Map of Caribbean Area
 Title Page
 List of contributors
 Table of Contents
 Introduction: Manifest destiny:...
 Part I: Diplomatic relations
 Part II: Confederation movemen...
 Part III: Trade and business
 Part IV: Travel and migration
 Part V: Cultural cooperation
 Part VI: Caribbean bibliograph...


Caribbean : contemporary international relations
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Title: Caribbean : contemporary international relations
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Conference on the Caribbean, 1956
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Copyright Date: 1957
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Table of Contents
        Page i
    Map of Caribbean Area
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of contributors
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
    Introduction: Manifest destiny: official United States opinion
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
    Part I: Diplomatic relations
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
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        Page 15
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        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Part II: Confederation movements
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
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        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Part III: Trade and business
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
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    Part IV: Travel and migration
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
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        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
    Part V: Cultural cooperation
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
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        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
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        Page 273
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        Page 302
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        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
    Part VI: Caribbean bibliography
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
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Full Text






A publication of the
which contains the papers delivered at the seventh conference on the
Caribbean held at the University of Florida, December 6, 7, and 8, 1956.


13 110 l 00 95 00 95 50 0: 00 13 00


GUL~F 0f O\




0CEA N orI
rIl/I 44 ri

hO 00 l00 ~ Os so so 0o5I00
2 10 10 800 80 .-.ETEP5 sooo~Iiiocoi

lo, 9 73 l


edited by A. Curtis Wilgus



A University of Florida Press Book



ROLLIN S. ATWOOD, Regional Director, Office of Latin American
Operations, International Cooperation Administration, Wash-
SAM G. BAGGETT, Vice-President and General Counsel, United
Fruit Company, Boston
SIDNEY N. BERRY, Writer and Director for Radio and Television,
New York
J. C. D. BLAINE, School of Business Administration, University
of North Carolina
CHARLES R. CARROLL, Counsel to the Board of Directors, Na-
tional Foreign Trade Council, Inc., New York
THOMAS E. COTNER, Director, Educational Exchange and Train-
ing Branch, Office of Education, U.S. Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare
LUELLA N. DAMBAUGH, Department of Geography, University
of Miami
MARIETTA DANIELS, Associate Librarian, Columbus Memorial
Library, Pan American Union
DONALD MARQUAND DOZER, Lecturer, American University and
University of Maryland
SIR HUGH FOOT, Governor of Jamaica, Kingston
RALPH HANCOCK, Writer, Lecturer, and Traveler, Palm Springs,
FRANCISCO J. HERNANDEZ, Chief, Travel Division, Pan Amer-
ican Union
LAWRENCE F. HILL, Department of History, Ohio State Uni-

vi The Caribbean
THOMAS L. KARNES, Department of History, Tulane University
GARY MACEOIN, Editor, La Hacienda, New York
THOMAS M. MILLER, Assistant Vice-President, Traffic and Sales,
Delta Air Lines, Inc., Atlanta Airport, Atlanta
JESSE HARRIS PROCTOR, JR., Department of Political Science,
The American University at Cairo
J. WAYNE REITZ, President, University of Florida
GRAHAM H. STUART, Emeritus Professor, Department of Politi-
cal Science, Stanford University
ANDRi L. VAN ASSENDERP, Department of Political Science,
Florida State University
ARTHUR P. WHITAKER, Department of History, University of
JOHN W. WHITE, Executive Director, United States Inter-Ameri-
can Council, Washington
A. CURTIS WILGUS, Director, School of Inter-American Studies,
University of Florida


THE SUBJECT MATTER of this seventh volume in our Carib-
bean Conference Series is both timely and significant. The
steadily growing interests of the United States, and particularly
of the state of Florida, in the Caribbean area necessitate careful
and intelligent study not only of the history and civilization of our
neighbors but also of their relations with each other and with us.
We must not overlook the increased attention these countries are
attracting, and we should undertake to learn their desires with re-
gard to promoting and maintaining business and cultural relations
with other areas of the world. Especially, we wish to know how
they view our national and international policies with regard to
their own affairs, since the peoples of the Americas are growing
ever closer together as members of a large and important interna-
tional family. Mutual understanding of international actions and
intentions is essential.
In this, as in previous volumes, we have viewed the "Caribbean
Area" as including Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Vene-
zuela, the island republics, and the semisovereign areas. This
geographical unit is one in which the University of Florida
is especially interested since, indeed, our state is virtually a part
of it. This is one of the reasons why the University for more
than two generations has attracted students from these countries
and why we have developed an inter-American program of
increasing significance.
The University of Florida is grateful to the contributors to
this volume for presenting a clear picture of many of the aspects
of Contemporary International Relations of the Caribbean area.
While all phases of this subject cannot be treated in a brief
work of this nature, we believe that a picture has been presented
which will contribute to the knowledge of those who seek en-
lightenment upon this important topic.

viii The Caribbean
In organizing this conference, we enjoyed the cooperation of
the United Fruit Company, which has a long record of ac-
tivities in portions of the Caribbean area, while in the publi-
cation of this volume we have had the generous aid of Mr.
Walter B. Fraser of St. Augustine. We are glad to acknowledge
here our grateful appreciation for this dual assistance. We look
forward to succeeding conferences and the resulting publications,
which we are sure will provide students, teachers, and the public
in general with information of continuing and increasing value.
J. WAYNE REITZ, President
University of Florida


Map of Caribbean Area . . . .. Frontispiece
List of Contributors . . . . v
Foreword-J. WAYNE REITZ . . . .. Vii


3. Donald Marquand Dozer: CARIBBEAN RELATIONS


6. Jesse Harris Proctor, Jr.: THE INTERNATIONAL
7. Andr6 L. van Assenderp: THE NETHERLANDS

x The Caribbean
14. Francisco J. HernAndez: TOURIST TRAVEL AND
17. Luella N. Dambaugh: RECENT CARIBBEAN
MIGRATION . . ... 196
18. Thomas E. Cotner: STUDENT AND TEACHER
PROBLEMS . . . 311



IN A VOLUME dealing as this one does with contemporary in-
ternational relations of the Caribbean area, a brief glance at an
earlier and often forgotten phase of the relations of the Caribbean
countries with the United States may serve as a reminder that a
century ago our nearest neighbors to the south were far from
being our nearest friends. For it was then that the people of the
United States, from the highest to the lowest, were in the grip
of a national mania aptly called "Manifest Destiny."
The Manifest Destiny spirit or sentiment can be described
variously as a state of mind, an attitude, a conception of an
existing condition, or a goal to be reached. In the nineteenth
century it existed among laymen and statesmen in all parts of the
United States, who did not, however, always express the idea
in the same terms. Geographically it seems to have had its roots
in both a national and sectional superiority complex, while his-
torically it may be localized in the period from about 1846 to
1871 when all its characteristic symptoms were present.

The American people in 1846, when the war with Mexico
began, believed that they had a manifest right to certain portions
of the earth's surface, especially to certain areas in North America
and the adjacent islands, which would be large enough to accom-

xii The Caribbean
modate their future growth. After 1848, when the war came to
an end, the American people increasingly believed that their
institutions were especially blessed by divinity for the purpose
of extending them over the unenlightened parts and peoples of
the world, and particularly over those lands lying south of the
United States.
Until 1861 the slave-holding South desired more territory for
economic and political reasons, while the nonslave North sought
expansion for the sake of bestowing what they were pleased to
call a "Protestant Christian civilization" upon the backward states
of America and of spreading God-given American political insti-
tutions to these same regions. Since Manifest Destiny was never
a sectional or frontier sentiment exclusively, one finds individuals
in all parts of the United States expressing expansionist views,
including many prominent members of Congress and government
officials. Between the Mexican War and the Civil War these
individuals employed every argument which could be advanced
in favor of, or in opposition to, the sentiment of Manifest
Between 1848 and 1861 many national issues raised Manifest
Destiny arguments pro and con. After the close of the Mexican
War there arose in rapid succession the question of the annexa-
tion of YucatAn, the proposed building of the Panama railroad,
the presidential desire for Cuba, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of
1850, the L6pez Expedition to Cuba in 1851, the proposed tri-
partite agreement with England and France concerning Cuba in
1852, the threat of the British in Central America, the discussion
of the route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Gadsden
Purchase from Mexico in 1853, the Ostend Manifesto and the
proposal to annex Hawaii in 1854, the Walker episode in Central
America in 1856, and the move to purchase Cuba from 1858 to
The Civil War beginning in 1861 brought to a sudden stop
the desire to expand and to bestow our civilized blessings upon
inferior states. But with the war ended, the United States, after
its heroic purging, burned with self-rightousness and was con-
fident that its new mission was to spread freedom abroad in

the Western Hemisphere. Confidence in our institutions became
almost boundless, and Manifest Destiny sentiment was more
enthusiastically expressed than previously. The sentiment grew
rapidly in 1865 and 1866 when the problem of French occu-
pation in Mexico was not easily solved and when Secretary
Seward made a move to purchase the Danish islands and Alaska.
In the years 1869 to 1871 occurred the move to establish
protectorates in Haiti and Santo Domingo, the desire to acquire
Samand Bay, and the expressed sympathy for the revolutionists
in the Cuban Civil War. A climax was finally reached in 1870-
1871 in the discussion of the Babcock Treaty (of November 29,
1869) for the annexation of Santo Domingo. At this point the
German-American, Carl Schurz, Senator from Missouri, gave the
coup-de-main to the issue by restating all the possible arguments
against American expansion.
After this date, in consequence, Manifest Destiny sentiment
underwent a partial eclipse, particularly in relation to our neigh-
bors to the south. In its place appeared for a short time the
new Pan-American Conference friendship movement. Eventually
Manifest Destiny was merged into a national imperialistic move-
ment of "Dollar Diplomacy" and "Big Stick Policy" which absorbed
and extended the earlier Manifest Destiny feeling.
To understand better the official Manifest Destiny sentiment
of the United States one must examine briefly several general
views held by statesmen concerning our expansion in the Western
Hemisphere as well as some particular opinions held by these
individuals with regard to the acquisition of Mexican, Central
American, and West Indian territories. No attempt is made here
to show the anti-Manifest Destiny sentiment which, although it
existed between 1846 and 1871, carried practically no weight
with the American public.

There was a great similarity in official views concerning
Manifest Destiny expressed throughout the United States. For
the most part these were optimistic in concept and enthusiastic
in nature. Some individuals believed that the whole continent

xiv The Caribbean
should and would eventually belong to the United States. Vice-
President Dallas believed that the United States would be the
guardian of a "crowded and confederated continent" which, as
Senator Foote of Massachusetts asserted, would be acquired
"piece by piece." Some, like Representative Cox of Ohio, believed
that the weak American nations to the south would inevitably
gravitate toward our stronger one. Representative Spaulding,
from the same state, asserted his belief that the United States
was destined to spread over the whole continent of America and
the islands adjacent as sure as anything is "decreed in the councils
of Infinite Wisdom." Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts was
carried away by his enthusiasm. He said, "I believe that within
my day I shall see the Stars and Stripes floating as evidence of
our control and beneficient power at the Isthmus of Darien,
while the traveler at the North Pole shall mistake the radiance
of its red and white for the glow of the aurora." If the countries
to the south would not come into our orbit of their own volition,
the United States must use force, if necessary, asserted Senator
Collamar of Vermont.
A group of expansionists called "Young America" demanded
Cuba and "all of the islands of the main gulf." They also
expressed a wish for Canada and an ownership of all the isthmian
routes between the Atlantic and the Pacific. All North American
territory, according to Congressman Garrett of New York, should
be annexed to the United States so that we might have an
opportunity to enlighten the peoples of this area.
In 1858 Representative Lewis D. Campbell introduced in
Congress a resolution to negotiate with the mother governments
concerning the possession of the "Canadas, Nova Scotia, and
other portions of North America, and Cuba and other islands
adjacent thereto." Representative Orth of Indiana demanded that
the United States extend its territory "from the North Pole to
the Equator."
Many people believed that the United States was destined
to expand southward since, as Representative Evans of Texas
affirmed, all nations and people have been attracted toward
warmer climates. Therefore, he said, we should turn from the

"barren forests of Canada" and the "black fogs of Newfoundland"
to the "orange gardens of Cuba and the palmy fields of Mexico."
Representative Hawkins of Florida concurred in this belief.
Some individuals favored a slower expansion than others.
Representative Hilliard of Alabama, in contemplating the exten-
sion of our civilization over the continent, affirmed: "Let this
growth of our institutions be spontaneous and gradual, and let
neighboring provinces seek to come within the sheltering sanctity
of our government." Representative Bell of Ohio would not
hasten the annexation of these areas, and Senator Pugh, also of
Ohio, suggested that we only take territory as we needed it.
Senator Hale of New Hampshire suggested that we adopt an
honorable expansion on just, honest, and patriotic principles
without "deception or humbug."
Many were convinced that the extension of the influence of
the Anglo-Saxon race would be a blessing to the peoples of the
Western Hemisphere. Senator Miller affirmed that Manifest
Destiny meant "the spread of the Anglo-Saxon race-the glory
of extending our territory from sea to sea." Soon our race would
eventually people the whole continent. Senator Dix of New York
desired to populate the whole continent with white people only,
thus, as he said, bettering science, the arts, and morals.
One of the most persistent reasons proposed in favor of Mani-
fest Destiny was the belief that the United States was chosen by
God to spread the "Light of Civilization." This notion appeared
frequently and in widely scattered places. Representative Quit-
man of Mississippi affirmed that the United States is "destined
by Providence, as we fondly hope, to promote the civilization, the
moral and physical improvement, the devotion and happiness of
man on earth." Senator H. V. Johnson of Georgia asserted: "I
believe it to be the manifest design of Providence, either that the
whole of North America should be embraced within our Republic
or that through the influence of our institutions, it is to become
the theater of the highest civilization and freedom." All obstacles
should be swept from our path in this "glorious mission." Repre-
sentative Mullins of Tennessee believed that if "there is a destiny
of God in the future of this government . then . we

xvi The Caribbean
shall inhabit this land and all adjacent to it." In a burst of
almost divine inspiration he concluded: five hundred years have
given the Saxon people dominion over a portion of this continent;
"five thousand more will give them the whole world."
Representative Latham of California undoubtedly expressed
the views of many of his fellow citizens when he said: "Destiny
is nothing but the final result of all the tendencies of our moral
and physical system; it is the effect of the laws of nature, whose
operations, whenever they are most beneficent, are silent and
secret, not boisterous and noisy, by fits and starts. . It is our
mission to instill new life into the feeble and misgoverned people
grown on the debris of Spanish power in America, and of the
colonies still subjected to the withering influence of her rule, but
we must not expect to fulfill it in our age, or in a century. We
must not be tempted to absorb faster than we can assimilate."

The Mexican War, 1846 to 1848, first generally turned the
attention of the people of the United States toward the problems
of expansion in that area. By the end of the war, Manifest
Destiny sentiment had become national and it was frequently
asserted that the whole West seemed committed to a policy of
complete dismemberment of Mexico. Most democratic papers in
the United States favored the annexation of Mexico, and it was
claimed that even England believed that the United States should
assume the tutelage of Mexico.
Many members of Congress agreed that the whole of Mexico
should be claimed and held as "a territorial appendage." Some,
like Representative Stanton of Tennessee, would absorb all of
Mexico, and toasts to this effect were offered at banquets. A. D.
Sims of South Carolina wanted "the absolute conquest" of all of
Mexico. If it were not possible to acquire all of Mexico, then,
according to Representative Turner of Illinois, we should take a
portion in lieu of a money indemnity. Some members of Congress
wanted to annex only the Mexican territory occupied by United
States troops. There were very few congressmen, however, who
thought of peace with Mexico without territorial acquisition.



Many congressmen and others argued that Mexico would be
much better off as a part of the United States. Senator Rusk of
Texas believed that certainly the northern part of Mexico, which
had been poorly governed from the capital, would be better
governed if annexed to the United States. To attach Mexico to
the United States would result in "happiness and prosperity" for
the Mexican people, asserted Senator Thomas of Tennessee.
Senator McLane of Maryland was confident that the "free and
glorious civilization of our people" would be shared with the
Mexicans. "The liberated millions of Mexicans would bless the
sword of the conqueror and spurn the rude despotism of the
privileged classes, who now sport with and oppress them." Thus,
in the words of Senator Foote of Massachusetts, the "Americani-
zation of Mexico would be achieved."
The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo gave the United States about
half of the territory of Mexico. While this treaty was being
negotiated, the question arose concerning United States protection
for the Peninsula of YucatAn. A number of persons wished to
exclude this territory from the treaty so that the United States
might acquire it in order to prevent it from falling into foreign
hands. YucatAn together with Cuba, it was asserted, were "the
lock and key" to the Gulf of Mexico.
Following the conclusion of the Mexican War, border friction
between the United States and Mexico frequently became serious.
Often there were reciprocal raids across the Rio Grande. When
American filibusters made such raids they were called the "ad-
vance guard of Manifest Destiny." The Gadsden Purchase in
1853 gave rise to further desire for the absorption of Mexico.
Gadsden himself believed that "the whole valley of the Rio
Grande" must be under the same government, and that either
Texas must return to Mexico or that the adjacent Mexican states
must come into the Union by revolution or purchase. In 1856,
Mr. Yoakum of Texas, in an article on "The Republic of Mexico
and the United States," warned Mexico in these words: "Remem-
ber what I tell you. It is now the middle of the nineteenth
century; you have been struggling for three centuries, and have
done nothing yet; you must make progress or you will be absorbed

xviii The Caribbean
by a more energetic race." The United States Minister to Mexico,
Mr. John Forsyth, saw Mexico's only future hope in an alliance
with the United States or possibly with an infusion of Americans
into the Mexican army.
After the Civil War ended, members of Congress again turned
their attention to Manifest Destiny. On November 25, 1867,
Representative Miller of Pennsylvania introduced a joint resolu-
tion in Congress for the annexation of the Mexican republic, but
this was killed in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Senator Nye
of Nevada believed that we should take more Mexican territory
"in order to complete the symmetry" of our republic. He said the
United States should "raise the standard of their [the Mexican
peoples] intelligence and increase their love and respect for
republican institutions. The duty of the United States at present
is that of a great teacher; indeed I may say that the United States
at the present day is a great missionary. . I would conquer
her with our benign principles. I should scatter our population
among them, and make everyone of them a missionary. I would
have them speak encouraging words of promise for the future of
that country."

