THE future historian will note, when he deals with America's participation in the present war, that for most purposes it was in effect a hemispheric undertaking. True, the brunt of the effort has of necessity fallen upon the United States, but given the distribution of effective power and interests in the Western World this is neither surprising nor unexpected. What may seem to call for special comment is that of the 20 republics south of the Rio Grande, only one -- Argentina -- should seemingly have remained indifferent to the issues involved or even in some measure friendly to our enemies. But even in this case, the Argentine Government belatedly broke off relations with the Axis Powers and their satellites; and there is evidence that the majority of the people have from the beginning been on the side of the Allies in this war.

This very remarkable moral, political, and, in a sense, military alignment of the Western World on the same side in a great war has illumined an accepted assumption -- the unity of this hemisphere. The idea is old, as old at least as Bolivar; but it was the visible threat of a German victory in Europe that at last gave it unmistakable expression. In spite of Latin American fear of the United States, so well and so long fostered by agents of Hitler and before him by others (including Latin Americans like Vasconcelos, Ugarte, Fombona and Pereyra), it became evident that the link that tied North and South America together was more than physical -- it was political and spiritual as well. There had been, before the storm clouds gathered, in an age that now seems far off and a little unreal, much discursive and eloquent writing and preaching upon the sharp differences between the peoples and cultures of the United States and Latin America. One was Anglo-Saxon, the other Latin; one was Protestant, the other Catholic; one was material, the other spiritual; the culture of the United States was, as the tale was told, crass, coarse, and corrupted by an unholy zeal for money making. We had not only a "dollar diplomacy," but also a dollar-seeking way of life. Every item in the life of the United States that could be made to brand our culture as barbarous, uncouth and grasping was emphasized and exaggerated -- a Southern lynching, a New York speakeasy, a Chicago gangster, the seventh divorce of a movie star, a corrupt political machine, all and more were used to prove that we were a gullible, godless and greedy people, a Shylock among nations and a constant threat to the very life and independence of Latin America. The "ideological warfare" was in full swing before its name had been invented.

And yet, when the crisis came, the discord so busily sown in previous decades was largely washed away and an essential identity in attitude and community of interest quickly prevailed. This "revelation," for so it might be described, reflected the fact that the people of this hemisphere, when looking out upon the world, had a common view of the universe. For it is true that the familiar list of differences between the United States and Latin American peoples is only partially descriptive and denies the imprint of their experience in this hemisphere. The conquest and settlement of the Americas has molded all of the peoples on this side of the Atlantic into a recognizable folk in a way not shown by the ordinary catalogue of their varying characteristics. This uniqueness of outlook and attitude, of feeling and philosophy, is a by-product of the sharing by Americans everywhere of certain profound experiences in their common history in this hemisphere which have left their residue in attitude, notion, belief, practice, values, habit, language and mannerism. More than four centuries of a common heritage have implanted in all of us a "something" that is American rather than European. It is discernible in our prose and poetry, politics and polity, in our popular heroes and folk tales, in the stories told to children, and in the moral issues that burden the grown-ups.

That something is a by-product of the essentially universal American experience with the Indian, the Negro, the open spaces and wide horizon, the unfilled areas, the peculiar use of the horse (the cowboy, the Gaucho, the llanero, the vaquero are brothers under the skin), the peculiar American experience with ranching: of driving cattle a thousand miles as is still done in Brazil, for instance. It is the persistent tradition of a culture uprooted in the old world and replanted and developed in the new, the common experience of the mixture of races and peoples in their varying degrees, of the constant flow of immigrants and their amazingly rapid metamorphosis into something essentially different from what they were, in the evidence of social and physical mobility, in the pride and self-assurance born from a world easily molded and changed. It stems from the common belief in progress, from the common notion that government is a human and malleable instrument subject to pressure and open to change by political "revolt" at the ballot box or by a "revolution," from the fact that all of the nations in the hemisphere achieved their independence by revolution, and that their greatest heroes are all successful "rebels" against old world "tyranny." It derives from the fact that the belief in democracy is ingrained even in areas where the "caudillo" and the "political boss" is a persistent and sometimes sinister figure, and from the fact that all political upheavals have -- with very few exceptions indeed -- been at least in the name of democracy. Those influences under varying forms and in different degrees have given Americans a common psychological and spiritual heritage deeper than the traditional, obvious differences that separate them. This identity of experience extends even to the feeling of isolation, of being set apart from the rest of the world, of being separated and protected by both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. When they speak from the depths, Americans talk about the same things and say essentially the same things about them. Even a cursory knowledge of the truly national literature of this hemisphere will make this clear.

It was consistent with the basic experience of the folk in the Western World that when face to face with the greatest moral and political conflagration of modern times they should react to it in very much the same way -- as in fact they have done. Psychologically and morally the American people everywhere responded to the alternative offered by Hitler by almost spontaneous opposition. This was what their common experience dictated.

The identity of north and south was enhanced by the common peril. Danger made clear the helplessness of the Latin American countries, individually and even collectively, in the face of a ruthless military power bent upon conquest. It also made evident the dependence of the United States upon both moral and material support from those countries for the defense of its own or any other part of the hemisphere against aggression from abroad. The military need to keep the Panama Canal and the passage around Magellan Strait open to United States shipping and closed to that of our enemies made the coöperation of the countries in Latin America essential to us. By the same token, the survival of the Latin American countries as individual nations depended upon the military strength of the United States. It was unmistakably clear that the countries of this hemisphere are in the same boat militarily and politically, and no words can hide the fact. This military and diplomatic unity was born of necessity and made easier and more logical by the common historical experience of North and South.


It would, however, be unrealistic and misleading to gloss over the persistent stress and strain that prevail between the United States and the countries of Latin America. The talk in the nations to the south about the differences, the emphasis upon the cultural and spiritual divergence, the warnings of danger, have a basis in the bigness, power, organized energy, wealth and military strength of the United States. We are the great nation in this hemisphere. Our mere size and power are like a permanent shadow, protective or threatening as you will, but inescapable and unavoidable. Our protestations of affection and concern are, in spite of our best diplomatic efforts, the protestations of the big brother; our very manner if not mannerism reflects that. This is the fact and no one can conceal it -- not even by studiously avoiding mention of it. So, too, the protestations of the Latin Americans that they love us, admire us, respect us -- or the opposite -- are in effect the behavior of a little brother, and nothing can hide the fact, neither humility, nor bravado, nor even studious indifference. Anyone who has attended any Pan American conference will readily identify the attitudes, speeches, disclaimers and protestations, the deference and implicit jealousy or fear that reflect the simple fact of our bigness. The overflow of American energy in the past and its possible overflow in the future are a constant theme song, accompanying every political argument, every projection into the future.

