First rule of the Monroe Doctrine: Don't talk about the Monroe Doctrine

No one ever accused US national security adviser John Bolton of failing to provide good copy. In a typically bombastic speech recently in Miami, he took aim at the authoritarian governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua - the "three stooges of socialism" in Latin America - and announced new measures to isolate them economically and diplomatically.

He also warned Russia that using its security personnel to protect the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would be considered "a threat to international peace and security in the region". Not least, he declared that the Monroe Doctrine, America's longstanding prohibition against foreign powers meddling in the Western Hemisphere, is "alive and well".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'First rule of the Monroe Doctrine: Don't talk about the Monroe Doctrine'. Subscribe