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The proposals by the Guatemalan President, General Jorge Ubico, to President Roosevelt for a multilateral adherence by American nations to the Monroe Doctrine is striking evidence that the countries of the Western Hemisphere are moving toward an understanding with the United States, more cordial and genuine that at any time since, perhaps, the days of Henry Clay in the 1820's. Ever since the Mexican War of 1848 they have developed a hatred and distrust for the United States which is not only sullen, but understandable. Sullen in that our very size and power have precluded any effective reprisals on their part; and understandable by the very history of our imperialistic expansion.
The results of the Spanish-American War in 1898; the methods used by Theodore Roosevelt to get a route for the Panama Canal in 1903; Coolidge's "dollar diplomacy"; and the armed intervention of the marines in Nicaragua:--these actual events have exuded a strong smell of garlic unabated by any suave "big brother" sweetening.
But the Latin-American policy of the present administration in a series of steps has been admirable. In December, 1933 President Roosevelt invoked the policy of the "good neighbor", opposed to armed intervention. This was followed by the abrogation of the Platt Amendment, which had given us a treaty right to intervene in Cuba. Finally, in February of this year, he proposed an Inter-American Conference to discuss means of consolidating the peace of the Western Hemisphere; and he showed his sincerity in March by forming a pact with Panama whereby the United States stopped being an officious guardian. The treaty even apologized for the devaluated dollar, by giving that much-abused republic the benefit of the doubt on the exchange in respect to the canal tolls.
Ten years ago, our Latin-American policy brought forth streams of uncomplimentary Portuguese; today there are hopful "vivas". The dividends start rolling in!
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