Hey you know what happens when a superpower declares that it's going to take steps that will allow it to dictate the internal policies of other nations?
I'll give you a hint: nothing good.
National Security Adviser John Bolton just gave a modern-day "Axis of Evil" speech, this one focused on three countries in Latin America.
In a 30-minute address at Miami Dade College's Freedom Tower, Bolton said the Trump administration will take a hard line against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua by sanctioning the countries and cutting off diplomatic relations with them until they meet US demands.
"This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere," Bolton said. "Under President Trump, the United States is taking direct action against all three regimes to defend the rule of law, liberty, and basic human decency in our region."
I guess that if Trump can't stop folks from migrating to the American border (totally legal) to request asylum (very legal as well), then he and his flying monkeys will throw cash and personnel at stopping the problem at what they perceive to be the source? This sounds pretty thin.
According to Vox, US relations with Cuba will become more limited. Diplomats–apparently America still has those–will attempt to force the Venezuelan government to release hundreds of political prisoners and Nicaragua, which we've talked about here extensively, will get a talking to over the 300-plus civilians that have been killed so far this year in anti-government protests.
Threatening sanctions against countries which already have so little – where the rule of law has little sway and whose citizens are desperate enough to risk thousands of miles, death and incarceration in the name of keeping their children safe – feels…counter intuitive. An autocrat like Daniel Ortega doesn't give a shit about what happens to his people: he only cares about clinging to power and lining his pockets, which he doesn't need the United States for as his administration has been buddy-buddy with China for years.
The timing of the speech feels auspicious. Over the last two years, the Trump administration has had zero shits to give for South and Central America other than their zeal for keeping brown people from those countries from crossing into 'Murica. Less than one week after an autocrat after Trump's own heart takes office in Brazil and a sea-shift in foreign policy gets plopped out? None of this is fine.
If I were a betting man, I'd wager that this shit's going to get greasier, fast.
Image by Gage Skidmore – https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/16471115647/in/faves-54050720@N05/, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link