In Central America in 1855 and 1856, William Walker's
activities attracted a great deal of attention. Mr. Yoakum of
Texas asserted that "Walker is on a mission of civilization." Mr.
Hofer of Virginia wrote: "It is immaterial whether Walker suc-
ceeds in Nicaragua to establish himself or whether he succumbs
to the powers that are brought to bear against him. Nature will
have its way and Walker . is but the precursor of a mightier
power, an evolutionary instrument in the hands of an unchange-
able fate. . We believe, and believe firmly, in the destiny
of our country as made manifest by the spirit of American propa-
gandism and the genius of the American people."
Walker's early success suggested to Mr. Pollard of New York
that all of Central America should be "Americanized"-this would
be accomplished, he asserted, by sending American citizens to
these countries to enter military service. Representative Thayer

of Massachusetts suggested the colonization of American citizens
in Central American countries. Representative Anderson of Mis-
souri declared: "Let no technical impediment be thrown in the
way of our Americanizing Central America. Humanity, Philan-
throphy, and Christianity demand that it should be at no distant
day. Such is our Manifest Destiny, and why should we be afraid
to proclaim it to the world? Wave upon wave of immigration
will roll in upon that country, until, ere long, its internal wars,
ignorance, superstition, and anarchy, will be supplemented by
peace, knowledge, Christianity, and our own Heaven-born insti-
tutions." He concluded, "a controlling influence over Central
America in particular is due to us from commercial necessity as
from a political necessity."

The West Indies, like Central America, were coveted by
American statesmen. Generally speaking, before the Civil War,
the South favored the acquisition of this territory for the extension
of slavery. Statesmen of the North before the Civil War viewed
these islands as outposts of our military defense, because a number
of them, they declared, guarded the Gulf and the mouth of the
Mississippi. After the Civil War, both North and South favored
possession of the Caribbean islands since they benefited and pro-
tected our growing trade in the Gulf and the Caribbean. There-
fore, they were manifestly destined to come under the control
of the United States. Representative Keitt of South Carolina made
articulate this opinion by saying, "to achieve our destiny, the
waters of the Gulf must be a mare nostrum." And Senator Mal-
lory of Alabama likened the Gulf's relation to the United States
to the relation of the Irish Channel to England. He said, "no
foreign flag shall then float upon its bosom but by permission
of the United States."
Cuba, particularly before the Civil War, attracted the attention
of our statesmen. Representative Evans of Texas said, "Cuba is
ours by the gift of God and nature, by contiguity and colocation,
and by the clearest sanction of the laws of nations because it is
dangerous to our peace and safety while in other hands than ours.

xx The Caribbean
. . Necessity implies more than this-that we must have it,
and cannot even exist as an independent people without it."
Representative Wright of Georgia said that the United States must
possess Cuba because it "commands the mouth of the Mississippi."
Representative Anderson of Missouri would obtain Cuba by pur-
chase for a "fair and just" price, or even through seizure, if
necessary. Senator John Slidell of Louisiana introduced a bill in
Congress to appropriate funds to negotiate with Spain for Cuba,
while Representative Taylor of Louisiana introduced a resolution
to purchase Cuba for $12,000,000 and to add it to the Union
as a state. Representative Reuban Davis of Mississippi asserted
that if the South became free as a result of the Civil War, it
would seize Cuba. Senator Polk of Missouri said that Cuba "is
the counterpart of . the valley of the Mississippi. . .
Cuba . is on the one hand necessary to the United States
and on the other hand the United States is necessary to her."
Representative J. B. Clay of Kentucky asserted that Cuba "stands
in the way of our continual advancement and prosperity" and
that we should acquire it sooner or later. Senator Mason of
Virginia asserted that "whether we acquire Cuba in this generation
or in the next . come it will just as certainly as that the
world revolves on its axis." Senator Polk of Tennessee prophe-
sied, "the future of Cuba is sealed; . no person under heaven
can change it. . Cuba is destined to be ours, and no power on
earth can prevent it. Let her alone and she will come in of her-
self." In any case, asserted Robert Toombs, Senator from Georgia,
Cuba should be acquired peaceably and "fairly and honorably."
Haiti and the Dominican Republic, after the American Civil
War, began to attract considerable attention. During January,
February, and March, 1869, a number of joint resolutions were
introduced in Congress to annex Santo Domingo. These resolu-
tions were championed chiefly by Representative Orth of Indiana
and Representatives N. D. Banks and Benjamin F. Butler of
Massachusetts, the latter introducing nearly a dozen joint reso-
lutions for annexation of that island. On the night of December
21-22, 1870, the Senate held an all-night session debating the
annexation of Santo Domingo.

In these same years following the Civil War, many ardent
expansionists expressed a wish for other parts of the West Indies.
Senator Oliver P. Morton of Indiana asserted, "I regard it as a
destiny not to be averted . that we should acquire Santo
Domingo, and Cuba, and Puerto Rico." Representative Fitch of
Nevada believed that if we should annex Santo Domingo we
would then get both Haiti and Cuba to join the United States.
Representative Wilkinson of Minnesota asserted that the whole
of the West Indies and Central America should be joined to the
United States, while Representative Wood of New York would
add Mexico to complete the picture. Perhaps the height of
absurdity was reached when Representative Woodward of Penn-
sylvania stated his belief that the founders of the United States
in using the term "continental" army, laws, governments, etc.,
had in mind not only the West Indies but the whole continent.

In any discussion of Manifest Destiny between 1846 and 1871
it is important to examine the opinions of United States presidents
regarding the sentiment. President Polk at the beginning of the
period looked covetously toward Oregon and California, but he
did not wish to take all of Mexico at the end of the war, although
a group of his political opponents accused him of desiring to
conquer and annex most of Mexico. As regards YucatAn, Presi-
dent Polk did not wish to allow any foreign interference in that
area, while in connection with Cuba he opposed its revolution-
izing for purposes of annextion to the United States but he did
favor the purchase of the island.
Neither President Taylor nor President Fillmore supported
Manifest Destiny. On the other hand, President Pierce in his
inaugural address of 1853 said: "The policy of my administration
will not be controlled by any timid forebodings of evil from
expansion. Indeed, it is not to be disguised that our attitude as
a nation and our position on the globe render the acquisition of
certain possessions not within our jurisdiction eminently impor-
tant for our protection, if not in the future essential for the
preservation of the rights of commerce and the peace of the

xxii The Caribbean
world." Then he added: "Should they be obtained it will be
through no grasping spirit, and in a manner entirely consistent
with the strictest observance of national faith."
President Buchanan was a believer in national expansion, and
the Democratic Party which elected him expressed sympathy with
Walker's activities in Nicaragua. On January 7, 1858, in his
message to Congress President Buchanan asserted, "it is beyond
question the destiny of our race to spread themselves over the
continent of North America and this at no distant day, should
events be permitted to take their natural course." But he added,
such expansion should be peaceful "unless circumstances should
occur" which render the use of force "justifiable under the im-
perative and overruling law of self-preservation."
President Lincoln, while favoring the prosecution of the
Mexican War, never seemed to favor wide conquest of territory,
especially if it should mean the extension of slavery. Asked by
Stephen Douglas whether he opposed the acquisition of new
territory unless slavery was first prohibited, Lincoln replied: "I
am not generally opposed to honest acquisition of territory, and
in any case, I would or would not oppose such acquisition accord-
ingly as I might think such acquisition would or would not
aggravate the slavery question among ourselves." During the war,
on April 14, 1862, President Lincoln expressed the belief that
Central America would be an excellent place for the colonization
of Negroes from the United States.
President Johnson, in his third annual message to Congress
on December 3, 1867, said, "I agree with our early statesmen
that the West Indies naturally gravitate to, and may be expected
ultimately to be absorbed by, the continental states including our
own. I agree with them also that it is wise to leave the question
of such absorption to the process of natural political gravitation."
A year later, on December 9, 1868, the president asserted: "too
little has been done by us . to attach the communities by
which we are surrounded to our country, or to lend even moral
support to the efforts they are so resolutely and so consistently
making to secure republican institutions for themselves. . .
Comprehensive national policy would seem to sanction the acqui-

sition and incorporation into our Federal Union of several adja-
cent continental and insular communities as speedily as it can be
done peaceably, lawfully, and without any violation of national
justice, faith and honor."
President Grant changed his mind about territorial acquisition
during his administration. On April 5, 1871, in a special mes-
sage to Congress concerning the acquisition of Santo Domingo,
he asserted: "When I accepted the arduous and responsible
position which I now hold, I did not dream of instituting any
steps for the acquisition of insular possessions. I believed, how-
ever, that our institutions were broad enough to extend over the
entire continent as rapidly as other peoples might desire to bring
themselves under our protection."

The great champion of Manifest Destiny in the United States
in the years 1846 to 1871 was William H. Seward of New York.
This astute statesman foresaw the war with Mexico as early as
1844, but it was his early opinion that the United States should
not expand through warfare, and he opposed the annexation of
the whole of Mexico when others favored it. However, Seward
firmly believed that Mexico eventually would join the United
States, certainly if the right to use the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
were obtained by the United States. In this connection he be-
lieved that Mexico would oppose such a union with us for fear
that Negro slavery might be forced upon her. Consequently, if
the United States should annex Mexico we should wait until we
had abolished slavery. Then, after the acquisition of Mexico we
would secure the West Indies, Central America, and Canada,
and, he asserted, the capital of the United States would be moved
to Mexico City.
On September 26, 1860, in a speech at Lawrence, Kansas,
Senator Seward asserted, "it is not our choice . that our lot
as a people is cast upon a continent, and that we are so consti-
tuted that in spite of ourselves we must become, sooner or later,
the possessors of the whole continent of North America. . .
France and Spain and Great Britain, who formerly acquired vast


The Caribbean

possessions on this continent, have been gradually giving way.
. . Every year they are weaker, and it is only a question of
fifty or a hundred years before we shall be masters of the Ameri-
can confederacy or republic all over this." Then he described
his visions of the future: "I sometimes allow myself to indulge
in speculations concerning the period when there shall be on this
continent no other power than the United States; and a new
constitution of human society opens itself before me when I con-
template the influence then to be wrought on Europe and Asia
by the American people situated midway between the abodes of
western and oriental civilization." When this time comes, he
said, there will result "a higher state of development and civiliza-
tion than ever Europe and the United States have yet attained."
The United States will then "renovate the condition of mankind."
If necessary, he believed, the United States should seize European
possessions in America. "The monarchs of Europe are to have no
rest, while they have a colony remaining on this continent. . .
It behooves us, then, to qualify ourselves for our mission-we
must dare our destiny." These results are inevitable, as foreign
peoples desire our protection and Americans favor an expansion
that will enable them to take their institutions with them.
Perhaps one of the best statements concerning Manifest Des-
tiny was expressed by Seward in Rutland, Vermont, in 1852,
when he was beginning to attract attention as the champion par
excellence of the Manifest Destiny sentiment. On that occasion
he said: "Wherever the American people go they will draw the
American government over them; . expansion and incorpora-
tion were the laws impressed on the American people two hun-
dred years ago, and they yield to those laws now just as they
have hitherto done, because they have arisen out of circumstances
above national control and are inevitable. Let me not, however,
be misunderstood. I advocate no headlong progress, counsel no
precipitate movement, much less any one involving war, violence,
or injustice. I would not seize with haste, and force the fruit,
which ripening in time will fall of itself into our hands. . .
I have shown you that a continent is to be peopled and even
distant lands to be colonized by us."

Today, a hundred years later, the still small voice of national
conscience has changed its emphasis. The peoples of the Ameri-
cas have now fashioned a friendly family and they frequently
try to forget that once upon a time they viewed each other with
covetous contempt or with a fearful fatalism depending on which
side of a political boundary they happened to be. Certainly, they
are better "Good Neighbors" than they once were.

School of Inter-American Studies

Reference Note: In the preparation of this account of Manifest Destiny
the following references have been used:
A. Curtis Wilgus, "Official Expressions of Manifest Destiny Sentiment
Concerning Hispanic America, 1848-1871," Louisiana Historical Quarter-
ly, XV, 3 (July, 1932), 486-506; E. G. Bourne, "Proposed Absorption
of Mexico in 1847-48," Annual Report, American Historical Association,
I (1899), 155-169; J. M. Callahan, "The Mexican Policy of Southern
Leaders under Buchanan's Administration," Annual Report, American His-
torical Association (1910), 133-151; Mary W. Williams, "Secessionist
Diplomacy in Yucatan," Hispanic American Historical Review, IX, 2
(May, 1929), 132-143; J. Fred Rippy, "Diplomacy of the United States
and Mexico Regarding the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, 1848-1860," Mis-
sissippi Valley Historical Review, VI, 4 (March, 1920), 503-531; W. O.
Scroggs, "William Walker and the Steamboat Corporation in Nicaragua,"
American Historical Review, X, 4 (July, 1905), 792-811; J. W. Pratt,
"The Origin of 'Manifest Destiny'," American Historical Review (July,
1927), 797-800; T. C. Smith, "Expansion after the War, 1865-1871,"
Political Science Quarterly (Sept., 1901), 412-436; H. L. Wilson, "Presi-
dent Buchanan's Proposed Intervention in Mexico," American Historical
Review, V (1900), 687-701.



Part I




arming some of my potential critics. In the first place, I am
consciously shedding the role of historian and putting on the
tattered garment of commentator on recent and current affairs.
Secondly, I am not attempting a coverage of all the recent occur-
rences in the twenty or more cross-sections included within the
confines of this conference. Rather, I am selecting for comment
a few topics of a more or less general nature which seem of para-
mount interest to me, with as much particularization as time will
permit. If my treatment trespasses upon the sacred preserves
marked off by the political scientist, the economist, the sociologist,
the military strategist, and a dozen other disciplinarians, I offer
no extended apology, for to me these preserves are merely adjuncts
of history anyway.
With these delimitations of objective, first of all I wish to
remind you for perhaps the thousandth time of the importance
of this geographic area designated the Caribbean in the security
of the United States in particular and of the Western Hemisphere
in general. Its importance was recognized by Thomas Jefferson
and his contemporaries one hundred and fifty years ago; it was
so recognized by Theodore Roosevelt and his contemporaries fifty
years ago; it was thus recognized-with increasing emphasis-by

4 The Caribbean
Franklin D. Roosevelt and his counsellors fifteen years ago; and
it is so perceived-with still greater urgency-by all the articulate
people of the entire Hemisphere at the end of 1956. During
World War II, both the political and military strategists of the
Western Hemisphere considered the region the second line of
defense in that great struggle with Old World totalitarianism. If
we may hazard a glance into the future, its importance in World
War III may probably be of even greater significance in our own
and in Hemisphere defense than in any preceding era. Indeed,
it may become the first line of defense in the security of the West-
ern Hemisphere-or possibly of the entire world.
But since our Latino friends south of the border are slow to
forgive, or even forget, the major blunders we Yankees and our
agents committed in the Caribbean region during the first third
of the century-at which time the flapper politicians at Wash-
ington were initiating the program many have called painless im-
perialism-it might be good practical politics and even cleanse
our souls a bit if we would frankly acknowledge these blunders.
Surely our supranationalistic pride would not permit us to
apologize for them. Obviously, I am alluding to the inexcusable
blunders committed in acquiring the military bases in the region,
in seizing the canal zone across the Isthmus of Panama, and in
the maintenance of unilateral military rule over the area for a
generation. I characterize these ventures as inexcusable because
all the desired objectives could have been achieved if a little
patience and finesse-too often absent at Washington-had been
substituted for impatient political outbursts smacking of modern
totalitarianism. I wish to emphasize the fact that these abrupt
ventures proved very unfortunate, for they bore in their wake
mountains of irritations and ill will for us Yankees among millions
of Latinos within and outside the region immediately concerned.
These irritations, even after the lapse of a half-century, are still
bearing badly infected fruit.

Although the effects of these major mistakes committed by our
military and political agents in setting up and maintaining the

hegemony of the United States in the Caribbean have been some-
what mitigated with the passing of time and modification of
earlier tactics, Yankee policy in dealing with the problems arising
in the region's cross-sections has still been far from successful.
While I have no practical formula for the perfect solution of
these problems, I do wish to enumerate a few factors which, I
think, have been too often ignored in the past, and are being
ignored today, in the attempt to deal with them. Many of these
lie in the general realm of what we now call heritage. So, bear
with me for a few minutes as I recall the most obvious of these
historical factors: namely, the long political heritage of autocracy
in contrast to our own more fortunate one of a slowly evolving
democracy; the presence of a wretchedly poor, illiterate class
reaching almost to the apex of the social pyramid, and exploited
by a small hacendado group; the presence of a large group aborig-
inal at the core, whose psychology lies in the realm of mystery
untouched by the Anglo-Saxon psychologists or sociologists; and,
finally, the existence of an upper stratum of people apparently
biologically predisposed to argue, to differ, and to fight rather than
compromise, accommodate, and adjust.
I am not so naive as to suggest that an awareness of the
existence of these factors characterizing our Latino neighbors on
the part of the Yankee politicians and their diplomatic agents
would have brought a happy solution to all the numerous and
diversified problems arising between us and our southern neigh-
bors; but I am suggesting that an awareness of these general,
elementary factors on the part of millions of us Yankees, includ-
ing our political agents, might have smoothed the road to far
more intelligent solutions than those consummated in the past.
May I digress a thousand miles from my present line-if I am
following one-to say that as a loyal and devoted son of Yankee-
land, I am ashamed to admit, after forty years of observation,
the breadth and depth of our ignorance concerning our near-
neighbors to the south. But as a professedly honest observer, I
must confess that the childish behavior and unconventional man-
ners of many of us who flock to these tropical lands on vacations
would scandalize a Main Street.

