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US Strategy in Latin America, 1939 – 1949

US Strategy in Latin America, 1939 – 1949


==US Strategy in Latin America, 1939 – 1949====Introduction==
This video will be about US strategy towards Latin America from 1939 to 1949, covering
policy towards the Caribbean and South America during the ‘Good Neighbor’ Era and World
War II. To prepare this side theater for the broader
conflict, the US made use of a host of policy instruments: not just traditional political-military
power, but geoeconomic and cultural diplomacy as well.==US Strategic Goals==
In the most general sense, during this period the US wanted to defend and extend its hegemonic
position in Latin America. By the early 1900s, it had obtained enough
power to enforce the Monroe Doctrine and become the dominant political influence in the region. But this influence seemed under threat by
the 1930s, and in any case, Europe continued to be a powerful cultural and economic force. As World War II loomed, the US viewed the
Axis powers, in particular Germany, as the region’s main threat, especially after the
Fall of France in June 1940. Only two routes existed to invade the US,
and one of them was through Latin America. And in the other direction, Latin America
could also be a key logistics corridor for US aid, especially over the winter when North
Atlantic storms delayed transport. The Allies also needed Latin America for key
materials like rubber, quartz, platinum, and quinine, a reliance heightened after the loss
of the Dutch East Indies to Japan. More specifically, the US focused on two strategic
positions. The first was the Panama Canal, which let
the US shift naval assets efficiently in response to Hemispheric threats. Canal security would require coordination
across multiple territories, encompassing the Caribbean, the northern half of South
America, and the Eastern Pacific. The second was Northeastern Brazil, whose
proximity to West Africa made it both a bottleneck for Axis invasion and Allied logistics. Defending this region meant dealing with Brazil,
and by extension, Brazil’s internal problems and external relations.==US Strategic Threats==
Arrayed against US strategic goals were a number of overt, covert and latent threats. Given what we know now about Axis priorities
and capabilities, many of these threats might seem ludicrous; but it’s important to remember
that had these plots succeeded, the damage done to the Allied cause could have been substantial. The biggest threat was Axis control of the
region’s strategic positions, not an idle fear following Vichy France’s control of
West Africa. The US did not believe Latin Americans could
repel an invasion, especially not a long-range bomber strike which could cripple airfields,
ports or even the Canal without meeting significant resistance. Subterfuge was another fear, though in reality
the Axis gave it a low priority. The Germans had sabotaged the US in World
War I, and the US constantly feared Axis involvement behind coups from Chile to Brazil to the Dominican
Republic. But most of the time, it was Latin American
states that were the obstacle to US goals. Now, no state – not even Argentina – actively
collaborated with the Axis. But just by following their own interests,
Latin Americans threatened to overstretch and complicate US strategy. The main issue was neutralism. Latin Americans did not view the Axis as an
immediate threat and did not want to be its targets. Instead, as neutrals they hoped to get as
much from both sides as possible, especially industrial and military assistance. But clearly, the US had other priorities and
could not afford to accept every regional demand. The US also had to deal with existing rivalries. Brazil, for example, would not garrison its
Northeast, because all its troops were needed in the South against Argentina. Likewise, disputes between Peru and Ecuador,
and between Peru, Bolivia, and Chile threatened to wreck inter-American cooperation to the
benefit of the Axis. Lastly, there was also domestic instability,
as weak central governments faced economic hardships after the loss of European markets
with the outbreak of war. All these threats were underpinned by the
Axis presence in Latin America. Radio Berlin targeted the 1.5m ethnic Germans
in the region, and Francoist Spain similarly reached out to the Spanish-speaking elite. Ethnic Germans and Italians also contributed
significantly to local economies: Germans were responsible for 80% of Guatemala’s
coffee exports, and German and Italian airlines, some still piloted by reservists, flew local
routes These businesses not only drove links between
Latin America and the Axis, but were also of practical wartime use. German firms, for example, agreed to patch
up Graf Spee in Montevideo, Uruguay, potentially extending the life of a ship that had tied
down 8 Allied naval groups. The use of airliners for paradrop or bomb
strikes was even more worrisome. But the other side of Axis penetration was
Latin American dislike of US dominance; and overcoming this would be an unspoken task
for US strategy.==Pre-1939: Intervention and Indifference==
From the 1904 to 1928, US strategy towards Latin America was guided by ‘Big Stick Diplomacy’,
after President Theodore Roosevelt’s quip of ‘speaking softly and carrying a big stick’. Many Caribbean states were essentially bankrupt
by this time, and the US feared that their European creditors might demand naval bases
near the Panama Canal as payment. Big Stick Diplomacy was therefore a form of
receivership, where the US would invade, organize debt repayment, and keep the Europeans away. President Taft would then introduce ‘Dollar
Diplomacy’, where Caribbean economies would turn to the US and not Europe, allowing firms
