Golden Nuggets from U. S. History
The Blue Quill Series
Concord Learning Systems
Violation of the Monroe Doctrine
Many times since 1831, the principles stated in the Monroe Doctrine have been re-asserted by American Presidents. Has the Doctrine ever been violated?
Yes, and the answer is a "pick 'em" for assigning responsibility to either President Eisenhower who could have headed if off, or with President Kennedy who did nothing to enforce the Doctrine.
The violation occurred when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba and immediately submitted his country to the influence and virtual control of the Soviet Union. There was a lot of posturing and verbiage from Washington but the Monroe Doctrine was not enforced.
Cuba had long been a playground for wealthy Americans, especially organized crime. Just 90 miles off Key West, Florida, the dictator President, Batista, invited all who would pad his pockets to partake of the rousing night life and gambling tables. The country had evolved into two classes: The very rich and the peasants who either worked the sugar cane fields or labored in the cigar factories. By the late 1950's Fidel Castro had organized a band of rebels who hid in the mountains and began to attack the establishment. The American press, bleeding hearts dangling from their sleeves, began to write about the wonderful Dr. Castro and his patriotic revolutionaries who were going to sweep the American scoundrels from Cuba. The press followed it's usual practice and received stories directly from Castro without any follow-up investigation. The CIA followed it's usual practice and collected it's intelligence from the media. Castro assured everyone that his intentions were noble and that's all anyone wanted to hear.
A series of events followed:
On May 1, 1960, an American spy, Francis Gary Powers, flying a U2 spy plane, was shot down over Russia. The ensuing events completely consumed President Eisenhower's time.
On January 20, 1961, Eisenhower left office and Kennedy moved in.
Batista took his millions and fled Cuba.
Castro took over and immediately announced that he was a communist, always had been and always would be. He then went to Moscow and solidified the deal. Tens of thousands of Cubans fled the country, landing in Florida and Central America.
Americans were outraged. The Democrats blamed Ike and the Republicans blamed Kennedy. Kennedy was handier because he was in office but he pulled a "Clinton" which is amazing because Clinton was just a young boy at the time. In public Kennedy made it plain that the United States would not tolerate communism in this hemisphere. For weeks he postured, huffed and puffed, and cited the Monroe Doctrine. He allowed it to leak that he would support an invasion of Cuba by the patriots who had fled, but he would not support direct involvement by Americans nor could the invasion be launched from American soil. The press vividly pointed out that direct involvement by America would start a nuclear war and end all life on the planet Earth. This sounded mysterious but logical to Americans as they waited for action.
The CIA then arranged for the Cuban exiles to amass in Nicaragua for an invasion of Cuba. The U.S. arranged transportation, arms, training, and air support for the invasion. This was all leaked to the American public and of course to Castro, but officially, "no comment".
The public was quieted and waited for the overthrow of Castro.
The invasion forces were launched. AFTER the invasion force had set sail, Kennedy withdrew the air support. The Cubans patriots were not told and continued on their way to liberate their homeland. They landed in the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, where they hunkered down and waited for the American air attacks to begin. They were quickly annihilated or captured by Castro's little band of hooligans which he arrogantly called an army.
Kennedy claimed that he had never FIRMLY committed to air support. Publicly he tried to blame the Nicaraguan government, Mexico, misunderstandings between the CIA and the Cuban patriots, the Cuban patriots, renegade CIA agents, and on-and-on. He did exactly what Americans love most: Threw out enough excuses so that the public would agree that the situation was confusing and that we should move on to other matters.
The Soviets correctly saw the Cuban invasion fiasco as a sign of weakness and began to move nuclear missiles into Cuba. The U. S. failed to notice until the missile silos were nearly complete.
Kennedy had lost his magical appeal and much popularity. He was forced into an unnatural act for him... make a decision. He challenged the Soviets and set up a blockade around Cuba. The Soviets threatened a nuclear war despite the fact that they had no missiles which could reach the U.S. nor did they have any airplanes to challenge the range of American B-52's.
Kennedy "negotiated" with the Soviets and agreed to withdraw American missiles from Turkey and to freeze deployment of new nuclear weapons to Europe if the Soviets would withdraw their missiles from Cuba. The Soviets, grinning from ear-to-ear, agreed.
The American press gushed with excitement over the great victory. In fact, the press still gushes over the resounding victory achieved by Kennedy over the powerful Soviets and "The Missiles of October."
Castro embarked on a crusade to export his revolution to South America. He sent his finest "generals" and others there to spread the great benefits of communism to all. However, there were ingredients missing; there was no night life and no good times for the American press in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Columbia so the American press didn't go. After a few months of listening to the BS from Castro, the South American peasants assassinated some of the generals and sent the others fleeing back to Cuba. Those great armies of Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, had achieved what the poor Americans could not... Defeated the mighty army of Cuba.
Today, when American presidential candidates need Hispanic and Latino votes, they claim the Monroe Doctrine still in force.