The United States and the Caribbean: Challenges of an Asymmetrical Relationship
By Anthony P. Maingot
Westview Press, 1994, 260 pp.
Maingot, professor of sociology at Florida International University, looks at U.S.-Caribbean relations from the 1820s until the end of the Cold War in this outstanding synthesis, covering the U.S. reaction to Marxist challenges, the problem of drug trafficking and offshore banking interests, migration patterns, and the region's political responses to social and economic dilemmas. Maingot strongly asserts that the people of the Caribbean have pursued progressive ends through moderate and conservative means, with an attachment to liberal democratic institutions and respect for human rights. Though he does not underestimate the "racially tinged imperialism" of the U.S. past, he quotes those aspects of the philosophy of the Cuban patriot Jos Marti not much noted by the current Cuban regime, in particular his idea of liberty without hatred as a fundamental component of any working relationship with the United States -- a pragmatic search for common interests that seeks to overcome the burdens of history.