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An Overview of U.S. Policy Toward the Caribbean in the 1970s
Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2005

by Dr. Kwame Nantambu


The analysis in this article takes the position that it is necessary to establish the locus and role of the United States in the world so as to ascertain its foreign policy toward any given geographical region. In other words, it is the totality of the United States global posture in past decades and the specificity of its role in the past decade that provide the necessary backdrop against which we can examine its policy toward the Caribbean in the 1970s.

United States Global Position and the Caribbean

The global post-war system was initially bi-polarized with the Untied States as the dominant political and military power over a weakened Europe and Japan in the Western corner with the Soviet Union the dominant political and military power in the East. This conclusion is corroborated by Chinweizu when he asserts that:

In World War II, the Unites States saved the old imperial nations of Europe--from loosing their global empires to the Axis Alliance of Challengers--namely, Germany, Japan, and Italy. Thereafter, leadership of the West passed into the hands of America. With leadership came the responsibility of championing Western expansion into those parts of the world that had managed to escape their control, as well as the responsibility of protecting the Western empires from the uprising of their subject propels. The first responsibility would pit the American-led West against the Soviet Bloc countries in a titanic struggle called the Cold War...

To the United States, the Cold War represented the expression of two antagonistic and competing world centers and in order to legitimize its own pursuit of global interests within this expansionist framework, an ideological justification was derived by presenting the international class struggle as a confrontation between capitalism (free enterprise, freedom, democracy and Christianity) and socialism (collectivism and atheism). This theology not only received support from the domestic ruling elite to the extent that the Cold War was based on the notions that a Soviet expansion must be halted by both military and political means and this in turn would create the preconditions for an eventual mellowing or even breaking up of the Soviet system, but it also fashioned United States policy toward the Third World and the Caribbean.
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