Diplomatically this gulf between the one great power and a number of small ones has been bridged by the doctrine of equal sovereignty, a doctrine that makes Haiti and Santo Domingo -- to use just two instances -- equal entities with the United States in a diplomatic argument, if in nothing else. This doctrine has its numerous corollaries, the most important of which is the principle of non-intervention in the internal and external affairs of any one of the 20 Latin American republics. Equal sovereignty as a theory and non-intervention as a policy are really deliberate attempts to redress the balance in this hemisphere between one very powerful and a number of weak nations. And, as a matter of fact, they do redress the balance in a certain way and within certain limits; they tend to defend the dignity and justify the confidence of the weaker political units in their dealings with the United States. They also tend to give Pan Americanism a kind of moral basis which it lacked until these policies were fully acquiesced in by the United States. The effect is to provide a basis of security, especially as we have actually implemented these measures in various ways, such as converting the Monroe Doctrine from a unilateral to a multilateral instrument. It cannot be denied that these changes in attitude and practice have been effective in deflecting the preoccupation of the Latin Americans with the "bigness" of the United States, for the time being. But perhaps their most important immediate consequence has been their influence upon the United States, where they have led to the writing and acceptance of a "self-denying ordinance." They have led us to behave as if the theory of sovereign equality were true and not merely an operational formula.

These doctrines and the conventions based upon them, useful as they may be as operational tools in a very complex and illbalanced international structure, are nevertheless pure fictions. The theory of the equality of sovereignty, the non-intervention policy, the Monroe Doctrine and its various corollaries, the policy of recognition, whatever it may be at the moment, and even the Good Neighbor Policy, are in effect intervention. In the nature of the case, given the difference of power and the inner lack of political balance in most of the countries in Latin America, whatever we do or fail to do has the force of intervention. Our policy, whatever it is, our attitude, whatever it is, has a significant influence, in many instances a decisive one, upon both the internal and the external policy of most, perhaps all, the countries in Latin America. Our power is such that we are a party to every transaction, even against our will. We are a weight in every balance. We are an influence in every political judgment, every decision. When we refuse to intervene, we merely intervene on the other side. When we do not support our friends, we in effect support our enemies; when we will not intervene on the side we believe in, we intervene on the side we do not believe in. We cannot escape the consequence of our power; we may refuse to exercise our responsibility, but in doing that we merely exercise it on the wrong side.

In a political world so unstable as Latin America, where government in most cases rests upon a slender and tentative alignment of political groups and personalities and where the individual factor plays so large and significant a rôle, any move that appears to favor those in power strengthens them in their hold upon public office and tends to perpetuate it, and every move that looks like indifference on our part carries an implication of censure, weakening those who hold political power, strengthening the opposition and hastening the day of revolution. The one thing we cannot achieve in Latin America is neutrality; our very declaration of a policy of "hands off" has the effect of lending support to one or another group contending for place and position. The Good Neighbor Policy, effective as it has been, and so valuable in promoting a moral alignment against aggression at the time when the alignment had to be made, was in effect intervention on the side of the governments in power. Any favor extended, any courtesy shown, Increased the prestige and hold of the personalities in office and tended to perpetuate them in that place.

To say this is not to suggest that any other policy would have been more desirable or that any other policy would have made us less interventionist. It is merely to point out for the sake of "realism" and practical politics that the doctrine of non-intervention has a much more limited meaning than it implies. Both the internal and the external policies of the countries of Latin America are sharply responsive to our mere presence; anything we do or say -- even if we say or do nothing at all -- has the effect of intervention. It is no accident that in many Latin American countries the American ambassador is the most important political personage in the country, even if he does his best to be the least important one.

It need only be added that our failure to admit or our refusal to exercise the inevitable influence that stems from our position may become a contributing cause of political chaos and disillusionment. Our moral responsibility equals our power, and the awareness of that reality is, or ought to be, the first thought in shaping our Latin American policies.


Though much has been written on the subject, we perhaps do not yet realize how greatly the Latin American countries have contributed to the fulfillment of our wartime objectives in this hemisphere. As a background for examining some of the concrete evidence of this coöperation we might first remind ourselves what our policy was in the days when our danger of becoming involved in the war was growing. Summarized, our objectives then were: (1) To organize and arm the hemisphere for defense. (2) To destroy any attempt to use any part of it for direct or indirect military operations such as espionage, the construction of submarine bases, propaganda, sabotage, or for the supply of valuable raw materials to the enemy. (3) To obtain bases for our military and naval forces. (4) To acquire as rapidly as possible the available raw materials for our own needs. (5) To achieve hemispheric unity both for political and military ends. (6) To obtain military aid from Latin America by the organization, arming and training of local troops for use in actual combat if and when need and opportunity offered. (7) To maintain the peace in the area as an essential means of achieving some or all of these objectives.

First and perhaps most important, we should note what may be called the spiritual preparation of the Latin American countries. Long before we were involved in the war they evidenced a growing sympathy for the cause of the Allies, an increasing shift toward coöperation with the United States, and at the same time a growing fear and repudiation of the doctrines and aspirations of Germany. Fully a year before December 7, 1941, there were many signs that the various nations in the western hemisphere were forging a common policy. Even an incomplete citation of the available material provides impressive testimony that in the face of the gathering storm the peoples of the New World were banding together for a common effort. A partial collation of the evidence for 1941 is given in Part I of an Appendix to this article, beginning on page 649. It makes clear that a ground swell in favor of coöperation with the United States had been developing in Latin America before Pearl Harbor. The fatal events of that day produced a unity of action and policy in this hemisphere barely equalled and certainly not exceeded by the British Commonwealth of Nations. Even more significant, perhaps, is the fact that without the formal political unity of the British Commonwealth, and without the common background of language and culture, the nations in the Western World in a moment of crisis behaved in fact as if they belonged together, as indeed they did, in the face of a common danger.

