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Anti-Americanism in Latin America and the Caribbean

Anti-Americanism in Latin America and the Caribbean

Edited by Alan McPherson
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 316
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  • Book Info
    Anti-Americanism in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Book Description:

    Whether rising up from fiery leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro or from angry masses of Brazilian workers and Mexican peasants, anti U.S. sentiment in Latin America and the Caribbean today is arguably stronger than ever. It is also a threat to U.S. leadership in the hemisphere and the world. Where has this resentment come from? Has it arisen naturally from imperialism and globalization, from economic and social frustrations? Has it served opportunistic politicians? Does Latin America have its own style of anti Americanism? What about national variations? How does cultural anti Americanism affect politics, and vice versa? What roles have religion, literature, or cartoons played in whipping up sentiment against 'el yanqui'? Finally, how has the United States reacted to all this?

    This book brings leaders in the field of U.S. Latin American relations together with the most promising young scholars to shed historical light on the present implications of hostility to the United States in Latin America and the Caribbean. In essays that carry the reader from Revolutionary Mexico to Peronist Argentina, from Panama in the nineteenth century to the West Indies' mid century independence movement, and from Colombian drug runners to liberation theologists, the authors unearth little known campaigns of resistance and probe deeper into episodes we thought we knew well. They argue that, for well over a century, identifying the United States as the enemy has rung true to Latin Americans and has translated into compelling political strategies. Combining history with political and cultural analysis, this collection breaks the mold of traditional diplomatic history by seeing anti Americanism through the eyes of those who expressed it. It makes clear that anti Americanism, far from being a post 9/11 buzzword, is rather a real force that casts a long shadow over U.S. Latin American relations.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-695-3
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. List of Tables
    (pp. xii-xii)
  6. Introduction Antiyanquismo: Nascent Scholarship, Ancient Sentiments
    (pp. 1-34)
    Alan McPherson

    Only deeper and broader probing can uncover the many rich motivations, articulations, contexts, and buried representations of resistance. It is with this insight in mind that the contributors to this volume inquired into the career of anti-Americanism in Latin America and the Caribbean throughout the long history of the region’s relations with the United States. Analyzing this career, they agreed, must include re-imagining the sources, forms of expression, visions, and implications for policy of anti-US resistance.

    The authors agreed not to be bound by any specific definition of anti-Americanism. Yet they operated from the assumption that anti-Americanism should be treated...

  7. Part I: National Narratives

    • Chapter 1 Redefining Intervention: Mexico’s Contribution to Anti-Americanism
      (pp. 37-60)
      John A. Britton

      Anti-Americanism has a prominent place in Mexican history. The relatively harmonious relationship between the two nations in the 1990s and early years of the twenty-first century tended to obscure that fact that Mexicans have often been critical of the United States, especially concerning government and business policies that posed threats to the interests of Mexico. Anti-Americanism in Mexico, therefore, often manifested itself in arguments against specific policies and actions more so than the broad cultural and philosophical critiques of the United States typical of European anti-Americanism.¹ One purpose of this essay is to examine this theme in Mexican anti-Americanism in...

    • Chapter 2 “Bradenism” and Beyond: Argentine Anti-Americanism, 1945–1953
      (pp. 61-83)
      Glenn J. Dorn

      In the summer of 2003, families facing eviction from their Buenos Aires apartment complex barricaded themselves in their homes and affixed to their makeshift defenses a sign reading “IMF Go to Hell.” In the course of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in 2002, an Argentine congressman placed a small US flag on the desk of another, implying that his colleague was a quisling for the United States. For more than a decade, Argentines have referred to the US ambassador in Buenos Aires as “The Viceroy,” an emperor’s representative in the colonies.¹ Clearly, symbols of the United States occupy a...

    • Chapter 3 Patriotism and Petroleum: Anti-Americanism in Venezuela from Gómez to Chávez
      (pp. 84-112)
      Darlene Rivas

      Upon his election in 1998, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez proclaimed a Bolivarian Revolution, identifying his policies with the legacy of the legendary Venezuelan hero and South American liberator, Simón Bolívar. Bolívar’s legacy is subject to a variety of interpretations. To Chávez, Bolívar represented social equality and freedom for the poor and oppressed, as well as an independent foreign policy free from colonialism. References to this legacy appeared frequently in Chávez’s rhetoric, including Bolívar’s assertion that “the United States of North America seems destined by providence to plague America with misery on behalf of freedom.”¹

      Chávez’s perceived hostility to the United...

