« PreviousContinue »
exception of Canada, the whole of the New World. Eighty million Yankees want to annex, not only forty million Spanish Americans, but such mines, forests, and agricultural riches as can be found nowhere else on the face of the globe.”
Most of us, when we read those words, smile, knowing that they are not true; yet that does not affect the fact that the Latin American, when he reads them, gnashes his teeth and believes that they are only too true. If he belongs to one of the larger republics, it makes him toss his head angrily, and increases his hatred toward those “Yankis,” whose manners he despises. If he belongs to one of the smaller republics, his soul is filled with fear mingled with hatred, and he sullenly awaits the day when he shall have to defend his state against the Yankee invaders. In every case the effect produced is contrary to the spirit of peace and harmony.
In another book, which is attracting wide attention and was written by a young Peruvian diplomatist, there is a chapter entitled “The North American Peril," and it be
gins with these significant words:"To save themselves from Yankee imperialism, the American democracies would almost accept a German alliance, or the aid of Japanese arms; everywhere the Americans of the North are feared. In the Antilles and in Central America hostility against the AngloSaxon invaders assumes the character of a Latin crusade." This is a statement not of a theory but of a condition, set forth by a man who, while somewhat severe in his criticism of North American culture, is not unfriendly to the United States, and who remembers what his country owes to us. Yet he asserts that in the United States,
against the policy of respect for Latin liberties are ranged the instincts of a triumphant plutocracy.'
The strident protest in this book has not gone out without finding a ready echo in South America. Even in Peru, long our best friend on the Southern continent, the leading daily papers have during the past year shown an increasing tendency to criticise our actions and suspect our motives. Their suspicion goes so far as actually to turn
friendly words against us. Last September a successful American diplomat, addressing a distinguished gathering of manufacturers in New York, was quoted all over South America as stating that the United States did not desire territorial expansion, but only commercial, and that the association should combat all idea of territorial expansion if any statesman proposed it, as this was the only way to gain the confidence of South America. This remark was treated as evidence of Machiavellian politics. One journalist excitedly exclaimed, “Who does not see in this paternal interest a brutal and cynical sarcasm? Who talks of confidence when one of the most thoughtful South American authorities, Francisco Garcia Calderon, gives us once more the cry, no longer premature, 'Let us be alert and on our guard against Yankeeism.""
Even the agitation against the Putumayo atrocities is misunderstood. “To no one is it a secret,” says one Latin-American writer, “that all these scandalous accusations only serve to conceal the vehement desire to impress American and English influence on the
politics of the small countries of South Amer
and they can scarcely cover the shame of the utilitarian end that lies behind it all."
Another instance of the attitude of the Latin-American
press is shown in a recent article in one of the leading daily papers in Lima, the government organ. In the middle of its front page, in a two-column space, is an article with these headlines: “NORTH AMERICAN EXCESSES—THE TERRIBLE LYNCHINGS—AND THEY TALK OF THE PUTUMAYO!” Thegist of the article may easily be imagined. It begins with these words: “While the Saxons of the world are producing a deafening cry over the crimes of the Putumayo, imagining them to be like a dance of death, and giving free rein to such imaginings; while the American government resolves to send a commission that may investigate what atrocities are committed in those regions, there was published, as regards the United States, in ‘La Razón' of Buenos Aires, a fortnight ago, the following note, significant of the ‘lofty civilization and high justice' of the great Republic of the North.” Here follows a press dispatch describing one
of the terrible lynchings which only too often happen in the United States. Then the Peruvian editor goes on to say, “Do we realize that in the full twentieth century, when there is not a single country in the world whose inhabitants are permitted to supersede justice by summary punishment, there are repeatedly taking place, almost daily, in the United States, lynchings like that of which we are told in the telegraphic dispatch ?”
This propaganda is bearing fruit. Already there is talk of defensive alliances between various groups of states. Two, if not three, distinguished statesmen and orators are actually touring Latin America to see what can be done.
Meanwhile, conscious of our own rectitude, we believe all will come out well in the end, at the same time still clinging to our sacred shibboleths. The Monroe Doctrine
which blesses and revivifies the world' is one of the most respected of them all.
The result of our present attitude is that the leading powers of South America are already on the road toward what is known as the “A B C,” a kind of triple alliance