The relationship during the cold war
The relationship between the USA and other Latin American countries is characterized by conflict, bloodshed, and distrust. It all started with the USA claiming territory from the Spanish who took the land from Mexico and made it one of their state. The relationship only changed during the cold war as the USA needed to curb the rise of communism hence refraining from their previously relationship to a more cooperative approach. As a result, it has caused a rift between those who oppose this decision and those who support it each having weighted arguments (Otto 104).
Otto J. Reich, then U.S. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere prefers the previous way of handling matters using intervention. He argued that US policies should advance the national interests, not for favor among other countries. Also, the main threat to peace, security, freedom and prosperity of USA is not a toppled government, but totalitarianism and those who get freely elected and work on the inside to destroy democracy and change constitutions to their favor. Country leadership that radicalizes the population against the USA forging alliances with drug dealing organizations and supporting armed terrorist organization in the event of destabilizing a friendly nation, disruption of their economies and causing unrest. People of influence who support political campaigns of compromised individuals who lead a nation to corruption, lack of transparency and harassment of private citizen. These are the true enemies of the USA hence they should receive a heavy hand from the USA including sanctions. American should not cooperate in any way with such characters so as not to be undermined (Otto 116).
Cooperative approach of the USA with other Latin American countries
On the other hand, Arturo A. Valenzuela, another U.S. assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, supports the cooperative approach of the USA with other Latin American countries to solve some of the issues experienced. Only by cooperation can a more lasting solution be developed and respected by both sides. The USA can entice governments to set up credible institutions such as electoral commissions, an effective judiciary, and a strong constitution. Agendas that protect the diversity through tolerance and pluralism need championing. A socio-economic partnership of governments and the private sector can ensure the growth and stability of a nation (Otto 110).
Personally, I support the cooperative approach over the aggressive approach. A lot is accomplished through cooperation. For example, the Canadian pact with Haiti to fight poverty saw Haiti receive supports before and after the earthquake disaster. The international community also intervened to help the Haiti residence to rebuild themselves after such a disaster. Another success is the free trade agreement between the Spanish counties with Colombia and Panama. Though this consensus is pending, it shows the achievements of cooperation. Since America is the primary trading partner, the largest source of foreign investment and accommodates a majority of the top students from these Latin American countries, it can use this influence to engage these nations actively and shape most of their decisions through partnership. The USA has a good tax collection policy and system; this can be introduced to these countries to raise their money for the government. The USA also should not support the military overruling an elected civil government or an occurrence of a police state as they do not uphold people’s rights and follow the rule of law (Otto 111).
In conclusion, a partnership has more advantages that disadvantage to the USA hence more appealing in international relations with Latin American nations.
Reich, Otto J. “US Policy toward the Americas in 2010 and Beyond.”T Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics (pp. l52-155). New York: McGraW HillT (2011).