The United States and Inter-American Security, 1889-1960

By J. Lloyd Mecham | Go to book overview

IX Integrating the Inter-American Security System into the United Nations

The subject itself was difficult--how to save legitimate regionalism (like Pan-Am.) and yet not destroy the essential over-all authority of the International Organization. . . . We have found an answer which satisfies practically everybody.

ARTHUR H. VANDENBERG, 1945

F OR SOME TIME BEFORE the end of the war there was increasing pressure on the United States by the other American governments for a meeting to discuss problems of the war and postwar period. The Latin Americans, greatly concerned that so much time had elapsed since the last meeting at Rio in 1942, feared that the United States was growing lukewarm in its support of hemispheric regionalism. In light of developments during the course of the war, they felt that there should be joint consideration without delay not only of the irritating problem of Argentina and the necessary means to strengthen the war effort in its final stage, but particularly of the postwar problems of security and economic cooperation. Such a conference, which eventually convened in Mexico City during February and March of 1945, crystallized views on the subject of inter-American regionalism, and so paved the way for the integration of the inter-American security system into the United Nations Organization at San Francisco.

The problem of Argentina. Undoubtedly the embarrassments created by the attitude of Argentina contributed to the delay in convening a conference. Applying a nonrecognition policy to the Farrell-Perón regime had proved to be ineffective, for the United States was not able to take the necessary supporting action. The British were strongly opposed to an economic embargo on the Plata nation, and frankly declared that it was not a case of disliking United States pork but rather of preferring Argentina beef. This impasse in United States-Argen-

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