6 The Caribbean
By way of relief from any possible anxiety I may have caused,
I hasten to say that I am not disposed to absolve the inhabitants
-particularly the politico-military leaders-of these neighboring
lands of all responsibility in the shaping of their national desti-
nies. Indeed, I know that the major responsibility for the trends
in their national development has in the past, does today, and
will in the future rest upon the natives (not the aboriginal
group) themselves. Surely, I know that the Latino politicians
and their henchmen have been in the past, and are today, the
negotiating agents and the political manipulators through whom
the foreigners have acquired economic footholds in these coun-
tries. In manifold other ways the native master class has been
only the worst in the proverbial "den of thieves."

Before tuning my fiddle any further, and therefore bringing
down upon my head an avalanche of criticism, I shall try to
discuss briefly a few of the practical problems that have con-
fronted the Yankee and Latino politicians and their agents in
recent years. As I do so, let me remind you that, however recent
these problems may appear to the superficial observer, all of them
have long historical backgrounds which cannot be ignored by
those who attempt to understand and to resolve them.
One of the perennial and most complicated of these problems
is that of the official attitude of Washington toward the bewilder-
ing number of political factions which have risen to power in
their native lands, and have of necessity turned to the Potomac
for recognition. As we well know, the Washington officials have
usually announced that their government was following the de
facto principle, a concept as old as the national government itself;
but, as we are equally cognizant, in actual practice the United
States has often made a mockery of this principle. Witness, for
examples, the three-day recognition of the Panama revolutionists
of 1903; or the recognition-some politicians at Washington
have termed it "moral" rather than "legal"-of Carlos Castillo
Armas of Guatemala in July, 1954, before any of the revolution-
ists had even put foot on Guatemalan soil. On the other hand,

recall the years of delay before Washington would extend official
countenance to regimes in Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, and Haiti.
Isn't it accurate to say that the program concerning Washington's
attitude toward recognition in the Caribbean world has been as
irregular as the machinations of the politico-military cliques striv-
ing for control in these countries? I know the cynical answer of
those closest to the erratic program. It needs no repetition here.
I only wish I had the specific information and the time to en-
lighten you on the real causes which lay behind this erratic pro-
gram announced at Washington from time to time; but in the
absence of specific information my lips are sealed.

The official attitude of the United States toward the Latino
governments following initial recognition has been as varied as
the recognition program itself, perhaps as bewilderingly erratic
in nature as the regimes themselves. Many of the regimes strug-
gling against overwhelming odds at home to promote reform pro-
grams, at least looking toward improvement of the lot for the
masses of their people, have found themselves in great disfavor
at Washington; while other regimes with questionable domestic
programs and employing administrative procedures hardly re-
moved from the jungle state of existence have, like Tennyson's
"babbling brook," run on indefinitely without a murmur of repri-
mand from our babbling politicians on the Potomac. In the latter
category falls the notorious Rafael Leonidas Trujillo regime, now
entering upon its second quarter-century's duration in the Domi-
nican Republic, with its hundred and fifty or more political
assassinations-many of important personages-at home and in
neighboring countries by the dictator's "International Murder,
Inc." Eventually it may be found that this agency of our good
friend who struts the streets of New York with a public acclaim
that seems second only to that of our "rock 'n' roll" king was
responsible for the kidnapping, and probable murder, of Jesis de
Galindez, the erstwhile Spanish lecturer at Columbia University.
A few people in this country feel that our FBI might have been
a bit more vigorous in cooperating with the police authorities of

8 The Caribbean
New York City in their attempts to apprehend the kidnaper, and
probable murderer, of our country's guest-professor. Some of us
suspect that Washington's solicitude might have been somewhat
greater had the New York victim been dictator Anastasio Somoza,
dictator Gustavo Rojas, dictator Perez Jimenez, or the archdic-
tator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo himself.
The official attitude of our government toward events in the
Central American hot spot of Guatemala has attracted more public
attention in the past few months than the occurrences in any
other country in the Caribbean cauldron. The spokesmen of the
Eisenhower administration from the General down have frequent-
ly stated with pride the role their government has played in shap-
ing the course of events in this heartland of Middle America.
Though speaking in a babble of tongues, usually they have been
in agreement in announcing that the major objective was to rid
Guatemala of a regime which was receiving support from Com-
munist elements, some of whose representatives had infiltrated
the innermost precincts of activity. They seem to have ignored
the fact that a socioeconomic-political upheaval had been raging
in Guatemala for many years and that the incumbent, President
Arbenz GuzmAn, was struggling against overwhelming odds to
compromise the views of irreconcilable groups striving for control
of Guatemala City.
All present here know that the Washington administration lent
its "moral," but far more important its "material," influence in
bringing about the overthrow of the Communist-infiltrated Arbenz
regime and the substitution therefore of the present one of Castillo
Armas. With much greater satisfaction you know that our govern-
ment pursued its drastic course in Guatemala in 1954 with
at least the tacit approval of some of the representatives of the
Organization of American States, and in accordance with the
anti-Communist pacts and resolves ratified by most members of
this hopeful organization.
And what concerning the results of the Castillo Armas regime
born in July, 1954? They have not been heartening, as any
student of Latino affairs knew they would not be. President
Castillo Armas has not lessened his difficulties by exiling a few

Communists, suspending numerous constitutional guarantees of
freedom, and now and then involving martial law. He has not
fulfilled his early promise to govern without resorting to "demogo-
guery and extremism." The unfortunate, but inevitable, revolu-
tion goes on.
The Republic of Panama-the narrow coupling pin of the two
continents of the Western Hemisphere-which has been a source
of constant irritation for Washington for more than a half-century
now, may almost any day become the hottest spot in United States-
Caribbean (even inter-American) relations. Inspired by the
events in the Suez Canal controversy, a radical upsurge of nation-
alism is manifesting itself daily in a growing bitterness toward
the United States over the Panama Canal. If President Nasser
succeeds in the Old World-and eventually he will to a large
extent-then Washington politicians can expect all sorts of com-
plications with the Panamanians over their interests, and rights,
in their homeland. Indeed, Nasser's success will likely become a
symbol for Panamanians, as well as for small-nations people
everywhere. Little wonder Secretary Dulles was not at first anx-
ious to have the Suez question aired before the United Nations!
With the rise of the irresistible tide of nationalism and with the
restless upsurge of the masses of people for a better life, the
United States in the future can expect to encounter perennial
difficulties of diverse kinds in all the areas of the Caribbean.
I am aware of the fact that many people will be disposed to
question my emphasis here, if not to tear my conclusions to bits.
They may possibly react by citing some of the thousand or so
"whereases" resolutions coming from the hundred or more con-
ferences which have convened in the Pan-American world during
the past two-thirds of a century, practically all of which in verbi-
age seem to point toward a Hemisphere of peace and bliss. To
this optimistic and unrealistic citation, I would offer this reply:
If whereases and resolves, executive agreements, and solemn
formal pacts could solve differences, there would never be a riffle
on the international waters of the Pan-American world; for
surely these agreements, pacts, and resolves, if they possessed
efficacy in themselves, have been numerous enough to cleanse

10 The Caribbean
every dungeon in hell. I would say also that a few official air
junkets to all the Latino capitals, even by the highest officials in
our government, are wholly inadequate for this hydrogen age the
scientists have thrust upon us.

After having been mildly critical of Yankee politicians in their
conduct toward our Caribbean neighbors, I should at least sug-
gest the general terms of an approach which I think merits a
trial, and thereby avoid being cast into oblivion as a pure, im-
practical academician. I choose to call the new approach that
of the "inner defense," a term I did not originate but nevertheless
like. This approach should at least now be in good repute, for
President Eisenhower introduced it officially at the Panama con-
ference of the Pan-American chiefs of state held in July, 1956.
At that meeting to commemorate Sim6n Bolivar's conference of
1826, the ailing but hearty president invited all the American re-
publics to name representatives to an Inter-American committee
whose duty it would be to plan a cooperative program in the eco-
nomic, financial, social, and technical fields of endeavor. Almost
immediately the State Department named Dr. Milton S. Eisen-
hower, the president's brother, as United States representative on
the committee.
I am happy to report that within a month of the announcement
of the general plan President Eisenhower called for Western
Hemisphere cooperation in developing nuclear electric power
and other benefit programs of a mutual nature. I feel sure that
you and others elsewhere, when and if they hear about them, will
join me in applauding these press announcements of the President
and the State Department. But let one casual academic observer
in the field of Yankee-Latino relationships remind you that this
announced program, like many others of the past, has yet to be
subjected to a costly pragmatic test. Its real success will depend
upon these, and perhaps many other, factors: the investment in
the Caribbean countries of billions of public and private capital
in long-range projects devised, first of all, to raise the living stand-
ards of millions of human beings who now exist below the sub-

sistence level and, secondly, of course, to yield adequate returns
to the investor; the training, both in the United States and in the
Latino areas, of thousands of scientists and technicians endowed
and trained for service to humanity, as well as for their specialized
tasks, in order to carry out this revolution; the establishment and
maintenance of an educational system throughout the Caribbean
world to help the masses of people toward a better economic,
social, and political existence; and, finally, a broad educational
program in Yankeeland-not just a fiddling, kindergarten, visual-
aids affair-that would afford an opportunity for millions of us
to gain an elementary, yet basic, knowledge of our neighbors to
the south, a knowledge that would help us to understand and
respect our Latino friends wherever we may encounter them.
Thank God, Florida and a few other states on our southern border,
chiefly through their universities, are leading the way in laying
the foundation for this educational program in Yankeeland. Let
us hope that the sections of Yankeeland lying north of these gate-
ways to the Latino world also see their opportunities near home
as clearly as they see those in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
If official Washington will implement President Eisenhower's
pronouncement at Panama with a program somewhat along the
line of these general suggestions, I feel that this spiritual, "inner
defense" approach will resolve more United States-Caribbean
problems than all the volumes of formal pacts and mutual agree-
ments piled up during the last two-thirds of a century. And,
selfishly enough, it might be just barely possible that we Yankees
may again need the moral, economic, and political support of
these near-neighbors who sit astride the lifeline connecting the
Atlantic and the Pacific, holding together the two great land
masses of the Western Hemisphere.



WHAT, IN HUMAN TERMS, is this Caribbean area that we
are to discuss in relation to the rest of Latin America? Let us
start by hearing what one son of that area, and one gringo, have
to say about it. In 1945, the colombiano German Arciniegas de-
scribed the Caribbean as a "frontier zone" which has "become the
prey of soulless commercial enterprises and the private domain of
base dictators." In 1954, the norteamericano Daniel James wrote
in his book, Red Design for the Americas: "The Caribbean is the
scene of a vast Red conspiracy . the object of which is noth-
ing less than the transformation of the Caribbean Sea into a
Soviet lake."
Together, our two commentators announce three of the major
themes of recent Caribbean history: penetration by the United
States, penetration by the Soviet Union (or international com-
munism), and dictatorship. As everyone knows, the same themes
also occur in the recent history of the rest of Latin America as
well. But is the degree the same? This question obviously leads
us on to the comparison of these two sectors of Latin America
to which this paper is addressed, as regards (1) their respective
situations, (2) their behavior patterns, (3) their relations with
one another, and (4) their common problems and attitudes. In
both sectors, only the independent states are considered here, not
the dependent areas.

I. Situations
This is a very large topic, but since I am addressing a concur-
rencia tan culta, I am sure I can take your knowledge of it for
granted. I shall only remind you of two considerations about it:
first, that the Caribbean area is even more highly diversified and
less amenable to generalization than the rest of Latin America;
and second, that the Caribbean area was drawn earlier-and has
been drawn more fully-than the rest of Latin America into a
close relationship with the United States-as regards defense,
trade, investments, and most other matters.

II. Behavior
How does the behavior of the Caribbean states compare with
that of the rest of Latin America? This, too, is a big question and
in the time at my disposal I can only scratch a small part of its
surface. Consequently I shall confine my remarks to four topics
which are of outstanding importance for the whole of Latin
America. These are: dictatorships, regional groupings, the inci-
dence of international strife, and the causes of international strife.
1. Dictatorships have been a common phenomenon throughout
Latin America since the beginning of independence, but today
they are confined almost exclusively to the Caribbean area. I
think all would agree that the present regimes of this type are
those in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia,
and Nicaragua (the recent assassination of dictator Anastasio
Somoza does not appear to have altered the type of government in
the last-named country); and some would add Guatemala and
perhaps one or two other Caribbean countries. This is not to say
that all the non-Caribbean countries have constitutional, repre-
sentative governments. Argentina has been under military rule
ever since Per6n's overthrow, and question marks must be placed
after both Bolivia and Brazil.
Yet the fact remains that today dictatorship is a Caribbean
phenomenon. Why this is so, we cannot pause to explore here,
but it should be pointed out that our Latin American critics find,
not a mere coincidence, but a casual connection between this fact

14 The Caribbean
and the fact that the economic, military, and political influence
of the United States is greatest in this area. Uncle Sam, they
would have us believe, talks democracy to all the world but fosters
dictatorship in Latin America, and they profess to find their best
proofs of this proposition in the Caribbean area.
2. The effort to form regional groups of states on one scale or
another is as old as Latin American independence. It has also
been ubiquitous, but its effects have been most visible in the
Caribbean area. Such an effort is now being made to form a
South Atlantic defense system, with Argentina, Uruguay, and
Brazil as its core. At the present time, however, the only regional
group actually formed and functioning is the Organization of
Central American States, commonly called ODECA from the ini-
tials of its name in Spanish. Launched in 1952, ODECA was
almost at once halted by the withdrawal of Guatemala, but the
latter rejoined after the overthrow of Arbenz Guzmin, and
ODECA is now displaying considerable activity, particularly in
the economic sphere, with aid from the United Nation's Economic
Commission for Latin America. Another notably persistent and
at times successful quest for regional cooperation has been made
by the "Gran Colombian" states. Even the so-called colonial
powers have made similar attempts in the Caribbean area-with
success in the case of the four-power Caribbean Commission,
initiated during World War II, and with results as yet incomplete
in the case of the projected federation of the British dependencies
in this area.
3. The low incidence of international strife in Latin America
is one of the proudest boasts of its people, and it is a fact that
they have fought few major wars-only four by most counts, the
last of which (the Chaco War) ended a score of years ago. It is
also a fact that all these major wars were exclusively South
American; no Caribbean country took part in any of them. It
would be a great mistake, however, to conclude that the Caribbean
is therefore an exceptionally peace-loving area. On the contrary,
it has become the storm center of America since Per6n of Argen-
tina stopped rattling the sabre very shortly after his rise to power.
Its extraordinarily stormy character is reflected in the fact that

every one of the threats to peace with which the Organization of
American States has had to deal since its founding in 1948 has
arisen in the Caribbean area; that these threats have averaged
nearly one a year; and that they have directly involved two-thirds
of the Caribbean states: the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba,
Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
With the help of the OAS, peace has been kept in every case but
one (Guatemala, 1954), but anyone who has followed the news
in 1956 knows that international tension in this area is still
widespread and severe.
4. The causes of international tension in Latin America seem
to have changed in the past two decades, and the Caribbean area
provides a striking illustration of the new order. Formerly, as in
the case of the four major wars just mentioned, territorial and
boundary disputes were the chief cause of conflict. More recently,
conflicts have tended to become ideological. The issues are stated
in various terms, such as democracy, communism, creole fascism,
totalitarianism of the right or of the left, and so on. To what
extent the ideological issues are a screen for personal, national, or
other rivalries, one cannot be certain; but even if they are only
window dressing, it is surely significant that they are considered
worth using for that purpose. And they have been used for that
purpose mainly in the Caribbean area. They dominated not only
the conflict that ended with the overthrow of Guatemalan Arbenz
but also all the other numerous threats to the peace in the Carib-
bean of which I have just spoken. Indeed, the opposite extremes
in the current ideological conflict in Latin America at large are
best represented by two Caribbean figures: Dictator Le6nidas
Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and President Jose Figueres
of democratic Costa Rica.

III. Intra-Latin American Relations
Of the direct relations between the Caribbean area and the
rest of Latin America I shall speak more briefly, for these rela-
tions are not numerous and are probably not very important.
They do exist-in the political field, as we were reminded some
months ago when little Haiti's embassy in remote Argentina gave

16 The Caribbean
asylum to the leader of an unsuccessful revolt against the Aram-
buru government, or when we recently read that the exiled Per6n
had left his refuge in Panama for one in Venezuela (both at a
safe distance from his victorious foes in Argentina); in the labor
field, as we are reminded by almost any number of the bulletin
published by ORIT, the Inter-American Labor Organization; in
the cultural field, as I saw when I encountered Cuban, Mexican,
and other Caribbean historians at a professional meeting in
Santiago, Chile; and in the economic field, as any good compila-
tion of Latin American foreign trade statistics will show.
Yet the sum total of such contacts is quite unimpressive. In
this respect the Caribbean area again represents in a high degree
a trait common to all the Latin American countries: their rela-
tions with one another are overshadowed by their relations with
other parts of the world. The trade statistics illustrate this point.
In several South American countries, 20 per cent or more of the
total foreign trade is carried on with other Latin American coun-
tries, whereas in the Caribbean area the figure never rises above
10 per cent and is more commonly in the neighborhood of 5 per
cent. The differentiation between these two sectors of Latin
America is further sharpened by the fact that the orientation of
the Caribbean area is overwhelmingly towards the United States,
whereas that of the rest of Latin America is still in considerable
part towards Europe; neither sector is oriented towards the other.
To be sure, there are many signs of growing economic compe-
tition with the United States in the Caribbean area by non-Ameri-
can countries, particularly West Germany and Japan; but there
are also many indications of increasing investment and other ac-
tivities by the United States itself in that area. Barring a cata-
clysm, there seems to be no reason to expect any substantial
alteration of the position of the Caribbean area vis-a-vis the United
States in the visible future.
Finally, even this rapid survey of relations between these two
sectors of Latin America must not omit mention of the tie pro-
vided by international communism. Not only is the Caribbean,
in Daniel James's words, "the scene of a vast Red conspiracy"; it
is also said to have contained the headquarters of Latin American

communism since the 1920s-first in Mexico to about 1945,
then in Cuba until Batista's coup of 1952, next in Guatemala
until Arbenz's fall, and now--quien sabe? But wherever their
present headquarters are, I should not expect communist activities
to accomplish much in the predictable future towards altering the
relations of the Caribbean area with the rest of Latin America-
again, barring a cataclysm.

