Facing many of the same missions as its Caribbean counterparts, the U.S. Coast Guard—here, training with the Grenada Coast Guard — is this nation's best tool for building partnerships in the Caribbean.
The end of the Cold War and the continuing globalization of the world economy have greatly enhanced the importance of Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States. The relationship between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere, articulated in the beginning of the 19th century by President James Monroe, often has been characterized by an imperial hubris that has placed the concerns of Washington over those of Western Hemispheric nations themselves. Moreover, the justification for questionable policies, such as repeated military interventions and political manipulation, rested largely on the overall interests and perceptions of the United States. Yet, as scholars herald the "end of history" and the apparent death of the great ideological battles (those between monarchism and republicanism, conservatism and liberalism, capitalism and socialism, and democracy and authoritarianism), it is now more possible than ever before to forge a greater sense of hemispheric community. 1