The success of recent U.S. foreign policy in Latin America
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In 1973, the United States engaged its intelligence and economic resources in the overthrow of the democratically-elected, socialist government of Chile. A manifestation of U.S. foreign policy throughout the Cold War, these actions adhered to the prevention and eradication of communist and socialist governments worldwide. Since the close of the Cold War, a different U.S. strategy has emerged, defending U.S. economic principles and interests as strongly as political ones. This paper is interested in examining these past and present U.S. foreign policies toward Latin America to evaluate the viability of the policies and their implications for future U.S.-Latin American relations. Data is collected from government, academic, and journalistic sources regarding former U.S. actions in Chile and recent U.S. policy decisions in Venezuela. A comparison of these two data sets focuses on the following: the historical factors influencing U.S. decisions, the specific methods of U.S. action in each country, and the subsequent governmental and international effects of the policies. The expectation is that both foreign policy strategies—that of the Cold War era and its successor—have failed to yield sustainable improvements in U.S.-Latin American relations and have neglected to thoroughly consider the ramifications for Latin American countries. Therefore, the ultimate intention of this paper is to put forth suggestions for the enhancement of U.S. relationships with its southern neighbors based upon an analysis of the successes and failures of the past and current U.S. foreign policies in the region.