The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine, 1945-1993

Gaddis Smith, Author
Gaddis Smith, Author Hill & Wang $25 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8090-6475-5
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
President Monroe's 1823 message to Congress, declaring that the U.S. would brook no foreign intervention in our hemisphere, became a Cold War tool to justify Latin American dictatorships, CIA-funded death squads and repressions to ward off an alleged communist threat, contends Smith, a history professor at Yale. In a cogent study, he explains how the U.S. molded the U.N. Charter to bar the U.N. from political involvement in the West. Eisenhower used the Monroe Doctrine as a cover to overthrow Guatemala's liberal reformist president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, replacing him with a dictator. Critics blasted Kennedy for failing the Doctrine by allowing Cuba to become a ``Soviet protectorate.'' Ostensibly to prevent another Cuba, the efforts of LBJ and Nixon to bolster repressive regimes in Brazil and Chile were ``infused with Monroeism,'' and Reagan invoked it in his proxy war against Nicaragua's Sandinistas. Smith argues that the Doctrine has become irrelevant with the end of the Cold War. (Aug.)