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

By J. Lloyd Mecham | Go to book overview

XIV The OAS and International Communism

We oppose Communism as we have opposed all dictatorships whether they be with or against the United States.

JOSÉ FIGUERES, 1959

H OWEVER IMPORTANT is the inter-American regional arrangement for the preservation of peace among the member republics themselves, it is of even greater importance, at least in the view of the United States, as a defensive shield against overseas aggression. Since, shortly after the end of World War II, it became increasingly clear that overseas attack would probably come from but one source, that is, Soviet Russia, the inter-American security structure has been perfected and strengthened with this potential aggressor in view. More than overt military aggression must be reckoned with, however, for, by insidious and subversive undermining American governments can be toppled by the agents of international Communism without the firing of a shot. How the OAS and its member nations have reacted to the deadly threat of aggressive, imperialistic Soviet Communism will now be examined, for it may weigh heavily in the eventual outcome of the ideological conflict.

Communismin Latin America. It is hardly necessary for our present purposes to present a lengthy, documented discussion of Communist activities in Latin America. As background for a discussion of cooperative inter-American reaction to the threat of international Communism, only a few selected facts, observations, and conclusions are necessary.1

Apparently most of Latin America is fertile soil for the propagation

____________________
1
For a detailed discussion, see Robert J. Alexander, Communism in Latin America ( New Brunswick, N.J., 1957); see also Frank R. Brandenburg, "Communism and Security in Latin America," Yale Review, XLVI ( Spring, 1957), 413-424.

-424-

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