Latin America

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					                                                                                      APRIL 2002

                                             PART I

Lesson 29: Latin America

                                            PART IA

Lesson Objective: Know the importance of Latin America as it relates to the interests and
national security of the United States.

Cognitive Samples of Behavior:
1. State the Monroe Doctrine.
2. Define the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
3. Identify the main political organization that most American governments belong to.
4. Identify the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Begin each current events discussion during hour two by either showing the documentary portion
of the SCIS videotape relating to that particular topic or by having the students give a brief recap
of the current events article you will discuss. Follow the tape or the article with the instructor
guided discussion or student presentation. End the lesson by recapping US involvement in the

Lesson Outline:
A. History of US political involvement in Latin America
   1. Monroe Doctrine
   2. Roosevelt Corollary
   3. Panama Canal
   4. Dollar Diplomacy
   5. US Interventions
B. Organization of American States (OAS)
C. US Southern Command
   1. Mission
   2. Headquarters
   3. Area of Responsibility
   4. US SOUTHCOM History
D. Southern Air Force (SOUTHAF)

                                           Lesson 29-1
                                             PART II


ATTENTION                                                                       Title Slide [1]
While the United States is widely recognized for its
involvement in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, we often
overlook US involvement closer to home, with our Latin
America neighbors.

For almost two hundred years, the US has maintained economic, political and military alliances
with our southern neighbors. This is not expected to change in the near future. The challenge for
the US today is to maintain these friendly relationships while at the same time promoting stable
democracies, economic expansion and the curtailment of drug production and smuggling.

OVERVIEW                                                                    Overview Slide [2]
A. History of US political involvement in Latin America
   1. Monroe Doctrine
   2. Roosevelt Corollary
   3. Panama Canal
   4. Dollar Diplomacy
   5. US Interventions
B. Organization of American States (OAS)
C. US Southern Command
   1. Mission
   2. Headquarters
   3. Area of Responsibility
   4. US SOUTHCOM History
D. Southern Air Force (SOUTHAF)

Let’s start by taking a look at the history of US political involvement in Latin America.

                                           Lesson 29-2


A. History of US involvement in Latin America.
                                                                                History Slide [3]
   1. The Monroe Doctrine: The United States has a long
      history of involvement in the affairs of Latin
      America. In a message to Congress on December 2,
      1823, President James Monroe delivered what has
      become known as the Monroe Doctrine.
      Essentially, the United States was informing the
      powers of the Old World (Europe) that the
      American continents were no longer open to
      European colonization, and that any effort to extend
      European political influence into the New World
      would be considered by the United States "as
      dangerous to our peace and safety." The United
      States would not interfere in European wars or
      internal affairs, and expected Europe to stay out of
      American affairs.

   2. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine: In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt
      issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, asserting that the U.S. might intervene in the
      affairs of an American republic threatened with seizure or intervention by a European

       a. Between the end of the Spanish-American War and the dawn of the Great Depression,
          the United States exercised this corollary by sending troops to Latin American
          countries thirty-two times. It used the Roosevelt Corollary to justify these
          interventions. In the corollary, Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed that the United States,
          because it was a "civilized nation," had the right to stop "chronic wrongdoing"
          throughout the Western Hemisphere.

       b. President Roosevelt said, "Any country whose people conduct themselves well can
          count upon our hearty friendship," he said. "Chronic wrongdoing, however, . . . may
          force the United States to exercise an international police power." The President didn't
          hesitate to use this "police power" to strengthen his country, but he was always careful
          not to upset the balance of world power.

       c. While in office, President Roosevelt also began to revitalize the Navy. With that
          revitalized Navy, America's empire stretched from the Caribbean across the Pacific,
          which led to the resurgence of an old idea of a canal between the two oceans.

                                          Lesson 29-3
       (1) In 1878 Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer who built the Suez Canal,
           began to dig a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, which was then part of
           Colombia. Tropical disease and engineering problems halted construction on the
           canal, but a French business (the New Panama Canal Company) still held the
           rights to the project. Roosevelt agreed to pay $40 million for the rights, and he
           began to negotiate with Colombia for control of the land. He offered $10 million
           for a fifty-mile strip across the isthmus. Colombia refused.

