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November 21, 1954 - Image 1

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u. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1954
e Asuk,iiii P'rof'eo
t Iepart en, of Politi science
N NOVEMBER 22, the nations of the
Organization of American States will
Smeet at Rio de Janeiro for an Inter-
American Economic Conference.
The Latins long have looked for the
chance to pin down United States eco-
nomic policy toward themselves, and this
meeting, first agreed to by the United
States in 1945, is now to occur after many
delays and quasi-evasions. One wonders
if the quite divergent viewpoints of
"North Americans" and Latin Americans
can be reconciled in principles and prac-
tices acceptable to both. For it is in the
economic area that inter-American rela-



merican Relations: Stocktaking

Latin Americans, U.S.
To Hold Conference


h ions are, over the long run, worst.
Latin views toward the United States
are not merely those of the weak toward
the strong. They are, by the Latins' de-
finition, those of the poor toward the
rich, the cultured toward the uncultur-
ed, the idealist toward the pragmatist.
They are those of a people largely inex-
perienced and misled in the arena of po-
litical participation (and thus without
practical criteria for the Anglo-Ameri-
can notion of "democracy"), but bitter-
ly experienced in the ways of dictator-
ship, economic exploitation, and grind-
ing poverty. Born in Iberian feudalism
and Catholic fervor, the Latin plainly
does not understand the largely Protest-
ant, industrialized, politically democratic,
-radical (and yet conservative) United
To them we are Yanquis, past and pres-
ent exploiters, rich because they are poor,
slightly drunk with power and verging
toward fanaticism in our anti-Commu-
nism. But their principal complaint
against us is our overflowing generosity
toward Europe and Asia and our niggard-
liness toward themselves. A current Latin
American joke: a presidential adviser,
gloomily observing our massive aid to
Germany and Japan, suggests war on
the United States, because we are so gen-
erous to those we defeat. His chief ob-
jects: "Suppose se won?"
NTER-AMERICAN relations were pois-
oned early this summer by the Gua-
temalan affair. The handwriting had
been put on the wall at the 10th general
Inter-American Conference at Caracas in
March. Secretary of State John Foster
Dulles introduced, and secured the pass-
age of, a resolution condemning interna-
tional Communism ( [its] domination
would constitute a threat to the sover-
v and political independence of the
rican states .") by a 17-1 vote.
But it is significant that the nations
that sprang to Dulles' support were not
the democratic nations but the dictator-
ships: Venezuela, the Dominican Repub-
lie, Cuba, Paraguay among them. Guate-
mala's Foreign Minister Guillermo Tor-
iello, denouncing the Dulles proposal as
. . . the internationalization of McCar-
thyism, of book-burning and the impo-
sition of stereotyped thought," received
twice the ovation that Dulles did,
The New York Times' reporter, Sidney
Gruson, later put it succinctly: "Senor
Toriello had said many nasty things about
the United States that virtually all Latin
Americans believe." And after the vote,
Uruguay, frequently a Latin bellwether,
said through its delegate, "We contributed
our approval without enthusiasm, with-
out optimism, without joy and without
the feeling that we were contributing to
a constructive measure."
This is not to say that Latin govern-
ments consider Communism to be either
non-existent within their borders or with-
out menace. Most concur that it is both,
& nd Latin democrats frequently despair
of the frequency with which Communists
successfully join with reactionary na-

I ~ --
Wood uby Stu 'Rosy
tionalists to carry the sday for dictator- worth, had been used to justify thorough-
thip. ly disreputable means.

