Rex Tillerson’s tour of Latin America received off to a poor begin:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson might have stumbled out of the gate as he kicked off a visit to Latin America by praising a controversial 200-year-outdated international-coverage doctrine, warning of “imperial” Chinese commerce ambitions, and touting the United States as the area’s most well-liked commerce companion.
During a question-and-answer session after a speech in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, Tillerson praised the 1823 Monroe Doctrine as “clearly … a success.” The doctrine, and subsequent corollary to the doctrine issued in 1904 by President Theodore Roosevelt, asserted U.S. authority in the Western Hemisphere over meddling European powers, and remains to be seen by many in the area as a type of U.S. imperialism.
Tillerson is a nasty diplomat, and this episode helps illustrate that very properly. First, Tillerson utterly did not anticipate how his remarks could be interpreted by folks in the area he was about to go to, and as soon as he introduced it up then he additional failed to differentiate between the unique Monroe Doctrine with its emphasis on respecting the independence of our neighbors and the later distortion of that doctrine used to justify frequent meddling, invasions, and coups. Invoking the Monroe Doctrine forward of a tour of Latin America with none additional clarification could be tone-deaf at the better of occasions, however to arrange that historical past of U.S. meddling in opposition to Chinese affect in the area and then warn in opposition to Chinese imperialism is simply inexcusable diplomatic malpractice.