China has quietly made substantial inroads into Latin America. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:
China’s rise in trade, business and influence in Latin America has been comparatively ignored. But it is happening. It is real.
China is rapidly surpassing the United States as the most influential nation across Latin America, in the U.S.’s own backyard. This is not a boast by the Chinese government. It is the considered assessment of the five star admiral who heads U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in his testimony on March 16 to the SenatUe Armed Services Committee.
For almost 200 years since President James Monroe first adumbrated it in a regular message to Congress in December 1823, successive generations of U.S. policymakers and the American people have taken it for granted that the entire vast continent of South America, as well as giant Mexico, the small and much-put-upon nations of Central American and the Caribbean have been and should always remain the United States’ backyard, with all the supposedly evil and repressive powers of the Old World kept out of them — in the sacred names, of course, of Democracy, Freedom and Free Trade.
In fact, with the exception of a handful all too brief eras of genuine shining idealism and goodwill under Presidents Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45) and John F. Kennedy (1961-63), U.S. domination of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Western Hemisphere has been characterized, not by benign neglect but rather by a monstrously malign attention.