the least we can do is reciprocate when
they are in relative crisis.
2, Guarantees that we will make avail-
able to them a minimum quantity of
manfactured goods at stated maximum
prices. Today they import more from the
United States than any other section of
the world, and the increasing prices they
receive for their raw materials do not
give them the increased dollar stocks
necessary to meet our constantly increas-
ing prices.
3) Guarantees that we will make avail-
able gigantic quantities of investment
capital, preferably from government, not
private funds. They had unhappy exper-
iences with United States private invest-
ment prior to the depression of the '30's,
and want no repetition of the military
and diplomatic intervention it generated.
They would prefer at least twenty bil-
lions, by the way. They do not propose
exceptionally great risks for this money,
but would offer sound investments sub-
ject to amortization on reasonable terms.
Their answer to the United States gov-
ernment's announced preference for do-
ing this job through private investment
is an ingenious one. They will have less
objections if these are .. .
4) Guarantees that private investors
will not suffer loss of iivested capital as
the result of expropriations, eminent do-
main operations, or just plain discrimi-
nation. This is based on the argument
that private money is nervous at best
when it is abroad, and that the well
known Latin view toward capital, which
is considerably different from the Anglo-
American, provokes considerable ner-
vousness. If the United States were to
guarantee its own investors against loss,
the uncertainty would disappear and so
would the possible interventions. And,
the Latins argue, these private investors
would become even more optimistic if
there were . . .
5) Guarantees against double taxation
-income or other--on profits earned in
Latin America.
6) Latins want a considerably augment-
ed technical assistance program. They
regard as a pittance the average twenty
millions we send them annually, when
Europe and Asia have split melons of
billions in gifts, loans, technical aid and
just plain boondoggles,
7) Lastly, they want a stabilization of
United States tariff policies which will
permit them to have some faith in our
pretense of support for increased inter-
national trade. They find it hard to be-
lieve that taxes which preclude their ef-
fectively competing with United States
producers help us commensurate with the
harm done themselves.
MANY OF these demands do not make
good sense in United States terms,
They smack of irresponsibility for one
thing, and we can be excused if we are
inclined to believe the not-too-mythical
argument that to call a Latin efficient
(or if he is a bureaucrat, efficient and
honest) is a contradiction in terms. And
it would force our government into acti-
vities which is has usually-or always
-left to the private enterpreneur-
But the Latin argues that he can best
fight Communism through economic de-
velopment, and that such guarantees
would help his achievement of the latter.
To him the real test of our sincerity as
anti-Communists is not in the verbiage
we employ, nor in the interventions in
which we engage. Rather, he argues, we
should give him the requisite tools. Ideo-
logically and culturally, Iberian Catholic
Latin America has little to gain from
Communist affiliations. But those nations
cannot make their fight toward economic
well-being or political democracy effe-
tive without real help from their great
Nort iAmerican neighbor.

They feared the result would be inter-
vention, an all-too-real bogie they have
fought with moderate success since the
late 1920s when Herbert Hoover inaugur-
ated the attitude later christened by
nklin Roosevelt "t heGood Neighbor
Policy," For the Latins it was largely a
matter of fearing the devil they knew.
The "civil war" in Guatemala in June,
triggered by the CIA announcement of
iron curtain shipments of arms, with
the United States arms shipments to
HondurAs and an unofficial blockade as
reaction, was fought in a hothouse situa-
tion. Ambassador John Peurifoy virtually
abandoned any pretense of diplomatic
impartiality, and gave currency to the
Guatemalan contention that this was
really nothing but a Yanquii-United Fruit
Company joint venture.
Guatemala took the matter to the
United Nations Security Council. But Rus-
sia was the principal gainer, for United
States representative Lodge allowed him-
self to be maneuvered into the position
of attacker of the jurisdiction of the
United Nations, a Russian policy which
had received his scorn only scant weeks
before, Guatemala's Communist front
government was replaced by a none too-.
savory reactionary one. But the prin-
cipal loser was the good name of the
United States. The end, for what it was

AS WE GO to Rio, we find Latin eco-
nomic views relatively solidified. They
are the views of semi-developed, largely
one-crop nations which have had bitter
experience with the disastrous effects of
dollars-and-cents decisions by United
States corporation managers. United
States housewives, for example, are as
much to blame for the death of Presi-
dent Vargas, in a residual way, as any-
body else; the semi-boycott on coffee
precipitated a severe economic crisis
which provoked his action. And the
Latin views are also those of nations
which are highly socialized, and tend
to take it for granted that private capi-
tal and investment can be manipulated
by the state. In an economic sense, the
Latin governments are far freer of pres-
sure group influences in this regard than
is our own.
The Latins will demand several con-
cessions from the United States, and our
probable reaction can be anticipated,
1) Guarantees that we will purchase a
minimum quantity of raw materials an-
nually, and at a guaranteed minimum
price. We are committed to parity prices
for farmers, they argue; why not for
them as well. After all, they established
"crash" procurement programs for scarce
raw materials for us in World War II;

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