For Washington it’s never too late to dust off the ole Monroe Doctrine, apparently. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday issued a bombshell declaration concerning US Latin America policy, vowing Washington’s support to countries facing mass protests and unrest which Pompeo says could be hijacked by Cuba and Venezuela (and thus by extension allies in Moscow and Beijing).
Citing recent popular political unrest in Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia, the US top diplomat said “We in the Trump administration will continue to support countries trying to prevent Cuba and Venezuela from hijacking those protests and we’ll work with legitimate (governments) to prevent protests from morphing into riots and violence that don’t reflect the democratic will of the people.” He was addressing an audience at the University of Louisville, in Kentucky.
Most interesting and sure to raise eyebrows is his distinguishing ‘legitimate governments’ as worthy of support.
No doubt this means, according to the Chomskyesque forumula, those compliant regimes willing to do America’s bidding should be able to suppress and crackdown on ‘rioters’ while governments dubbed official enemies ought to be swept aside by ‘democratic protesters’ and freedom movements.
Touting the Trump administration’s “moral and strategic clarity” on Latin America, he again singled out Nicolás Maduro as enemy #1 in the region, and Caracas along with Havana as seeking to hijack unrest in neighboring countries.
According to Reuters:
Pompeo cited recent political protests in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador and said that Colombia had closed its border to Venezuela out of concern that protesters from the neighboring country would enter.
He said that the United States “cannot tolerate” regimes deemed unsatisfactory, while perhaps ironically, framing White House policy in terms of “realism” and “restraint”.
However, only those protests which reflect the “character of legitimate democratic governments and democratic expression” should be respected and supported.
As for the presumed ‘delegitimate’ in the region: “The end will come for Maduro as well. We just don’t know what day,” Pompeo vowed ominously.