       (2) "We were dealing with a government of irresponsible bandits," Roosevelt
           stormed. "I was prepared to . . . at once occupy the Isthmus anyhow, and proceed
           to dig the canal. But I deemed it likely that there would be a revolution in Panama

       (3) The President was right. The chief engineer of the New Panama Canal Company
           organized a local revolt. Roosevelt immediately sent the battleship Nashville and a
           detachment of US Marines to Panama to support the new government. The rebels
           gladly accepted Roosevelt's $10 million offer, and they gave the United States
           complete control of a ten-mile wide canal zone. Roosevelt ordered army
           engineers to start digging. Thousands of workers sweated in the malarial heat.
           They tore up jungles and cut down mountains. Insects thrived in muddy, stagnant
           pools. "Mosquitoes get so thick you get a mouthful with every breath," a worker
           complained. The mosquitoes also carried yellow fever, and like the French
           workers before them, many fell victim to the deadly disease before Dr. William
           Gorgas finally found a cure for the disease.

       (4) Once a cure for malaria was in place, work went on. Despite lethal landslides,
           workers with dynamite and clumsy steam shovels cut their way across a continent.
           They built a railroad, three sets of concrete locks, and a huge artificial lake. Nine
           years later the freighter Ancon entered the new channel. Hundreds of construction
           workers hopped aboard for the historic ride. A shiny towing locomotive pulled the
           Ancon into the first lock. Bands played and crowds cheered as the ship slipped
           into the Pacific.

       (5) Roosevelt liked to repeat an old African saying: "Speak softly, and carry a big
           stick. You will go far." In Panama, Teddy proved to the world that he was willing
           to use his big navy as a stick to further American interests. "The canal,"
           Roosevelt would later say, "was by far the most important action I took in foreign
           affairs during the time I was President. When nobody could or would exercise
           efficient authority, I exercised it."

3. President Roosevelt was not the last American President to intervene in Latin America.
   William Howard Taft, former governor of the Philippines, followed Roosevelt into the
   White House. Taft believed in economic expansion, and he introduced a policy called
   "dollar diplomacy." This policy used diplomacy to advance and protect American
   businesses in other countries.

                                       Lesson 29-4
       a. Taft employed Roosevelt's corollary in Nicaragua and other Latin American countries
          to protect American investments. President Taft invoked the corollary and ordered
          American Marines to suppress a rebellion, which was orchestrated by American
          business interests led by Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Marines remained in Nicaragua's
          capital to serve as "international police" and prevent any further revolts. Except for a
          short period in 1925, they stayed for 21 years.
                                                                                History Slide [4]
       b. American interventions in Latin America did
          not end with President Taft either. Here is a
          partial list of some US activities in Latin
          America during the past century.

1915: Haitian Campaign
Beginning on 28 July 1915 [and eventually continuing to 15
August 1934], US forces maintained order during a period
of chronic and threatened insurrection.

1916: Dominican Campaign
From May 1916 to September 1924 American naval forces maintained order during a period of
chronic and threatened insurrection.

1933: U.S. Marines leave Nicaragua, but are replaced by a well-trained and well-armed National
Guard under the control of Anastasio Somoza.

1961: The U.S. attempts to overthrow the revolutionary Cuban government at the Bay of Pigs.

1965: President Johnson sends 22,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to protect American
lives and to prevent a possible Castro-type takeover by Communist elements.

1973: The CIA allegedly helps overthrow the government of Allende in Chile.

1981: The Reagan Administration begins supporting the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1983: At the request of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, The U.S. invades Grenada
to restore the democratically elected government and protect US citizens.

1989: The U.S. invades Panama to restore the democratically elected government and remove
General Manuel Noriega from power.

1994: Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, the mission to restore democracy to Haiti.

Now that we’ve discussed the history of US involvement in Latin America, let’s move on and
discuss the main political organization active in the region, the OAS.

