In the first three decades of the 20th century, the United States regularly intervened militarily in the circum-Caribbean, sending the Marines to govern directly or rule by proxy in Nicaragua (1912–1933), Haiti (1915–1934), and the Dominican Republic (1916–1924). The end of this era of U.S. occupations, and the relatively harmonious period that followed, is typically credited to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy, although his predecessor Herbert Hoover began the process and both drew upon Latin American traditions and yielded to Latin American pressures to change traditional U.S. policy. The new approach to relations with Latin America included not only abjuring the use of military force but respecting the full sovereignty of Latin American states by not interfering or even commenting upon their processes of political succession. The Roosevelt administration signed agreements formalizing this new respect and sought to negotiate mutually beneficial trade agreements with Latin American countries. The benefits of the Good Neighbor Policy became evident when nearly every country in the region aligned itself with the United States in World War II. Measures taken against Axis nationals strained the policy during the war. By 1945, and during the Cold War, the policy unraveled, as the United States resumed both interference (in Argentine politics) and intervention (with a CIA-organized coup in Guatemala in 1954).
Max Paul Friedman
During the World War II era, Uruguayan politicians, student groups, and ethnic associations, among others, engaged daily in various circulating dialogues that extended beyond their nation-state. The war mobilized and empowered several actors who were devoted to shaping Uruguayan politics and society, but who were also actively committed to a broader cause. Though often overlooked, transnational nonstate actors helped to mold the era’s social and political movements by seizing on universal pro-Allied and anti-fascist language. Several events in Uruguay, interpreted through the language of democracy by local activists, helped not just to inch along public sentiment concerning the threat of fascism but also to thrust government officials into direct action. Emblematic of these actors was Uruguayan university professor and editor for the New York–based Free World magazine, Hugo Fernández Artucio, who, with various degrees of success, sought to shape public opinion and policy via his internationally broadcasted concerns about the Nazi menace. Though his anti-fascist crusading was often welcomed, as it helped to facilitate certain Uruguayan and US government policies, at times it was deemed as “impracticable” or “dangerous” in the view of government officials.