like Standard Oil and United Fruit to expand throughout the region. But US intervention continued despite Europe’s
exhaustion after World War I, with President Wilson now intervening to ‘defend democracy’
and US interests. Seeking to calm anti-US sentiment, President
Hoover first rejected US intervention in 1928, and public support for foreign wars collapsed
with the Great Depression a year later. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would
officially reject intervention in 1936, by which time the US was already leaving Nicaragua
and Haiti, and ending its protectorates over Cuba and Panama. These actions were framed as the beginning
of a ‘Good Neighbor Policy’ towards Latin America; but in reality, at this point it
was less policy and more lack of policy. The US, dealing with its own economic crisis,
had no desire to even appear involved in Latin American affairs. But this was not really what Latin Americans
wanted either. What they wanted was for US hegemony to contribute
positively to their national goals. Democracy and liberty were appealing ideals,
but the real desire was industrial modernity, prosperity, and economic independence. This was not what the US offered. Instead, whatever benefits it might have had
from shelving Big Stick Diplomacy were wasted thanks to its economic policy, which in its
defense of US interests seemed to keep the region down as a set of agricultural ‘banana
republics’. In reality, of course, the US priority was
on protecting its own industry. But the results of raising import tariffs
in 1930 was to wreck economies from Cuba to Chile, now dependent on the US market. The US would only lower tariffs if Latin Americans
did the same for US goods, which would mean drowning local industries under a wave of
cheap US imports. Most refused. Likewise, when Bolivia and Mexico nationalized
US oil companies in 1937 and 38, the US punished them with severe economic boycotts. Even in the one sector where US goods were
definitely welcomed, US politics would throw up its own barriers. Neutrality Acts throughout the 1930s would
block US arms exports to Latin America, minimizing US influence over regional militaries. If the US would not provide what Latin Americans
wanted, then they were perfectly happy to turn elsewhere. Unfortunately for the US, that would turn
out to be the Axis. In contrast to US indifference, fascist Italy,
Germany and Spain marketed their ideology as an alternative for Latin America, combining
modernity, social unity, conservative Catholicism, and even moderate social redistribution as
a route to national greatness. Investing in regional media and especially
radio infrastructure, fascistic ideologies drew in a wide swathe of Latin American elites,
from Caribbean dictators to Peruvian generals to Brazil’s Estado Novo under President
Getulio Vargas. Most important, Germany in particular also
seemed willing to deliver on fascism’s promises. Its aski barter system let Latin Americans
trade raw materials for advanced machines and weapons, often at a subsidized rate. Between 1932 and 39, Latin America quadrupled
the percentage of goods it imported from Germany, and German firms came to kickstart Latin American
industry. It’s easy to dismiss Axis efforts here because
the chances of a political alliance were never high; but that was not the objective of Axis
strategy. In some areas there were immediate benefits,
like when Germany bought all of Mexico’s boycotted oil exports in 1939 to build a 6-month
war reserve. But the real goal was to keep the region neutral
and out of the coming war: by linking the Axis with modernity and might, by nurturing
pro-Axis blocs especially within the military, and by promoting sympathy within the broader
populace. The benefit to the Axis was not in allying
with Latin America, but in stalling the US attempt to do the same.==1939-1941: Hemispheric Defense==
After German aggression revealed itself at the Munich Conference, the US finally saw
the need to re-engage with Latin America in order to achieve ‘Hemispheric Defense’. This was in line with self-interest: US security
would only be threatened if the Axis captured strategic points in other American states,
so cooperation with Latin American countries was essential. And there was cooperation, to an extent. In 1938, regional states agreed to resist
and ask the US for help in the event of Axis invasion, and in 1939 a neutral zone was established
around most of the Hemisphere. An inter-American mutual defense pact was
declared after the Fall of France in June 1940, and Brazil along with the Caribbean
states agreed to let the US Navy patrol their coasts. But that was about as much neutrality Latin
Americans were prepared to voluntarily give up. They did not want the US dictating their political,
diplomatic or military policy. They especially did not want to see US troops
on their territory. And at the extreme end – Argentina – they
rejected US leadership entirely and proposed a South American defense pact that would guard
the continent itself. Latin American states offered the US variations
on the following deal: instead of US forces, Latin Americans would defend the continent
according to US wishes – provided that the US modernize their militaries. Their requests were considerable: Brazil’s
bill in June 1940, for example, was 250m dollars, or 30% of the US Army’s own budget! That said, money was not the problem: Congress
easily approved half a billion dollars for Latin American loans in 1940, and would do
so again for Lend-Lease in 1941. The problem was that the US had already decided
that its war production would first go towards its own rearmament, and then as aid to the
UK. Growing the US Army from 230k in late 40 to