That the above is no overstatement is seen from the immediate response of the countries to the south of the United States after the news of Pearl Harbor was flashed to the world. The evidence is recapitulated in the Appendix (Part II, page 650). It makes clear that the American nations accepted and reacted to the attack against the United States as an attack against themselves, and that with amazing speed and thoroughness they united against the aggressors. By the end of January 1942 -- that is to say, within six weeks of Pearl Harbor -- all of the nations except Chile and Argentina had either declared war or broken relations with the Axis, and since then both of these have followed suit. There is now not a single nation in the hemisphere which has not cut its official contacts with the Axis Powers.

This moral coöperation was accompanied by a military effort which must be judged by its potential importance. Save for naval battles, the actual conflict did not extend to this hemisphere; the war did not reach either the Pacific or the Atlantic coasts of any of the Latin American nations. But it is clear from the evidence at hand (see Appendix, Part III, page 652) that both preceding Pearl Harbor and immediately following it the American nations were preparing for such a possibility, and it may be assumed that they would have accepted the physical challenge of the Axis Powers as in fact they accepted the moral challenge.

The record of military preparations and actual assistance is obviously incomplete as summarized in the Appendix. It does not give a full picture of the military and naval effort of the Latin American countries nor of the exact amount of United States aid extended to these countries. For obvious reasons such information cannot be published. But enough is cited to show that everywhere the moral support extended to the United States was implemented by military effort, and to make perfectly clear that if the war had reached this hemisphere the effort would have been very much greater and would have formed a more significant part of our undertaking.

Our own aid to the military rearming of Latin America has been extensive. Details are not available except in broad terms. We know that under lend-lease agreements, up to January 1, 1944, a total of $127,000,000, chiefly for military equipment, has been allotted the Latin American countries. Of this amount, $34,648,000 was assigned in 1942 and $92,954,000 in 1943. Lend-lease agreements have been entered into with every country in Latin America except Argentina and Panama (the last-named receives aid under different provisions). Of the amount so far assigned, one-half has gone to Brazil, and three-fourths have gone to Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru. While no detailed figures on the distribution of arms are available, we know that of the total more than $20,000,000 has represented ordnance and ammunition, $51,000,000 airplanes, $36,000,000 tanks and vehicles, $617,000 watercraft, and the rest industrial and agricultural items. Every country except Argentina has received a certain amount of modern military equipment. But the amounts expended under lend-lease are after all only a part of the total sum of money either loaned, invested, or given to the different countries for a great variety of purposes, all of them designed to increase hemispheric solidarity, to develop and make available the raw materials needed for the war effort, and to increase the effectiveness of the Latin American nations in the general enterprise of winning both the war and the peace. There is no room in this paper for a full examination of all of the various economic aids extended to Latin America or even for evaluation of their implications. However, a few items in the program of economic aid and coöperation are listed in the Appendix (Part IV, p. 654). That the Latin American countries have coöperated with us effectively in the achievement of our objectives is incontrovertible on the evidence submitted here and in the light of other obvious facts which there is not space to recount.


The economic and military contributions by the United States have increased the prestige of the governments in power. There is, however, no reason to assume that they have materially affected political habits in Latin America, or even the basic instability there. Nothing that happens during the war will lessen the personal emphasis upon honor and prestige, the extreme individualism that borders on the anarchic, and the importance of the personaje. Nor will it have seriously broken down the isolation of the various classes from each other; the rôle of the Indian, the roto, the peon, will remain substantially unchanged. So too will that of the gamonal, the hacendado, the amo, and the señor; and the prestige of the military will, if anything, have increased. We have in effect armed the continent as it has never been armed before. In the sphere of domestic affairs, ambitious generals will have better means at their disposal for playing the game of "revolution," and the governments will have more effective tools at their disposal for the suppression of "popular" uprisings (the use of American equipment by both sides in the recent rebellion in San Salvador is a case in point). We may have made the "normal" dictatorships more permanent, and therefore less palatable, and in consequence more tyrannical and efficient. How completely a naïve political dictatorship and a belief in democracy go hand-in-hand is illustrated in this newspaper announcement of July 2, 1943: "The Nicaraguan Senate approves changes in the Constitution to permit President Anastasio Somoza to succeed himself. It also incorporates the Atlantic Charter."

Perhaps more serious than the predictable stirrings of domestic political ambitions as a result of the military equipment we have placed in the hands of local army chieftains is the very real danger, if not the likelihood, that these new tools may be used in older quarrels between Latin American nations. It must always be remembered that international quarrels in Latin America have all too frequently served internal political ends. What assurance is there that the arming of Peru and Ecuador will not lead to a renewal of the old animosity settled under duress after Pearl Harbor? What certainty is there that the arming of Bolivia and Chile will not lead to an attempt to satisfy an old ambition and to rectify an essentially unstable boundary situation? What, further, is the assurance that the arming of Brazil may not lead to that country's military embroilment with Argentina? To raise these questions is not to predict that any such consequences are inevitable; but it is important to repeat here that unless the United States shows a sense of responsibility proportionate to its power in this hemisphere, the arming of the Latin American countries may, and in all probability will, have consequences other than those it had in view when it placed arms at the disposal of the governments of Latin America.

It must be remembered that there is no reason to assume that political attitudes, and the persistent feeling that a government in power is a usurper, have been in any important way modified. Political practices will remain as they were before the war; so will the essential instability of the political structure; so will the artificial character of political parties. Revolution will still be the one sure means of changing government; suppression of opposition by more or less drastic means will still continue a favorite political technique. The source of the difficulty lies beyond immediate cure, and certainly beyond cure from the outside. The political form is a function of the structure of society in all its ramifications, and the things that can be added by an outside paternalism will not have any serious effect upon the system as it exists.