                                          Lesson 29-5
B. Organization of American States (OAS).
                                                                                   OAS Slide [5]
   1. The main political organization that most states in
      the hemisphere belong to is the Organization of
      American States (OAS). The OAS is the oldest
      regional international organization in the world. It
      traces its origins to the Congress of Panama,
      convoked by Simon Bolivar in 1826 and attended
      by representatives from Central and South America.

      a. Hemispheric countries continued the discussion of an inter-American system during
         the rest of the 19th century. The first concrete step to include all countries in the
         hemisphere was taken in 1889, when the First International Conference of American
         States convened in Washington, DC. On April 14, 1890, delegates created the
         International Union of American Republics.

      b. In the 20th Century, the experiences of World War I and World War II convinced
         hemispheric governments that unilateral action could not ensure the territorial
         integrity of the American nations in the event of extra-continental aggression. To
         meet the challenges of global conflict in the postwar world and to contain conflicts
         within the hemisphere, they adopted a system of collective security, the Inter-
         American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty) signed in 1947 in Rio de

   2. The basic objectives of the OAS, as laid out in its Charter, are to strengthen peace and
      security; promote human rights, promote the effective exercise of representative
      democracy; ensure the peaceful settlement of disputes among members; provide for
      common action in the event of aggression; seek solutions to political, juridical, and
      economic problems that may arise; promote, by cooperative action, economic, social,
      educational, scientific, and cultural development; and limit conventional weapons so as to
      devote greater resources to economic and social development.

      a. The OAS helps preserve democracy by mobilizing the hemisphere in the face of
         threats to democratic rule. It acted under the mandate of General Assembly
         Resolution 1080 (1991) to support democracy in Haiti, Peru, Guatemala, and
         Paraguay. It also provides development and other assistance designed to strengthen
         democratic institutions, observe elections, promote human rights, increase trade, fight
         drugs, and protect the environment.

      b. The OAS is the premier multilateral forum for dealing with political issues in the
         Western Hemisphere. Participation in the organization enables the United States to
         rally international support for key U.S. political objectives. In addition to its work to
         strengthen and promote democracy and respect for human rights, the OAS provides
         valuable support on two highly important issues: trade and drugs.

                                         Lesson 29-6
          (1) The OAS has refocused its trade efforts to promote free trade and economic
          (2) In 1996 the OAS produced a counter-narcotics strategy that will guide collective
              actions in the 21st century. The OAS also has produced internationally acclaimed
              model legislation on precursor chemicals and money laundering control.
That covers the main political organization in Latin America, let’s move on now and look at the
Unified Combatant Command responsible for the area, the US Southern command.
C. US Southern Command.
                                                                     USSOUTHCOM Slide [6]
   1. Mission: The mission of U.S. Southern Command
      is to shape the environment within its area of
      responsibility by conducting military to military
      engagement and counter drug activities throughout
      the theater to promote democracy, stability, and
      collective approaches to threats to regional security.
                                                                                Map Slide [7]
   2. Headquarters: Since September 26, 1997, the
      command headquarters has been located at Miami,
      Florida. It is one of nine unified commands (five of
      which are regional or geographic unified
      commands) under the U.S. Department of Defense.

                                                               USSOUTHCOM AOR Slides [8-9]
   3. Area of responsibility: The United States Southern
      Command (USSOUTHCOM) is the unified
      command responsible for all U.S. military activities
      on the land mass of Latin America south of Mexico;
      (Mexico as one of our closest neighbors is dealt
      with at the executive level) the waters adjacent to
      Central and South America; the Caribbean Sea, with
      its 13 island nations, and European and U.S.
      territories; the Gulf of Mexico; and a portion of the
      Atlantic Ocean.
       USSOUTHCOM's area of responsibility encom-
       passes 32 countries (19 in Central and South
       America and 13 in the Caribbean) and covers about
       12.1 million square miles (31.3 million square
       kilometers). The region represents about one-sixth
       of the landmass of the world assigned to regional
       unified commands.

                                          Lesson 29-7
Now that we’ve discussed the mission, headquarters and area of responsibility for SOUTHCOM,
let’s look at the history of USSOUTHCOM.

