US Marines invade the Dominican Republic, again

On March 30, 1903, the US Marines landed in the Dominican Republic to “protect American interests” in the city of Santo Domingo during a period of political turmoil. (We can’t help but wonder how the US Army would have reacted if the Dominican Army landed during Occupy Wall Street in 2011, to “protect Dominican interests”?  Lots of Dominican-Americans live in New York?  But, we digress.)  The undocumented Marines occupied the city until April 21, 1903.  Please note that this political cartoon is from 1904, but since it was such a compelling image, we’ve included it for 1903.  The image shows US President Theodore Roosevelt and his political strategy to carry a “Big Stick” of military might in the Caribbean.

The Banana Wars

On March 23, 1903, undocumented US troops invaded in Honduras.  Their mission was to “protect the American consulate and the steamship wharf” at Puerto Cortez during a period of revolutionary activity.  During the late 19th century, US multinationals such as the United Fruit Company, later known as Chiquita Brands International, had invested heavily in banana plantations and their supporting infrastructure.  In his book, “Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped The World”, author Peter Chapman wrote that the company was “more powerful than many nation states … a law unto itself and accustomed to regarding the [Central American national] republics as its private fiefdom.”