If there is a "solution" for the political instability, it must come from a better balancing of the inner forces, a greater evening-up of incomes within the different countries, a more general identification of the governments with the people, a larger participation in effective politics by the mass of the community, and a greater responsibility of political parties both in and out of government. But such a consummation, if it comes at all, will take a long time, a very long time. What we have done is to strengthen the governments in power. These governments came to power in most places -- we need not specify -- by arbitrary means, by revolutions, by pronouncements, by the suppression of the legislature, by "unanimous elections," by plebiscites (voluntary and popular, if we are to believe the governments), by every means except that of the accurate counting of votes freely given. The question of democracy is really irrelevant to the point. If the governments in power had not thus come to office, others in their place would have achieved public control by the same sort of "democratic" means. Democracy in our sense is not at issue. Nor is there any question as to the inevitability of our behavior during a war of the proportions of the present conflict. The simple point is that we have become identified with strengthening, favoring and maintaining the present governments. We are being held responsible for saddling the present "tyrannies" upon the people. The words "present tyrannies" are used advisedly, for in their place other tyrannies would have been equally "good" or equally "bad," and they would have come to office by the "natural" process of substitution. But we have impeded this natural process of Latin American "democracy," have dammed the process, and when the dam breaks, as it will, as indeed -- exemplified by Bolivia, San Salvador, and rumblings in other places -- it is already breaking, we shall be blamed for the revolutions as we are now blamed for the tyrannies. The democratic groups accuse us of maintaining the dictatorships in office. They would equally blame us if we interfered against them.

The difficulties and perplexities are numerous. One of them that most Americans, official and unofficial alike, will not recognize is that our influence, our democratic influence, is essentially revolutionary in Latin America. If we really mean what we say, if the preaching of the Four Freedoms is to be taken literally, then we are vehicles of social revolution in most, perhaps all, of the Latin American countries. Revolution, bloody conflict, and prolonged social chaos: there is at present no other road to achieve the Four Freedoms. If we do not mean what we say, then we are going to be accused -- are already being accused -- of hypocrisy, of supporting the "evil powers," of conniving at the suppression of democracy, of saddling arbitrary and anti-democratic government upon the peoples. For it is true that the Four Freedoms, if they are ever to be achieved, involve a basic change in the land structure of Latin America, everywhere except in Mexico and Costa Rica; and this means prolonged social strife and at least temporary agricultural depression, and involves the transfer of political power and prestige from the present small and divided upper class to the large mass of the people. There is no assurance that anything that can be done will, within any reasonable time, have that effect; it might even prove to have the opposite effect. But the doing of it, whatever that implies, is a task beyond the means, purpose or ken of what we can either propose or execute.

This conclusion might lead profitably to a detailed analysis of the economic consequence to Latin America of the war and of the financial and material contributions received from us. All that can be said on that score here is that the immediate inflation has increased discontent and raised a very real threat of wide political disturbance as soon as the war is over, if not before. Moreover, the ambitions aroused by our pouring in of money as loans and as outright gifts must of necessity remain unfulfilled. There is no way of maintaining an artificially stimulated economy after the prime motive for it, the winning of the war, has come to an end. Nor even in the event of full employment in the United States will we provide an adequate cushioning for the transition from a war to a peace economy. The income of the governments will in all probability shrink to something like their former levels; the sources of national income will remain narrow as they were before; and the flow of easy, if not free money, perhaps even the flow of investment money, will come to an end.

This is said without undue pessimism. It must simply be remembered that there is no way, in the long run, of maintaining an economy above its natural level, and that charity -- if the word be permitted -- is not a healthy or a permanent basis for either economic or political stability. What Latin America needs, if either political or economic stability is to be achieved, is the growth of a numerous, independent, small land-owning peasantry and the growth of a large and vigorous middle class. But the achievement of both of these essential objectives involves not only an investment of capital in Latin America but a continuity of public policy there that is probably not to be had in human affairs.


(see page 577)

PART I. Latin American actions in 1941 indicating a spontaneous feeling against the Axis.

January 1941. On the 2nd, the Colombian Government imprisoned three Nazis for propaganda activities and suspected espionage. On the 4th, Marmaduke Grove, leader of the Chilean Popular Front, suggested Chile raise an army of 200,000 men to support the United States should she enter the war. On the 7th, counterfeit Colombian and United States money, made in Germany, was uncovered in Colombia. On the 11th, Dr. Lourival Fontes, Director of the Press and Publicity Department of Brazil, announced that "Brazil considers the United States one of her best friends [and] attacks [in the press] against it will not be permitted." On the 14th, Mexican Foreign Minister Ezequiel Padilla said that "Aggression against any Pan American country will be considered by Mexico as against Mexico herself." On the 15th, it was reported from Quito that masked men raided and destroyed a German-operated radio station of the Transocean Wireless. On the 25th, the Cuban Cabinet passed a resolution repeating Cuba's "moral identification with . . . the statements of President Roosevelt toward the defense of America and democratic principles." On the 29th, President Fulgencio Batista banned totalitarian propaganda.

February. On the 1st, President Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua invited the United States to establish air and naval bases on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Nicaragua. On the 7th, President Getulio Vargas of Brazil suppressed all foreign-language publications, and on the same day Chile and Peru signed a pact in Lima providing for joint defense of their Pacific coastline. On the 8th, President Vargas decreed that only the American nations will not require export licenses for Brazilian "raw materials." On the 14th, Uruguay closed three German schools. On the 15th, Chile took over three Danish ships. On the 21st, Honduras cancelled German visas. On the 26th, Mexican labor declared that an Axis victory in Europe would constitute "a grave threat to the whole world."

March. On the 5th, the Popular Socialist Vanguard (Nazi Party) of Chile disbanded. On the 13th, Brazil ratified the "Act of Havana" providing for immediate consultations in case any European possession in this hemisphere were menaced. On the 14th, Christian Zinsser, German Chargé d'Affaires, was declared to be persona non grata by the Honduran Government. On the 15th, Oswaldo Aranha, Brazilian Foreign Minister, declared that Brazil would stand firm in defense of American territorial integrity and would maintain her obligations assumed at Lima, Havana and Panama. On the same day the President of Uruguay pledged his country's coöperation in defense of "the liberty and security of American life," and Peru seized a Danish ship in Callao. On the 28th, the German-subsidized paper Diario de la Guerra in Mexico City was suspended.