1.4m by mid-41 would consume all production until 1942, and the agreement to send half
of US munitions production to the UK pushed this date back even further. And this was because of a basic geostrategic
assessment that underlay Hemispheric Defense and US strategy towards Latin America: the
Americas would probably be safe, so long as Britain continued to box Axis surface fleets
within the North and Mediterranean Seas. The key was to keep Britain alive through
the Battle of the Atlantic, whether via the Destroyer-Bases Agreement, Lend-Lease or undeclared
anti-sub warfare. Even without Britain, the US was to be the
one doing the heavy lifting against Axis invasion. All the Latin Americans needed was enough
equipment to hold out until help arrived. It’s important to remember that this assessment
was still, on some level, a well-informed gamble. De-prioritizing Latin America meant giving
up military cooperation with the region, especially Brazil. So should Britain actually be knocked out
of the war, the region would be woefully unprepared and uncoordinated to meet an Axis challenge. Even as late as mid-41, the US Army could
only deploy 1 division without air cover in response to an invasion of Northeast Brazil,
and that was assuming the Brazilians actually did call for help instead of defecting, as
the US feared might happen if the Axis launched a coup at the same time. In any case, British seapower would be of
little help against an Axis lightning strike or bombing raid against the Panama Canal. So US strategy had to find a way to prepare
and nudge the region towards Hemispheric Defense, without drawing on US production or requiring
official military cooperation. There was always force as a last resort. When President Arias of Panama, an Axis sympathizer
in US eyes, stalled defense plans for the Canal, the US ousted him in a coup in late
1941. The US was prepared to invade Brazil and Vichy
France’s Caribbean colonies if either threatened to fall into Axis hands. Latin American military negotiators were to
be reminded that ‘the US will defend the Western Hemisphere from the Axis, with or
without Latin American cooperation’. Still, the US wanted Latin American cooperation,
and was prepared to deploy a variety of tools to get it. It freed as much Army surplus as it could
under the Neutrality Laws, it lent money under the guise of ‘secret military expenditure’,
and in one case, even shipped German weapons bought by Brazil past the British blockade. The US also tried entangling Brazil in Allied
operations, by inviting it to occupy Dutch Surinam. It even considered using legal sleight of
hand, replacing US Navy planes with US Army ones and slowly working its way up to boots
on Brazilian ground. Failing cooperation, the US could at least
use geoeconomics to bypass some aspects of Latin American neutralism. Pan-American Airways would prove to be a very
useful tool in this regard: against Axis airlines, instead of asking regional governments to
shut them down, the US instead funded Pan-Am to set up rival routes, undercut the competition,
and finally buy them out and fire all ethnically-suspect personnel. The US would also pay Pan-Am to build and
upgrade airfields under the guise of civilian use. Of course, these airfields would be tailored
to military specifications, in particular ones that would allow the US to rapidly send
a force to Northeast Brazil. Last but not least, the US also began an intensive
effort at public diplomacy, headed by the Office of Inter-American Affairs or OIAA. OIAA aimed to fight ‘psychological warfare’
against two concepts that underpinned neutralism. The first was the so-called ‘intellectual
imperialism’ of fascist ideas. The second was the idea that Latin American
interests were separate from US interests. OIAA’s response would come in the form of
the ‘American Way of Life’, ‘American’ here meaning pan-American. The ‘American Way of Life’ was modern,
free, and middle-class prosperous, and Latin Americans had as much right to enjoy it as
North Americans. Most importantly, the US was here to help
them achieve it. Mobilizing US media from journalism to Hollywood,
OIAA set up a network of magazines, radio broadcasts and movie screenings throughout
the region, backed by US advertising which would fund up to 40% of OIAA-approved broadcasters. The masses were treated to radio stars and
Disney cartoons, while the elite got edutainment programs and glossy magazines – all talking
about the ‘American Way of Life’. Historians have praised OIAA as a particularly
altruistic episode in US foreign policy, but we must remember that this program served
a strategic purpose. That purpose was to reduce support for neutralism
and increase it for the Allied cause, and to achieve it OIAA pandered and pleased rather
than patronized and lectured. Most notably, when Orson Welles’ documentary
on poor and black Brazilians angered his host, he was immediately sent packing. We should also be cautious about calling OIAA
a total success. Certainly it raised Latin American goodwill
towards the US to levels never seen before or since, but that goodwill did not end neutralism. Despite that, neutralist Latin America still
contributed to US Hemispheric Defense. Army cooperation remained a stumbling block,
but many minor ways – airfield construction, naval cooperation and counterespionage – regional
states quietly assisted US actions, even behind the backs of their own citizens. Most importantly, they did not create additional
problems for the US, most notably in rejecting Argentina’s proposal for a neutralist bloc.==1942-1944: Supporting Allied Offense==
Despite US efforts, Latin American neutralism continued after Pearl Harbor and the entry
of the US into the War. Most regional states, except Chile and Argentina,
