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America’s presence is unwelcome in a Latin American power struggle

Niall Ferguson’s comments on Venezuela grossly ignore what the United States actually has done in Latin America over the past 120 years (“The road to Caracas,” Opinion, May 6). Overthrowing leaders who have fought for democracy to put right-wing thugs in office has been the goal of American policy in most of South and Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, etc.). Helping American companies to exploit the resources in these countries and helping to keep these vicious regimes in power is what this country has fought for. This has terrorized most of the people in these countries for decades.

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As Adrian Walker points out, in the same edition of the Globe (“Hopeful for Venezuela,” Metro), “Given the long, disastrous history of American intervention in Latin America, ‘Hands Off Venezuela!’ has become a rallying cry.”

Ferguson tells us “how far American power has diminished since those distant days,” as if those days should be reborn. What a terrible turn that would be.

Dick Blazar

Newton

US political class hasn’t learned lessons of history

Niall Ferguson (“The road to Caracas”) has his Henry Kissinger blinders on. He is opining in favor of a US overthrow of an elected government, just as the regime of Richard Nixon and Kissinger did, using the CIA in Chile, in 1973 (what some call the “other 9/11”). Many Chileans died, including President Salvador Allende, or were exiled. At least one American, Charles Horman, was killed. This became the basis for the movie “Missing.” Chile suffered under military junta rule for 17 years.

The United States has no right or mandate to overthrow governments that are disliked by our political class. While I do not think President Trump and his advisers have learned this lesson, history shows that overthrows work out very badly for the people who live in the countries where they are instituted.

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Perhaps the resistance of the people of Venezuela to US overthrow efforts is the reason that, thus far, these efforts to oust their elected president have failed.

Thea Paneth

Arlington