April. On the 1st, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador seized 23 Axis merchant ships in their harbors; and on the same day Peru banned the German-controlled Transocean News. On the 3rd, Brazil seized three Axis ships. On the 5th, Uruguay also seized the German ships in its harbors. On the 8th, Mexico expropriated her seized Axis ships. On the 9th, Brazil fined the Italian Aviation company Ala Litoria for an unauthorized flight and warned it of expulsion. On the 20th, all Central American Governments were reported to have refused to accept the German Chargé d'Affaires expelled from Honduras. On the 29th, Costa Rica expelled Karl Bayer, head of the Nazi propaganda organization.

May. On the 1st, there were pro-democratic and pro-Axis parades in Buenos Aires; in Vera Cruz, Mexico, the swastika flag was torn from the German Consulate and burned at a labor mass meeting. On the 4th, a Bolivian "spokesman" announced that Government's rejection of the Japanese offer to buy tungsten. On the 9th, Brazil refused to permit Air France to resume service; and Bolivia moved to control the German airline Lloyd Aereo Boliviano. On the 10th, Nicaragua deported Paul Ernest Strobelt, Nazi Gestapo agent. On the 11th, Costa Rica deported Humbert Adrians, Nazi seaman. On the 15th, it was announced that English would be made compulsory in all grade schools in Nicaragua. Also on that date Bolivia seized Lloyd Aereo Boliviano. On the 23rd, Accion Argentina, an association with 800,000 members, urged severe measures against the fifth column danger.

June. On the 5th, Ecuador expelled Count Heinrich von Matusha for being a "Nazi agitator." On the 11th, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution 73 to 16 urging action against the German news agency, Transocean News, and fifth column activities. On the 15th, El Salvador seized a secret Nazi radio. On the 20th, former President Hevia of Cuba urged a break of diplomatic relations with Germany. On the 28th, Honduras closed the Axis consulates.

July. On the 1st, the Argentine Senate approved the Havana plan for control and administration of European possessions in this hemisphere subject to European aggression. On the 2nd, the United States declared its support of Uruguay's proposal that any American republic engaged in a foreign war be regarded as a non-belligerent. On the 3rd, Costa Rica declared its non-belligerency. On the 4th, Bolivia followed Uruguay's proposal, the same day that the Foreign Minister of Chile declared that "Chile will rush her aid to the common effort in accordance with her traditions of inter-American solidarity," if any American nation is threatened. On the 10th, Cuba seized Spanish Falangist propaganda and medals; the same day Mexico announced its support of Uruguay's proposal. On the 20th, former Finance Minister Victor Paz Estenssoro of Bolivia was arrested, charged with plotting a "Nazi putsch," and on the same day President Eduardo Santos of Colombia pledged that the Panama Canal would never be attacked "from our territory." On the 21st, "Germany's ace director of aviation expansion for Spanish America" was forced to leave Colombia. On the 24th, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies unanimously ratified the Havana Convention. On the 25th, Brazilian Government action suspended the Italian newspaper Corrieri Degli Italiani in São Paulo for a cartoon attacking Mrs. Roosevelt, and students wrecked the paper's editorial room.

August. On the 2nd, Peru informed the German Legation that diplomatic pouches would be subject to customs registry. On the 6th, German propagandists were arrested in Cuba. On the 14th, Cuba closed the German Consulate in Santiago. On the 15th, five German consular officials and the Italian Consul General were ordered to leave Cuba. On the same day Voz Obrera, pro-Nazi newspaper in Ecuador, was suspended. On the 16th, speakers at a rally of 40,000 trade unionists denounced the Axis and urged that Argentina join the Anglo-American-Russian front. On the 20th, Peru suspended Unidad, the Spanish Falange publication, and Nuova, an Italian weekly. On the 22nd, Mexico ordered all German consulates closed.

September. On the 1st, Ecuador suspended the German airline, and in Mexico President Avila Camacho pledged full coöperation in defense of the western hemisphere. On the 6th, Nicaragua closed the Nazi consulates. On the 8th, Haiti froze Axis funds. On the 13th, Pan American-Grace Airways announced that German-controlled airlines had been "effectively eliminated" from western South America.

October. On the 10th, President Guardia of Panama pledged "the most absolute collaboration in the defense of the continent." On the 25th, Costa Rica barred the Epoca from the mails and threatened the expulsion of those spreading antidemocratic principles. On the 30th, Bolivia announced that she would not renew the contract with the Italian military mission.

November. On the 5th, Chile announced that 11 Latin American nations had agreed to a joint protest to Germany against the execution of hostages in occupied countries. On the 6th, Panama banned all Japanese commercial establishments. On the 10th, President Vargas declared that Brazil is "ready to act in the common defense." On the same day the Spanish Minister was declared to be persona non grata in Panama. On the 14th, there was an anti-Nazi riot in Rosario, Argentina. On the 20th, German newspapers from abroad were prohibited in Brazil. On the 23rd, President Batista of Cuba predicted that the United States would be at war by next spring and that "Cuba will be the first nation to enter the war on her side."

PART II. Political action taken by Latin American countries in 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944 against the Axis and in support of the United States.

December 1941. On the 7th, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala declared war on Japan; Mexico announced its support of the United States and ordered defense measures; Panama interned Japanese residents. On the 8th, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Panama declared war; Mexico and Colombia broke off relations with Japan; Panama arrested Germans. On the 9th, Cuba declared war against Japan; Argentina and Chile granted non-belligerency status to the United States. On the 10th, Brazil froze Axis funds; Argentina froze Japanese funds; Panama interned 773 aliens including Japanese, Germans, Italians, Austrians, Czechs, Rumanians, Hungarians, Poles and Norwegians; Cuba barred the entry of Europeans. On the 11th, Cuba, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic declared war on Germany and Italy; Mexico broke relations with Germany and Italy and froze Axis funds; El Salvador did likewise. On the 12th, Panama, Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador declared war on Germany and Italy; Cuba passed draft for all men between 20 and 25 and confiscated Axis holdings and interned Axis nationals; police broke up pro-United States demonstrations in Buenos Aires; Uruguay froze Axis funds and declared non-belligerency for American nations; Venezuela froze Axis funds; Ecuador banned Nazi agencies and pro-Axis papers. On the 13th, Brazil placed the Nazi Transocean and Italian Stefani news agencies under special censorship and closed Italian and Japanese papers. On the 14th, Mexican labor offered to form a popular army to uphold anti-Axis policy; Brazil suspended the Nazi airline Condor. On the 17th, Argentina banned a tribute to President Roosevelt. On the 19th, Nicaragua declared war on Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria; Colombia severed relations with Germany and Italy. On the 20th, Cuba interned all Japanese in Cuba, numbering 767. On the 23rd, Mexico severed relations with Bulgaria. On the 24th, Bolivia banned German Transocean News; Brazil closed the Japanese newspaper Brasil Asahi and a German publication in São Paulo and another in Santa Catharina. On the 29th, Mexico banned Japanese fishing. On the 30th, 137 German "assault troops" were arrested in Brazil in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. On the 31st, Venezuela broke off relations with Germany, Italy and Japan.

