While Manuel Zelaya, Honduras' democratically-elected president, was unceremoniously overthrown in a military coup and sent into exile, Latin America was quick to condemn this attack on democracy. So did the US, eventually.
How Washington behaves in the coming period will have a lasting effect on inter-American and arguably North-South relations.
Latin America has historically been a region where empires have collided.
Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr Celia Szusterman
Associate fellow, Chatham House
Prof Roberto Mangabeira Unger
Harvard University and former Brazilian strategic affairs minister
Dr Andres Mejia Acosta
Institue of Development studies
After decades that have seen numerous violent revolutions, military coups, the emergence and establishment of Bolivarian Socialism and more recently, catastrophic economic collapse, a new Latin America is now emerging.
The recent political and social confrontations occurring in places such as Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia and Honduras are re-shaping the continent as countries question old alliances and make new alignments.
The US has long exerted political and military influence in the region but with a succession of elected leaders such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Ecuador's Rafael Correa rejecting such influence a new era of US-Latin American relations is emerging.
Upon his election as US president, Barack Obama promised closer cooperation with regional neighbours, including efforts to improve relations with Communist Cuba.
In this month's Empire Marwan Bishara and his guests examine the state of North-South relations in the hemisphere, question the extent and potential impact of the change promised by Obama, analyse the alternative political model posed by Hugo Chavez and ask whether President Lula da Silva of Brazil is now another counter-point for the region.
In a special interview Professor Noam Chomsky discusses US-Latin America relations and the repercussions of the crisis in Honduras.
Empire can be seen from Wednesday, July 29, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 1900; Thursday: 0300, 1400; Friday: 0600.