Summit of the “Americas” vs. CELAC: Whither the Monroe Doctrine @ 200?

This panel discusses the opposing ideas provoking the clash between US hegemony and anti-US forces throughout the hemisphere.

Ever since US President James Monroe adumbrated his infamous Doctrine in 1823, claiming the Western Hemisphere as the US’s ‘sphere of influence’, subordinated to US interests, the US has assailed the region’s autonomy, recently with much assistance from Canada. Barring upsets like the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions, the US appeared to be winning until the 21st century. However, the “pink tide” inspired by indomitable Cuba, that has since surged has tilted the balance of power against the US and Canada.

This tilt became glaringly obvious at the June 2022 Summit of the “Americas,” where the Biden administration was reduced to excluding socialist governments – Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela – and many countries spoke out against the US in one form or the other. The US’s indignity was further underlined when contrasted with the success of the September 2021 Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Mexico, which involves all countries south of the Rio Grande. Not only did these countries move forward cooperation with each other on important matters, such as health, they are also increasingly collaborating with the capitalist world’s rival, socialist China, as exemplified by the virtual speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Mexico Summit. China’s economic attractions and respect for the region’s sovereignty and autonomy cannot be matched by the US and Canada.