IV. Common Problems
Although the interests of the Caribbean area differ in many
ways from those of the other Latin American countries, the two
groups nevertheless have a common interest in a number of major
problems. The three that will be briefly sketched below are the
Guatemala crisis of 1954, the Panama Canal, and Colonialism.
Obviously, the problem of economic development also is of interest
to all Latin Americans, but it requires study by individual coun-
tries or small groups of neighboring countries, and does not lend
itself to the treatment of so sprawling and variegated an area as
the Caribbean. Other problems of general interest are those of the
continental shelf and territorial waters, and of the proposed activa-
tion of the OAS suggested by President Eisenhower at the Panama
meeting of presidents in July, 1956; but these will not be dis-
cussed here since they are still pending.
The Guatemala crisis of 1954 was both a Caribbean and a
general Latin American problem. It is these aspects of it alone
that I shall discuss; this is not the place, nor is there time, though
the temptation is great, to consider its other, highly controversial
aspects, as a problem in United States foreign policy and in the
relation between the OAS and the United Nations.
The crisis in and over Guatemala, though rooted in domestic
conditions in that country and communist exploitation thereof,
also obviously belongs to that series of Caribbean threats to the
peace which, as I have already said, provided the sole business of
the OAS in the peace-enforcement field from 1948 on. Guate-
mala had also figured in the previous crises, as a real or alleged
threatener; now, in 1954, it was the threatened party. This time,
the threat-to overthrow its government-was carried out; it

18 The Caribbean
was carried out in a traditionally Caribbean, or more specifically
Central American, way, through invasion by its own exiles from
a neighboring country, Honduras, just as if the OAS and the
UN had never come into existence; the threat of such action had
led Guatemala's own Arbenz government to take action-the im-
portation of arms from behind the Iron Curtain-which precipi-
tated the final crisis; and the stage had been set for this last act
in another Caribbean country, Venezuela, when the Caracas con-
ference of early 1954 adopted its well-known anticommunist
resolution. Yet, while characteristically Caribbean, this Guate-
malan affair deeply concerned all Latin America. Nationalists
everywhere cheered Arbenz's attack on a representative of United
States "big business" (United Fruit); all the Latin American
states had to deal with the crisis in the OAS, and two of the largest
of them, Brazil and Colombia, in the UN Security Council; and
the manner in which the Arbenz regime was overthrown aroused
widespread, deep, and, I am afraid, enduring resentment against
the United States throughout Latin America. The Guatemala
affair of 1954 thus belongs alongside the Panama affair of 1903.
The Panama Canal is another Caribbean problem which shows
signs of becoming again a general Latin American issue. I say
"again" because general Latin American concern over the Panama
Canal question, vividly expressed a generation ago in the demand
of the Peruvian Haya de la Torre's APRA for the internationaliza-
tion of the canal, seemed to have died down from the beginning
of World War II until it was reawakened by the current world
crisis over the Suez Canal. While disclaiming any desire to inter-
nationalize the Panama Canal, the Republic of Panama seized this
occasion to give the question great if somewhat equivocal signifi-
cance by asserting that there are important "analogies" between
the Suez and Panama Canal cases and by coupling this assertion
with support of Egypt's action in nationalizing the Suez Canal. A
favorable response to Panama's initiative seems to be developing
in many other Latin American countries, and there have been
reports that official Washington has been considering putting the
Panama Canal under OAS auspices in order to forestall further
trouble on the Latin American and other fronts.

The way had been prepared for the recrudescence of the Pan-
ama Canal question in 1956 by the decade-long Latin American
campaign against colonialism in general that immediately preceded
it. This is the last of my three examples, and I wish I could
discuss it in detail, as I have recently written an article on the
subject. But I can only say that in this campaign the terms
"colonialism" and "imperialism" have usually been employed inter-
changeably; that the campaign has been directed against three
forms of colonialism: political colonialism as represented by var-
ious types of dependent or disputed areas ranging from British
Honduras to the Antarctic, economic colonialism as represented
by United States big business firms operating in Latin America,
and military colonialism as represented by bases and bilateral
military pacts; that the Caribbean area has been taken as exhibit-
ing all three forms of colonialism in the highest degree, though all
three have been found elsewhere in Latin America as well; and
that the two sectors of Latin America have viewed colonialism
in all its forms with equal disfavor and have sometimes cooperated
directly in combatting it. An instance of such cooperation is the
reciprocal support that Guatemala and Argentina have given
each other's claims to British Honduras (Belize) and the Falk-
land Islands, respectively.
To sum up: Insofar as one can generalize about the highly
diversified Caribbean area and the equally diversified remainder
of Latin America, the two have relatively few direct relations with
each other but have many important problems and attitudes in
common. And to conclude improperly with a thought which I
have not, for lack of time, developed in this paper: Where the
attitudes towards these problems differ, the difference is to be
explained not so much by geographical location, within the Carib-
bean area or outside of it, as by the social, political, and economic
character of the elements in control in each country.


Donald Marquand Dozer: CARIBBEAN RELATIONS

THE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS of the Caribbean countries
with non-American countries can be dealt with either by examin-
ing the actual course of their diplomatic negotiations or by analyz-
ing the factors which influence the relations of these countries
with the non-American world. I propose to attempt the latter.
Twelve independent countries, if Mexico is included, and more
than a score of dependent territories lie in the Caribbean Sea or
encircle its waters. As their fortunes have revolved more and more
narrowly around the United States in this twentieth century their
diplomacy has been focused mainly upon the government in
Washington, but not to the exclusion of relations with non-
American countries. The extent of their economic ties with
non-American countries can be suggested by the investment stake
of those countries in the area.
Though accurate statistics are lacking, non-American capital
probably predominates in most if not all the British, French, and
Dutch colonial territories in the area. The investment income
payments of Jamaica, for example, to the United Kingdom, as re-
ported for the year 1952, were almost double its payments to the
countries of the dollar area.1 Non-American capital in the inde-
1 Government of Jamaica, Balance of Payments Statement of Jamaica
for the year 1952 (Jamaica, n.d.), Table 4.

pendent countries of the Caribbean is also considerable. Of the
total value of foreign capital in Colombia reported at $423 mil-
lion by the Colombian Ministry of Finance at the end of 1950,
the United States share was estimated at $193 million, or only a
little over 45 per cent.2 This percentage is substantially corrobo-
rated by the latest figures of the International Monetary Fund,
which show that Colombia's investment income payments to non-
American countries in 1955, amounting to $9.6 millions, repre-
sented almost 42 per cent of her total investment income
payments.3 Similarly, of the total value of foreign business in-
vestments in Venezuela in 1950 amounting to $2,823 million,
as estimated by the Central Bank of Venezuela, United States in-
vestments accounted for $1,493.5 million, or a little over 52
per cent. By far the greater part of the remainder came from non-
American sources, principally Britain and the Netherlands.4 It
is reliably estimated that of the total investment in the Venezuelan
petroleum industry, about 30 per cent is non-American capital.
In addition to investment considerations, moreover, political con-
siderations have seemed to make it desirable for the independent
countries of the Caribbean not to limit themselves too exclusively
to relations with the United States, because to do so, as their
northern neighbor increasingly asserted its economic and, above
all, its strategic pre-eminence in their area, is to acknowledge a
satellite status which is generally repugnant to them.

A resumption of the international rivalry among non-American
countries for position in the Caribbean area which had character-
ized much of the history of that area during the four centuries
from 1500 to 1900 seemed imminent in 1940 when the Germans
occupied first the Netherlands and then France. Would they
undertake next to assert control over the Dutch and French pos-

2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Foreign
Capital in Latin America (New York, 1955), p. 69.
'International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Yearbook, VIII
(November, 1956), Colombia.
4 Ibid., pp. 144-145.

22 The Caribbean
sessions in the Western Hemisphere-Surinam, Curagao, Aruba,
French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinigue, and the lesser Dutch
and French islands? To forestall this possibility Cuba recom-
mended that all the American governments unite in establishing
a joint trusteeship or guardianship over the colonial possessions
of the European belligerents in America. Cuba's action was a
prelude to the adoption by the foreign ministers of the American
nations, in their second Consultative Meeting at Havana in July,
1940, of the Act of Havana, in which they arranged to establish
a provisional administration over these possessions if they were
"in danger of becoming the subject of barter of territory or change
of sovereignty." This arrangement was concluded at a time when
the American nations were bent upon remaining aloof from the
European war, and was made to promote their own security.
The setting up of such a provisional administration was, as
it turned out, not required. The colonial regimes in the Americas
were not seriously affected by changes in the sovereignty of the
mother countries. But the opposition to the continuance of Euro-
pean colonies in the American Hemisphere has persisted into
the postwar period, motivated now, however, not so much by
security considerations as by the desire of American nations, par-
ticularly Guatemala, Venezuela, and to a limited extent Mexico
in the Caribbean area, to possess these colonies for themselves.
After the Guatemalan government's proposal of mediation of the
Belize question by the United States was rejected by Britain in
1948, that government protested against Britain's plan to send
European and East Indian immigrants into Belize, contending
that it would make a change in the existing status of the colony
adverse to its claims. For the same reason Guatemala has pro-
tested against the long-pending British plans, now nearing reali-
zation, to link Belize with other British colonies in the Caribbean
area in a confederation or dominion.

The entire Caribbean area was tremendously affected by the
involvement of the United States in World War II. Within six
days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nine of the Carib-

bean nations, including the six isthmian republics and the three
island republics, declared war against Japan, Germany, and Italy.
Before the end of December, 1941, Venezuela, Colombia, and
Mexico had severed relations with the Axis nations. Mexico
declared war against those nations in May, 1942, and Colombia
went to war with Germany in November, 1943.5 As a conse-
quence of their participation in the war and their commitments
to eliminate centers of Axis activity from their territories, these
countries, particularly Colombia, Cuba, and Guatemala, forced
the air lines, commercial houses, and shipping firms owned by
nationals of the Nazi-Fascist countries and operating within
their territories to suspend their activities and sequestered their
As the European belligerents began to wage their war in the
Western Hemisphere and particularly as Nazi submarine warfare
spread to the Caribbean area severing its historic trade channels,
the peoples of that area were confronted with serious shortages of
food and other essential imports. Concerted action by the United
States and Britain, in cooperation with the independent Carib-
bean governments-Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic-
was taken to relieve the economic plight of the Caribbean peoples.
This cooperative action was largely directed by the Anglo-Ameri-
can Caribbean Commission, which was established as a joint
advisory commission by the United States and British governments
in March, 1942, and which after the war was expanded to
include also the Dutch and French governments. In its confer-
ences Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic sometimes parti-
cipate through guest representatives

5 Department of State Bulletin, V (December 27, 1941), 599; Kather-
ine E. Crane, "Status of Countries in Relation to the War, April 22, 1944,"
Department of State Bulletin, X (April 22, 1944), 373-379; and "Status
of Countries in Relation to the War, August 12, 1945," Department of
State Bulletin, XIII (August 12, 1945), 230-238.
6 Department of State, The Caribbean Islands and the War, Depart-
ment of State Publication 2023 (Washington, 1943); Charles W. Taus-
sig, "Regionalism in the Caribbean: Six Years of Progress," Department
of State Bulletin, XVIII (May 30, 1948), 693; and Bernard L. Poole,
The Caribbean Commission: Background of Cooperation in the West Indies
(Columbia, S. C., 1951).

24 The Caribbean
Since World War II the diplomacy of the Caribbean countries
with non-American countries has been concerned largely with
(1) the problem of immigration, particularly the resettlement of
refugees, (2) the promotion of favorable commercial arrange-
ments, and (3) the political situation created by the cold war
between the Western world and the Soviet-dominated world.
Their diplomatic activities in these fields in the postwar period
have been carried on not only through bilateral negotiations but
also sometimes through the United Nations and its various instru-
mentalities, including the international refugee agencies (IRO and
UNREF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Devel-
opment (IBRD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour
Organization (ILO), and others.
Though the countries of the Caribbean area, taken as a whole,
have a high population density, higher even than that of China,
some of them have played an important role in the wartime and
postwar refugee resettlement problem. When the Intergovern-
mental Committee on Refugees was organized at the Evian confer-
ence, which met on the initiative of President Roosevelt in July,
1938, several Caribbean countries joined it and assisted in making
provision for refugees from various countries of Europe who had
been forced to leave their native countries by reason of their race,
religion, or political beliefs. By 1944 the Intergovernmental Com-
mittee included among its members seven Caribbean countries-
Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico,
Nicaragua, and Venezuela. After the war the International Relief
Organization (IRO), which was created in 1948, included in its
membership three Caribbean countries-the Dominican Republic,
Guatemala, and Venezuela. Its successor agency, the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNREF), has estab-
lished a branch office in Colombia to handle refugee problems
for the whole of Latin America.7

United Nations, Department of Public Information, Refugees, Back-
ground Paper No. 78 (December 29, 1953), 3-7.

In the matters of immigration from non-American countries
the Dominican Republic has received much attention for its so-
called "open door policy," which was initiated in 1938 with the
founding of a colony of Jewish refugees from Central Europe at
Sos6a by President Trujillo. The colony has continued in exist-
ence and has accommodated in all 670 settlers of whom 181
were reported as still residing there in 1953.8 In 1949 the
Dominican Republic invited refugees from Communist China and
several countries of Central Europe.9 During 1956 it has also
received some forty or forty-five Japanese families, and after the
collapse of the Hungarian revolution in November it opened its
doors to all Hungarian refugees.
Colombia has received considerable numbers of anti-commun-
ist immigrants from Europe and has approved a standing quota
of 100 visas monthly for refugees.10 But of all the Caribbean
countries Venezuela has admitted the largest number of immi-
grant refugees. In December, 1949, it began to admit about
2,000 European immigrants each month, many of them coming
under the auspices of the International Refugee Organization."1
By the end of 1953 it had received more than 17,000 refugees
and enjoyed third place among all the states of Latin America in
this respect, ranking respectively after Argentina and Brazil."2
The existence of large unpopulated areas in both Colombia and
Venezuela suggests the possibility of further diplomatic efforts
in this direction.

More important for the economies of the Caribbean countries
have been their efforts at trade promotion with non-American
areas since the war and particularly since 1949. Prior to the

8 New York Times, March 29, 1953.
Ronald Hilton, ed., Hispanic World Report, II, 10 (October, 1949),
O United Nations, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, General Assembly, Official Records: Eleventh Session, Supple-
ment No. 11 (New York, 1956), 15.
Hilton, ed., Hispanic American Report, III, 6 (June, 1950), 21.
12 United Nations, Department of Public Information, Refugees. . .
(December 29, 1953), 5.

26 The Caribbean
war the trade of the Caribbean countries with the non-American
world accounted for more than 28 per cent of their total foreign
trade (Table I13).
(In millions of U. S. dollars)




Colombia 19.8 40.7 80.7 89.0
Costa Rica 4.9 5.5 10.1 12.6
Cuba 31.2 26.2 142.6 106.0
Republic 8.7 4.2 14.3 11.3
El Salvador 3.3 4.2 10.9 9.1
Guatemala 4.6 8.3 16.3 16.7
Haiti 3.6 2.8 6.9 7.5
Honduras .7 2.7 8.1 10.3
Mexico 55.9 44.1 185.6 109.4
Nicaragua 1.5 1.4 5.8 5.1
Panama .1 6.1 3.7 17.6
Venezuela 15.2 39.6 180.9 95.8
Totals 149.5 185.8 665.9 490.4
335.3 1156.3

During the war these countries, like the Latin American
countries generally, lost most of their trade contacts with non-
American countries. They were deprived of overseas outlets for
their exports, largely raw materials, and were denied urgently
needed imports by reason of war shortages and the disruptive
naval operations of the active belligerents in the war. The island
republics of the Caribbean and the Central American countries,
whose traditional trade was carried on mainly with the United
States, were less affected by the loss of European markets and
sources of imports than were the South American countries, but
all of them suffered. After the war, therefore, they undertook

Compiled from Statistical Office of the United Nations, International
Monetary Fund, and International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-
ment (Joint publication), Direction of International Trade, Statistical
Papers, Series T, Vols. IV and VI, annual issues.

to reopen their trade channels with non-American nations. As
a result, economic factors have tended to eclipse political factors
in motivating the diplomatic relations of the Caribbean countries
since the war, and these economic factors have reflected a growing
international competition for the trade of the area. It is in this
context that diplomatic negotiations of the countries of the Carib-
bean area have been conducted and must be studied.
Foreign trade bulks much larger to the countries of the Carib-
bean, and indeed to all the Latin American countries, than to the
United States. They are largely dependent upon foreign countries
for the maintenance of their economies. Guatemala, for example,
exported more than one-sixth of its entire estimated national pro-
duction in 1953 and almost one-fifth in 1954. The Dominican
Republic was dependent upon foreign markets for the disposal of
more than one-fourth of its total production in 1952 and 1954.
Honduras and Colombia exported between one-sixth and one-fifth
of their estimated national production in 1954 and 1955, and
Panama one-eighth of its national production in 1954 (Table
214). In contrast, the ratio of exports to production for the United
States in 1953 and 1954 was only one-twenty-third and one-
twenty-fifth, respectively.
After the war the Latin American countries found that the
resumption of their trade with non-American countries was handi-
capped by their large dollar balances. These constrained them
toward increased trade with the countries of the dollar area or
at least with the so-called hard-currency countries. But the
advantage in this trade which they enjoyed from their large post-
war dollar balances disappeared as those balances disappeared,
and they were not replaced by comparable new grants. Between
1945 and 1950 the Latin American countries received only 1.8
per cent of the total of more than $28 billion of direct dollar
credits which the United States poured into foreign countries.
As the accumulated dollar balances of these countries became
rapidly depleted after the war in the process of filling their pent-

