Let’s revive the Good Neighbor policy!

LET'S BUILD A GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY

We should revive Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy to bring peace and cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, and stop US meddling in their politics. From migration, the war on drugs, poverty and the environment — we only stand to benefit from a policy that is based on peace, cooperation, and respect. The Coronavirus pandemic reminds us of the value of good neighbors; it is time we applied that to the relationship between the United States and its neighbors in the South.


For too long the United States government has conceived of Latin America and the Caribbean as its backyard, and it is through that perspective that the U.S. has carried out its foreign policy of exploitation and control for most of the past 200 years. There was a brief period during the New Deal era that the U.S. understood the need to be a “good neighbor” and this is a concept we desperately need to revive today. Just as the frame of a “Green New Deal” changed the discourse on U.S. environmental policy, progressives need to frame a “Good Neighbor Policy” for the 21st century that will improve our relations within the regional community.

What would it mean for the United States to be a Good Neighbor, it should:

  • Not meddle. Meddling in the affairs of other countries can take many forms, whether it’s interfering in domestic policies, interfering in elections, applying sanctions, military interventions or outright war, among others.
  • Respect and appreciate differences. Countries in the hemisphere have different cultures, religions, ethnicities, languages, political systems and histories; we must treat others equally under international law, respect our differences and learn from them.
  • Work together for the common good. Whether it’s trading fairly, building regional democratic institutions, addressing the climate crisis or helping migrants, only by working together can we resolve the problems we face. 

The coronavirus pandemic reminds us of the value of good neighbors; it is time we applied that to the U.S. government’s foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, a policy that has historically resulted in war, coups, dictatorships, police states, human rights violations, migration, environmental degradation and division. It is not difficult to find the links between, for example, trade that favors corporations and industrial farming, and mass migration. Or between drugs flowing north and weapons flowing south. The connections run deep between U.S. foreign policy aimed at domination and the violence inflicted on poor people south of the border.

The peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America have been aware of this for centuries. In 1829, Simon Bolivar, leader of an independence movement against Spanish colonialism, said the United States seems destined to plague the Americas with misery in the name of liberty. Yet we know that this has nothing to do with destiny, it is the result of a political establishment that cannot yet conceive of what it is to be a Good Neighbor. It is up to us to educate our politicians and let them know the benefits of a Good Neighbor policy.

Therefore, I pledge to work to transform the United States into a Good Neighbor.

Sincerely,

Comments

  • George Rankin
    signed via 2020-08-10 11:47:20 -0400
  • Kathleen Staudt
    signed 2020-08-04 18:26:53 -0400
  • abraham marquez
    signed 2020-08-04 13:36:45 -0400
  • Susan Scott
    signed 2020-07-30 19:35:04 -0400
    And let’s recognize that the resources in Latin America — from oil to gold to copper etc — must benefit the local people, including the indigenous people, and can only be developed sustainably, with the clear consent of the people who are most impacted by the development!
  • Adam Izak-Sunna
    signed 2020-07-21 13:27:36 -0400
    Let’s all respect the rights of others and abide by international law, beginning with its core principles of sovereignty and self-determination.
  • William Franz
    signed 2020-07-21 00:33:55 -0400
  • J Beverly Beverly
    signed 2020-07-20 20:43:14 -0400
  • Pilar Saavedra
    signed 2020-07-20 01:30:19 -0400
    viva latinamerica!
  • Alexistori Gonzalez
    signed 2020-07-15 18:03:06 -0400
  • Lynn Waldron
    signed 2020-07-14 20:27:56 -0400
  • Randall Hodak
    signed 2020-07-11 12:38:47 -0400
  • Sandra McConnel
    signed 2020-07-11 01:48:36 -0400
  • Vivian Taube
    signed 2020-07-11 01:03:18 -0400
  • James Wilcox
    signed 2020-07-10 17:33:46 -0400
  • Rama Bharadwaj
    signed 2020-07-04 17:00:41 -0400
  • Laurel Hays
    signed 2020-07-03 08:49:23 -0400
  • Russell Meyers
    signed 2020-07-02 21:33:31 -0400
  • Craig Lee Burket
    signed 2020-07-02 20:40:39 -0400
  • Monica Navarro
    signed 2020-07-02 18:33:16 -0400
  • Ricardo malave
    signed 2020-06-30 21:38:49 -0400
    Ricardo malave
  • Edward Aguilar
    signed via 2020-06-28 16:48:08 -0400
    We need to let people live – Sanctions are “collective punishment” (Geneva Convention), and cruel and unusual!
  • Richard DeBona
    signed 2020-06-27 10:59:25 -0400
    Si quieres paz, lucha por la justicia – papa pablo vi
  • Suzanne Macdonald
    followed this page 2020-06-27 08:52:22 -0400
  • Randi Shenkman
    signed 2020-06-26 22:01:50 -0400
  • Anitra Kupalo
    signed 2020-06-26 21:03:21 -0400
  • Anne Pobicki
    signed via 2020-06-26 10:21:14 -0400
  • Fernanda Vacas
    signed 2020-06-26 04:33:44 -0400
  • Fernanda Vacas
    followed this page 2020-06-26 04:30:50 -0400
  • Denise Comoli
    signed 2020-06-26 03:47:27 -0400
  • Lourdes Arguelles
    signed 2020-06-26 02:45:10 -0400
    It is time that the people of the global north and of the global south rise in solidarity to fight for justice, equality and to care for the Earth.

For too long the United States government has conceived of Latin America and the Caribbean as its backyard, and it is through that perspective that the U.S. has carried out its foreign policy of exploitation and control for most of the past 200 years. There was a brief period during the New Deal era that the U.S. understood the need to be a “good neighbor” and this is a concept we desperately need to revive today. Just as the frame of a “Green New Deal” changed the discourse on U.S. environmental policy, progressives need to frame a “Good Neighbor Policy” for the 21st century that will improve our relations within the regional community.

What would it mean for the United States to be a Good Neighbor, it should:

  • Not meddle. Meddling in the affairs of other countries can take many forms, whether it’s interfering in domestic policies, interfering in elections, applying sanctions, military interventions or outright war, among others.
  • Respect and appreciate differences. Countries in the hemisphere have different cultures, religions, ethnicities, languages, political systems and histories; we must treat others equally under international law, respect our differences and learn from them.
  • Work together for the common good. Whether it’s trading fairly, building regional democratic institutions, addressing the climate crisis or helping migrants, only by working together can we resolve the problems we face. 

The coronavirus pandemic reminds us of the value of good neighbors; it is time we applied that to the U.S. government’s foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, a policy that has historically resulted in war, coups, dictatorships, police states, human rights violations, migration, environmental degradation and division. It is not difficult to find the links between, for example, trade that favors corporations and industrial farming, and mass migration. Or between drugs flowing north and weapons flowing south. The connections run deep between U.S. foreign policy aimed at domination and the violence inflicted on poor people south of the border.

The peoples of the Caribbean and Latin America have been aware of this for centuries. In 1829, Simon Bolivar, leader of an independence movement against Spanish colonialism, said the United States seems destined to plague the Americas with misery in the name of liberty. Yet we know that this has nothing to do with destiny, it is the result of a political establishment that cannot yet conceive of what it is to be a Good Neighbor. It is up to us to educate our politicians and let them know the benefits of a Good Neighbor policy.

Therefore, I pledge to work to transform the United States into a Good Neighbor.

Sincerely,

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