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  • U.S. soldiers entered Latin America and the Caribbean by the thousands in the late to mid 1900s.

    U.S. soldiers entered Latin America and the Caribbean by the thousands in the late to mid 1900s. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 February 2019

Throughout the 1900s, the United States organized military interventions in the region, imposing its chosen leaders in Latin American nations.

Since the mid-1900’s, the United States launched numerous military invasions into Latin American and Caribbean countries with the intention of protecting their economic and political interests in the region.

Dominican Republic (1965):

During the country’s civil war in 1965, allegations of communist deviations were enough to overthrow the Dominican Republic’s progressive and democratically elected president, Juan Bosh. By April 28, 1965, the U.S. military had joined forces with the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Defense Board, and the Brazilian Army, sending some 42,000 U.S. soldiers to ensure the nationalist forces didn’t reinstate Bosh.

Protests filled the streets and after months of conflict, Francisco Alberto Caamaño helped win the state back for its people, assuming the role of head of a provisional government until stepping down, leaving the presidency to Hector Garcia Godoy, and finally President Joaquin Balaguer in 1966.

The anti-coup leaders had to go into exile and the U.S. troops left the Dominican Republic in September 1966, after consolidating the Balaguer mandate.

Granada (1983):

A revolutionary leader and ally to the people, Maurice Bishop was targeted by international forces and was victimized by a dirty conspiracy believed to be linked to the United States. A wave of five thousand soldiers bombarded the nation’s borders, initiating skirmishes which led to at least 24 civilians dead and Granadian soldiers wounded. Whereas the United States only suffered a loss of 19 men and 116 injuries.

Additionally, 25 Cuban soldiers were cut down for their efforts to deny the U.S. intervention and in support of the constitutional order.

Panama (1989):

On Dec. 20, 1989, the United States entered Panama with 25,000 U.S. soldiers, conducting arrests of anyone who opposed the U.S. puppet, Manuel Noriega. The initiative was a disaster, leaving an estimated 500 civilians dead and some 3,000 casualties, several human rights say.

Throughout these painful memories, the U.S. forces exercised an unprecedented amount of violence against the population. Not only were they responsible for thousands of human lives, but also material damage caused by military action, as well as a severe economic crisis.

After the invasion, a neoliberal program imposed by the U.S. was consolidated and Panama City became a global money laundering center.


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