Compiled from data in International Monetary Fund, International
Financial Statistics, VIII, 1 (January, 1955) and IX, 11 (November,

up consumer needs at
and as their means of
with the tapering off

The Caribbean
the inflated prices of the postwar period,
acquiring new dollar balances diminished
of their virtual wartime trade monopoly

Colombia (1954) 1.6 10.04 15.9
(billions of pesos)
Costa Rica n.a.* n.a.
Cuba n.a. n.a. -
Republic (1952) 115.4 413.6 27.9
(millions of pesos)
(1954) 119.7 471.0 25.4
(millions of pesos)
El Salvador n.a. n.a. -
Guatemala (1953) 88.9 558.3 15.9
(millions of quetzales)
(1954) 110.3 569.1 19.3
(millions of quetzales)
Haiti n.a. n.a. -
Honduras (1955) 104.0 588.0 17.6
(millions of lempiras)
Mexico n.a. n.a. -
Nicaragua n.a. n.a. -
Panama (1954) 30.5 256.2 11.9
(millions of balboas)
Venezuela n.a. n.a. -
n.a.-not available.

with the United States, they deemed it imperative to expand their
trade contacts with the nondollar countries. They were all the
more impelled to do so as the dollar income which they received
from the so-called offshore purchases by the European recipients
of Marshall Plan aid proved increasingly disappointing.
But their means of expanding their trade with nondollar coun-
tries were limited. In their attempts to meet their postwar com-
modity and capital needs they found that they were unable to
do what Mexico, for example, had been able to do during the
nineteenth century, namely, to play European capital and busi-
ness off against the United States, because wherever they went

in Europe they met the "country of the dollar." The inexorable
fact of their common membership in the dollar bloc was and
continues to be an outstanding determinant of their foreign-
policy orientation and can be considered a strong factor for unity
within the Caribbean region. As these nations became more
closely linked to United States foreign trade and capital move-
ments after the war their ties with Europe became relatively
weaker. This inescapable fact not only limited their bargaining
power but was viewed apprehensively in some quarters as also
limiting their national and cultural integrity.
The reaction to this situation took various forms. The dis-
patching of a Venezuelan trade and investigative commission to
the Middle East at the time of Premier Mossadegh's attempts to
nationalize the foreign oil companies in Iran was looked upon as
an attempt by Venezuela to find ways of increasing its leverage
over the oil companies operating within its territory. The suc-
cessful effort of the Cuban ambassador in Washington, Dr. Guil-
lermo Belt, to include in the Economic Agreement of Bogoti in
1948 an article prohibiting the use of "coercive measures of an
economic and political character in order to force the sovereign
will of another State and to obtain from the latter advantages of
any nature" was construed as having the same nationalistic objec-
tive. Four years later several of the Caribbean countries joined
their Latin American neighbors in supporting in the United
Nations Economic Committee a proposal which approved any
country's right to nationalize industry, but did not mention
any corresponding obligation to provide compensation for private
foreign investors injured by such action. At the same time the
Arbenz government in Guatemala sought to imitate the methods
of the Soviet Union in dealings with foreign interests. Such
efforts of the Caribbean countries have been generally ineffective.
The need for an active program of trade promotion by diplo-
matic means was emphasized in some of the Caribbean countries
by their increased postwar agricultural production. Cuba's sugar
production, for example, was 87 per cent greater in 1947 than
it had been in the prewar period, reaching a total of over 49
million tons. Sugar-cane production also reached a new peak in

30 The Caribbean
the Dominican Republic. By 1947 Mexico had increased its
sugar production to 159 per cent of its prewar production.15
Postwar increases in the production of coffee and cacao also in the
Caribbean countries have accentuated the urgency of crop dis-
posal through export channels. In so far as diplomatic efforts
have been required to facilitate this disposal they have had to
concern themselves with a highly specialized production for ex-
port-sugar in Cuba, petroleum in Colombia and Venezuela, and
tropical fruits in most of the Central American countries.
The harvesting of the largest sugar crop in Cuba's history in
1952 and of increased crops in the Dominican Republic and
Mexico led to efforts to obtain international agreement for the
adoption of restrictive measures which would solve the problems
created by the sugar surplus.16 These efforts eventuated in the
International Sugar Agreement signed at London in 1953 under
the auspices of the United Nations. According to its provisions,
it was to become operative as soon as it was ratified by exporting
companies representing 75 per cent of the votes of the projected
Sugar Council and by 60 per cent of the votes of the sugar-
importing countries. Its purpose was to stabilize prices by assign-
ing export quotas to the producing countries. Cuba's share, which
was almost equal to the total for all the rest of Latin America and
amounted to more than two-fifths of the world total, was fixed
at 2.25 million tons exclusive of sugar shipments to the United
States and to the United Kingdom and West Germany, which
had been already contracted for. To the Dominican Republic
were assigned 600,000 tons, with diminishing amounts respec-
tively to Mexico, Haiti, and Colombia in the Caribbean region.
Provision was made for an increase in the assigned quotas,
responding to price increases, in accordance with a scheme of
scheduled rotation, first Cuba, and then, in order, Poland, Haiti,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and others."7

Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin
America, 1948, pp. 112, 127.
Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin
America, 1951-52, p. 157.
Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin

The opening or reopening of outlets for the disposal of export
products in non-American countries was less important, however,
for the Caribbean countries than for other Latin American coun-

(In millions of U. S. Dollars)

Colombia 26.1 46.4 264.5 320.9
Costa Rica 4.3 5.0 43.3 31.4
Cuba 190.7 42.9 451.3 578.3
Republic 41.9 5.2 46.0 73.7
El Salvador 2.7 6.0 39.4 54.9
Guatemala 2.6 6.0 67.9 52.2
Haiti 13.2 3.3 34.1 35.3
Honduras .4 1.3 38.0 20.2
Mexico 73.2 43.1 457.4 467.3
Nicaragua 4.9 .9 21.3 23.6
Panama .7 5.3 62.0 11.0
Venezuela n.a.' n.a. n.a. n.a.
Totals 360.7 165.4 1525.2 1668.8
526.1 3194.0
*n.a.-not available.

tries because of their normally extensive trade connections with
the United States and the complementarity of their production
with that of the United States. For this reason and other reasons,
by 1949 their trade with non-American countries amounted to
only 16.5 per cent of their total trade, as compared with more
than 28 per cent before the war (Table 318).
One method which was tried after 1949 to increase this trade
was currency devaluation, and this undoubtedly stimulated Cuban

America, 1953, p. 143: and Banco Nacional de Cuba, Economic Develop-
ment Program: Progress Report No. 1 (Habana, 1956), pp. 3-4.
8 Compiled from Statistical Office of the United Nations, International
Monetary Fund, and International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-
ment (joint publication), Direction of International Trade, Statistical
Papers, Series T, Vols. IV and VI, annual issues.

32 The Caribbean
sugar sales in Britain. Another method was the adoption of
foreign exchange regulations. These countries of the Caribbean
also participated in the negotiation of the draft multilateral char-
ter for an International Trade Organization at Havana, which
has, however, not entered into force. Still a fourth method was
the negotiation of bilateral agreements of compensation, which
were reminiscent of the Aski-mark barter system that Nazi Ger-
many employed for advancement of its trade interests in Latin
America in the 1930's. Though this last method of bilateral
exchange of exports for imports under an agreement which is
essentially barter has been most frequently resorted to by Argen-
tina, Brazil, and Uruguay, the countries of the Caribbean became
parties to some of the more than sixty agreements of this sort
concluded between 1948 and 1950 by Latin American govern-
ments with governments outside the Western Hemisphere.19 These
agreements, which have as their objective the development of as-
sured export outlets and the procurement of essential imports,
ordinarily list the products which are to be exchanged, fix the
terms of reciprocal credit, and sometimes establish the value of the
trade provided for under the agreement.
Beginning in 1948 Colombia negotiated a series of such agree-
ments with Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, and
West Germany providing for the disposal of its exports, princi-
pally coffee, but including also tobacco, bananas, and sugar, in
Europe in nondollar exchange. In return Colombia received many
kinds of manufactured goods. Another early agreement of this sort
between a Caribbean country and a non-American government
was the agreement concluded between Costa Rica and West Ger-
many in September, 1949, providing for the exchange of Costa
Rican sugar, coffee, hardwood, fruit, and honey for industrial
and consumer goods from West Germany. In the same year,
1949, the Mexican government began its drive for increased
European trade on a barter basis, principally with France, Britain,
the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Italy, and Spain. It

Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin
America, 1949, pp. 528-529.

sent a delegation abroad headed by the director of the Bank of
Mexico, Carlos Novoa, and set up a new semiofficial agency in
Mexico, the Compafiia Exportadora e Importadora Mexicana
(CEIMSA) to control this trade. Mexico's early commercial
negotiations with European nations were handicapped by its
insistence upon dealing only with those European countries whose
monetary units could be readily exchanged for dollars, but as it
was forced to alter this position it was able to conclude a bilateral
trade agreement with France in July, 1950, and another with
West Germany in September, 1950. Another typical agreement
was the commercial agreement concluded in September, 1950,
between Venezuela and France, providing for the sale of specified
amounts of coffee, cacao, and petroleum products of Venezuela in
France in return for reduced Venezuelan tariff rates on French
wines and other liquors, silk fabrics, combs, mineral waters, and
pharmaceutical products.20 At the same time Colombia concluded
a new agreement with West Germany for the exchange of $37
million worth of goods in each direction, including Colombian
coffee, bananas, petroleum, tobacco, sugar, corn, rice, and
These agreements have had the effect in the Caribbean coun-
tries, as elsewhere in Latin America, of stimulating trade with
non-American areas and of assuring, at least to a limited extent,
the importation of items which are necessary to the local economy.
The opportunity as well as the need to conclude such bilateral
arrangements was smaller in the case of the Caribbean countries
as members of the dollar bloc than in the case of the nondollar
nations of South America. Cuba and the Central American gov-
ernments were restricted to dollar deals, and in addition Cuba,
the Dominican Republic, and Mexico were, in effect, stopped
from making their sugar export the subject of such deals by their
commitments under the International Sugar Agreement. But
when Cuba suffered severely from the competition offered by the

20 Hilton, ed., Hispanic American Report, III, 10 (October,1950), 22-
2 Ibid., 26.

34 The Caribbean
greatly increased sugar production of Europe after 1954, it con-
cluded bilateral agreements with France, West Germany, and
Britain in an effort to augment its sugar sales in those countries.

(In millions of U. S. Dollars)



Colombia 79.2 186.2 656.4 650.6
Costa Rica 21.6 23.7 83.1 80.7
Cuba 144.1 83.9 539.0 559.6
Republic 45.3 17.8' 119.7 82.8
El Salvador 23.5 22.2 105.0 86.7
Guatemala 23.5 17.7 95.7 86.3
Haiti 29.4 10.4 54.6 47.5
Honduras 3.9 9.7 56.8 51.5
Mexico 107.8 137.8 502.2 798.9
Nicaragua 29.3 12.4 62.8 58.4
Panama 0.0 16.3 15.6 74.4
Venezuela 206.0 255.6 1698.3 819.6
Totals 713.6 793.7 3989.2 3397.0
1507.3 7386.2

The advantages enjoyed by Latin American countries which con-
cluded these bilateral agreements were largely lost after the out-
break of the Korean War in June, 1950, which redounded to
the benefit of countries trading principally in dollars. In this
respect the Caribbean countries, being involved in fewer of these
bilateral agreements, fared better than most of their neighbors to
the south.
As a result of all the various methods by which the Caribbean
countries sought to develop their trade contacts with non-Ameri-
can countries after World War II, their trade with those countries
reached 20 per cent of their total foreign trade by 1954, as
compared with a prewar figure of more than 28 per cent and
a figure of only 16.5 per cent in 1949 (Table 422).

Compiled from Statistical Office of the United Nations, International
Monetary Fund, and International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-

Statistics by individual countries covering the year 1955 com-
piled by the International Monetary Fund show that the per-
centage of exports from Caribbean countries to non-American

Colombia 23 31
Costa Rica 35 32
Cuba 29 23
Dominican Republic 43 27
El Salvador 29 29
Guatemala 22 25
Haiti 54 (1954) 25 (1954)
Honduras 12 25
Mexico 22 18
Nicaragua 57 26
Panama 3 35
Venezuela 51 36

countries during that year ranged from 57 per cent in the case of
Nicaragua to only 3 per cent for Panama. During the same year
the percentage of imports by individual countries of the Carib-
bean from non-American countries ranged from 36 in the case
of Venezuela to only 18 in the case of Mexico (Table 523).
The broadening latitudinarianism which has characterized the
postwar trade of the Caribbean area and influenced the course
of its diplomacy, particularly since 1949, extends also to eastern
Europe and Spain. Though Latin America's newly established
trade relations with the Soviet Union and its satellites have
assumed a much greater importance for the nations of the non-
dollar bloc than for those of the dollar bloc, the exports of the
Caribbean countries to the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Finland,
Hungary, Poland, and Yugoslavia reached a total value of $3.7

ment (joint publication), Direction of International Trade, Statistical
Papers, Series T, Vols. IV and VI, annual issues.
23 Compiled from International Monetary Fund, International Financial
Statistics, IX, 11 (November, 1956), 25-26.

36 The Caribbean
million in 1954 and their imports from those countries were
valued at $9.7 million (Table 624).
In this connection the agreement concluded by Colombia with

(In Millions of U. S. Dollars)
Colombia 1.0 (Finland) 1.4 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Costa Rica .4 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Cuba 1.0 (U.S.S.R.,Finland) .7 (Finland)
Dominican Republic .5 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
El Salvador .1 (Finland) .3 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Guatemala .9 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Haiti .6 (Czech., Hungary, Poland)
Honduras .2 (Czechoslovakia)
Mexico .9 (Finland) 1.9 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Nicaragua .1 (Czechoslovakia)
Panama -
Venezuela .7 (Yugoslavia) 2.7 (Czechoslovakia, Finland)
Totals 3.7 9.7

the East German government in early 1955 for the exchange of
the equivalent of $7 million worth of Colombian coffee for East
Germany's Industrial equipment, agricultural machinery, and
fertilizers, and Cuba's sale of 568,000 tons of sugar to the Soviet
Union, also in early 1955, should be singled out for special
The increase of trade with Spain has accompanied and re-
sulted, in part, from the relaxation of the diplomatic boycott
against the Franco government in that country which was called
for by a United Nations resolution of 1946. A reversal of this
action was urged by the Dominican Republic, which refused to

4 Compiled from Statistical Office of the United Nations International
Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-
ment (joint publication), Direction of International Trade, Statistical
Papers, Series T, Vol. VI, annual issue.
25 Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey . ,
1955, pp. 49, 61.

withdraw its ambassador from Spain, and by Colombia and
several Central American governments. But opinion among the
Caribbean governments on the Spanish question was divided, and
the United Nations action was strongly defended by the Accidn
Democrdtica government of Venezuela and by the governments
of Mexico, Panama, and Guatemala. The Latin American bloc
which spearheaded the final successful move in 1950 to rescind
the anti-Franco resolution of 1946 included the Dominican Re-
public, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, but
an anti-Franco position was maintained to the end by Mexico and
the Arevalo government of Guatemala, while Cuba abstained
from voting.26
The subsequent rapprochement with Spain, which has been
particularly noticeable in some of the Central American countries,
the Dominican Republic, and Cuba, has resulted in part from
the need for closer economic relations with Europe and in part
from their intensified anticommunism. In Honduras, for example,
the cultural ties with Spain have been strongly emphasized; Costa
Rica concluded a treaty of friendship with Spain in 1950; the
Dominican Republic negotiated an agreement for cultural inter-
change with Spain in 1953; and Cuba signalized its new relation-
ship with Spain by concluding a trade and payments agreement
in 1950 which provided for the sale of Cuban tobacco in the
Spanish market. The Dominican Republic has received some
5,000 Spanish families as immigrants, and its pro-Spanish orien-
tation, which has had the effect of cooling its relations with
France, has had adverse repercussions on Haiti: Dominican-
Haitian relations therefore had to be adjusted by a new treaty
between the two nations in 1951. Reinforcing both the pro-
Franco and the anticommunist position of the Dominican Repub-
lic is its new concordat concluded with the Vatican.
The postwar efforts of Latin Americans to attract non-American
capital have been less energetic and necessarily less productive
of results in the Caribbean area than in the rest of Latin America.
One of the significant achievements in this latter area is the

Hilton, ed., Hispanic American Report, III, 11 (November, 1950), 6.

38 The Caribbean
opening of the new steel mill in 1954 at Paz del Rio in Colombia,
which was built by loans and material supplied by the govern-
ment, banks, and industry of France. Some cooperative capital
enterprises of this sort in Latin America have been encouraged
and conducted by the European Coal and Steel Community.
British and West German capital is moving into the telecom-
munications industry in Colombia, and a Swedish company, Eri-
cisson Ltda., has installed a modern automatic telephone service
in Bogota and several other Colombian cities since the war.27 An
Italian company is constructing a large iron and steel works at
Puerto Ordaz in Venezuela, to be completed at the end of 1957,
and Italian capital is assisting in the development of a nitrogenous
fertilizer industry in both Colombia and Venezuela.28 British
and Dutch industries are being established in Colombia; a French
firm has built the motor highway between Caracas and La Guaira
in Venezuela, and both French and British capital is being at-
tracted to that country's petroleum industry as opportunities for
investment in the Middle East dwindle. Mexico since 1953, and
Japanese capital financed the construction of a cotton mill in El
Salvador in 1955.29 But the current drive for trade, commerce,
and investment markets of Latin America on the part of non-
American nations, many of them rehabilitated through Marshall
Plan aid, is one of the decisive factors influencing diplomacy in
this area. Since the chief beneficiaries of Latin America's revived
trade with non-American countries are the nondollar countries,
the nations of the dollar bloc, comprising the entire Caribbean
area, face serious competitive problems. This developing situation
presents the possibility of a revival of the international struggle
for the trade of Latin America which was so marked a character-
istic of the 1930's.

