• The Red Line

Episode 41. Who Controls the Caribbean?

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In 1823 US President James Munroe declared "The Munroe Doctrine", that the Western hemisphere would be the backyard of the United States. That doctrine is now almost 200 years old and the world is a very different place, European powers such as the Netherlands, UK and France all hold colonies in the Sea; and other players such as Venezuela and Cuba are putting forward competition as well. The real threat for the US though may come from outside powers shopping around for strategic footholds in an area the US regularly overlooks.


Ivelaw Griffiths

  • 9th President of Fort Valley State University

  • Senior Associate at the Centre for Strategic Studies

  • Trusted expert on the Carribean for bodies including the Foreign Ministry of Canada and the US Congress.

Vicki Assevero

  • Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council for the Caribbean Initiative

  • Founder of the Green Market in Trinidad and Tabago

  • International lawyer and social entrepreneur with longstanding expertise in sustainable development.

Victor Bulmer-Thomas

  • Associate Fellow for the US Americas program at Chatham House, specialising in the Caribbean and Latin America

  • Former Director of Latin American Studies at London University

  • Former Director of Chatham House

  • Author of over 20 books on the geopolitics of the Americas

Part 1: Trouble in the Backyard (1:51)

  • Vicki Assevero

Part 2: Trouble in Paradise (36:50)

  • Victor Bulmer-Thomas

Part 3: The Middle Man (45:42)

  • Victor Bulmer-Thomas

The Red Line's Caribbean Reading List:

We’ve put together some further reading for those of you looking for more resources to help you get across the geopolitics of the Caribbean


From Slavery to Services

Victor Bulmer-Thomas

The Caribbean Blue Economy

Peter Clegg

A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and Carib to the Present

Jan Rogozinski


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This episode is dedicated to Patreon members Michael Hansen, Phil, Suzanne D Smith, and Cody M.