US should stop creating chaos in Latin America

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements.

Dear Libertarian,

Our party calls for the United States to end its policies of intervention and prohibition, which have fueled chaos and violence in Latin America and have led so many innocent people to seek asylum at the southern border.

The failed war on drugs is the primary driver of organized crime in the region. With the profits provided by this black market, gangs and cartels have severely threatened public safety and stability in nations such as Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The war on drugs effectively subsidizes lawlessness and violence, just as it did with Al Capone under the prohibition of alcohol.

At the same time, Washington bribes and bullies Latin American governments into fighting this disastrous war on drugs through the escalating use of force and crackdowns on civil liberties. This vicious cycle puts innocent people in fear for their lives from both the cartels and their own governments, but it does nothing to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

This dynamic has been exacerbated by repeated U.S. interventions in the region, leading to greater instability and the failure of needed institution-building in Central and South America. Coups, civil wars, and direct military interventions have too often been inflicted on nations that pose no real security or military threat to the United States.

Libertarians reject these failed approaches to inter-American relations. As we have already seen with marijuana, ending the war on drugs is the only real way to stop the black market and cut off the flow of profits to the cartels. A foreign policy of peace and non-intervention would allow Central and South American governments to worry more about earning the confidence of their people instead of seeking the favor of Washington.

Libertarians support the rights of all peaceful migrants who seek a better life in the United States. We also recognize, however, that U.S. government policies, led by Republicans and Democrats, have created and exacerbated the intolerable conditions that many asylum-seekers are fleeing. Instead of building walls, the United States should stop creating chaos in Latin America.

In liberty,

Nicholas Sarwark

Nicholas Sarwark
Chair, Libertarian National Committee

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