Michael Shifter

DISPUTATIONS: Misunderstanding the Problem
December 29, 2009

Jorge Castañeda’s lament ("Adios, Monroe Doctrine," December 28, 2009) about U.S. indifference towards Latin America sounds a familiar theme. His claim that “the United States doesn’t seem to care much what happens in Latin America” has been a constant refrain that has dominated analyses of U.S. regional policy since the mid-1970s. The “new passivity” is not, after all, terribly new.   Though often framed in general terms of advancing national interests and values, almost everyone expressing such a lament has been motivated by some particular agenda. Some want the U.S.