January 1942. On the 4th, Cuba ordered the internment of 4,084 German aliens. On the 5th, Costa Rica arrested 50 Germans on charges of espionage and subversive activities. On the 6th, Brazil took over the German-controlled Condor airline. On the 15th, at the Rio Conference President Vargas said, ". . . we shall not permit either our land or our seaboard to serve the purpose of a base for attack against any of our sister nations. Mexican Foreign Minister Ezequiel Padilla declared that "The attack by Japan was not on the United States, but on America. . . . We are going to defend America." On the 16th, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela in a resolution at the Rio Conference called on all of the American republics to break off all relations with the Axis. On the 21st, delegates of the 21 republics agreed unanimously to sever diplomatic relations with the Axis. This resolution was weakened by Argentina's insistence that it be done ". . . in accordance with their constitutional institutions and powers, provided that these are in accord. . . ." On the 22nd, Brazil placed German, Italian and Japanese societies under surveillance. On the 23rd, after a new compromise to satisfy Argentina, breaking of relations by 21 republics was recommended "in accordance with the procedure established by their own laws." Ezequiel Padilla of Mexico said that "The force of the American people behind this measure will transform it in reality into the original . . . resolution without the change of so much as a comma." On the 24th, Peru and Uruguay broke with the Axis. On the 25th, Paraguay and Bolivia broke with the Axis. On the 28th, Brazil broke with the Axis; the Conference adopted resolutions covering severance of financial and commercial relations, control of subversive activities, communications and aviation, creation of an inter-American military committee, and adherence to the Atlantic Charter. On the 29th, Peru and Ecuador signed a pact ending their 125-year-old boundary conflict; Ecuador broke relations with Axis powers. On the 30th, Peru arrested 150 Germans.

February. On the 4th, Brazil banned Transocean and D.N.B. German news agencies and the Italian Stefani news service. On the 7th, Paraguay closed the German, Italian and Japanese news agencies.

March. On the 12th, German, Italian and Japanese establishments were wrecked by angry mobs in Rio, and President Vargas confiscated 30 percent of Axis funds in the country for sinking of Brazilian ships. On the 17th, in an anti-Axis riot in Santiago, Chile, windows of Axis firms were smashed. On the 18th, President Juan Antonio Rios of Chile promised "frank and open coöperation with all the American nations, especially the United States."

April. On the 7th, Brazil reported that the Government had decided to arm all merchant ships. On the 29th, Cuba recognized Free French control of the Pacific Islands.

May. On the 1st, President Vargas said "Our solidarity with the United States was an imperative obligation based on continental solidarity." On the 8th, President Prado of Peru said the Navies of the United States and Peru "are united in the defense of the liberties handed down by our forefathers." On the 16th, Venezuela announced that Humboldt College, a center for totalitarian propaganda, was to be closed. On the 18th, Mexican labor formally petitioned President Camacho to declare war on the Axis powers. On the 21st, President Rios of Chile reaffirmed the declaration that Chile would not permit its territory or territorial waters to be used against any American country.

June. On the 1st, President Camacho signed a declaration of war against Axis powers after it had been unanimously passed by House and Senate. On the 12th, all Axis property in Mexico was ordered confiscated. On the 15th, Brazil took over the Italian cable between Brazil and Argentina.

July. On the 2nd, Mexico announced the dissolution of the Falangista Party in the republic. On the 5th, 60 persons were injured and Axis establishments were wrecked in Costa Rica. On the 12th, Peru ordered all aliens to register. On the 17th, the Spanish Embassy and Consulate in Cuba were prohibited from using code. On the 27th, former Spanish Minister to Panama, Count Carlos de Bailen, was expelled from Cuba. On the 28th, all Brazilian shipping, about 300,000 tons, it was announced, would be placed under the jurisdiction of the Allied Shipping Control Board.

August. On the 12th the Chilean Government ordered all communications with the Axis nations placed under censorship because they might "endanger the security of American States." On the 13th, dollar flow between Mexico and the United States was curbed by Mexico to control Axis funds. On the 20th, President Vargas of Brazil ordered the Brazilian Navy to convoy Brazilian merchant ships "in coöperation with the United States Navy and Air Force" and prohibited Germans from leaving the country, cancelling the departure of diplomatic exchange ships. On the 22nd, Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy; the Uruguayan Foreign Minister announced that Uruguay "is absolutely accompanying Brazil." On the 24th, Brazil confiscated one Italian and two German banks. On the 25th, Brazil cancelled its debt to Germany.

September. On the 10th, the national committee of the Radical Party in Argentina, with the majority of seats in the Chamber of Deputies, voted 20 to 1 to support a demand for a break with the Axis. On the 11th, Argentine police battled with a pro-Ally crowd in Buenos Aires and 97 rioters were arrested. On the 19th, 10,000 persons in Buenos Aires at a pro-Ally meeting heard demands for war.

November. On the 13th, Brazil, Panama and Honduras broke relations with Vichy. On the 25th, President del Rio of Ecuador spoke of "a forthright effort to coöperate with the United States in the struggle for victory for democracy."

December. On the 9th, Cuban President Batista pledged Cuba's coöperation so that "continental solidarity may be a perpetual reality."

January 1943. On the 20th, President Rios of Chile signed a decree breaking diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy and Japan. On the 27th, a crowd of 100,000 celebrated the break in Santiago. On the 28th, Chile prohibited the use of codes and broadcasting of weather reports.

February. On the 6th, Brazil declared its adherence to the United Nations pact and to the Atlantic Charter. On the 7th, Peru announced its adherence to the Atlantic Charter.

