Russia in Venezuela is a thorn in the side for the US. US remembers Monroe Doctrine

15.06.2019, Washington.

Ted Galen Carpenter, senior fellow for defense and foreign policy at Cato Institute, called upon the United States to negotiate the division of spheres of influence with Russia, National Interest reported on May 12.

Carpenter pointed out the US officials’ concern about Russia’s intervention into the political conflict in Venezuela. According to the analyst, such actions are Russia’s answer to the provocative US policy in Eastern Europe.

The political analyst recalls that since the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine in the 1820s, the United States has always insisted on the Western Hemisphere to be their sphere of influence. Russia’s actions in Venezuela are a direct challenge to the doctrine.

The analyst points out that Russia has provided financial support to the administration of the current Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, and has also deployed two bombers and hundreds of soldiers. External support let the leftist president to stay in power, whereas, according to some experts, in the absence of external interference, the democratic opposition would have already forced him to give up his power.

Carpenter is confident that US President Donald Trump’s administration should insist on recognition of this doctrine by Russia as well as on limitation of its ties with Venezuela by ordinary diplomatic and economic relations. In exchange, the United States and NATO countries should recognize that they have intervened multiple times into Russia’s zone of influence and even its zone of key interests in Eastern Europe.

The analyst points to some items in the list of the Western provocations against Russia’s interests. This includes unlimited NATO expansion to the East up to the western borders of Russia, including even the Baltic countries, which were part of the Russian Empire and later, the USSR, attempts to make Ukraine and Georgia NATO member-countries, the military presence in the Black Sea, as well as assistance to Ukraine.

According to the political scientist, US leaders should show Russia their will to stop attempts to drag Ukraine and Georgia into NATO as well as stop military and technical support and joint training. In return, Russia must reduce its influence in Venezuela.

It is not the first time, when Ted Carpenter has criticized the aggressive US policy toward Russia. In 1992, in his book A Search for Enemies: America’s Alliance After the Cold War, he criticized NATO’s preservation and proposed the US to act only in the sphere of its vital interests. In his articles, he recommends Trump to withdraw from NATO, calls on the United States to show indifference toward the status of Crimea, condemns the destruction the Western coalition brought to Libya, analyzes the US failures in relations with Venezuela, Turkey and other countries.

Editorial comment

The almost 200 year-old Monroe Doctrine declared South America to no longer be a part of the European system of world order, but part of the American system. European powers’ intervention into American countries was declared an unfriendly manifestation toward the United States.

Transport development made the continents more accessible to each other, and in fact, created a conflict between the Monroe Doctrine and the principle that the main enemy of the United States is any power developing the level at which it can challenge the power of the United States. During the Cold War, the USSR was the main enemy of the United States, located anything but in the Western Hemisphere. Carpenter is actually discussing the same confrontation between the United States and Russia. In addition, recent world history shows that even with respect to non-major enemies the United States does not limit its actions to the Western Hemisphere, but takes an active part in military operations across Europe, Africa and Asia.

Thus, the Monroe Doctrine can hardly be considered as the main regulatory principle of US foreign policy. However, of course, addressing this principle indicates the US concern for events occurring in its original area of interest.

One should also know that the contract scheme under which Russia should withdraw from somewhere, and the United States should declare that it does not want to do something that Russia fears, is also not new. It was according to this formula that Russia agreed to NATO’s expansion. At that time, Russia declared that it no longer intends to restrain NATO expansion, and NATO voiced its intention not to bring its nuclear weapons closer to Russian borders. Such an agreement, however, was considered as Russia’s retreat.

One can assume that addressing the Monroe Doctrine in such a way, if it becomes part of real US foreign policy, may become an elegant way to formalize Russia’s ceasing to support Venezuela in exchange for insignificant assurances by the US like that it would like to stop supporting the Kiev regime. Otherwise, too many US foreign policy parameters would have to be changed simultaneously.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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