The Beginning: Monroe Doctrine and Migration | Under the Shadow, Ep. 1

Coups, destabilization, and decades of other forms of U.S. military and economic intervention have driven millions of Central Americans to flee their homes.

January 9, 2024


Read the transcript.

Two hundred years ago, on December 2, 1823, then-president James Monroe delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. In his address, he laid out what would become both one of the most consequential and devastating ideas for Latin America—the Monroe Doctrine.

We look back on the history of the Monroe Doctrine and the devastating impact on the region. The list of U.S. invasions, occupations, coups and sanctions is endless. Hundreds. From Mexico to Panama. The Caribbean. Colombia to the tip of Chile and Argentina. No country in Latin America has remained free from the shadow hanging over them. The shadow of the United States. The shadow of the Monroe Doctrine.

In the second half of the episode, we meet migrants walking North toward the United States on the edge of Central America. A very real manifestation, right now, of the never-ending impact of U.S. intervention in Latin America.

Under the Shadow is a new investigative narrative podcast series that walks back in time, to tell the story of the past, by visiting momentous places in the present. 

In each episode, host Michael Fox takes us to a location where something historic happened—a landmark of revolutionary struggle or foreign intervention. Today, it might look like a random street corner, a church, a mall, a monument or a museum. But every place he takes us was once the site of history-making events that shook countries, impacted lives and left deep marks on the world.

Hosted by Latin America-based journalist Michael Fox.

This podcast is produced in partnership between The Real News Network and NACLA.

Edited by Heather Gies.
Sound design by Gustavo Türck.
Theme music by Monte Perdido. Other music from Blue Dot Sessions.
Watch the clip from Democracy Now! looking at the 200th Anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine.
Support journalist Michael Fox or Under the Shadow.

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