Hilton, ed., Hispanic World Report, II, 2 (February, 1949), 13.
Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin
America, 1955, pp. 59-60, 68.
2 Economic Commission for Latin America, Economic Survey of Latin
America, 1954, pp. 65-67, and 1955, p. 59.



ment of State entitled The Suez Canal Problem, the foreword
declares, "The nationalization of the Universal Suez Maritime
Canal Company by the Egyptian Government on July 26, 1956,
produced an international problem carrying dangerous potentiali-
ties for the world." The immediate danger of closing this great
international waterway, in fact, the world's greatest interoceanic
highway, was evident to all.
Approximately one-sixth of all the world's sea-borne commerce
passes through the Suez Canal. But of even greater significance,
in 1955 alone 67 million tons of oil from the fast-flowing wells
of the Middle East were carried by tankers to Europe. Without
this vital fuel the industry of Europe would collapse. It is esti-
mated that in France, with only twenty days supply on hand,
the loss of fuel would ultimately result in anarchy. In Great
Britain, 4 million workers would be without jobs within six
months, not to mention that the Royal Air Force, Britain's first
line of defense, would be grounded.
It is not astonishing that initial reaction in both Britain and
France to seizure of the Suez was so strong that the immediate
use of force was contemplated. The British dispatched aircraft
carriers, planes, troops, tanks, and guns to join the Mediterranean

40 The Caribbean
fleet. The French ordered their Mediterranean fleet at Toulon
to be ready to sail to the danger zone on eight hours' notice.
Although American interest in the Suez Canal were not so vital
as those of the British and French, the United States joined with
the governments of her two allies in protesting this "arbitrary and
unilateral seizure by one nation of an international agency which
has the responsibility to maintain and to operate the Suez Canal."
The weakness of position of the "Big Three" powers Was
quickly evident. The use of force would bind the Arab states
together against the West; the oil supply, which was the lifeblood
of western Europe, would be seriously jeopardized; and the only
state which could ultimately profit would be Soviet Russia, who
had done all in her power to produce the crisis. At the time,
no one could have foreseen that Israel would force the issue by
sending troops across the Sinai Peninsula in a flagrant act of
aggression against Egypt, and that France and Britain would be
drawn in to insure the security of the canal.
It was not surprising that communist propaganda would
attempt to link up the Egyptian attempt to nationalize the Suez
with the possibility of Panama taking similar action regarding
the Panama Canal. There has always been a latent hostility in
Latin America against so-called Yankee Imperialism. And there
was just enough similarity between the two canals to utilize it
as bait for nationalistic propaganda. Both were the brain chil-
dren of the great French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps, who
achieved international renown for his successful construction of
the Suez, but who failed most ignominiously in Panama. Both
were regulated by the principles laid down by the Convention
of Constantinople in 1888-that these waterways shall always
be free and open to all vessels of commerce or war without dis-
tinction of flag. But most important of all, both lay wholly within
the territorial jurisdiction of weak states and under the control
of foreign powers, thereby encroaching upon that sacred sover-
eignty which is so dear to all ardent nationalists.

The big communist overseas propaganda training center in
Prague, known as the State College for Political and Economic

Science, recently initiated a campaign to arouse Latin American
nationalism against the control of the Panama Canal Zone by the
United States. President Theodore Roosevelt's vaunted boast "I
took the Canal" was refurbished to meet the occasion.
The alleged fomenting of a revolution in Panama against
Colombia in 1903; the landing of American troops to prevent
the Colombian troops from putting down the uprising; and finally
the quick signing of a treaty with the French engineer Bunau-
Varilla, an agreement guaranteeing Panama's independence in
return for rights in perpetuity to build and control the proposed
canal-all furnished plenty of ammunition for a barrage of anti-
Yankee propaganda with the Panama Canal as the target.
Unfortunately, the campaign was not limited to Latin America.
Publicists and politicians have seized upon the idea that inter-
nationalization of the Panama Canal would serve as a persuasive
gesture which might induce President Nasser to accept a similar
solution for the Suez. The well-known publicist, James P. War-
burg, in a letter to the New York Times of September 12, 1956,
after placing the responsibility for the Middle East crisis upon
the shoulders of Uncle Sam, made the following proposal: "If the
United States were to offer to place the Panama Canal under
international or United Nations control, it would build a bridge
over which President Nasser could without losing face retreat
from his refusal to accept a similar control over the Suez Water-
way." Apparently Mr. Warburg's suggestion did not go wholly
unnoticed, because a week later in an address at Swarthmore
College, the Republican Senator from Vermont, Ralph E. Flan-
ders, suggested that the United States might offer to put the
Panama Canal under international control as a step toward
starting a chain reaction of international goodwill.
At the latest Democratic Convention, former President Harry
Truman declared that he had argued unsuccessfully at Potsdam
for two days to put all such international waterways as the Suez
and Panama canals under the jurisdiction of the United Nations.
Subsequently, he proposed that the Democratic Party platform
should make it clear that a suggestion for international waterways
was made by a Democratic president more than ten years ago.

42 The Caribbean
However, Secretary Foster Dulles, when questioned at a news
conference on August 28, 1956, as to whether the official records
support Mr. Truman's assertion, replied that the records disclose
that no such offer was made, and that he had examined the
records himself.

Inasmuch as the proposal for internationalization seems to
have been made in all seriousness, an objective comparison of
the two situations seems warranted.
Granting that both the Suez and Panama canals are great
artificial waterways open freely to vessels of the world upon the
basis of equality of treatment, from all other points of view
the situations are entirely different.
In the first place, the Suez Canal was built purely as a com-
mercial enterprise for profit. The great French engineer, Ferdi-
nand de Lesseps, obtained a 99-year concession from the Egyptian
government to construct a canal across Egypt, connecting the
Mediterranean with the Red Sea. A corporation known as the
Campagnie Universelle du Canal du Suez was chartered under
the laws of Egypt and shares sold privately, mostly to French citi-
zens. The khedive originally retained 40 per cent of the shares,
but some time later when he needed cash, he sold his shares to
the British government, a deal consummated by Benjamin Disraeli.
This transaction is second in historical importance only to Jeffer-
son's purchase of Louisiana.
The 99-year concession which expires in 1968-the 99 years
were to run from the date 1869 when the canal was completed
-required the canal and all ports to be open to all nations.
However, in 1881 the British closed the canal as an emergency
measure. To preclude closures in the future, the powers primarily
interested in free passage at all times met in Constantinople in
1888, and signed a convention opening the canal in peace and
war to all vessels of commerce and war without distinction of
flag. Nine powers were parties to this international convention,
including Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Turkey, and
Egypt. Except for the period 1914 to 1918, when the canal was

taken over by the British and utilized only by Britain and her
allies, and recently when Egypt refused passage to Israeli vessels
or vessels carrying cargo to Israel, the regulations laid down by
the Convention of Constantinople were rigidly maintained.

In contrast, the Panama Canal was built by the government of
the United States, wholly as a strategic measure, as a fundamental
requirement for the security of the United States. Even before
the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine, the United States was
interested in keeping European nations from interfering in the
Western Hemisphere. And since Great Britain and France pos-
sessed certain territories in the Caribbean area, American diplo-
macy was constantly alert to any attempt to extend these colonial
As early as 1846, the United States signed a treaty with New
Granada-whose territories included Panama--guaranteeing
freedom of transit across the isthmus on any route to the citizens
and government of the United States; and in return the United
States guaranteed the sovereignty of New Granada. In 1850,
when it appeared that Great Britain might be interested in con-
structing a canal through Nicaragua, the United States signed
with her the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. This agreement ruled out
exclusive control over any route whether by Nicaragua or Panama,
and guaranteed the neutrality of any future isthmian canal.
When De Lesseps, stimulated by his success in the Suez,
obtained a concession from Colombia in 1879 to build a canal
through Panama, the United States was considerably disturbed.
President Hayes in his message to the Congress of the United
States in 1880 declared any isthmian canal would be a part of
the coast line of the United States.
Nevertheless, De Lesseps began construction in 1881. He soon
found that the problem was infinitely more difficult and more
costly than in Suez. Whereas, in Egypt, the construction was
little more than digging a large ditch through a plain joining
two bodies of water on an equal level, in Panama it was necessary

44 The Caribbean
to blast rocks, to build dams, and to construct huge locks. And
the work had to be done in an area where yellow fever was a
deadly foe to the white workers. Whereas it was estimated that
the canal would take seven to eight years to build and cost about
$114 million, after eight years $400 million had been spent and
the work was only one-third completed. The result was bank-
ruptcy and a scandal that rocked the government of France.
Private attempts by American companies in Nicaragua were no
more successful.

When during the Spanish-American War the battleship "Ore-
gon" had to travel 13,400 miles to reach the West Indies from
San Francisco instead of the 4,600 if an isthmian canal were
available, Congress authorized $100 million to make surveys of
the Nicaraguan and Panamanian routes.
However, it was first necessary to eliminate the restrictive
Clayton-Bulwer Treaty with Great Britain, which gave the British
equal rights in any isthmian waterway. Secretary of State John
Hay was equal to the occasion. By the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty
of 1901, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty was abrogated. The way
was now open for a canal to be constructed and controlled by
the United States. It should be noted, however, that the United
States by terms of this treaty agreed that he canal should be
neutralized and administered in accordance with the rules govern-
ing the Suez-namely free transit of vessels of commerce and
war of all nations observing the rules. And traffic charges were
to be just and equitable with no discrimination.
It only remained to determine whether the proposed canal
should be built through Nicaragua or Panama. Both countries
were eager to have the canal in their territory, and both routes
had strong support in Congress. The congressional committee
finally recommended the Nicaraguan route, partly due to French
demands for $109 million for their rights and equipment, which
the committee estimated to be worth only $40 million. When
the bill passed the House of Representatives favoring the Nica-
raguan route, the French became panicky and offered to sell out

for the $40 million. Congress thereupon amended the bill and
authorized the president to purchase the French rights and make
an agreement with Colombia to construct the canal via Panama.
The United States promptly concluded a treaty with Colombia
agreeing to pay $10 million down plus $250,000 a year for the
rights to construct a canal through Panama.
But now that it appeared that the Panamanian route was
accepted, the Colombian Congress refused to approve the treaty
signed by their representative in Washington unless the $10
million was raised to $15 million and France gave up $10 million
of its $40 million. When the United States rejected this move,
the Colombian government refused to ratify the treaty.
Unfortunately for the grasping politicians in Bogoti, they had
overlooked several very important factors. In the first place,
Nicaragua still wanted the canal, and there was a strong group
in the United States Congress favoring this route. Secondly, the
people of Panama, never too happy under Colombian control,
were very resentful that the Colombian government was willing
to sacrifice their interests. Thirdly, the French engineer Bunau-
Varilla, who had persuaded the French company to sell out for
$40 million and who had lobbied strenuously to sell the United
States government the assets of the Panamanian route, was pre-
pared to foment a revolution in Panama if necessary to have the
canal built through Panama.
He knew that President Roosevelt favored the Panamanian
route, and that the United States had the right by treaty to keep
communications across the isthmus open. When the United States
warship "Nashville" departed from Kingston under sealed orders,
he was confident that its destination was Panama, and that Ameri-
can troops would be landed in case of trouble. He computed the
time of the warship's arrival, gave $100,000 to his agent in Pana-
ma to start a revolution at exactly the time the warship would
appear, and promised that American troops would land to prevent
Colombian troops from attacking the rebels. It was a gamble for
high stakes, but it won. The revolution was staged, the ma-
rines landed, and the Panamanians declared their independence.
Bunau-Varilla, their representative in Washington, immediately

46 The Caribbean
signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 giving the United
States in perpetuity a ten-mile strip across the isthmus, over
which it could exercise sovereign power for the construction and
future operation of the canal. The United States was also author-
ized to take any other lands and waters necessary for the con-
struction and protection of the canal. In return, the United States
would pay $10 million down and $250,000 annually to Panama,
and guarantee the neutrality of the canal and the independence
of Panama.
Although Bunau-Varilla publicly stated that he alone had
fomented the Panamanian revolution, the United States made
several attempts to placate Colombia for her loss of Panama.
Finally, in 1922 a treaty was signed paying Colombia $25 million
and granting her equal rights with Panama in the canal.
After considerable technical discussion and arguments for a
sea-level canal or a lock canal, the latter was chosen. Work was
begun in 1905, under the direction of one of America's greatest
engineers, John F. Stevens. It was completed under Colonel
George W. Goethals of the United States Army Engineers. The
canal was opened to traffic in 1914, and from that time to the
present approximately a quarter-million vessels of various types
have crossed the isthmus by way of the Panama Canal.

From the time when the canal was opened, the Panamanian
government expressed constant dissatisfaction with the terms of
the treaty of 1903. It was felt that the United States had abused
the provision granting occupation and control of lands and waters
outside the Canal Zone. Panama resented particularly the United
States government's right of eminent domain in acquiring property
within the cities of Panama and Col6n. After the League of
Nations was established, the Panamanian government insisted
that Article I of the treaty of 1903, guaranteeing the independ-
ence of Panama, was obsolete and unnecessary. Local merchants
bitterly protested the loss of trade resulting from the privilege
granted to Panamanians working for the Canal Zone authorities

to purchase supplies in American commissaries. And the devalua-
tion of the dollar in the United States brought matters to a head
when the Panamanian government categorically refused to accept
annual payments in the devaluated currency.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had begun his adminis-
tration with the enunciation of the Good Neighbor Policy, felt
that the Panamanian government was justified in some of its
Thus, a new treaty revising the treaty of 1903 was signed in
1936. It met most of the Panamanian demands, including the
abrogation of Article I and the renunciation of the right to occupy
lands outside of the Zone. The annuity of $250,000 was now
increased to $430,000. However, to safeguard the protection
of the canal, Article II of the new treaty provided that in the
event of some new unforeseen contingency the two governments
would agree upon measures necessary for the efficient operation
and effective protection of the canal.
Aroused by the threat of war in Europe, the Congress as a
defense measure authorized the construction of a third set of
larger locks in August, 1939, and started to construct them the
following year. However, when war began, it quickly appeared
advisable to strengthen the existing canal by greater air protection.
As a basis of mutual security, the United States requested the
use of about 130 parcels of land for air bases, landing fields,
observation towers, and gun emplacements. A Defense Sites
Agreement was signed in the spring of 1942, granting the United
States the use of the land requested. The bases were to be
evacuated one year after the ratification of the peace treaty, the
United States ceding to Panama all buildings which might be
constructed upon them. Work on the new locks was suspended
in May, 1942, because materials of construction were more
urgently needed elsewhere.
Inasmuch as Russia refused to sign a peace treaty with Ger-
many after hostilities ceased, the United States as a measure of
protection requested the right to retain some of the air bases
until the threat of Soviet attack was definitely eliminated.
Although the request seemed reasonable under the circum-

48 The Caribbean
stances, the Panama Assembly demanded that the United States
evacuate all the defense sites immediately. In reply, the United
States declared that sixty-five of the sites had already been relin-
quished and payments of almost $1 million made in the form
of rentals; but for mutual protection it would like to extend the
leases on some fourteen bases. The government of Panama was
willing to negotiate but public opinion was aroused, and the
Panama Assembly again rejected the extension. The United States
forthwith abandoned all the sites and withdrew all its forces into
the Canal Zone.
The Panamanian government, surprised and disappointed at
the unexpectedly prompt compliance with the Assembly demands,
began negotiations almost immediately to get the free-spending
troops back, offering to lease again the largest and most important
base to the United States in return for another revision of the
canal treaty in its favor. The United States agreed, and a new
Treaty of Mutual Understanding between the United States
and Panama governing the canal was signed January 25, 1955.
Again, the United States showed itself to be almost incredibly
generous. In return for the right to use for fifteen years the Rio
Hato Air Field as a military and training base, the United States
increased the annual annuity to Panama from $430,000 to
$1,930,000. We gave to Panama without compensation certain
water front and other properties including the valuable Hotel
Washington in Col6n. Numerous other concessions requested by
Panama were granted, including the valuable terminals of the
Panama Railroad, which further restricted the powers of the
United States in the Canal Zone.
Although criticized in the United States as a "give-away treaty,"
its ratification was approved by the Senate on July 29, 1955,
by a vote of 72 to 14. Although the terms to Panama were so
generous that Panama ratified the treaty less than two months
after it was signed, almost immediately afterwards further de-
mands were made. Inasmuch as, at the instigation of Pana-
manian merchants, the United States on December 31, 1956,
must close its commissaries to Panamanian workers for the United
States government, the new demand was for higher pay for the

Panamanian worker, in order that he could afford to pay the
higher prices charged by the Panamanian merchants.

A still more threatening aspect which the Suez crisis has
encouraged is the demand for the nationalization or international-
ization of the Panama Canal. The Soviet government, alert to
cause trouble on any front, raised the question of the internation-
alization of other straits and waterways in its discussion of the
Suez Canal imbroglio. The communist press in New York echoed
"America has its Suez, too." When the question was raised by
a newspaperman at a news conference August 28, 1956, Secre-
tary of State Dulles pointed out that whereas "the Suez Canal was
internationalized by the Treaty of 1888, the Panama Canal is a
waterway in a zone where by treaty the United States has all the
rights which it would possess if it were sovereign." In the second
place, there is no international treaty giving other countries any
rights at all in the Panama Canal, except the treaty with Great
Britain providing equal tolls for its vessels. Secretary Dulles also
noted the practical aspects of the situation. Whereas the Suez
is the very lifeline of many countries which, if cut, would be
disastrous, no country in the world fears that its economy would
be jeopardized by the possible misuse of our rights in the Panama
The United States built the Panama Canal as a fundamental
part of its national defense. It paid the entire cost, it has fortified
it, and the cost of fortification does not enter into the charges
of vessels using the canal. It has voluntarily accepted the equality
provisions of the Suez Convention. It has revised the terms of
the original treaty with Panama to meet every legitimate claim
for just treatment that the Panamanian government has raised.
No complaint as to fairness of treatment has ever been brought
by any nation either in the Western Hemisphere or elsewhere.
The United States has also built a great highway for automobiles
across the isthmus, and has agreed to construct a bridge at Balboa
which may cost $25 million to replace the Thatcher Ferry. Bills
have been introduced in every recent session of the Congress to

50 The Caribbean
modernize the canal to permit larger vessels and more of them
to pass through. If the favored high-level lake and locks plan is
adopted, the cost is estimated to be about $700 million. If the
sea-level plan should be chosen, the cost might run to as much as
$5 billion. Is it likely that an international agency would be in
a position to carry out such a tremendous undertaking?
In the words of Captain Miles Du Val, whose two volumes
From Cadiz to Cathay and The Mountains Will Move are the
classic studies on the diplomacy and construction of the canal,
"the history of this undertaking is epic."
As an engineering feat, it stands unparalleled. Culebra Cut,
a nine-mile channel, was hewn through a mountain. Gatun Dam,
1.5 miles long, contains more than five times as much material as
is found in the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt. Lord Bryce aptly
declared that this construction "is the greatest liberty man has
ever taken with nature." It is difficult to see why this great
national achievement, such a vital part of the protective bastion
of the Western Hemisphere and clearly open on terms of com-
plete equality to vessels of all nations, should be internationalized
in the very nationalistic world of today. Strategic, political, and
economic considerations all demand an American canal for the
Americas, and plain common sense demands that it remain under
the jurisdiction of the United States.

