3 billion in 1914 (Gilderhus, 2000, p. 39). As the United States became a world naval power, it projected force to protect its interests in Latin America, especially the Caribbean and Central America. It used the threat of force to persuade European nations to accept international arbitration of their disputes with Venezuela in 1895 and 1903. It acquired direct control of Puerto Rico and a de facto protectorate over Cuba as a result of the Spanish American War of 1898. It intervened in internal affairs in Panama/Colombia in 1903 to obtain the rights to build the Panama Canal. Under the Roosevelt (Theodore) Corollary, it reserved the right to intervene in Latin America whenever its interests were threatened by outside powers or civil disorder and sent forces at various times to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua.
Under President Woodrow Wilson the United States intervened militarily in Mexico in the name of Mexican self-determination, but that effort was ineffective. In general, the aim of American foreign policy in the region was to preserve order and stability, and toward that end supported local elites and protected private American property rights, rather than attempting to come to terms with Latin American sensibilities wounded by repeated American interventions and torn by internal revolution. Fearful, however, of German influence during World War I, Wilson took th