agreed to break ties with the Axis, but only Peru out of the non-Caribbean states immediately
declared war. For Mexico and Brazil, German U-Boat warfare
would actually make that decision for them, bringing them into the Allied camp by mid-42. The US was still unable to supply material
to Latin America throughout 1942, which limited the value of military cooperation in Hemispheric
Defense. In any case, the Allied capture of North and
West Africa in November definitively removed any direct Axis threat to Latin America. The US was moving beyond Hemispheric Defense
towards a Europe-first offense, and Latin American troops weren’t needed for that. Ironically, only now would US arms start flowing
to the region in earnest. While Latin America played a role in defending
the Panama Canal and anti-sub warfare, the key role for the region was as a conduit for
Allied logistics. As soon as Brazil entered the War, its Northeastern
ports were handling US tanks destined for El Alamein. Airfields designed for Hemispheric Defense
now funneled US equipment to the Western, Eastern, Indian and Chinese Theaters, with
Natal-Parnamirim, the largest overseas US airbase, handling fifteen hundred planes,
or about ten air groups a month in 1944, meaning one plane every three minutes. US strategy therefore had to ensure that this
role would not be disrupted. Top of the agenda were the regional disputes,
which were alive and kicking: Peru had even gone to war with Ecuador in July 41, threatening
US efforts to defend the Pacific end of the Panama Canal. The US position was simple: disputes had to
be frozen immediately regardless of right, and Ecuador was pressured to admit defeat
despite Peru being the invader. Still, US strategy saw some value in keeping
regional states wary of each other. After their war, for example, Ecuador and
Peru hurried to approve US base requests to gain favor. In the same way, the US directed Lend-Lease
towards Chile’s old rivals Bolivia and Peru, eventually pressuring the country to cut ties
with the Axis in 1943. Another worry was regional economic destabilization. Inter-American economic committees had been
established as early as 1939 to replace blocked European markets with the US, but the situation
turned critical with German U-Boat warfare. In 1942, 75% of Brazil’s merchant fleet
and 38% of Venezuela’s oil revenue went to the bottom of the sea, and US rationing
of fuel and other materials added to the economic pressure. Between 1939 to 1945, Brazil’s cost of living
rose by 25%; El Salvador’s by 100%, and Nicaragua’s by 700%. The US answer was to buy up Latin American
exports. This was already the case for some strategic
materials, notably the entire supply of Colombian platinum. Now the US would do the same for Central American
coffee, Caribbean crops, Peruvian cotton and Chilean nitrates, paying above-market rates
and distributing them around the region where needed. The US also encouraged substitutes where possible,
for example, Cuban rum instead of European liquor. US strategy also understood that it needed
to make good on OIAA promises by adjusting its economic relationship with Latin America. It stopped backing Big Oil, forcing them to
accept Mexico’s nationalization and lending money to pay for compensation. It also agreed to support Latin America’s
industrial development, especially in Brazil, which absorbed 75% of all Lend-Lease to the
region. The US took over German contracts to develop
a Brazilian steel industry, and OIAA itself launched a public health and infrastructure
campaign for the Amazon, hoping to improve Brazilian production of local rubber. The bracero program provided agricultural
employment in the US for Mexican laborers. Still, it’s important to remember that the
overall result of US efforts still increased its dominance over Latin America, especially
in the economic and cultural field. Pan-Am, for example, got rid of its local
competitors, while regional states became even more dependent on the US market. OIAA advertising created demand for American
consumer products, while shifting Latin American culture in the US’ direction. This is important when considering the most
controversial aspects of US strategy. In January 1942, the US issued a List of Blocked
Nationals, banning US firms from dealing with what it considered ‘Axis-linked’ individuals. The list was not checked and was probably
more a list of US competitors than actual Nazis, but the US asked Latin America to enact
similar bans anyway. The US soon asked regional states to deport
ethnic Germans and Japanese to US detention camps. In reality, the regional implementation of
these demands was so haphazard that it’s difficult to imagine that they actually hurt
the Axis. Instead, especially in Central American dictatorships
which happily seized ethnic German property, the result was the removal of US competitors. All in all, US strategy from 1942-44 did what
it needed to, which was to keep Latin America stable as a corridor for Allied logistics. The US no longer needed the military participation
of regional troops, and the later exploits of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force and the
Mexican Aztec Eagles were more due to their countries’ desire to have a say in the peace. We should also note that US strategy, despite
OIAA altruism, also enhanced the country’s economic and cultural position in Latin America,
displacing European influence and in some sectors reaching almost monopolistic dominance. This was not necessarily a bad outcome for
either side, but it would depend on US policy after the end of the War.==1944-1947: Return to Indifference==
As the US prepared to assume global responsibilities with the end of World War II, its strategy
