Good Neighbors at Convenience: The Good Neighbor Policy in Panama and the Dominican Republic 1933-1945

Schuster, Andrew
The Good Neighbor Policy, roughly occurring for the duration of President Franklin Roosevelt's tenure through the beginning of the cold war (1933-1945), is an important landmark in the History of US-Latin American relations. Most historians consider the policy to represent a break, on the United States' part, from a policy of interventionism in the Latin America to one more tied to the idea of partnership. This policy however, like nearly all governmental policies, was created to protect US economic interests rather than solely to purport "Good neighborliness". In fact as I will argue, for most Latin Americans Good Neighborliness changed little in their lives as compared to American Hyper-interventionism earlier in the century or even during the cold war. This was primarily due to the reactionary actions of US-Supported dictators in the region. These dictators were nearly identical to those put in power by the US consistently in the intervention eras both before and after the term of the Good Neighbor Policy. In addition, Good-Neighborliness was not easily applied to the US's continued ownership and operation of the Panama Canal, arguably an ongoing intervention in and of itself, as well as the complex interactions that resulted. This study will emphasize relations in the countries of the Dominican Republic and Panama assessing how the Good Neighbor Policy worked on the ground.
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