The U.S. unilateral coercive measures imposed in Latin America


Unilateral coercive measures
internationally wrongful act
Cold war
Principle of non-intervention
Latin America


Since the 1990s, the use of unilateral coercive measures has increased in inter-states relations. However, these coercive strategies are not recent. They have been developed during the Cold War, as a tool of developed countries to influence their negotiations and the settlement of their differences, without the risk of waging a new war. These measures are commonly described as a tool of foreign policy with the objective to coerce another state to obtain the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights. However, the definition, scope and legality of these measures remains a grey area of international law. In this regard, this article focuses its analysis on four questions. The first investigates three case studies in the region, which are the U.S. Unilateral Coercive Measures imposed against Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. These cases were carefully selected for our analysis to show the negative impact of these measures on human rights and the economy of the targeted countries. The second question explores the contributions of Latin American countries to resist and condemn the use of these measures in a regional an international level. The third question explains why Latin America is divided on unilateral coercive measures. Finally, the fourth question asses the legal status of these measures from the standpoint of international law.

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