Search for a Latin American Policy

Search for a Latin American Policy

Search for a Latin American Policy

Search for a Latin American Policy

Excerpt

This study grew out of my increasing conviction that the need for a critical appraisal of the role of Latin America in United States foreign policy is acute. Numerous works have appeared in recent years on foreign policy toward Europe, Asia, and the Near East, but none on the Latin American area as a whole. It is distressing that so little serious attention has been devoted to this rapidly growing region of more than 170 million people. The basic reasons for taking Latin America largely for granted are examined in the first chapter of this book. While the conclusions reached do not give grounds for great optimism, it is to be hoped that at least some perceptible increase in long-range thinking about Latin America will take place in the next few years. In addition to many specific suggestions along the way, a few broad guidelines for orientation of future policy are given at the end.

It should be made clear that this book is not a history of United States policy toward Latin America, though it does call to mind some of the lessons of earlier years. Nor does it attempt a comprehensive coverage of all phases of recent and contemporary United States-Latin American relations. Instead, it concentrates on those phases which appear to be of the greatest significance. The work is intended to be provocative, and to suggest further exploration of the lines of inquiry marked out.

An effort is made to maintain a responsible, balanced point of view, for example on such controversial subjects as dictatorship versus democracy in Latin America, United States policy toward dictatorships, and the performance and role of American private enterprise. Nonetheless, as a citizen of the United States I write with the enlightened national interests of my country as the paramount consideration. I firmly believe that these interests not only . . .

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