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lives and property of its own nationals and, in certain instances, those of other foreigners.
The causes of Central American revolution have been clearly outlined by Dr. Dana G. Munro in his work entitled The Five Republics of Central America: —
First: The attempt to impose political institutions copied from one of the world's most advanced democracies upon a country where elections were absolutely impossible; Second: What may be called 'the habit of revolution’ among the ruling class and the people of many of the towns — a habit formed during the turbulent years that followed the breakdown of the federal constitution and perpetuated by the bitterness of personal feuds and sectional jealousy, the pursuit of politics as a money making occupation, and the mutual persecution of rival factions; and Third: Backwardness of the masses of the people, which has not only made the republican constitutions unworkable, but has also prevented those who in the long run suffer most from civil war from exerting any effective
influence for peace. It has been the studied policy of the United States in recent years to coöperate with the Governments of Central America in preventing these causes of chronic disturbances.
The very notable improvement in the feeling existing in the Central American republics toward the United States, which has taken place during the past few years, has been largely due to this spirit of helpful coöperation as distinguished from intervention or imposition - evidenced by this Government in its offer to the Central American republics of the City of Washington as the meeting-place for the delegates to the Second Central American Conference held in 1922, as well as by participation by the VOL. 134 — NO. S
United States in that Conference and by the entry of the United States into certain of the resultant treaties and conventions on a basis of entire equality with the other signatory powers. These treaties and conventions are essentially practical, not theoretical, and the recognition of their value is evidenced by the fact that certain of them formed the basis for the deliberations of the Pan American Conference held in Santiago, Chile, in 1923. It may be said, in general, that they provide for the obligatory settlement of international disputes by peaceful methods, for the limitation of armaments, for the progressive development of the economic resources of the Central American republics, and, above all, for the insurance of government by constitutional and orderly methods.
Opinion in Central America regarding the value of these conventions is clearly evidenced by the following editorial published in the Reconciliacion of Tegucigalpa on June 13, last: –
THE PACTS OF WASHINGTON The conventions signed in Washington by the plenipotentiaries of Central America were extensively studied at the time and discussed by the press and the jurisconsults of our country, and from those discussions an opinion has been formed that the conventions represent a most firm base for the maintenance of internal peace and for more cordiality in the international relations of the five Republics of the Isthmus.
The Assembly of Nicaragua was the first to approve the pacts in their entirety.
Later the Congresses of Salvador and Guatemala ratified the most important of the conventions.
And now we are informed by telegraph that the President of Costa Rica has submitted all the treaties to the Assembly of that country and, to judge
by the sentiments which prevail in par pected both here and in Latin America liamentary circles there, it is certain that it was the ambition of the United that the legislative body of that State
States to oppose the formation of a will ratify them.
Central American union. That nothing We can add nothing to that which
could be further from the truth, is has been spoken and written in favor of the conventions signed by the
demonstrated by the recent policy of plenipotentiaries of Central America
the United States. The United States at the Washington Conference, and has shown that it will assist in promotwhich provide so fully for the tran ing Central American union, should the quillity of these countries.
five Republics so desire and should the The pacts in a positive manner political and economic development of guarantee the peace of the five sections
those countries and intercommunicaof the turbulent isthmus.
tion between them make such union They have been approved by three
possible of realization. Were the policy signatory Governments — Nicaragua, Salvador, and Guatemala; and another,
of the United States truly imperialistic, Costa Rica, is submitting them to its
its logical endeavor would be to prevent Legislature where they will probably
the formation of such a union and be ratified.
the consequent building-up of a strong The fondest hope of the people of progressive federation in Central Central America and the Govern America, in order to exploit the five ments which rule here is the establish small nations. The patent contradicment of national stability.
tion of the charge made by Dr. Inman Peace only will be able to make ef
that the policy of the United States fective the prosperity and development
Government in Central America is of these countries. And for peace we all are obligated to
imperialistic lies in that fact. struggle by all ways and means, as the
The day of dollar diplomacy' in integrity of the nation and the salva Central America is past, and no more tion of the honor of the Fatherland are agreeable proof of this assertion could at stake.