March. On the 28th, in Santiago, Chile, 80,000 persons heard Vice President Wallace.

April. On the 6th, Bolivia declared war on the Axis. On the 11th, the Peruvian Government expropriated all business firms controlled by Axis nationals.

May. On the 1st, Bolivia joined the United Nations. On the 12th, Uruguay broke off relations with Vichy.

October. On the 3rd, 34 German firms were liquidated in Brazil. On the 28th, Brazil liquidated Axis properties including one capitalized at $100,000,000. On the 30th, Guatemala seized the German-owned Gerapaz Railway.

November. On the 11th, President Ramirez of the Argentine said that the people of Argentina "firmly desire victory for the countries fighting for democracy." On the 27th, Colombia declared a state of belligerency with Germany.

December. On the 1st, the Colombian Government asked all Colombians to make donations of blood plasma. On the 4th, Bolivia announced adherence to the Atlantic Charter. On the 25th, Ecuador ousted Axis subjects. On the 26th, Bolivia announced its decision to nationalize Axis firms.

January 1944. On the 17th, Colombia joined the United Nations. On the 23rd, Peru announced it would liquidate Axis property. On the 26th, Argentina broke with the Axis.

February. On the 4th, Argentina broke with Bulgaria, Vichy France, Rumania and Hungary.

March. On the 2nd, President Farrell of Argentina said that he would work closely with other American nations.

PART III. Military action taken by Latin American countries in 1941, 1942 and 1943 against the Axis and in support of the United States.

February 1941. On the 16th, the Uruguayan Government named military missions to purchase arms, airplanes, warships and minelayers in the United States.

March. On the 5th, President Arnulfo Arias of Panama announced that the United States had been given permission to establish air and antiaircraft bases on Panamanian soil. On the 7th, the Mexican Foreign Minister said that Mexico would "not hesitate to sign a military pact with the United States." On the 15th, Costa Rica congratulated the United States on the passage of the lendlease bill. On the 24th, the Cuban Senate said the lend-lease legislation is "indispensable for the existence of our democratic institutions, now threatened by anti-democratic countries." The United States signed an agreement to send a six-man naval mission to Venezuela. On the 29th, El Salvador approved a contract with Colonel Robert L. Christian of the United States Army, making him supervisor of the Salvador Military Academy.

April. On the 4th, Mexico ratified a pact with the United States permitting reciprocal use of airfields. On the 16th, Nicaraguan President Somoza announced that the new airport would be the largest in Central America. On the 23rd, Argentina authorized 646,000,000 pesos for national defense. On the 24th, the Mexican paper Excelsior reported that the Government approved $14,000,000 for improving the harbors in four different ports.

May. On the 9th, a new military school for high army officers was established in Guatemala with the assistance of Brigadier-General Edward L. N. Glass of the United States Army. On the 19th, Captain William M. Quigley of the United States Navy was appointed Chief of Staff of the Peruvian Navy. On the 25th, a Cuban draft bill was approved by the Military Affairs Committee of the Cuban House of Representatives. On the 31st, President Camacho said that "it would be a mistake to think that . . . the destiny of one of the American nations could remain isolated indefinitely from the destiny of the rest."

June. On the 5th, reports from San José, Costa Rica, indicated that a considerable quantity of modern arms had been received from the United States. An American military mission was to train the Costa Rican Army in the use of the new weapons. On the 7th, President Baldonier said Uruguay was prepared to offer bases for the defense of the western hemisphere. On the 16th, a Brazilian Embassy official in Washington reported negotiations with the United States for the construction of air bases. On the 18th, all exports of military raw materials from Brazil, including industrial diamonds, quartz, crystal, and mica, were allowed only to the United States. On the 21st, Nicaragua announced it would develop an army of 25,000.

July. On the 16th a four-year military mission was to be sent to Costa Rica from the United States under an agreement signed by both countries.

August. On the 6th, Argentina voted 50,000,000 pesos for increased arms production. On the 7th, Argentina voted 714,000,000 pesos for naval rearmament. On the 25th, the Under Secretary of State said that the United States would supply "in increasing volume" arms materials to Latin America. On the 30th, private shipyards were placed under naval control in Cuba.

October. On the 1st, Secretary Hull and Brazilian Ambassador Carlos Martins signed an agreement for lend-lease.

November. On the 7th, an unspecified amount of lend-lease aid was sent to Cuba. On the 12th, the High Commissioner of Nicaragua said 10,000 men were ready to aid the United States if this country becomes involved in war.

December. On the 6th, Bolivia signed a lend-lease pact for a reported ten to fifteen million dollars. On the 10th, Mexican troops crossed United States territory on the way to Lower California to strengthen coastal defenses. On the 24th, Mexico opened all ports and territory to the armed forces of any American republic at war with the Axis.

January 1942. On the 11th, Mexico announced the organization of a special police force to control fifth column activities. On the 13th, an agreement was signed in Washington under which Uruguay would obtain United States military and naval supplies under the lend-lease act. On the 16th, a $550,000 lend-lease agreement was signed for Costa Rica's army.

February. On the 2nd, El Salvador was understood to be getting $1,100,000 under lend-lease. On the 4th, Argentina announced that the army would be increased to 100,000 men. On the 5th, it was announced that Uruguay would receive United States naval vessels for patrol of the Plate estuary. On the 10th, Brazil announced that the island of Fernando de Noronha was to be a naval defense base. On the 19th, Mexico placed civil defense under army control. On the 21st, Sumner Welles announced that certain American republics were aiding in convoying in inter-American trade.

March. On the 2nd, the President of Ecuador announced that the United States was establishing a naval base at Salinas at the entrance to Guayaquil Bay. On the 18th, Venezuela signed an agreement for ten to sixteen million dollars in lend-lease. On the 19th, Guatemala disclosed the establishment there by the United States of an air base to protect Central America and the Panama Canal. On the 22nd, Peru announced the arrival of United States war material and a military training mission. On the 27th, Mexico reported it would receive 200 planes, anti-aircraft guns, trucks and 30 locomotives under lend-lease.

April. On the 8th, the Brazilian Army was authorized to train reserves to a number that may exceed 1,000,000. On April 13th, Haiti signed agreements with the United States for artillery, airplanes, and a patrol boat.