towards Latin America began to lose focus. The region’s wartime services were no longer
needed, and the incoming Truman Administration brought in new men less aware of the region’s
contribution to the War. Latin Americans didn’t help their case by
withdrawing from global affairs, especially Brazil’s decision not to join in the occupation
of Austria. But while US interest in Latin America was
waning, Latin American expectations of continued US aid remained strong – and here we have
to ask whether OIAA propaganda oversold the US case. Demanding the fulfillment of the ‘American
Way of Life’, Latin Americans ousted dictators from Guatemala to Brazil, electing governments
that promised prosperity and economic redistribution underwritten by US help. That help would not come. US demobilization after 1945 meant the end
of Lend-Lease, OIAA and even loans to Latin America. Keen to exploit the economic position it gained
over World War II, the US returned to prewar economic diplomacy and again started demanding
Latin Americans open their markets. Pan-American solidarity under the Organization
of American States and the Rio Treaty defense pact had little to say regarding economic
development. Worse still, when large-scale US aid resumed
with the beginning of the Cold War, it was clear that Latin America would be put behind
even former Axis powers. Regional hopes for a Marshall Plan for Latin
America would be dashed, especially for Brazil, which hoped its wartime cooperation would
be the start of a ‘special relationship’, but instead found itself lumped with the other
states and even uncooperative Argentina. Regional states would vent their frustration
by refusing to invoke the Rio Treaty during the Korean War, with Colombia the only state
to send troops upon US request. But US indifference was at least better than
US hostility. This was the situation Argentina would find
itself in by the end of the War, and here we can see how US anti-Axis strategy would
begin to morph into its notorious anti-Communist strategy. Argentina was actually a ‘closeted member’
of the Allies. Despite rejecting US leadership, flirting
with fascism and allowing Axis smuggling and espionage, the country’s major contribution
to the War was, in fact, supplying meat to the UK, starting from Day 1 and at favorable
terms. During the period of Hemispheric Defense from
1939 to 42, the US did not want Argentina to make trouble for Brazil, and so tolerated
its behavior and gave it aid. That changed in 1943, when the Axis threat
to the region had passed. The US now upped the pressure: stopping aid,
refusing to recognize the new government, arming Brazil, and via OIAA, painting the
country as an Axis menace to the free world. In 1945, Argentina finally caved and declared
war on the Axis, in return for a seat at the United Nations. The US saw this as an opportunity to reconcile,
only now to fall victim to its own propaganda, as the public protested against dealing with
a ‘Nazi’ state. Resetting relations with Argentina would require
much political capital, capital that would be better used dealing with problems in more
important parts of the world. So the US surrendered control over Argentine
policy, bowing to public opinion and re-demanding Argentina ‘fully reject the Axis’, without
defining what ‘full rejection’ actually meant. Inevitably, this meant that Argentine concessions
were only met with goalpost-moving and harsher punishments, an uncontrolled escalation that
meant by 1946, the US was blockading and destabilizing the country to achieve regime change. The culmination of this effort was naked US
interference in the 1946 Argentine election, where it published a ‘Blue Book’ smearing
Juan Peron as an Axis stooge. Naturally, this attempt backfired and Peron
became President by a narrow margin. Ironically, out of all the regional states,
the US could probably least afford to offend Argentina. The country remained a crucial food supplier
for postwar Europe, and the US quickly reasserted policy control in 1947, after Britain warned
that Argentine export retaliation would boost Communism throughout Europe. But the precedent had been set. US strategy now had a global focus, and it
thought it could delegate policy when it came to its secure, unimportant backyard of Latin
America. In 1954, Guatemala began to curb United Fruit’s
dominance in the name of prosperity and economic freedom. US inattention would again result in uncontrolled
escalation, and ultimately a CIA coup in the name of anti-Communism. This action would end the era of ‘Good Neighbor
Diplomacy’, and a new US strategy for Latin America would be made to meet the Soviet challenge.==Conclusion==
In first defending, then uniting Latin America against the Axis, US strategy from 1939-49
focused on two general directions. First was to undo the results of decades of
intervention and neglect, and second was to sell a positive vision of US regional hegemony. To achieve this, the US used a variety of
political, economic and cultural tools, centered around the Good Neighbor ideal of inter-American
cooperation. As we have seen, US strategy was at most a
qualified success. The Western Hemisphere would ultimately be
defended not so much by inter-American cooperation, but by British seapower supported by US resources. US efforts never fully overcame Latin American
neutralism until their contribution became unimportant. And OIAA’s success in generating goodwill
masked a dangerous overselling of US altruism. But in the end, Latin America did not obstruct
Allied strategy, and that is something whose value should not be underestimated. Thanks for watching the video, and please
like and subscribe! If you have any questions, I’ll be happy
to answer them in the comments section.