be found than in the cordial coöpera
tion between the United States and the The moral influence of the United Central American republics in the joint States in Central America, as the mediation offered when revolution and result of the achievements of the counter-revolution took place in HonConference, is greater than it ever has duras a few months ago, as the rebeen before. The distinction between sult of which mediation a conference the moral influence which now exists was held in Amapala, the Pacific port and the material influence which of Honduras, attended by delegates of formerly existed should be emphasized. all the governments mentioned. That Imperialism is not furthered by the conference brought about the cessation strengthening of the moral influence of of civil war in Honduras and the selecthis Government in Latin America. tion by the political factions in Once the conventions referred to have Honduras of a provisional government been ratified by all the signatory of that Republic to maintain order, powers, and once their stipulations with the moral support of the mediathave been placed in effect, it is probable ing Powers, until such time as a conthat Central America will progress so stitutional government could be elected rapidly that the much desired union by the free vote of the Honduranean of the Central American republics can people. be undertaken. It has long been sus Criticism has been directed against the United States and undoubted ment which will be selected in the resentment in Latin America has been coming presidential elections. The engendered by the policy of this Nicaraguan people this year will vote Government in Nicaragua since the for the first time in accordance with the Revolution of 1912 which resulted in provisions of a modern electoral code, the overthrow of the Dictator Zelaya. compiled for the Republic by ProfesIt has been charged that this Govern- sor Harold W. Dodds, of Columbia ment has favored the interests of the University, employed for that purpose American bankers who had undertaken by the Nicaraguan Government. The to finance the Republic, in detriment registration for the elections has to the interests of the Nicaraguan demonstrated that a greater number of people. Whatever may be our view of Conservative than of Liberal voters the financial arrangement entered into is registered, and it is admitted by between the Nicaraguan Government both parties that the registration was and their bankers, the fact remains entirely fair. Whatever the result of that the financial plan, under which the the elections may be, it can no longer be Government has been operating for the alleged that the United States has past eleven years, has brought about assisted in the maintenance of one a condition of financial stability for the Party in power. Nicaraguan Government not exceeded It is difficult to understand how by that of any other Latin-American the charge can be made in good faith Government. With slender resources, that the Republic of Panama is under the Government has been enabled to the control of the United States. meet all its obligations, to maintain, The relations between the Republic even during the European War, a of Panama and the United States stable rate of exchange, and to accumu- are defined and limited by the late a sufficient surplus to enable it to Treaty of 1903 between the two obtain this year control of the railways countries. As Secretary of State Root of Nicaragua, which had been pledged said in an instruction to the American to the bankers as a portion of the Minister in Panama on December 4, security for the loan made by them to 1905:the Republic.
The criticism has likewise been The United States will exercise its made that the retention by the rights under the treaty for the mainUnited States since 1912 of a small
tenance of order in Panama, Colon, detachment of American Marines in
and upon the Canal strip, and will not
permit any interference with the peace Managua, as a Legation Guard, has
and order of either of those cities or of been an undue intervention in Nicara
that territory, which can be prevented gua and has resulted in the mainte
by the exercise of its treaty rights, and nance of the Conservative party in it will not go beyond its treaty rights. power, notwithstanding the alleged fact that the Liberal party represented That policy, as outlined by Secretary the will of the majority of the people. Root, has been consistently followed The Government of the United States, by every succeeding Administration. however, has officially announced its The United States exercises no finanintention to withdraw these Marines, cial or military control in the Republic who number only between seventy-five of Panama, and has not done so in the and one hundred men, after the in- past. The only possible basis which stallation on January 1 of the Govern- might be seen for the charge of Ameri
maty years the conce with lonancia
can intervention in Panama is the employment by the Government of Panama of an American Financial Adviser, in accordance with legislation enacted by the Congress of Panama many years ago. However, the ultimate decision in all matters affecting the finances of the Republic is vested either in the Congress or in the President and Council of Ministers as provided in the Panamanian Constitution.
