« PreviousContinue »
best interests of the United States. In its essence the Monroe Doctrine is tutelage. No such policy of tutelage could be carried out without gravely offending the very strong national feeling of this people.”
Even Pan-Americanism does not interest the Argentines.
“Their newspapers and periodicals make only incidental reference to it, while the university and intellectual circles give it only cold and academic examination."
They believe that in practice our PanAmerican policy is vitiated and valueless because it is too one-sided. A recent cartoon depicts Uncle Sam disguised as a hideous spider, in whose web the sun-loving flies
the tropical American republics caught. Another, from the leading illustrated weekly of Buenos Aires, shows Uncle Sam as a hook-nosed cook with bony clawlike hands bending over a range on which he is cooking the fat fowl “Mexico” in a frying-pan of “Revolucion” and muttering with a saturnine grimace, “I think this bird will soon be done.” In Chile, the cartoonist depicts Samuel as
a fisherman, in whose basket are Porto Rico and Panama, and whose hook is baited with “Intervention.” Cuba, Ecuador, and Mexico are swimming dangerously near in the muddy waters of “Revoluciones."
It is reported that even the heavily patronized moving picture shows have taken up the burden of the same song and are teaching the thoughtless South American proletariat that we are simply pirates.
Brazil, largely on account of its size (in area it is larger than the continental area of the United States), has always been more kindly in its criticism of us than many of the other countries. But even there the Monroe Doctrine has been “up to the present time regarded as a pure eccentricity of the kind for which America has become the classic source. ... The Monroe Doctrine, as such, has no value whatever. At best it is simply another document for the benefit of those who would determine the characteristic psychology of the North American. Such a doctrine passes not only for a work very original and very Yankee, but also as being without substance as a whole. The
government of the United States can invoke it, and put it into force when it is to its advantage to do so, and whenever it is able to give to the formula the unanswerable validity and strength of big guns.
“As a North American doctrine, created and interpreted exclusively by the government at Washington, and by that government, through its sovereign criterion, exclusively applied, what we, nations of South America, should do is, not admit any such doctrine, and treat it, moreover, as if it did not exist."
If Brazilian editors can write like that, what can we expect of the others ?
One of the more conservative writers of Latin America, who is by no means characterized by exaggerated criticisms or prejudiced misstatements, in an unusually lucid exposition of the Monroe Doctrine, pointedly remarks that it is an evolution of the primitive doctrine which in its essentials implies the actual practice of that very
intervention in Latin America against which the original Doctrine of 1823 protested. He goes on to explain that this intervention, although
hanging imminent over the heads of his fellow citizens, will not fall as long as the Latin-American nations are orderly. He concludes an essay on
The Big Stick" with these cynical words:“Thelion and the lamb will live peacefully as Jefferson announced, because this good lion only attacks the ewes when his hunger makes it absolutely necessary, and not because of any ardent desire to massacre the weak ones.”
Finally, listen to this from a Latin-American editor : “Away then with this benevolent Monroe Doctrine! It is very far from a doctrine by which all interests may be equally protected, or may be held equally sacred in all the countries it concerns. Instead of that, it is a doctrine of absorption, and annihilates the interests of the parties affected.
“The North American doctrine of hegemony in the Latin republics will rob these peoples of their sovereignty at home and abroad. North American imperialism will force them to sacrifice their independence to the expansion of the United States over the whole continent. The Doctrine of Monroe is the shield and buckler of United States ag
gression; it is a sword suspended by a hair over the Latin continent.”
Can we afford to continue to give grounds for such statements ?
The press of Latin America is not alone in sounding the note of protest against the Monroe Doctrine and of vigorous warning for the future. There are those who like to encourage them, to
egg them on." We ought not to be blind to the fact that there are clever authors residing in Europe who take the utmost pains to make the Latin Americans believe what they are unfortunately only too willing to believethat we desire to be not only practically, but actually, sovereign on the western hemisphere. A recent French writer, Maurice de Waleffe, writing on “The Fair Land of Central America,” begins his book with this startling announcement of a discovery he has made: “The United States have made up their minds to conquer South America. Washington aspires to become the capital of an enormous empire, comprising, with the