Part II




IN THE CARIBBEAN AREA, and in the British West Indies
in particular, there can be now and, I believe, will increasingly be
in the future full agreement on a positive, constructive policy
accepted and approved by the United States of America and all
the countries of the British Commonwealth. That is one of the
most encouraging things about the British West Indies. The area
is English in tradition; in geography it is American. What an
opportunity for practical Anglo-American cooperation! It is my
hope and it is my confidence that working together, closely to-
gether, we can achieve great things in this area, as in the world.
I speak to you about what I regard as a great adventure, a
unique adventure in the history of human relations. It seems
to me that it is a very exciting adventure. I want if I can to
communicate to you in a few minutes something of the feeling
of excitement that I feel as I deal with the problems of the
British West Indies at this time.
What is the aim? It is to bring together, for the second time
in the history of the world, thirteen English colonies in a free
Federation. The aim is to create in the Western Hemisphere
the second self-governing British Dominion. The aim is to unite

54 The Caribbean
3,000,000 people on a basis of parliamentary government and
racial amity and equal justice. The aim is to turn diversity from
a liability into an asset.
Who are the people? Who are these 3,000,000 people
who have set themselves to the task of creating this free Federa-
tion? I don't need to tell you in Florida that there are many
Gulf streams which come to the Caribbean. Streams came from
Spain, France, England, Africa, India, and America; the streams
met in the Caribbean, and all those streams have united in
Jamaica and in the British West Indies. In the British West
Indies the dominant number has, of course, come from Africa
and from India, but we are proud of the English traditions of
the British West Indian territories. We see English traditions in
our political life and in our social life, in our economic life and
in our educational life; we see it in our churches, we see it in
our schools, we see it in our University College of the West Indies
which has recently been created and draws its students from the
whole of the British West Indies. We see it in our parliaments
and we see it in our courts. We are proud that it should be so.
We have the streams, the different streams of people united in
this area, and we have the strength of the English traditions of
parliamentary government and equal justice for all before the
There are many difficulties. There is much property, there is
much ignorance, there are many social evils, many of them
arising from the influences of slavery. The difficulty of distance
is obviously great when you are attempting to unite thirteen
separate colonies, strung out on a great arc, as far apart as New
York is from San Francisco. Add to that the fact that no federa-
tion has ever been formed in the history of the world on a wave
of popular enthusiasm. I don't need to tell you that in America.
You know very well that the federation formed by this great
country was formed not as a result of popular demand, but as
a result of inspired leadership. And, indeed, if the people of
America at that time had known what was going on in the Phila-
delphia conferences in 1787, they would certainly have stopped
it. The fact is that a federation comes from the inspiration of

a few. You can't expect it to be otherwise. It isn't surprising.
You cannot expect ordinary people living in their separate units
to feel in advance a patriotism for a single state not yet created.
It is not surprising that it is so, that there is a need for inspired
leadership in the formation of any federation. It was so in this
country and in Canada and in Australia. So those are some of
the difficulties.
But the leadership has not been lacking, and, step by step
over a period of a decade, it has been a remarkable thing to see
the idea developing and agreement being achieved, and now we
have reached the stage when earlier this year at a conference in
London, attended by the elected representatives of all the terri-
tories, they unanimously agreed on the form of the federal gov-
ernment they wished.

A month or two ago Her Majesty the Queen gave her assent
to the act of the Imperial Parliament under which the new con-
stitution will be drawn up. The first officials of this new Federa-
tion have now been appointed. Next year, a little more than a
year from now, the first elections for the federal House of Repre-
sentatives will take place and the first federal government will be
formed early in 1958. We have set the course, we have already
overcome the principal obstacles. We still have difficulties to
surmount, and many of them will soon be dealt with in Kingston,
Jamaica; for in January the elected West Indian leaders are to
meet again. They have already decided on the main structure
of this new constitution, and they now have to see the detailed
instruments and go through them step by step. They have to
decide on the site of the West Indian capital.
The question of the site of the capital of the new Federation
is a difficult problem because, as I say, the islands are spread
out on this great arc. Each of the territories would welcome the
distinction of having the capital. We can't create a Washington,
D. C., in the middle of the sea; we have to put the capital in
one or another of the territories. And that has to be decided. A
fascinating task!

56 The Caribbean
When the West Indian leaders met in London there were
strong feelings, strong representations from different islands on
this issue of the capital, and this is what they said should be done.
Leave aside all the sentiment, leave aside all the emotion; let
three independent investigators who have no knowledge of the
area go to every territory, and let them put down the arguments
as they see them for and against each particular territory and
then publish their report. The investigators are not to decide,
the elected leaders are to decide. But before the elected leaders
decide, an impartial inquiry was decided upon to weigh the facts
and the advantages of one territory against another. That has
been done. The report of that independent commission will be
published within a week or two and then a final conclusion
will be reached by the elected leaders at the end of January
or the beginning of February, on the basis of one vote for each
delegate to that conference. So finality will be achieved, must
be achieved, within a few weeks from now. How wise it was,
before that decision was taken, to say: "Stop, give us six months;
let's look at the facts. Let's not decide a matter of this kind
merely on local feeling."
I listened with the greatest of interest to the three papers that
were read this afternoon, and I learned a very great deal. I lis-
tened particularly to what was said about the republics of Central
America. We heard how their representatives have repeatedly
met over a period of nearly a hundred years, and each time they
have either disagreed or, having agreed, have torn up what had
been accepted. The encouraging thing about British West Indian
federation is that every time the West Indian leaders have met,
in spite of different interests and strong controversy, they have
agreed unanimously. And every time they have agreed unani-
mously, they have gone back and carried out what they said
they would carry out. That's what gives confidence about the
maturity, the political maturity, of the leaders-elected on adult
suffrage as they are-of the British West Indies. They intend to
follow the course that has been set, and they have the sense of
purpose and responsibility to pursue their declarations to the

The British Caribbean, indeed, the whole of the Caribbean,
Florida included, was in days gone by the cockpit of colonialism,
of greed, of violence. At the beginning of the last century,
Jamaica was ruled by a small oligarchy, with the ordinary people
unable to take part in the affairs of the country in which they
were slaves. Now we have reached a stage when every man and
woman has a vote in Jamaica; when our representative institutions
have worked-and worked effectively-without any revolution,
without any disorder, without any violence. Last year the people
changed the government from one party to another and no heads
were broken, no windows were broken. One party which had
been in power for a matter of four or five years lost the election;
the other party which had been in opposition came in and took
over the government, and the government service continued
equally loyal to the new government as it had been to the old
one, earning the respect of the new ministers as it had earned
the respect of the old.
We believe we are on a firm foundation. We understand
parliamentary government. The first constitution of Jamaica was
granted by King Charles II three hundred years ago. A few
operated the system in the early days, but over the centuries the
people have become familiar with the system. The people of
Jamaica well understand the principles of parliamentary govern-
ment. We have a government service which is honest and loyal
to whatever party is in power. The principal officials (whom I
know, and know well because I've worked with them for nearly
ten years) of each responsible ministry are honest, able, and
reliable. And above all, we have the British respect (and it is
respect shared with this great country of the United States) for
the rule of law and for the necessity of maintaining the courts
of justice free from all interference and all bias.

So we believe that, in this adventure in which we are engaged,
which we believe can succeed, and on which the main decisions

58 The Caribbean
are already taken, you will see as you look from this great country
(particularly from Florida) a new nation of 3,000,000 people
emerging in 1958 from the Caribbean Sea as if by a volcanic
It will be a nation which believes in the same things that you
believe in. Within a measurable time it will become a self-
governing dominion with the same status as Canada. So you of
this country, who have long been familiar with having a self-
governing dominion on your northern frontiers will, I hope and
trust, have to get used to having a self-governing British dominion
near your southern frontiers too. I believe that you will take a
special interest in this exciting development. It was Britain that
taught the world the principles of parliamentary government; it
was the United States of America that taught the world the
principles of free federation. I believe that in the United States
you will look on this experiment, this adventure, with sympathy
and understanding and support.
I am particularly pleased that at this stage I can make this
short report on the progress that has been made and express my
confidence that with the sympathy and support of great nations
it can be shown in the British West Indies that the working of
democracy is not the privilege of a few great nations. It is well,
perhaps, to remember that the population of the British West
Indies is at present, small as you may think it, almost exactly
the same as the population of the thirteen states of the United
States at the time when federation took place in this country. I
hope that, being so near, many of you will come to Jamaica and
see the progress which is taking place. I believe that when you
do you will feel, as I do, a sense of pride and confidence in the
future of the British Caribbean.


Jesse Harris Proctor, Jr.: THE INTERNATIONAL

last been reached on the outlines of a constitution which will
unite the British Caribbean islands into a single Federation, and
it is thought that the remaining steps can be taken which will
make it possible to bring the federal government itself into being
early in 1958. The creation of this new political entity which
promises to become fully self-governing soon is fraught with
significance not only for British West Indians but for the rest
of the world as well.

It is a development which should prove beneficial to the entire
Caribbean area in several ways. These islands are British in
more than name. Respect for the institutions and usages of
parliamentary government as it has evolved in the United King-
dom is here firmly rooted. The new federal constitution is pat-
terned closely after those of the senior members of the Common-
wealth of Nations, and the political life of the Federation will
in all probability be distinguished by such characteristically Brit-
ish features as responsible governments, moderate policies, a free
and loyal opposition, gradual change, and respect for individual
rights. Militarism, sudden violent revolution, the "strong man,"
and adventurous foreign policies are not likely to find a place here.

60 The Caribbean
It will be instructive to other Caribbean countries to have in their
midst such a workshop and showplace of democracy.
Federation, in addition, has a certain stabilizing effect, for it
settles the previously open question of the political future of these
dependencies in such a way as to reduce the pressure-both
from without and from within-for alternative changes in the
status quo.
It counters the threat of encroachment from Latin American
states which have justified their territorial claims in the past as
assaults on the vestiges of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere.
Not only is the colonial relationship being terminated, but also
these several islands are being joined into a single unit so that
the status of any one of them can no longer be considered in
isolation. British Guiana and British Honduras, by contrast, re-
main in an exposed position by virtue of their decision not to
join the new union at present. That action has prevented a
worsening of relations between the United Kingdom and certain
Latin American republics, particularly Guatemala, which have
protested energetically against the British effort to link those
mainland territories with the islands, but has opened the way to
an intense competition between the new federal government and
Latin America over them. At least, however, this struggle will
not be clouded by the issues of colonialism.
Federation serves also to weaken if not destroy the appeal to
British West Indians of other political attachments. Projects such
as the transfer of some or all of the islands to the United States
or to Canada, the development of special political relationships
with neighboring independent states, or the creation of a wider
union embracing all the territories in the Caribbean of whatever
nationality-each of which has attracted some West Indian
support in the past and might have stimulated interest and
enthusiasm in the future-are now undermined. The federal
government will cement and provide a central focus for British
West Indian loyalties; federation creates a framework within
which British West Indians can look forward to a promising
political destiny. Its value in this respect has already been
demonstrated on at least two occasions. On May 4, 1948, the

St. Vincent Legislative Council unanimously approved a resolu-
tion introduced by an elected member which stated:

Whereas it has been suggested at the Pan-American Conference
at Bogota that all Caribbean Colonies should either become in-
dependent or come under the sovereignty of some American
nation. . Be it resolved that this Legislature in Council
assembled hereby affirms its loyalty to the British Crown and
expresses its intention to remain within the British Common-
wealth of Nations subject always to the attainment under Federa-
tion of Dominion status within the said Commonwealth.1

Another elected member supported this resolution with the com-

In this Caribbean world we have a big plan and we envisage
that it will be a reality and we must resent any further talk of
people taking us over like cattle.2

The following year the West Indian members of the Standing
Closer Association Committee which was meeting in Trinidad to
prepare the federal constitution issued a statement to the press
that they deplored and resented "any suggestions, whether by
the Conference at present in session in Havana or from any other
source, that the political status and sovereignty of these territories
are a matter for decision by any agencies other than the people
of the territories themselves in consultation with His Majesty's
Government in the United Kingdom. Their ultimate goal, which
is the purpose of the present deliberations in Trinidad, is self-
government within the British Commonwealth of Nations."3
Federation contributes further to the welfare of the region by
making possible a substantial improvement in the economic posi-
tion of the British West Indies. It creates a larger internal market
thus stimulating interisland trade, the development of industries,
and the specialization of production. It facilitates the movement

St. Vincent Legislative Council Minutes, May 4, 1948, pp. 28-29.
2 Ibid., p. 29.
Parliamentary Papers, 1952, Cmd. 8575, British Dependencies in the
Caribbean and North Atlantic 1939-1952, p. 72.

62 The Caribbean
of persons, thus making possible a better adjustment of popu-
lation and resources. It strengthens their bargaining power in
international commercial negotiations. It permits the planning
of their economic development on a regional basis. The higher
living standards which result should make unlikely a recurrence
of the disturbances which swept through the islands during the
1930's as a protest against the prevailing economic distress. This
should also reduce the appeal of extremist movements such as
communism, for the existing order will seem to provide both
tangible progress and hope for the future. Moreover, the in-
creased productivity and purchasing power of the British West
Indies will be economically beneficial to those countries with
which they trade.
This effort at closer union is also of international significance
as a graceful retreat from colonialism in an extremely difficult
situation. The demand for self-government in the islands had
attained impressive proportions by the end of the Second World
War, but each of them was too small and weak to stand alone.
Britain viewed federation as the solution to this problem, main-
taining that only through that means could there be created a
politically and economically viable unit able to support without
recurrent outside assistance the elaborate and costly public services
and institutions required of the modern independent state, to
withstand pressures from abroad, to achieve a standing in the
Commonwealth comparable to that of the older dominions in
reality as well as in form, and to participate effectively in inter-
national affairs generally.

How Britain could best assist in bringing about federation was
not easy to determine, however. There was, on the one hand, a
need for a certain measure of external initiative and support in
order to overcome the apathy, parochialism, and opposition pres-
ent in some of the islands, but on the other hand there was a
danger of too much pressure from London, for colonialism had
produced here as elsewhere an almost instinctive suspicion of
anything urged by the Metropolitan Power. Self-government was

what West Indians were primarily interested in, and many of
them regarded federation as a scheme for delaying or thwarting
the further constitutional progress of their own units and leading
them into a glorified Crown Colony.
In these circumstances, Britain sought to secure West Indian
agreement to federation by stressing its benefits and practicability,
minimizing its difficulties and disadvantages, and offering assur-
ances with respect to those aspects of it which caused particular
concern; but at the same time carefully refrained from giving the
appearance of forcing the colonies to federate, and continued to
increase gradually the autonomy of the unit governments. More-
over, the Colonial Office made some suggestions as to what the
federal constitution should contain, but encouraged the West
Indians to participate freely and actively in its formulation rather
than to accept ready-made solutions, and allowed them to decide
for themselves whether to adopt it in the end. Several of the
most important provisions in the final draft originated with the
West Indians. As for the British suggestions, some were received
without objection and incorporated into the draft without change,
some were revised in response to West Indian criticisms, and
some which encountered strong resistance in the colonies were
dropped altogether. None which aroused united West Indian
opposition appeared in the constitutional plan as it now stands.
The various adjustments in the British proposals did not satisfy
all the legislators, but they were acceptable to the majority of
them. The disputes on these controversial provisions were not
simply between imperial government and colonies, but also among
West Indians themselves.
In pursuing this sort of policy, the Colonial Office had to
tolerate exasperating delays and ran the risk of not getting final
agreement on a constitution for a long time to come, for the West
Indian response to the British overtures was not always prompt
or enthusiastic. These delays were particularly serious since it
appeared that federation would become more difficult and un-
likely with the passage of time. There was the danger that as
the colonies developed their economies separately and attained a
greater measure of individual self-government, vested interests

64 The Caribbean
and local nationalism would become stronger within each of them
and they would become increasingly reluctant to relinquish any
of their newly won power to a federal government. Britain's
caution was hazardous for the additional reason that it exposed
her to the charge that she was not really sincere about federation,
and thus risked alienating the more ardent federalists.
Her adherence to such a policy despite these dangers, despite
recurrent pressure from Parliament for a more positive lead, and
despite what must have been at times a considerable impatience
in the Colonial Office itself, seems clearly to have been the wisest
course, however. To have pressed federation more vigorously
would have produced a reverse effect from that desired and in-
tended; resistance was quick to appear when the Colonial Office
or its agents seemed insistent. To have provided stronger leader-
ship in the drafting of the constitution would have stamped it as
an imperial scheme and would have thus imperilled its acceptance
from the start, regardless of its merits. As it is, this effort emerges
as a striking expression of the partnership concept of British
colonial policy in action, and West Indians can feel that they have
shared in the shaping of their political future in a meaningful
The achievement of federation in this manner provides con-
crete evidence of the sincerity of the repeated assertions by Britain
of its aim to lead its dependencies toward self-government, and
thus improves its position before world public opinion. Moreover,
West Indian demands have been met soon enough and skillfully
enough to prevent the development of extreme nationalism and
Anglophobia. Britain can now count on having a friend in the
Caribbean in the years ahead. Finally, this demonstration of how
federalism can be used to permit the liquidation of colonialism
in areas where self-government would be otherwise impossible
offers a challenge and a guide to other dependencies and imperial
powers throughout the world.

