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Swampyville's - "The Banana Wars"

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Swampyville's Ask the Politically Correct! (A History of how we got to where we are today - each individual should make their own judgement(s))

Question:

What were the Banana Wars?

Politically Correct Resolution:

(Most of this article from Wikipedia)

The Banana Wars were a series of occupations, police actions, and interventions involving the United States in Central America and the Caribbean. This period started with the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the subsequent Treaty of Paris, which gave the United States control of Cuba and Puerto Rico (in addition, the Philippines and Guam). Between the war with Spain and 1934 the United States conducted military operations and occupations in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The series of conflicts ended with the withdrawal of troops from Haiti.

Reasons for these conflicts were varied but were largely economic in nature. The term "Banana Wars" arises from the connections between these interventions and the preservation of American commercial interests in the region. Most prominently, the United Fruit Company had significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America. The United States was also advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence and controlling the Panama Canal, (critically important to global trade and naval power).

United States influences and occupations:

Cuba and Puerto Rico, with the United States interventing in Cuba and the invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898.

Panama, United States interventions in the isthmus go back to the 1846 Mallarino-Bidlack Treaty and intensified after the so-called Watermelon War of 1856. In 1903, Panama seceded from the Republic of Colombia, backed by the US government, amidst the Thousand Days War. The Panama Canal (Theodore Roosevelt was the driving force behind the construction of this canal) was under construction by then, and the Panama Canal Zone, under United States sovereignty, was then created (it was handed down to Panama as of 2000 by order of Jimmy Carter "a Progressive Socialist" when he was President). China immediately became the major influence of the Panama Canal.

Nicaragua, which, after intermittent landings and naval bombardments in the previous decades, was occupied by the U.S. almost continuously from 1912 through 1933.

Cuba, occupied by the U.S. from 1898 to 1902 under a military governor and again from 1906–1909, 1912 and 1917–1922; governed by the terms of the Platt Amendment through 1934.

Haiti, occupied by the U.S. from 1915 through 1934, which led to the creation of a new Haitian constitution in 1917 that instituted changes that included an end to the prior ban on land ownership by non-Haitians.

Dominican Republic, action in 1903, 1904, and 1914; occupied by the U.S. from 1916 through 1924.

Honduras, where the United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit Company (Today, Chiquita Brand International) dominated the country's key banana export sector and associated land holdings and railways, saw insertion of American troops in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924 and Writer O. Henry coined the term "Banana republic" in 1904 to describe Honduras.

Mexico, The United State's military involvements with Mexico in this period are related to the same general commercial and political causes, but stand as a special case. The Americans conducted the Border War with Mexico from 1910 through 1918 for additional reasons: to control the flow of immigrants and refugees from revolutionary Mexico, and to counter rebel raids into U.S. territory. The 1914 U.S. occupation of Veracruz, however, was an exercise of armed influence, not an issue of border integrity. In the years prior to World War I, the United States was also alert to the regional balance of power against Germany. The Germans were actively arming and advising the Mexicans.

Other Latin American nations were influenced or dominated by American economic policies and/or commercial interests to the point of coercion. Theodore Roosevelt declared the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine in 1904, asserting the right of the United States to intervene to stabilize the economic affairs of states in the Caribbean and Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts. From 1909 to 1913, President William Howard Taft and his Secretary of State Philander C. Knox asserted a more "peaceful and economic" Dollar Diplomacy foreign policy, although that too was backed by force, as in Nicaragua.

American military interventions!

These military interventions were most often carried out by the United States Marine Corps. The Marines were called in so often that they developed a Small Wars Manual, The Strategy and Tactics of Small Wars in 1921. On occasion, U.S. Naval gunfire and U.S. Army troops were also used.

Perhaps the single most active military officer in the Banana Wars was U.S. Marine Corps Major General, Smedley Butler, who saw action in Honduras in 1903, served in Nicaragua enforcing American policy from 1909 to 1912, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in Veracruz in 1914, and a second Medal of Honor for bravery while "crushing the Caco resistance" in Haiti in 1915. In 1935, Butler wrote in his famous book "War Is a Racket":

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during

that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents". (Using Patriotism for Profits)

Whether or not this nation retains it's sovereignty or becomes a satellite of the new "One" world order should be left to the people to decide and not to the "Paid For" politicians!

"AB OVO USQUE AD MALA" (Loosely-From the beginning to the end)

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