Reader Comments

  1. This should be a series with the stratetegy of the us in latin América in the cold war coming next excelent as always

  2. I would really like a video on post Cold War NATO strategy (1991-2014) or perhaps the modern strategy of Turkey [playing both sides to pursue regional interests]

  3. This video explained away so many colliding perceptions in my head. I knew some of the things said, but for example I had no idea about the extent of financial aid before the end of WW2! It once again reminded me that the USA is not one thing, and has changed tremendously over time

    Amateur historians often ask "would a roman citizen from the early roman republic recognise institutions from the later roman empire and what parallels would he draw". I was reminded of this question, because I started to wonder if anyone from the federal republic, citizen or not, would recognise the US, especially after the new deal and civil rights movement

  4. Franco was not a fascist. His regime was based on a very broad and colourful coalition, which included a fascist group, the falange, which was not representative of the entire Franco government. Accordingly, Spain couldn't have cared less about Latin American countries joining the axis. At that time, Spain simply wanted good relations between Spanish-speaking countries, partially to end their diplomatic isolation after the civil war.

  5. This is such an interesting, yet underrated channel. Thanks for taking the time to research and make these videos, hopefully you'll get a lot more viewers over time.

  6. Excellent! My head is spinning. I'll have to watch it again tomorrow. The bit about Pan-Am airlines is fascinating. Can you recommend any good sources on that?

