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The Militant, 7 September 1946

Charles Carsten

American Imperialists Push Scheme
for Military Grip on Latin America

(21 August 1946)

From The Militant, Vol. X No. 36, 7 September 1946, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


MEXICO, D.F., Aug. 21 – With many sanctimonious phrases about “democracy” and “non-intervention,” Washington is pressing for the creation of a Hemispheric Army – an Army obedient to the U.S. High command.

This ambitious imperialist scheme, advanced under the misleading title of “Hemispheric Defense,” provides for standardization throughout the Western Hemisphere of military equipment, doctrine and training all according to specifications used by the U.S. armed forces.

In this way American militarists expect to create a gigantic and well integrated military unit extending from the northern reaches of Canada to the southern tip of Argentina, a military unit whose magnitude and striking power would be by far the most formidable in the world.

Wall Street Outposts

In return for the privilege of buying war machinery made in the U.S. and for training, under the auspices of American officers, the Latin American countries are to give the U.S. new air naval and military bases. From these bases, the U.S. imperialists will be able to police the entire hemisphere, and most important of all, launch an attack on any country or combination of countries that stands in the way of their drive toward world domination.

The plan, sponsored by Truman, was divulged last May during the early stages of Washington’s intensified propaganda and diplomatic offensive against the Soviet Union. Concrete steps toward its realization were taken by General Dwight D. Eisenhower during his recent trip south to line up Mexico and Brazil behind the plan.

This last move was timed to coincide with the present bitter diplomatic duel between Byrnes and Molotov in Paris. These moves and other hostile statements made by Washington spokesmen leave no room for doubt: the Hemispheric Army is being organized in preparation for war against the U.S.S.R. Moreover, the plan dovetails in every respect with Washington’s imperialistic aims in Latin America itself.

If realized, what will. be its effect on the workers and farmers, and on the countries of Latin America?

The Consequences

Countries that collaborate with Washington politically, and with Wall Street economically, will of course receive preference in the sale and transfer of military equipment. There are more than a few military and semi-dictatorial regimes in Latin America that will make every military and economic concession requested by Wall Street’s agents in return for an adequate supply of arms. Many of these governments need such support in order to maintain their unstable position within the country; they are only too glad to have arms for use in quelling unrest among the workers and farmers. Economic pressure will be exerted to line up the more independent Latin American countries.

Once the army of a Latin American country has been incorporated into the Hemispheric Army, refusal by the government of that nation to make concessions, or any other indications of independence from American imperialism will be punished by the withholding of military supplies, replacements and maintenance. Countries within the bloc will be completely at the mercy of the Yankee imperialists.

Truman’s super-military plan will enable the State Department to amplify its already tremendous propaganda campaign in the Latin American countries. In the schools and universities, while potential reserve officers are being taught American methods of modern warfare, they will receive heavy doses of pro-U.S. imperialist indoctrination.

Through the sale of military supplies and equipment the U.S. will drain from the Latin American countries whatever financial reserves they accumulated during the war. And it will drive them, more deeply than ever before, into debt to North American finance capitalists.

While making Latin American countries mere cogs in the war machine of American imperialism, Washington’s projected hemispheric army, at the same time gears in perfectly with Wall Street’s economic perspectives in Latin America. If it all unfolds according to the hopes and expectations of the Yankee imperialists, the last vestiges of political, economic and military independence enjoyed by the Latin American countries will be destroyed.

Organized workers in Uruguay have already initiated a mass campaign directed against Truman’s plan. Workers and farmers in other Latin American countries ruled by governments servile to the interests of American imperialism will fight with the fine militancy traditional among them to-prevent their countrymen from becoming foot soldiers in Washington’s super-imperialistic Hemispheric Army.

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