    • Chapter 4 The Making of an Economic Anti-American: Eduardo Frei and Chile during the 1960s
      (pp. 113-139)
      Jeffrey F. Taffet

      Anti-Americanism in Latin America was a growing concern in Washington as John F. Kennedy assumed the US presidency in 1961.¹ Vice President Richard Nixon’s horrendous Latin American goodwill trip in 1958, and more significantly, Fidel Castro’s success in Cuba, clearly indicated that many in the region were angry about US international behavior.² Policymakers in Washington feared anti-Americanism because they understood that it could be an important factor in helping communists take control of Latin American governments. In response to this problem, Kennedy introduced a massive economic aid program he called the Alliance for Progress. The logic behind this program was...

    • Chapter 5 Battle for the Heart of the Heavyweight: Anti-Americanism in Brazil
      (pp. 140-162)
      Kirk Bowman

      The first sign of anti-Americanism in Brazil in 2003–2004 surfaced rather dramatically to arriving passengers in the shops of the country’s international airports, where Michael Moore’s bestsellerStupid White Menwas ubiquitously displayed. Given the worldwide success of Moore’s book, this was no surprise. What was unusual was the title. While Spanish-speaking Latin America used a literal translation of the title(Estúpidos hombres blancos), as did Portugal for its Portuguese edition>(Brancos estúpidos), in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, Moore’s book spent nineteen weeks on the bestseller list asA Nation of Idiots (Uma nação de idiotas).¹ In the rest of Moore’s...

  8. Part II: Comparative and Transnational Approaches

    • Chapter 6 Diaspora against Empire: Apprehension, Expectation, and West Indian Anti-Americanism, 1937–1945
      (pp. 165-187)
      Jason Parker

      In the early summer of 2003, amid a global surge of anti-American sentiment, the residents of Jamaica felt that surge reach a particularly high crest. Far from the geopolitical spotlight—indeed, arguably not even inside the theater, let alone on stage—Jamaica’s economy experienced a jarring episode. In a proverbial perfect economic storm, several trends of US trade and monetary policy coincided with a trough in fluctuations of the island’s currency, which were then unexpectedly exacerbated and produced a whipsawing Jamaican dollar. In the space of three weeks, that currency went from trading at 40 cents to the US dollar...

    • Chapter 7 Contrasting Hostilities of Dependent Societies: Panama and Cuba versus the United States
      (pp. 188-214)
      Alan McPherson

      In their relations with the United States, Panama and Cuba have long shared a number of similarities. Geographically, both are small nations close to US shores. Cuba is roughly the size of Pennsylvania and, famously, 90 miles from the Florida Keys, while Panama is farther away and smaller (slightly smaller than South Carolina). Strategically, both have been crucial to the defense of the Caribbean: Cuba, by hugging the Windward Passage, and the Isthmus of Panama, by providing a hub of transportation not only after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 but also prior to then, by offering the...

    • Chapter 8 Option for the Poor: Liberation Theology and Anti-Americanization
      (pp. 215-236)
      David Ryan

      It is an irony that, as the so-calledrefolutions¹ of Eastern Europe unfolded over the autumn of 1989, and during the “final offensive” of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN) in El Salvador, an elite US-backed battalion entered the Central American University and shot six Jesuits, their housekeeper Elba Ramos, and her daughter Celina Ramos. As the democratic options were opening up in Eastern Europe, the repression by US-sponsored “national security states” was still intense. The Jesuits were perhaps the most visible symbols of a liberation theology that had grown in Latin America since the late 1960s. Crucially,...

  9. Part III: Explaining the Absence of Anti-Americanism

    • Chapter 9 The United States, Colombia, and Drug Policy, 1984–2004: A Study of Quiet Anti-Americanism
      (pp. 239-270)
      William O. Walker III

      This chapter asks why anti-Americanism did not emerge in Colombia beginning in the mid-1980s as violence engulfed that country. The United States was all but insisting that Colombia serve as a tripwire in the growing war on drugs in the Americas. Authorities in Bogotá managed for some time to fend off demands that they treat drugs as a security issue of the first order, choosing instead to try to keep the internal conflict from completely tearing their country apart. By the time of the 2002 presidential election in Colombia, Washington had apparently gotten its way. The war on drugs and...

  10. Conclusion Common Findings and New Directions
    (pp. 271-276)
    Alan McPherson

    Jean-François Revel’s observation¹ makes a point worth exploring—namely, that Latin America and the Caribbean may have much to teach the rest of the world about anti-Americanism. It is beyond the expertise of this volume’s contributors to debate whether anti-US sentiment in the Western Hemisphere may be an “exaggerated version” of anti-Americanism in Europe or anywhere else. Yet this conclusion proposes general lessons to be drawn from the volume’s findings and suggests future research paths to explore how students of international history can draw upon this volume to inform scholarship on anti-Americanism.

    To be sure, the contributors of this volume...

  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 277-280)
  12. Index
    (pp. 281-302)