jewel Movement seized power in a near bloodless takeover. Bishop became Prime Minister in what came to be known as People’s Revolutionary Government, PRG; Courd became Minister of Finance. Bernard Courd became increasingly critical of Bishop and his national-democratic, reformist, and anti-imperialist PRG. He, along with a number of military advisors and their troops, placed Bishop under house arrest and eventually executed him.

The Reagan administration watched these events with mounting interest. On the day of Bishop’s murder, the US Ambassador to Grenada recommended that Washington evacuate all Americans in Grenada. State Department Officials argued evacuation would be inadequate; instead the island would have to be seized to save American lives and broader goals. On October 23, a suicide attack by Islamic fundamentalist led...

... middle of paper ...

...tain their fury. The Noble Peace Prize Committee rubbed salt in the United States President’s wounds by granting the 1987 award to Arias.

     The pattern of US action was impressively consistent. Washington’s perception of “communist” dangers and tendencies rested upon exceedingly broad, loose, and often-irresponsible criteria. Most so called “communists” were civilian reformers, more akin to European social democrat than to Soviet KGB operatives. More over, even those who declared opposition to the United States did so only after Washington adopted blatantly hostile policies. Much of what happened was the result of exaggeration, misperception, and misunderstanding between countries.

Under the leadership of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, the United States attempted the forceful overthrow of each and every socialist or alleged socialist regime in the Americas. The Reagan Administration operated under the same theory that Reagan, himself, expressed in 1984,
“If the Soviet Union can aid and abet subversions in our hemisphere, then the United States has legal right and a moral duty to help resist it. This is not only in our strategic interest; it is morally right.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

American Foreign Policy Blunders Essay

- After the end of World War Two President Truman declared that all nations had the right to self determination. Hindsight shows that this declaration was either ignored or it was only half hearted to begin with. Multiple blunders throughout the following century show that American political forces sought to dominate the world through military action and economic subversion. The Red scare would dominate foreign policy as the U.S. extended its power and influence in a policy of “containment” to ensure Capitalisms success and Communisms demise....   [tags: Twentieth Century American Foreign Policy]

Powerful Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

The Effects of Reagan and Bush’s Policies in El Essay

- The Effects of Reagan and Bush’s Policies in El Salvador and Iraq United States foreign policy, since the Cold War, has been driven by ideology: good versus evil, capitalism versus communism, and democracy versus totalitarianism. America’s foreign policy objective from 1945 to 1991 was to contain communism, prompting Cold War calculus – the enemy of your enemy is your friend. The United States, following Cold War calculus, allied with unscrupulous leaders opposed to communism, like the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua, the Reza Shahs in Iran, the dictator Franco in Spain, and the elite in El Salvador....   [tags: Foreign Policy Plotitics Papers]

Powerful Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Social, Economic and Global Conflict’s During the Reagan and Bush Administrations

- Social, Economic and Global Conflict’s During the Reagan and Bush Administrations In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States, taking over the country from President Carter. Many issues existed when Reagan took office, during his presidency more would follow and continue into the George H. W. Bush presidency. Marc Cornman who was a young family man during both of these administrations recalls the problems and benefits of the mid to late 1980’s. His family was low-income building their way up to middle class by the Clinton Administration, moving from state to state hoping to find better employment after leaving the military....   [tags: clinton, AIDS outbreak, cold war]

Powerful Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about The Cold War On Latin America

- The Cold War in Latin America, in my opinion, was more brutal for citizens than what we faced in the United States. With the USSR attempting to become allies with as many Latin American countries as possible, the United States made extraordinary efforts to block this with devastating effects. With fear being a predominant issue in the United States, those in Latin America not only faced this, but countless bombings and threats of overthrowing the government. The countries of Guatemala, Chile, and Cuba undoubtedly suffered the consequences of this war, still showing to this day....   [tags: Cold War, Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis]

Powerful Essays
1318 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Ronald Reagan's Presidency

- Ronald Reagan's Presidency Truly, when Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the world was changing; his presidency would be one that would set the tone for the coming decades. Reagan had high expectations for his term in office; his "first, second, and third priorities" were his economic plans. His presidency was a remarkable one, but scholars were and continue to be critical of his "hands-off," macro-management of the government. President Reagan surrounded himself with some of the brightest minds in the country: James Baker III, George Shultz .....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

Foreign and Drug Policy Essay

- Foreign and Drug Policy In examining the transitions in US government policy related to drug abuse and trafficking, historians are consistently confronted with the difficult task of analyzing the different motivations for variations in strategy from the Nixon administration to the present. In this specific case, our investigation centers upon the interplay of United States foreign policy in Latin America in the 1980’s (pursued mostly by the CIA) and the broad campaign against drugs both at home and abroad....   [tags: American Government Politics Essays]

Powerful Essays
2667 words (7.6 pages)

Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington?s futile war on drugs in Latin America?

- Book review: “Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington’s futile war on drugs in Latin America” Edited by Ted Galen Carpenter Overview Introduction 3 I Modest results after thirty years of war 4 The war on drugs consequences on the drugs crops cultivation 4 The war on drugs consequences on the Latin American opinion 5 II The American strategy on the drug war: definitively a bad strategy....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
3146 words (9 pages)

To What Extent Did the Activities in Iran Prove Detrimental To Foreign Policy in the Reagan Administration?

- A. Plan of Investigation This investigation assesses the Reagan Administration and its inconsistent foreign policy in regards to Iran. The Iran-Contra Affair was a controversial crisis for the fortieth president. It involved two parts: the selling of weapons to Iran and then the siphoning of that money to Nicaragua. However, in this investigation, the situation with Iran will be more prominently discussed, rather than the Nicaraguan situation. The foreign policy pertaining to the Middle East will be analyzed for its confusion and complexity....   [tags: Foreign Policy ]

Powerful Essays
1734 words (5 pages)

The Reagan Doctrine Of President Reagan Essay

- Currents Events and U.S. Diplomacy Joseph D. Williams Professor Tracy Herman POL 300 International Problems August 17, 2016   The Reagan Doctrine The term “doctrine” definition is “A statement of authorized government policy, especially in overseas concerns and military strategy” (“Doctrine”, n.d.). The expression Presidential doctrine means an ideological platform that a president uses to spread a policy towards a country or region in order to accomplish foreign policy objectives for the United States....   [tags: Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan]

Powerful Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Ronald Reagan 's Foreign Policy Essay

- Reagan’s Foreign Policy Perhaps one of the most well-known American presidents of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan is considered to be one of the most accomplished presidents of the era. His decisions regarding economic, domestic, and foreign policies had lasting impacts on not only the local scale but also on the international scale. He adhered closely to his values, which guided him to and through his presidency. His staunch code was particularly apparent in foreign policy, especially in his unwavering dedication to the eradication of Communism....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Ronald Reagan]

Powerful Essays
1606 words (4.6 pages)