“Qué lindo que es dar buenas noticias”, diría Fernando. Sin embargo, los habitantes al sur del Río Grande nos quedamos ante lo que sigue con una especie de risita nerviosa. Es que uno ya no sabe si reír o llorar, francamente. Leemos en el sitio web Strategic Culture de esta semana:
Título: Kerry Makes It Official: ‘Era of Monroe Doctrine Is Over’
Texto: "At a time when the Middle East, Afghanistan and China monopolize U.S. foreign-policy, Latin America hasn’t received much attention. Until today, that is, when Secretary of State John Kerry declared the expiration of the nearly 200-year old lodestar of U.S. diplomacy in the Americas.
“The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” Mr. Kerry said in a speech at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.
That prompted some tepid applause, which Mr. Kerry encouraged: “That’s worth applauding. That’s not a bad thing.”
Although mainly a statement of the obvious, Mr. Kerry’s declaration was welcomed at home and abroad, prompting a social media eruption.
The Monroe Doctrine was meant to keep Europeans out of Latin America in the wake of regional independence movements from Spain. It was later amplified by President Theodore Roosevelt with an eye toward making the U.S. the dominant player in the whole region.
The doctrine underpinned the first century of U.S. involvement overseas. Until World War 1, U.S. foreign-policy interests were overwhelmingly found in Latin America—for good (such as the Panama Canal) and bad (such as the U.S.-supported Panamanian revolution that made the canal possible.)
From a Latin American perspective, the Monroe Doctrine was often seen as a license for the U.S. to intervene at will in countries’ internal affairs. As 19th century Mexican strongman Porfirio Diaz put it: “Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.”
Mr. Kerry expanded upon his remarks, making clear that for the Obama administration, the old paradigm of a Washington-dominated hemisphere is passe.
“The relationship that 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,” he said.
State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said at a news briefing that Mr. Kerry has made similar remarks in the past. Still, Monday’s comments received wide play in the Latin American press. Venezuela’s El Universal, for example, noted the “end of the U.S. interventionist policy” in the region. Some read too much into it, mistakenly celebrating the end of the “error” of the Monroe Doctrine (instead of the “era”).
Monday’s remarks were a contrast to Mr. Kerry’s comments in April before Congress, when he said that the U.S. must pay more attention to Latin America because it is in the U.S. “backyard,” awakening Latin American ire and fear of a return to a more muscular U.S. approach to the region.
Still and all, the Obama administration’s shift on Latin America it isn’t entirely new. By giving more leeway to big regional players such as Colombia and Brazil, and not getting too worked up about the anti-American antics of strongmen in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, the administration has tried to put U.S.-Latin American relations on a new footing.
And there was a ready-made guide in the last four years of the George W. Bush administration, which started the shift away from a heavy-handed approach to the Americas and a move toward mulitlateral diplomacy."