|AMERICAN DREAM OR
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“The conventional wisdom says that most Latin American migrants who come to the United States are looking for a better life, inspired by the "American Dream." And it's hard to deny that there's a lot of truth in that.
But the truth is that the U.S. government has historically made life in Latin America harder by overthrowing democratically-elected governments, financing atrocities and pushing trade policies that undermine Latin American industries, dealing blows to local economies. Perhaps instead of building walls, the United States should focus on being a better neighbor.”
This conclusion comes from a study published on the American web journal The Huffington Post under the title 19 Reasons Latin Americans Come To the U.S. That Have Nothing To Do With The American Dream, written by Journalist Roque Planas.
Although with such notable omissions as the invasions of the Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), the author mentions some reasons for the migration that derives from the greed of the U.S. in its relations with Latin America and the resulting poverty, political instability and recurrent financial crises which conspire to make it harder to live in Latin America than in North America.
He recalls that in 1846, shortly after the annexation of Texas, the U.S. launched a war against Mexico which allowed the U.S. to keep half the territory of Mexico. Today, 33.5 million people of Mexican origin live in the United States.
In 1898, the United States invaded Cuba and Puerto Rico, both colonies of Spain. Since then the U.S. has retained control of Puerto Rico. More people of Puerto Rican descent currently live in the United States than on the island.
Washington took over Cuba through the surrender agreements imposed on Spain. After four years of military occupation, the island obtained a formal autonomy under Washington’s control, but in 1906 and 1912 the United States invaded and occupied Cuba again. There was another US intervention in Cuba, 1917-1922. Until 1934, the U.S. retained the legal authority to intervene in Cuba’s internal affairs based on a 1902 amendment drafted by the U.S. Congress to the Cuban constitution.
The United States invaded Nicaragua in 1912 and occupied the country until 1933 when, after murdering popular leader Augusto César Sandino, they imposed the decades-long dynastic Somoza dictatorship.
President Woodrow Wilson ordered the U.S. Marines to invade and occupy Haiti in 1915. The troops didn't leave until 1934.
Mainly to collect debts, the United States invaded the Dominican Republic in 1916. The occupation lasted eight years.
At the behest of the United Fruit Company, the CIA helped engineer the overthrow of the legitimate Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, ushering in decades of cruel civil war.
In 1961, the CIA organized the Bay of Pigs invasion using as mercenaries a group of Cuban exiles in an ill-fated attempt to overthrow the revolutionary Cuban government which, as a consequence, became more radical.
In 1964, Washington supported the overthrow of the democratically elected Brazilian government of Joao Goulart. The resulting military dictatorship, which tortured thousands of opponents and "disappeared" hundreds, ruled the country until 1985.
In 1973, General Augusto Pinochet, with the support of the Nixon administration, overthrew the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende, ushering in decades of violent dictatorship.
In Argentina, the U.S. backed the military dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla which killed 30,000 people.
The U.S. paid a fascist rebel army to overthrow the Nicaraguan Sandinista government which rose to power through a popular revolution in 1979. For years, the CIA fought a dirty war against the Sandinistas, financing the "Contras," a right-wing group responsible for committing atrocities and smuggling drugs into the United States, with the Reagan administration's knowledge and support.
In the 1980s, following CIA programs and with U.S. funding, Salvadoran military officials committed atrocities in that country including -- but not limited to -- raping nuns, assassinating priests and killing hundreds of children and elderly. They ruthlessly repressed popular struggles in the country.
In 2004, the U.S. Congress declined to renew a 10-year ban on the sale of assault weapons to Mexico in obvious complicity with their primary purchasers: the Mexican drug cartels.
The U.S. funded and trained the Kaibiles, a special anti-insurgency military force of the Guatemalan army during the 1960s and 1970s, despite awareness of their links to drug cartels and widespread human rights violations.
Within the list of reasons which prompted millions of Latin Americans to flee to the U.S. are the trade policies which lead to unemployment, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These allow cheap imports, particularly of agricultural products, which leave farmers in the South and other low-skilled workers without jobs.
Without taking the blame away from the Spanish colonialists, we must recognize how much has been added by U.S. imperialism to the injustices left by colonialism in Latin America.
April 26, 2014.
¿SUEÑO AMERICANO O ÉXODO POR ATROPELLOS?