Since the early 19th century, the U.S. has exerted strong political and economic influence over Latin America. The painful experiences of the Cold War, when the U.S. supported military dictatorships across the region, and assisted anticommunist forces in Central America, left deep scars in Latin America’s collective memory. This article claims that while the Obama administration undertook a series of measures to re-establish some trust, Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric against immigrants from Latin America, his Cuba Policy, and his threat of using
military force in Venezuela have reinforced a negative image of the U.S. It also argues that threats of budget cuts for foreign aid and a protectionist trade policy are undermining the U.S. capacity to exert influence on its southern neighbours. This will most likely bring the region closer to China and other extra-regional powers, which have been increasing their profile there in recent years.