US Influence in Latin America 1898–1970


Map Code: Ax01384

Until the 1890s, the US had little interest in Latin America, but had business interests in Mexican mines and railroads. In the 1890s the US adopted a more outward looking foreign policy and enacted the Monroe doctrine of opposing European colonialism in the region. The US resolved a diplomatic crisis in a dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela over Guyana and supported Cuba in the Spanish-American war of 1898. After victory, they acquired the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico and Cuba became a US protectorate. In 1903 they intervened in Panama, taking over the construction of the Panama Canal, controlling it until 1977. By 1970, the US had continued to intervene in Latin America by overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, left wing regimes and by providing aid. They also became a member of the OAS (Organization of American States) in 1948, which was founded to create regional solidarity and cooperation.

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