America's History Of Failed Attempts At Intervening With Foreign Governments

2048 words - 8 pages

The United States has a very long history of intervening within other countries, whether it is for political reasons or otherwise. U.S. intervention started along with the establishment of the United States. This long history still continues strong up until today. Although the U.S. often intervenes, the justified reasons for these interventions are often very unclear, but there are a few repeating trends. First, the idea that it is America’s responsibility to spread democracy to developing nations is a very repeated tendency. The goal of these interventions is to set up an American style government, whether the country likes it or not. The second ideal is to bring freedom and safety to the civilian population of the intervened country. Unfortunately, when the U.S. intervenes the results are less favorable to the foreign civilians than before. Two specific areas with perhaps the most muddled history of U.S. relations are Central America and the Caribbean. Many of the interventions in these areas are often failed attempts; especially the interventions that took place during the Kennedy and Reagan administrations. Specifically, in Cuba and Nicaragua, U.S. intervention has been fueled by the U.S. governments desire to keep the Soviet Union from gaining power.
Cuba itself has a very rocky past. Starting in 1899 Cuba and the U.S. first had governmental relations. A treaty was made stating the Cuba was an independent nation under U.S. protection and occupation. From the very beginning the United States was deeply rooted in Cuba’s governmental workings. This specific U.S. occupation ended in 1902, but only after the U.S. had made large economic investment within Cuba. This was not the end of U.S. involvement; this was just the beginning of a long trail of U.S. action within Cuba.
In 1901 the Platt Amendment was passed even after a large amount of public uproar. This document allowed the U.S. to intervene in Cuba’s affairs whenever they deemed necessary. The amendment was finally canceled in 1934 after mutual agreement between the U.S. and Cuba. Here are two excerpts from the amendment:
“Article III. The Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the Treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba. . . .
Article VII. To enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations, at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the resident of the United States.” (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/platt.htm)

On the surface the Platt Amendment...

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