(Salon) – President Barack Obama inspired a great deal of debate when, in December, he asserted that it was time for the United States to begin to normalize relations with Cuba and start loosening the embargo that has been in effect since the early 1960s. And many hard-right Republicans and neocons, from Texas’ Ted Cruz and Florida’s Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate to House Speaker John Boehner, have been vehemently critical of Obama’s stand.
Boehner has insisted that “relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom,” and Cruz has maintained that because Fidel and Raul Castro are “brutal dictators,” the embargo must remain. But given the United States’ long history of supporting one fascist dictatorship after another in Latin America, the embargo of Cuba has been the height of hypocrisy on the U.S.’ part.
While it’s true that Amnesty International has often been critical of the Castro regime over the years, many of the other Latin American dictatorships that Amnesty International has criticized have been U.S. allies—and Cuba has hardly had the market cornered on human rights abuses in Latin America.
Below are seven of the worst fascist regimes in Latin America that the U.S. enthusiastically supported.