The Roosevelt Corollary was articulated in the aftermath of the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903. In late 1902, Britain, Germany, and Italy imposed a naval blockade of several months against Venezuela after President Cipriano Castro refused to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European people in a recent Venezuelan civil war. The dispute was referred to an international court for arbitration, which concluded on 22 February 1904 that the blockading powers involved in the Venezuela Crisis were entitled to preferential treatment in the payment of their claims. This left a number of other countries which did not take military action, including the United States, with no recourse. The U.S. disagreed with the outcome in principle, and feared it would encourage future European intervention to gain such advantage. To preclude European intervention, in December the Roosevelt Corollary asserted a right of the United States to intervene in order to "stabilize" the economic affairs of small states in the Caribbean and Central America if they were unable to pay their international debts.