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Kerry declares the Monroe Doctrine dead: “we are equals sharing responsibilities”

Tuesday, November 19th 2013 - 08:55 UTC
Full article 45 comments
Secretary of State addressing the OAS and calling for partnership (Photo:AP) Secretary of State addressing the OAS and calling for partnership (Photo:AP)
US President James Monroe announced the doctrine in 1823 US President James Monroe announced the doctrine in 1823

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday declared that a nearly 200-year-old policy which had governed Washington's relations with Latin America was finally dead. Known as the Monroe Doctrine after it was adopted in 1823 by former US president James Monroe, the policy had stated that any efforts by European countries to colonize land in North or South America would be views as aggressive acts and could require US intervention.

 ”The doctrine that bears (Monroe's) name asserted our authority to step in and oppose the influence of European powers in Latin America,“ Kerry told an audience at the Organization of American States.

”And throughout our nation's history, successive presidents have reinforced that doctrine and made a similar choice.

“Today, however, we have made a different choice. The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over,” he insisted to applause.

“The relationship that we seek and that we have worked hard to foster is not about a United States declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other American states. It's about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, cooperating on security issues and adhering not to doctrine but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share.”

Kerry had been roundly criticized earlier this year when he told US lawmakers that “the western hemisphere is our backyard” in comments that triggered anger from some Latin American leaders.

Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the US aid agency USAID following the speech, and denounced the United States, which he said “probably thinks that here it can still manipulate politically and economically. That is a thing of the past.”

Kerry seemed to agree Monday, saying: “Many years ago the United States dictated a policy that defined the hemisphere for many years after. We've moved past that era, and today we must go even further.

”The question is will we work as equal partners in order to achieve our goals?“ Kerry asked.

”It will require courage and a willingness to change, but above all, it will require a higher and deeper level of cooperation between us, all of us together as equal partners in this hemisphere”.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • GeoffWard2

    it would be awkward for the US to publicly try to turn away the EU
    - or, especially, China - from South America.

    Reality Politik.

    Nov 19th, 2013 - 09:12 am 0
  • Usurping Pirate

    Another way of expressing this would be : “ Thanks to large shale oil and gas deposits ,the US is now energy self sufficient , so we are pulling back behind our borders and the rest of you , including Israel , can go hang for all we care ”

    Nov 19th, 2013 - 09:30 am 0
  • DanyBerger


    Is this really relevant?

    I guess that none cares

    Nov 19th, 2013 - 10:36 am 0
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