May. On the 29th, agreements for a four-year military mission to Colombia and a naval mission to Brazil were signed by these countries and the United States.

June. On the 16th, Brazil called army reserves and ordered the classes of 1919, 1920 and 1921 into active service. On the 19th, Cuba granted the United States anti-submarine facilities and an air training center. On the 31st, Colonel Frederick T. Cruse of the United States Army was made director of the Nicaraguan Military Academy.

July. On the 8th, it was reported that Cuba was training 100,000 men.

August. On the 23rd, 44 United States Army training planes were flown to Brazil from California. On the 27th, the Cuban Navy and air forces were reported coöperating in convoy duty.

September. On the 7th, United States troops were reported at bases near Guayaquil and in the Galapagos Islands with the approval of the Ecuadorean Government; a reciprocal military and naval agreement was signed by the United States and Cuba. On the 16th, Brazil ordered complete mobilization.

October. On the 13th, Secretary of the Navy Knox said that Brazilian coöperation was "of the 100 percent variety" and that Brazilian naval vessels were under direction of United States Admiral Jonas H. Ingram.

November. On the 12th, Argentina approved the United States African campaign. On the 26th, it was revealed in Chile that a pact existed whereby the United States agreed to aid Chile in case of attack.

January 1943. On the 9th, Brazil extended conscription to include 18-year-olds. On the 15th, Cuba announced that 250,000 had registered under the Compulsory Military Service Law.

March. On the 27th, Rio reported Brazil would send 500 aviators to train in the United States.

May. On the 28th, President Camacho in a radio broadcast declared that Mexico was ready to send troops to fight overseas if necessary.

July. On the 23rd, President Morinigo of Paraguay spoke of the United States war effort as "fabulous."

August. On the 21st, the Brazilian Ambassador to Great Britain said that Brazil had 300,000 troops, including a force which "awaits orders from the Allied High Command to proceed to the battlefront."

September. On the 13th, the Brazilian War Minister declared that Brazil's active participation in the war in Europe was "only a question of preparation and more equipment from the United States."

November. On the 25th, Costa Rica announced that Costa Ricans might enlist in the United States armed forces.

December. On the 12th, it was announced in Algiers that an "advance reconnaissance party" of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force had arrived in North Africa.

PART IV. Items in the program of economic aid and coöperation between the United States and Latin American countries in 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944.

February 1941. On the 21st, a United States-Mexico rubber pact was entered into.

March. On the 23rd, a $2,000,000 loan from the United States to Nicaragua for road construction was announced.

June. On the 20th, the United States Federal Loan Administration extended $660,000 to Bolivia to develop the former German-owned Lloyd Aereo Boliviano airline.

July. On the 7th, dispatches from Rio indicated that the United States had concluded a contract with Brazil to buy Brazil's entire surplus of certain strategic materials for two years.

October. On the 22nd, a $30,000,000 credit to Mexico for road improvement and construction was announced.

November. On the 27th, it was announced that the United States would buy all of Argentina's production of tungsten for three years.

January 1942. On the 16th, the Public Works Administration approved a $20,000,000 loan to Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica to help build the Pan American Highway. On the 28th, it was announced at the Rio Conference that the Export-Import Bank would supply $10,000,000 to Bolivia.

February. On the 27th, the United States Treasury extended $5,000,000 to Ecuador as a loan to stabilize the Ecuadorean sucre.

March. On the 3rd, four agreements were concluded between the United States and Brazil for $100,000,000 credit from the Export-Import Bank for production of strategic materials, for development of the Itabarra iron mines and raw rubber production.

April. On the 7th, the United States and Mexico agreed to develop Mexican industry including steel and tin-plate rolling mills, and to construct a high-octane gasoline plant. On the 23rd, the United States and Peruvian Governments reached agreements for a $1,125,000 credit for rubber production, a $25,000,000 credit for public works, and for the purchase of all rubber surplus for five years and surplus Peruvian cotton for the duration of the war. On the 25th, the United States agreed to extend $500,000 credit to the Nicaraguan Bank. On the 29th, the United States Metals Reserve Company agreed to buy copper, lead and zinc from Mexico.

June. On the 13th, the Commodity Credit Corporation agreed to buy the whole Peruvian cotton crop for $44,000,000.

July. On the 12th, the United States and Bolivia signed an agreement for the purchase of Bolivia's entire rubber crop by the United States and extension of a $2,125,000 loan to Bolivia. On the 21st, the United States agreed to buy the entire rubber crop from Ecuador. On the 22nd, Uruguay received a $12,000,000 credit from the Export-Import Bank for a hydroelectric plant.

August. On the 1st, the United States and Brazil signed a pact for the purchase of six Brazilian products for one to four years at an estimated cost of $32,490,000 for the first year.

September. On the 25th, the United States and Brazil signed a pact for a $14,000,000 credit to Brazil for railway construction.

October. On the 5th, the Colombian War Minister announced that the first of 20 landing fields being built in the jungles with the coöperation of the United States Rubber Reserve Corporation was completed. On the 16th, the United States announced a rubber pact with Venezuela.

November. On the 18th, the United States announced it would aid repair of Mexican railways to facilitate transportation of war materials.

July 1943. On the 1st, the United States entered monetary stabilization pacts with Cuba and Ecuador. On the 7th, Colombia announced a public works loan from the United States of $18,000,000. On the 20th, Brazil estimated 1943 rubber production at 35,000 tons.

October. On the 23rd, the Uruguayan Government announced a $500,000 gift from the Office of the Coördinator of Inter-American Affairs for sanitation and health programs.

February 1944. On the 8th, the United States discontinued activities in developing Brazilian rubber and left the financing of the operation to Brazil, in return for a 33⅓ percent advance over current prices.

March. On the 2nd, Mexico announced receipt of a $10,000,000 loan from the United States Petroleum Reserves Corporation. On the 15th, a Brazilian newspaper announced a $150,000,000 credit from the United States Export-Import Bank for mining and railroad electrification.

April. On the 1st,the Office of the Coördinator of Inter-American Affairs granted $300,000 to Nicaragua for public health.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • FRANK TANNENBAUM, Associate Professor of Latin American History at Columbia University; author of "The Mexican Agrarian Revolution," "Whither Latin America?" and other works
  • More By Frank Tannenbaum