The most difficult problem of all, perhaps, is that of Haiti. Yet, because of differences in race and language between the Haitian people and the other peoples of Latin America, the Haitian question is of less interest to the majority of the Latin-American republics than any other. The American Occupation of Haiti is one for which there is no strictly legal ground. As Chief Justice Marshall has stated, no nation can rightfully impose a rule upon another. Should the problem be viewed solely from the realm of theory, it is clear that the Occupation should terminate. If, however, the Occupation is viewed from the practical standpoint that the happiness and well-being of the Haitian people and the advance of education and economic prosperity are of higher importance, it must be admitted that the Occupation is and has been of the greatest benefit to the Haitian people and should continue until the Republic is governed by a Haitian administration, elected in accordance with the permanent provisions of the Haitian Constitution. A very clear and fair statement of the Haitian situation was contained in the following portion of an editorial published in the New York Times of July 2, 1924:
Under the rule by revolution that prevailed before the American Occupation, the peasant was not encouraged to do more than supply his wants. If he attempted to accumulate prop
erty, he was despoiled of it. The gendarmerie system set up by the supervisory Government protects him in all his rights. The fabric of native administration remains. The Haitian flag still flies. Agriculture has made substantial gains with the suppression of the cacos, who preyed upon the tillers of the soil. They can now bring their produce into the cities without fear of molestation, over good roads built with native labor under American engineers. Every few miles there is a gendarmerie station. Never before have the Haitian people enjoyed security in their homes and protection of their persons. Never before have they known the meaning of hygiene or had proper medical attention. In the view of the ruling class that formerly preyed upon the people, the supervisory Government flagrantly violates the rights of Haiti; but to the mass of the people it is a protector and a practical friend, who provides employment, pays good wages, and is developing the resources of the country for the general welfare.
The Treaty of 1915 has been renewed for a term of years, because the Americans could not abandon the Haitians before the task of training them to govern themselves had been finished, and not because there ever had been a design to exploit them. The Americans are in Haiti to raise its people from a state of ignorance and savagery for which their rulers were responsible. The duty devolved upon our Government because European nations called upon the United States to bring order out of chaos and make Haiti solvent, or to waive the Monroe Doctrine and let them intervene to collect their debts and protect their nationals. The United States is pledged to evacuate Haiti when the work is done.
The decision of the United States to adopt the policy upon which it has embarked has been severely condemned and creates possibly a dangerous precedent. It is probable that it is too early as yet to estimate whether
the policy is justifiable or not; and yet, Salvador and Bolivia with American should it later be ascertained that the bankers, is due solely to the fact that material assistance lent to the Haitian the national credit of those two people by the United States had sub- republics was not such as to warrant stituted the benefits of civilization better terms. It will easily be seen (without the impairment of ultimate that, had it been possible for either sovereignty) for a condition of anarchy Salvador or Bolivia to obtain a loan in and chaos, who could claim that our the United States, or in Europe, upon policy had not proved wise? When the better terms, less onerous contracts Occupation was undertaken to prevent would have been entered into. With European intervention in an American such questions, of course, the Governrepublic, it resulted in the overthrow ment of the United States has had no of the Haitian system of administration direct concern. existing up to that time. Can the It is almost axiomatic that developOccupation be terminated until a new ment of commercial relations between system of administration is developed countries brings about a better underwhich our Government believes can standing and a clearer perception of successfully undertake the task which their mutual advantages and common it has temporarily assumed?
needs. In Brazil, Argentina, Chile,
Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela, III
citizens are hardly 'trembling in their
boots' because Americans since the Current criticism of our policy in war have invested more largely than regard to the great republics of South ever before in South American securiAmerica appears to be limited to the ties. South American countries are, employment by Peru, Ecuador, and of course, ambitious to increase their Colombia, of American experts or commerce with the United States and financial advisers, and by the agree to obtain American capital, as well as ment on the part of Bolivia and Salva- European, in order to develop their dor that the deposit of the funds stupendous natural resources. Another destined to the payment of interest and legitimate and helpful ambition is sinking-fund charges be made under that of the American business man the supervision of the representatives to develop trade relations with Latin of the American interests holding their America. These mutual desires our national obligations. Yet these ad- Government has fostered in every visers and experts were employed by proper way. Commercial development, the Governments concerned without however, cannot be considered ecothe shadow of advice or intervention nomic domination, nor could it logion the part of this Government. To cally be the policy of the United States state that the employment of such to attempt to monopolize trade with advisers constitutes undue interference Latin America to the exclusion of the on the part of the United States in legitimate growth of trade between the domestic affairs of the countries Europe and Latin America. Even a named, is as absurd as to charge that most superficial study of world comthe employment by Brazil and Peru merce makes it clear that in an era of French military missions constitutes when the commercial and financial intervention by France in the internal relations of all the nations of the world affairs of those two countries. The are closely interlocked, such an attempt nature of the contracts entered into by on the part of the American Govern