A history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean

1823: The Monroe Doctrine declares Latin America to be in the United States "sphere of influence."

1846: The U.S. provokes war with Mexico and acquires half of its territory, including Texas and California.

1855: U.S. adventurer William Walker invades Nicaragua with a private army, declares himself president, and rules for 2 years.

1898: The U.S. declares war on Spain and as a result annexes Guam, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Hawaii.

1901: With the Platt Amendment, the U.S. declares its unilateral right to intervene in Cuban affairs.

1903: The U.S. encourages Panama's independence from Colombia in order to acquire the Panama Canal rights.

1905: The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine declares the U.S. to be the policeman of the Caribbean; the Dominican Republic is placed under a customs receivership.

1912: U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua and occupy the country almost continuously until 1933.

1914: Mexican refusal to salute the U.S. flag provokes the shelling of Veracruz by a U.S. battleship and the seizure of parts of the city by U.S. Marines.

1933: U.S. Marines finally leave Nicaragua, but are replaced by a well-trained and well-armed National Guard under the control of Anastasio Somoza.

1954: The CIA engineers the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Guatemala; 30 years of military dictatorship, repression, and violence follow.

1961: The U.S. attempts to overthrow the revolutionary Cuban government at the Bay of Pigs.

1965: Johnson sends 22,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to combat the constitutional forces trying to regain power.

1973: The CIA helps overthrow the democratic government of Allende in Chile in favor of a bloody dictatorship.

1981: The Reagan Administration begins the contra war against Nicaraguan civilians.

1983: The U.S. invades Grenada to overthrow a popular government.

1989: The U.S. invades Panama to arrest accused drug dealer Manual Noriega.

1990: The U.S. intervenes in the Nicaraguan election process through covert and overt means.

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