In attempting to bring about political union, Britain not only
argued the merits of federation and assisted in the preparation of

a federal constitution, but also encouraged the colonial govern-
ments to cooperate with each other in the handling of specific
problems of an economic or technical character in the hope that
this would produce attitudes and habits conducive to federation.
Their experience with this latter technique-the so-called func-
tional approach-provides a laboratory test of its effectiveness
which is of international interest, for this is a method which has
been much discussed in connection with the federation of states.
It seems clear that functional cooperation contributed to the
success of the federal movement by reducing parochialism and
stimulating the development of a British West Indian conscious-
ness, by accustoming the people in these territories to regional
institutions and to intercolonial action, and by heightening their
appreciation of the value of the joint approach to their common
problems. The success attained through such functional coopera-
tion sharpened their desire for political union as a means of
achieving still further benefits, and the limitations and inade-
quacies of these agencies and techniques impressed them with
the need to move beyond functionalism to the establishment of a
federal government so that the full advantages of the regional
solution could be realized.
Functional cooperation was unable, however, to overcome the
opposition to federation in British Guiana, British Honduras, and
the Virgin Islands, as well as among the East Indians of Trinidad
and the nominated legislators of Barbados. They were willing to
cooperate on economic and technical matters, but were not per-
suaded by that experience to move on to political union, for there
were certain objections to federation (such as the fear of its
financial consequences) which simply were not affected by such
cooperation. Moreover, difficulty was encountered in the effort
to develop some of the functional arrangements. A customs union
and unified public services, for example, were regarded by West
Indians as impracticable and undesirable in advance of the crea-
tion of a federal government or at least of a supranational con-
trolling authority which they were not prepared to accept, and
could not therefore be implemented. The agencies which were
established, such as the Development and Welfare Organization

66 The Caribbean
and the Regional Economic Committee did not evolve into quasi-
federal structures as had been hoped, but remained advisory and
consultative in character and as such rather ineffective-since the
units were unwilling to grant them the power required for them
to become anything else. These unsuccessful efforts suggested to
some West Indians that closer association in any form would be
impracticable and thus operated to prejudice the case for federa-
tion itself. Nor were the successes of functionalism altogether
helpful, for they led some West Indians to hold that this type
of activity was so satisfactory that federation was now unnecessary
or at least less urgent.
A lesson of great importance to the consideration of how to
bring about international federation emerges, then, from this
experience: that the effects of the functional approach are re-
markably complex and diverse. It has been here demonstrated
that this approach is a difficult and risky technique which can
assist a federal movement significantly, but may prove quite in-
effective so far as some are concerned and may even delay or
jeopardize the achievement of federation. This evidence is such
that functionalism can no longer be regarded as a process which
leads inexorably and inevitably to political union.4

This effort is also of world-wide significance as an example
of successful multiracial cooperation, and as a demonstration of
nation building and constitution-making in a plural society.
The distribution of racial groups is approximately the same in
all the islands except Trinidad: a very large majority of Negroes
and only small numbers of Europeans, East Indians, Chinese, and
others. Trinidad is unique in having a substantial East Indian
element, constituting approximately 35 per cent of its population.
In no island has this amalgam of races been fully integrated into

For a more detailed discussion of these points, see the present writer's
"The Functional Approach to Political Union: Lessons from the Effort to
Federate the British Caribbean Territories," Internatinal Organization, X,
1 (1956), 35-48.

a single community, and the political life of each-especially
Trinidad-has been affected by interracial tension.
This situation, of course, complicated the problem of federa-
tion. The minority groups were less enthusiastic about the cre-
ation of an autonomous federal government, for the existing
Crown Colony system offered them protection against a popular
majority. The lighter-skinned legislators tended generally, then,
to be gradualists if not antifederalists.
The situation was particularly difficult in Trinidad, for there
within recent years the East Indians have gained considerable
political power and have come to expect a further improvement
in their position. Many of them have opposed federation on the
grounds that it would increase the immigration into that island
of Negroes from the other units thereby reducing their own rela-
tive strength in the population, and that it would place them
under the control of a central government dominated by Negroes.
Minority apprehensions were allayed to a considerable extent
by the safeguards inherent in the federal principle itself, and
particularly by the adoption of the Australian pattern of federa-
tion, according to which the central government's authority is
limited to those matters specifically assigned to it in the consti-
tution, by the assignment of a quite limited number of matters,
and by the provision of a rigid amending process. Also reassuring
was the retention of a veto and of certain reserve powers by the
To safeguard the position of Trinidad's East Indians further,
it was agreed that the preamble to the constitution should specify
that "all persons in the Federation shall continue to enjoy the
free exercise of their respective modes of religious worship,"5 that
federal legislation on matrimonial matters would not come into
force in any territory without the consent of its legislature, and
that control over the interisland movement of persons should
be exercised concurrently by the federal and unit governments
(rather than exclusively by the former, as other islands pre-

5 Parliamentary Papers, 1956, Cmd. 9733, Report by the Conference on
British Caribbean Federation Held in London in February, 1956, p. 5.

68 The Caribbean
ferred), although federal approval of unit legislation on this
matter will be necessary after the first five years.
These guaranties were not enough to satisfy everyone com-
pletely. What was achieved, however, was a settlement which
struck a balance between meeting the demands of the majority
for a federal government strong enough to cope effectively with
the problems of the region, and safeguarding the position of the
various minorities-a compromise which was freely approved by
all the island legislatures. That such a settlement could be ar-
rived at is an achievement of considerable significance for other
plural societies in Africa and southeast Asia which are struggling
towards nationhood.

The reaching of final agreement on a federal constitution does
not exhaust the possibilities of internationally significant action
on the part of the British Caribbean territories; it is indeed really
only the beginning. The full extent of the contribution they can
make to the stability and progress of the Caribbean region remains
to be measured; the effectiveness of federation as a means of
bringing such small and weak units towards self-government will
be known only as the viability of this new entity is tested in
practice; more can be learned about the usefulness and danger
of the functional approach as the effects of the continuing eco-
nomic and technical cooperation between British Guiana and
British Honduras and the Federation become apparent; and the
politics and policies of the Federation will strengthen or weaken
the confidence of other peoples in federalism as a device for
building a state in a multiracial society. It is an experiment, then,
which the rest of the world will watch with continuing interest.


Andre L. van Assenderp: THE NETHERLANDS

ON DECEMBER 29, 1954, a new constitutional order went
into effect with the promulgation of the Charter for the Kingdom
of the Netherlands. Its spirit is sufficiently unique to warrant
inquiry, not merely into the historical circumstances of constitu-
tional evolution, but more especially into the sociological con-
ditions that have inspired the new order.

I. The Sociological Background
The new Kingdom of the Netherlands is geographically scat-
tered; it comprises the territories of the metropolitan Netherlands
in Europe, of Surinam on the north coast of South America, and
of the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The non-
European entities show marked contrasts, not only with one an-
other but also with their principal partner.
Surinam has an area corresponding roughly to that of the state
of Alabama. Its original inhabitants were the American Indians
of the Carib, Arawak, and Trio tribes; their descendants consti-
tute approximately 2 per cent of the total present population;
and they have settled in more or less sedentary fashion along
the banks in the upper reaches of the major rivers, and keep to
When the Europeans introduced their plantation economy, an
influx of African slave labor resulted that formed the basis of a

70 The Caribbean
new and important population element in later years. Part of
this segment, after abolition, formed what is locally termed the
"Creole" population of Surinam, comprising both Negro and
"colored," e.g., mestizo elements. It amounts to some 40 per cent
of the current total population. Another part, which segregated
itself during the era of indentured labor in the form of runaway
slaves taking to the interior, developed into the present-day Bush
Negro group; it leads a secluded life in the remoter depths of
the rain forests and comes in not more than sporadic contact
with the outer world.
With the abolition of slavery in 1863 the Surinam plantations
developed a shortage of labor; the freed slaves were not to be
induced to continue working in the fields. It became necessary
in the interest of the colony's economy to import labor from else-
where. This was done by drawing upon the vast populations of
Asia, first of China, later specifically of India and Java. By
arrangement with the latter two colonial governments, Indians and
Javanese began to arrive under contract. Some of these contract-
ants returned after expiration of their term of employment; most
remained, however, partly by preference, partly through force of
circumstance, that is to say, through lack of money; the govern-
ment of Surinam undertook either to finance the return trip home
to the country of origin, or to supply a bonus payment as an aid
to the colonist who decided to stay; many accepted the bonus,
spent it, then decided to return after all, which could, of course,
not then be permitted at government expense. The supply of
labor from India was discontinued when the British Indian gov-
ernment ultimately forbade further emigration under contract.
At the same time, realization came to Surinam, that the best
chance for improvement of its economy-which had come to suf-
fer as a consequence of the opening of the Suez Canal, gateway to
greener pastures-lay in the acquisition of a settled agricultural
population. From then on the importation of labor from Java
was rebased on the principle of selecting from among aspiring
migrants qualified farmers as colonists; these farmers, upon ac-
ceptance, were then to be provided with suitable assistance. In
the course of time the element of Asian origin thus introduced

and retained came to constitute about 30 per cent of the total
present population.
Besides the autochthonous population and the African and
Asian elements added to it, Surinam also received a contingent
of Portuguese Jewish refugees from Brazil, a number of Syrians,
and, of course, Hollanders. A small smattering of Germans and
Swiss came in with the Herrnhut Missions, and an occasional
Frenchman, Belgian, or Englishman was added through personal
prospects in industrial enterprise. There is nothing especially
unique in this by itself. What renders the situation noteworthy
is that such a great variety of national origins is found in such
a small total number of inhabitants: 220,000 according to the
last available figures. Of this total some 81,000 are concentrated
in the capital, Paramaribo; the majority of these are Creoles in
the Surinam interpretation of the word; the Europeans number
only about 2,000-and few of them are permanent settlers.
One may be inclined to wonder how all these various strains
live together. The answer is that, socially speaking, they live in
a state of indifferent tolerance of one another. Every nationality
has largely preserved its own characteristics. This is, above all,
noticeable in the outlying districts, where successive waves of
immigrants have tended to flock together and to settle in racially
homogeneous communities; this was, incidentally, also a natural
consequence of the extensive preparations made by the govern-
ment to receive and accommodate arriving colonists in specially
developed areas where they were to make their homes.
Most contact between these different racial and national
factions is established through reliance upon a local vernacular
known as "taki-taki," a strange and not unmelodious blend of
Dutch, French, English, Portuguese, and localisms. The Bush
Negroes in the interior have developed an exclusive variant called
"deepie-taki," a secret language not to be communicated to out-
siders. In urban localities Dutch is taught in school and also
extensively used in daily contact, although many Creoles prefer
to lapse into taki-taki when among themselves; the Asians natural-
ly discourse in their own respective languages: Javanese, Hindo,
or Urdu.

72 The Caribbean
As a consequence of all this there is little social and cultural
intercourse between the component segments of polyglot Surinam
society. The groups have retained their own cultural standards,
even in cases where they were intensively exposed to Western
education. There is a wide difference, furthermore, in the degree
of internal cohesion from group to group: Indonesians have pre-
served and perpetuated the typical aspects of their communal
way of life; the same can be said for the Asian Indians, both
with regard to the aggregate group itself as with reference to the
smaller Hindustani middle class of intellectuals that sprang from
it and has since distinguished itself from the whole mass of the
population by a most eminent degree of Westernization; American
Indians still live in their tribal patterns, seminomadically; the
Bush Negroes are settled in villages under the spiritual bayroof, as
it were, of a larger community, which has placed itself in toto out-
side participation in any social and political manifestation of life.
By way of contrast, the so-called "town-negro" leads a highly
individualistic life, opportunistic, with rather slack family ties
the forging of which does not always rest upon observance of
the traditional ritual essentials. Economic irresponsibility is fre-
quently the hallmark of this group and is reflected in its circum-
stances, generally less sound than those of the Asians and, on the
whole, rather stagnant and depressed.
The Creole middle class, on the other hand, has shown a
great deal of social mobility; the top level has received an infusion
of Creole intellectuals, whilst the bottom layer of this segment
has accommodated a fairly large number of Negroes on their way
up. It is to be deplored that this particular class as a whole also
suffers a great drain upon the talent it is cultivating, owing to
a strong disposition among its better sons to migrate either to the
Netherlands or to the Antilles. This feature has its explanation.
Speaking in general terms, schooling often leads to dissatisfaction
with rural conditions. Among the Creoles such lack of content-
ment is frequently amplified by the prevailing prejudice against
agricultural pursuits; these, reminiscent as they are felt to be of
slave labor, are shunned as socially inferior occupations. This
creates a general trek toward the city and tends to produce not

only a rural intellectual vacuum but also an urban unemployment
problem. As a first consequence a class of semi-intellectual, idle,
and demanding malcontents comes into being, very susceptible to
political demagoguery. As a second consequence, the limited
variety in professional preparation available at the few institutions
of higher learning promotes at once a saturation and a surplus
in particular professions, such as law. Those among the Abituri-
ents who do not migrate face inadequate scope and growing
frustration; the town brings increasing competition within an
environment with a comparatively static middle-class clientele;
and the rural areas are financially not in the market for the high-
priced services of this group. This segment is almost predestined
to furnish the spark for local politics.
A further trend must be noted at this stage. There has been
a constant growth in the feeling of solidarity among the Creoles
in the first five decades of the twentieth century. This is largely
explainable in terms of reaction upon the progress made by the
congealing of a prosperous Hindustani middle class, which invited
a counterweight. The fact has introduced a highly competitive
factor with political significance into Surinam society. To pre-
serve a necessary perspective it must be remarked at the same
time that this feeling of solidarity has not-or not yet-developed
to such a degree that it is about to wipe out the social contrast
within the group between the subdivisions of the "blacks" and
the "colored"; nobody insists on that distinction more than the
Creole himself!
The consequences of this demographic structure just outlined
for Surinam stem from the territory's past as a plantation colony;
they determine in extensive measure the nature of the country's
political problems.
For the sister territory in the Caribbean the situation is some-
what different. The Netherlands Antilles are composed of the
Netherlands Leeward Islands-Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire-
and the Netherlands Windward Islands: St. Eustatius, Saba, and
half of St. Martin. The joint area is not larger than roughly 350
square miles; slightly less than half of this space is occupied by
Curacao alone.

74 The Caribbean
On the Windward Islands there originally existed a plantation
economy, but it went into decline before the end of the eighteenth
century. That the population is predominantly Afro-American
can be ascribed to the fact that there has been no new immigra-
tion leading to permanent settlement of groups that were ethnical-
ly different, like the Asians in Surinam. The African strain has
continued to survive among the mass of the population, although
to a smaller extent than was noted for Surinam. In the Leeward
Islands, primarily military outposts and trading stations in the
past, a group of descendants of the erstwhile white plantation
masters has maintained itself and still forms an upper stratum
in society. Here too a "colored" middle class has arisen, but its
social position is consequently much weaker than that of its
Surinam counterpart. Racial factors, already found to be im-
portant in Surinam, determine to an even larger degree the place
of the individual in the social hierarchy of the Leewards.
The opening of the Panama Canal enhanced the position of
Curacao as a trading focus in the Caribbean. Further impetus
toward prosperity was lent to both Curacao and Aruba by the
establishment of sizable Dutch and American oil refineries.
Demographically that has brought forth a twofold effect: in the
first place there came an influx of transient foreigners; in the
second place the two favored islands began to attract male in-
habitants of Surinam, the Windwards, and Bonaire. How effec-
tive this drain was, may find illustration from the figures; the
total population numbers not more than 180,000; of these, 64
per cent are found on Curacao and 32 per cent on Aruba; the
number of aliens is estimated at well over 15 per cent.
The Windward Islands, off the routes of international trade,
are so isolated that even the language is English, and not that
of the Netherlands. In the Leewards is a certain cultural affinity
with Latin America; many individuals have family ties on the
continent; and the local vernacular language, called "Papia-
mento," is largely Romance in origin; nevertheless there is little
dnimo for involvement with the political regimes on the continent
of South America, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere
for that matter.

There is, finally, great rivalry between Curacao and Aruba;
and that condition has an influence on the political structure of
the territory.
The cement that held together polyscopic society in both
Surinam and the Antilles was the prewar colonial government
and a pronounced personal loyalty to the ruling royal family.

II. The Constitutional Evolution
Until 1816 the administrative organization of the colony of
Surinam was laid down in a charter granted to the Dutch West
India Company in 1682. There followed a period during which
Surinam was placed under the administration of the Societeit van
Suriname-another chartered company in which the West India
Company participated. Under the provisions of this Societeit the
colony was to be administered by a governor appointed by the
crown. There was no executive body, only an advisory political
council, the Court of Policy, also appointed by the crown and
usually composed, for an important part, of administrative of-
ficials. The governor was required to consult the council in all
matters of any significance; he was further under the obligation
to implement all resolutions passed with a majority of votes.
There was a legislative council too, sharing lawmaking and
budgetary powers with the governor. The members were elected
after a fashion; the colonists elected "pairs" from among the
"eminent personages" in the country; the governor then made his
choice and appointed the ones selected for life. Obviously this
was a highly limited form of franchise that could only operate
aristocratically, favoring an oligarchy of planters and administra-
tors, the only "eminent" personages available. On this basis the
country was actually governed in deference to the interests of
the powerful body of planters. This so-called "plantocracy" lasted
until the end of the slave era, but its actual influence as a system
persevered until the close of the nineteenth century.
The council was also charged with exercizing the powers of
criminal justice; civil law cases, however, were tried before a
"Court of Civil Justice," the membership of which was likewise
appointed by the governor, from "pairs," nominated by the Court