History 8b Essay Question 4

History 8b Essay Question 4 - Mark Hernandez Exploitation...

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Mark Hernandez Exploitation in Latin America The story of American involvement in Latin America after earning their independence from Spain is a story of exploitation and deception. The US could claim that they sought to aid Latin American countries through investment in corporations such as United Fruit that provided jobs to thousands, but the truth is that the United States always sought its own interests at the expense of the indigenous people who inhabited Latin America. US influence in the area is most prominent in shaping the economies and politics of countries such as Honduras and Cuba. Because the United States had declared that they would use military intervention whenever US interests were put in jeopardy, there was always a bit of animosity towards the United States from Latin American countries. Fueled by economic incentives, the United States saw Latin America as an area where they could use the high unemployment and poverty to its advantage to bring in economic profit but at the same time was detrimental to the development of their own economies. Although the United States would make seemingly peaceful and fair treaties and pacts with the Latin American countries, some would argue that the countries really had no choice. As President Woodrow Wilson put it, “You hear of concessions to foreign capitalists in Latin America. You do not hear of concessions to foreign capitalists in the United States. They are not granted concessions.” 1 Cuba became one of the Latin American countries where US involvement was most notable and at the same time detrimental to its economy. During the Spanish- American War, the United States had a large military presence in Cuba. In 1899, the US 1 From Eduardo Galeano, “In the Eye of the Hurricane Are 120 Million Children,” in Problems in Modern Latin American History Third Edition edited by James A. Wood and John Charles Chasteen (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, INC., 2009.) Pg. 179
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passed the Platt Amendment which would set provisions for US withdrawal from Cuba. These provisions included that Cuba would allow the United States military interventions whenever it deemed necessary, that Cuba would not make treaties with any other country that would interfere with its independence, or that Cuba would not allow the colonization for military purposes of any foreign power other than the United States among other things. 2
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History 8b Essay Question 4 - Mark Hernandez Exploitation...

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