  7. Total bull shit!! The US policy towards Latin America was to invade, conquer & steal resources by creating "Banana Republics" ruled by puppet governments of the USA. It all started when the USS Maine was sabotaged by it's Commander in order to start a war with Spain.

  8. One of my favorite quotes about America, "We were glorious and changed the world, but fucked up the endgame" -Congressman Charles Wilson, the man who financed the Afghans against the USSR.

  9. In the case of Argentina, the history it's complicated due to historical relationts with UK and the role of german influence in argentine industrialization. Also, clearly represents a lesser geographical priority than Brazil. Anyway, it's a good starting point to understand what happened after. Well done.

  10. The real problem is that Latam was sparsely populated, a country like Perú which in 2019 has a decent number at 33 million people, in 1939 it barely had 7 million, Mexico had 16 million compared to today's 120 million, only Brazil had a significant population at 40 million, but consider half or more of those where former slaves, who did not enjoy a good quality of life at all Many Central American countries had less than 1 million people, etc. So, how much of a threat could Latam countries be? We didn't have the population to, even if we had been fully industrial nations, sustain a total war in a continental scale. Britain and France had 45 million not counting colonies, Germany and
    Japan had 60+ million. And Latin America's size is huge, 19 million km2, bigger than Russia but surrounded by invasion points, with such a low population density to mobilize its resources, at the time, it was rational to not consider it a threat or substantial ally. Overall it went from 140 million in 1940 to 650 million in 2019, a substantial difference for power projection.

  11. About the Peru – Ecuador war, its an old conflict, from before independence. The fact is that Ecuador never controlled the territories in dispute, although they did claim it. There is a reason why, in 1942 there was not a single battle in the jungle, nor did we annexed the not-in-dispute, coastal regions, just defended our de facto control of the area.

  12. The US throughout it's history seems to have wanted to give Latin America the gift of liberty and democracy, which Latin America has generally had in abundance. This American insistence that Latin America is somehow not democratic has always been the downfall of their interests in the region.

  13. War is 99 percent logistics which is dependent on industry , demography and geography . USA has best geography with two oceans as border and a productive agricultural land that can support large population contrast it with Russia which has border with Germany , Islamic world and China with a frozen and low productive land and that is why cold war was won by USA which was also least damaged nation compared to Russia which was most damaged in ww2

  14. As mod developer for HoI4 that updating ATM Second Federation of Central America really really grateful for this video. This speed up my research like 3-4 times…

  15. Being a good neighbour: That thing you do after burning down your neighbours' houses, but BEFORE you start murdering their nuns.

  16. Argentina: I'm INSANE,,, CRAAAAZY, REALLY MAD….
    U.S- Oh, shit! I must tell the world. And F**CK this bitch
    UK-No, no he friend don't shoot boy

  17. Latin America didn't want "technical assistance" or required anything from the USA government, just stop their meddling in local politics.

  18. When you say it is important to remember that "the US strengthened it's hold over Latin America.", you say it as if it were a bad thing. And that the help was what was important. NO NO NO. That is not how states should and do act. All of them, so allow the Hegemonic Power to do what Hegemonic powers are supposed to do. DOMINATE. That is what the president and congress are supposed to do. That is what American citizens are supposed to support. I boggles the mind and the minds of foreign persons that we have a large block of Americans who are against American power. I truth I am unable to even understand this kind of thinking. It is like you believed what barren hippy teachers (to ugly to get married) taught you about the world. The world is NOT one people struggling together , but many Nation states. There will be world peace and prosperity only with one of the Nation States dominating., then the people of the world could be united. It is the duty of citizens and to the world to aid your nation in that goal. That and the doubtful appearance of aliens is the only way the world will be united. Also it is important to remember that if we help foreign nations too much they may use that power to harm us.. Subversives and communists sell a dream and a dream that encourages for what the term moral or humanitarian reason (here add white guilt) that encourages people to be treasonous to their own nations and to work for programs that do not help themselves. At some point you should add the the US saved the western hemisphere from Nazi domination. I can see that you tried to be neutral, by there was a slant that came through. The acceptable slant is the patriotic one.

  19. Another outstandingly well-researched and comprehensive video! Great job, brother, and thank you for putting all the time and effort into making these. I commend you on your hard work. Kudos!

