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Roosevelt Corollary

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, enunciated by United States President Theodore Roosevelt in his annual message to Congress on December 6, 1904, asserted the right of the U.S. to intervene in the affairs of Latin American and particularly Caribbean countries whose indebtedness or institutional disarray might otherwise lead to intervention by European powers.

The key passage of the declaration reads:

Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.

The statement was a corollary or appendix to the 1823 declaration of President James Monroe against attempts by former European rulers to regain control of the region's newly-independent countries.

The Corollory was aimed at preventing a repetition of the Second Venezuela Crisis of December 1902, when British and German gunboats had blockaded Venezuelan ports in an attempt to exact debt repayment.

The new policy, the basis for U.S. occupation of Cuba (1906-09), Nicaragua (1909-11, 1912-25 and 1926-33), Haiti (1915-34) and the Dominican Republic (1916-24), was eventually superseded (1933) by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor" policy of lessened intervention.