Courtesy Reuters

Wanted: a Consistent Latin American Policy

IN seven of the twenty republics of Latin America constitutional government was overthrown by revolution during the twelve months ending with February 1931. In only four of these seven countries has there been any semblance of constitutional procedure to establish governments to take the place of those overthrown by force. These four are the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Bolivia and Panama. The elections in the Dominican Republic, conducted by the military oligarchy that had gained control of the provisional government, were patently fraudulent and were so declared by the courts of the country; and of the other three cases, only in Guatemala and to a limited extent in Bolivia were the people afforded a free opportunity to express their approval or disapproval of the new régime. In the remaining three countries -- Argentina, Brazil and Peru -- national elections have not yet been held to ascertain the will of the people regarding the radical changes of government. In Peru the revolutionary habit has been growing at such a rapid pace that there have been three successive revolutionary régimes since President Leguia was forced to resign on August 25 of last year.

With the exception of Honduras, where a revolution is in progress as this is written, the remaining republics have escaped open revolution during the past few years. In several of them there is restlessness and discontent -- augmented in part by the present economic depression -- which is a menace to governmental stability. In some of them armed revolts have been prevented only by forceful executives. The only countries where domestic peace appears to prevail are Venezuela, where subservience to the dictatorship of General Juan Vicente Gomez has existed for a generation; Colombia, where a Liberal Progressive government under the able leadership of Dr. Olaya Herrera has recently been inaugurated; the Central American republics of Costa Rica and Salvador; and Haiti, where the American occupation renders revolution impossible.

Unstable political conditions in Latin America do not merely deprive the citizens and

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