   4. U.S. Southern Command History.
                                                          History of USSOUTHCOM Slide [10]
       a. U.S. Southern Command traces its origins to
          1903 when the first U.S. Marines arrived in
          Panama to protect the railroad that connected
          the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the
          narrow waist of the Panamanian Isthmus. In
          1917, the U.S. Army activated the Panama
          Canal Department as a geographic command.
          The Department was the senior Army
          headquarters in the region until activation of the
          Caribbean Defense Command in 1941.

       b. The command moved from Panama to Miami in September 1997, becoming the first
          and only unified combatant command to ever make a move of this magnitude. The
          headquarters is a one-of-a-kind, leased building, which is equipped with state-of-the-
          art equipment. It is the most technologically advanced military command and control
          facility in the world. The relocation to Miami also places the command at the gateway
          to the Americas and the Caribbean, a strategic setting for U.S. Southern Command
          and the Department of Defense.

       c. In December 1946, President Harry Truman approved the establishment of a system
          of unified military commands, which placed all of the military forces within a
          geographical region under the unified command of a single commander. One of these
          commands, Caribbean Command, had responsibility for the Caribbean and central
          and South America. Established in November 1947, Caribbean Command
          incorporated the Caribbean Defense Command as its headquarters and became fully
          operational in March 1948.

       d. In June 1963, the Secretary of Defense redesignated Caribbean Command as U.S.
          Southern Command. This decision reflected the reality that the command no longer
          had significant responsibilities in the Caribbean and had become a command with
          missions focused on Central and South America.

          In 1977, President James Earl Carter and Panamanian General Omar Torilljos signed
          the Panama Canal Treaties, which called for the departure of all U.S. military forces
          from Panama and the turnover of the Panama Canal by December 31, 1999.

       e. In December 1989, out of concern for the safety of the U.S. community and to restore
          democracy in Panama, President Bush ordered the Southern Command to initiate
          Operation Just Cause, a military operation designed to neutralize the Panamanian

                                         Lesson 29-8
          Defense Forces, preserve the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaty, and restore the
          democratic process. Approximately 27,000 U.S. soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen
          took part in the operation.

      f. In January 1996 and June 1997, the USSOUTHCOM Area of Operational
         Responsibility expanded in conjunction with a two-phased Unified Command Plan
         (UCP) Caribbean Transition. The transition added the Caribbean Sea and Islands, the
         Gulf of Mexico, and portions of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to the
         USSOUTHCOM AOR. This expansion increased the number of countries in the AOR
         from 19 to 32 and nearly doubled the area of the AOR (from 6.9 million square miles
         to 12.1). More important, the UCP change converted USSOUTHCOM from a
         command narrowly focused on ground operations and Army-to-Army military
         interaction to a diversified command employing and controlling ground, air, maritime,
         riverine, and marine forces and engaged in military interaction with all of the services
         of other countries.
                                                                         SOUTHAF Slide [11]
   5. Southern Air Force (SOUTHAF).
       a. The Twelfth Air Force commander has the
          added responsibility of commander, United
          States Air Forces in Southern Command. As
          such, he manages all Air Force personnel and
          assets in the United States Southern Command
          area of responsibility--Central and South
       b. During Operation JUST CAUSE, for example, Twelfth Air Force and other Air Force
          units deployed in support of U.S. forces, returning democracy to Panama in 1989.
          Later, Twelfth Air Force managed and orchestrated the air operation of Operation
          UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, the mission to restore democracy to Haiti in 1994.
       c. On July 13, 1993, HQ Twelfth Air Force officially moved from Bergstrom AFB, TX
          to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Today, Twelfth Air Force oversees the activities of 10
          active duty wings and 21 Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units.


SUMMARY                                                                   Summary Slide [17]
A. History of US political involvement in Latin America
   1. Monroe Doctrine
   2. Roosevelt Corollary
   3. Panama Canal
   4. Dollar Diplomacy
   5. US Interventions
B. Organization of American States (OAS)
C. US Southern Command

                                         Lesson 29-9
   1. Mission
   2. Headquarters
   3. Area of Responsibility
   4. US SOUTHCOM History
D. Southern Air Force (SOUTHAF)

1. U.S. Department of State, May 2000, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; Background
   Notes: OAS:
2. US Intervention in Latin America; Small, Teaching Resources:
3. “Latin America in Transition; An Instructional guide”; Southern Center for International
   Studies; Atlanta, GA; 1995.
4. United States Southern Command; Facts and Figures:

                                       Lesson 29-10

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