So Far From God

The poor United States of America: so far from God, so close to Mexico.

President Franklin Roosevelt, in his First Inaugural Address, announced what became known as the Good Neighbor Policy.  “In the field of world policy,” Roosevelt said, “I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor—the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the right of others.”  Later that year, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, at the Montevideo Conference, gave American support to the declaration that “No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”  Two days after its adoption, Roosevelt confirmed the intention of that declaration when he said, “The definite policy of the U.S. from now on is one opposed to armed intervention.”

In the three quarters of a century since then, the American empire has violated its own freely offered policy on numerous occasions, in respect of Latin America and elsewhere.  Following 1933, when U.S. forces departed Nicaragua leaving Anastasio Somoza in command of the country, Washington has either invaded or engineered wars and coups in Guatemala, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaragua, Granada, Panama, Nicaragua again, Colombia, and Venezuela.  This record of aggression against sovereign Central and South American countries stands in surreal contrast to the willingness of the...

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