The US in the 1950s and 1960s wanted to prevent a new communist regime in the Western hemisphere at any cost. Under President Eisenhower the US pursued a policy of support for dictators, the economic shoring up of regimes that impoverished their own people and sanctioned direct interventions such as the overthrow of the Guatemalan government in 1954. When John F. Kennedy came to power, he promised a reset of relations and set about pouring aid into Latin America. Yet in 1961 Kennedy also attempted to intervene in Central American domestic politics with the Bay of Pigs operation. How far was each of the approaches pursued by the two administrations responsible for increasing tensions and encouraging radicalism on the continent? In answering this question Bevan Sewell shows how Eisenhower's strategic stance on the Cold War became increasingly detrimental to Latin America over time, and shows how similar policies were continued by the Kennedy administration. The US and Latin America provides a new lens through which to assess US policy towards Latin America at an important time in inter-American relations.
US and Latin America
Eisenhower, Kennedy and Economic Diplomacy in the Cold War