The Monroe Doctrine devised under President James Monroe called for America to extend its authority over the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. The Spanish-American War netted America territory in the way of Puerto Rico, which remains an unincorporated territory more than 100 years later. Mexico has become one of the largest purchasers of American energy exports. The original Monroe Doctrine whereby European nations would know to keep away from America's sphere of influence in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America has not been without challenges. Discussions around the advance of the Global South in the 21st century calls for a re-examination of America's relationship with her southern neighbors.
Venezuela is a recipient of financial support from Turkey, a country bridging Europe and west Asia. In Cuba, U.S. diplomats have experienced Havana syndrome as a result of electromagnetic, microwave, and directed energy weaponry likely imported from Russia. The state of America's southern neighbors calls for renewed attention from a security perspective. More nations could perhaps be reminded of America's leading role in Latin America and the Caribeean through a more assertive American policy which sets America's interests first while also supporting policies addressing the pain points experienced by America's neighbors. Thinkers also may spearhead shaping a more refined, comprehensive approach to these neighbors. The updated approach must be promulgated far and wide starting first with Spanish-speaking nations to the South and thereafter across the broader community of nations.
The picture of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America is broadly characterized by developing nations yet to reap maximal economic benefits of industrialization. Many economies in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America are on the pathway to industrializing. Costa Rica boasts vibrant tourism and coffee sectors. Venezuela controls a disproportionately large amount of the world's oil reserves. Colombia recently joined NATO. Sailors in the Caribbean report the Colombian naval fleet is among the most compassionate, humane groups in the world.
Las Almas de Mexico, the Wings of Mexico, depict a pair of golden wings inspiring observers to dream bigger. The sculpture must be 15 feet tall. The wings are larger than life yet inspire visitors and residents of Mexico City to take a photo with the golden wings seemingly pinned on their backs. Down the street from the sculpture of the wings of Mexico is the Angel of Independence. Mexico is Central America's largest economy. With 120 million residents calling Mexico home, which is 1.5 times the size of Germany's population, Mexico is a cultural hub for Spanish speakers across Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico is truly "it's own world." The Wings of Mexico inspire onlookers across the world from Japan to Chicago. America's relationship with the region of Central America and the Caribbean starts with Mexico.
The Wings of Mexico in Mexico City.
Mexico is a beacon of political stability compared to some other Central American neighbors,
including El Salvador, a country which has exported myriad asylum seekers to the United States fleeing violence. Unification of Spanish speaking lands through Mexico's leadership offers the promise of stability, reduced violence, stronger institutions, an improved sense of cultural identity. There are regularly so-called caravans of migrants coming from Central America to the United States seeking a better life. In America, of course, migrants have literally built the country since its inception. As American writers have noted since at least America's 100th birthday America is the world's great melting pot. In purely economic terms there is no disputing, however, that the importation of relatively unskilled labor from other countries displaces the economic livelihoods of swaths of American laborers. The result is a sense of some of the people born here in America reaching the conclusion their leaders have forgotten about them.
A competent, secure, and prosperous greater Mexico promises better lives to the people of Central America, the Caribbean, and perhaps the northern part of South America. Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, and perhaps Cuba might all be subsumed under a unified greater Mexico. Greater Mexico as envisioned would share a common language, and more importantly, a common religion. The social glue binding these nations together has threads of what has made America's cross-state commerce the envy of the world. Mexico, Caribbean nations, and Central American nations are ubiquitously Roman Catholic. A vision for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean which could at once improve their living standards also provides relief for America on its southern border and reduces the pressure from immigration on America's working class.
The American security picture is shaped to its east and its west by the greatest natural defense systems on earth, the exceptionally advantageous Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. To America's north, Canada is a reliable partner with democratic elections. To the South, Mexico is a reliable national partner with robust democratic elections. Mexico's southern neighbors have experienced strife which has poured over into a continental migration phenomenon. People in certain Central American countries are calling out for help. Migrants risk everything in some cases paying coyotes to reach America. America's relationship with her southern neighbors is wise to address the root causes of civil instability, violence, and institutional approaches to wicked problems.
Net migration of Mexicans to America is no longer positive. Mexicans love Mexico. The improving Mexican economy created sufficient incentives for people in Mexico to stay in Mexico and pass on migrating north. The Statute of Liberty Enlightening the World stands tall welcoming your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores. All the better then, that the hope America offers to the world be shared with people in the Central American countries from which many begin the long, dangerous, arduous trek to America. Better to see a safe, prosperous, secure Central America, Caribbean, and South America for the spread of America's most inspiring export: hope. America is truly the light of the world, as the first 246 years of her rise has shown. From a land of Americans unsatisfied with taxation without representation to the land of technological and medical innovation, America's story, her 21st century destiny, must include a productive, prosperous relationship with her neighbors to the South as President James Monroe averred in 1823.
The cultural and political unification of Spanish-speakers in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America is an example of how the United States may leverage a strong relationship with Mexico to create stability and prosperity throughout the region. Diplomacy yet may prove to be a way to strengthen the American economic prosperity at home -- giving those forgotten Americans reason to believe their public servants are looking out for them, too. The Monroe Doctrine in the original form is rightly proclaimed today for the good of our countrymen and countrywomen, and the people around us, too.
"America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She should therefore have a system of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe. While the last is laboring to become the domicil of despotism, our endeavor should surely be, to make our hemisphere that of freedom." Third United States President Thomas Jefferson to Fifth United States President James Monroe, October 24th, 1823.