  20. fascinating video.. I’ve spent years thinking I knew a lot about World War II and get I never considered the role of South America! Thanks for the video.

  21. @Strategy Stuff
    I am so happy i found this channel. Such well researched and well presented. You deserve at least 100 x subs.:D

  22. A strategy that will not be successful in so many things, only a destructions of properties ,lives ,deaths and a strategy to control the whole of Latin America , had it not been ,Russia , Latin America will be
    in America's grasp

  23. 1:14 wrong there's also the Azores Route by the middle of the North Atlantic, Hitler envisioned 2 main routes to invade USA; First the one you show at the north and the other though north Africa-Azores-USA (Without the need to conquering the Peninsula Iberia).

    Nevertheless great video, congratulations.

  24. Technically, Brazil was discarded to occupy Austria by the US. Brazil didn't decide to return the troops, Brazil was forced into returning them. That was a pivotal point in history regarding many many things.

    Americans should really have built strong allies in the American continent. It wasn't the case and isn't the case now thanks to the idea of possibly building enemies at your doors.. I think that is a huge mistake.

  25. Excellent video. Still cant understand the brazil worried about argentina though, but that is secondary. This is when shit went wrong for us (arg)

  26. u butchered Nicaragua dude, thats not how u pronounce it lol u sure you know what your are talking about??lol

  27. u put in big oil and big fruit… if u had down your research u could have just said United fruit company or standard oil… 2 MONOPOLIES…. u know… like the firkin game! this sounds like a high school presentation lol im drunk so i dont care

  28. 24:12 my mental math says its more like 1 plane every 15 minutes from what you said. Still same order of magnitude

  29. Here in Colombia we helped a lot with the war effort, despite a few incidents with the US in the 1920s, our little navy fought some U-Boats that where trying to reach the Panama Cannel. In 47, if I remember correctly, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador and Peru asked the US secretary of State to start a Latin American Marshall plan, they ignore us. If it wasn't for that, the South American Continent would be a more stable region, less chances of communists uprisings and less migrant population in the US from countries like Mexico.

  30. Surprised anyone could support American foreign policy after watching what they did to Latam (especially post WW2). Great video, subscribed!

  31. If you do this in the cold war years. The video will last like two hours.
    So many people was killed in Latin America just because the US was so paranoid about an ideology that wasn't their own.

  32. US policy towards Latin America in 1900-1928 was the Gunboat Deplomacy, where the US would invade and occupy a Latin American Country that owed money to the European or American banks or that was following a policy that did not favor American business interests. That is why the US invaded and occupied Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and the Dominican Republic during this period. When FDR came he claimed to changed that to a "Good Neighbor" policy, but that was a lie. In reality, his policy was the "Its Our Son-of-a-Bitch" policy, where he substituted American troops with a local bloody dictator supported by an American-trained national force. That is how Somoza, Trujillo and Duvalier became the dictators of Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haiti, respectively.

  33. Very very good. Surprised how good. When I see low subscribers and likes I know I have found a good source.
    Applause. I'm really impressed. Can't wait to investigate your collected worx.
    Wow, "laurels'"
    Genuinely impressed when I find something that increases my knowledge, with all the deficient junk food podcasts clouding the net.
    I actually sleep easier when I find a good mind.

  34. This just stings of Frances relationship with West Africa right now. basically used W. Africa to strengthen and prop up the French economy. This being a one way beneficial instead of mutually beneficial, so now W. Africa (and Africa as a whole) is now turning to China to get what they have never gotten.

  35. I thought American strategy in Latin America since the war was to keep them all, right-wing, corrupt, undemocratic and poor. Pretty much the same as America's strategy for South America and the third world in general.

  36. I had come across this video in the past, but it hadn't piqued my interest.
    After having watching your video on the strategy of the late Roman republic. I knew you were a gold class youtuber and this awesome video only serves to prove it! I'd love to see a follow-up video/videos of US strategy in Latin America in the following years, including the Cold War and up until the 21st century.

  37. Pretty much every president after Polk was a bastard. Pax americana was a mistake. Thats why we hate the US.

  38. Latin America – "give us everything you've developed over the history of your culture for free, pay tariffs on the things we sell you, but don't apply any to the stuff we sell you"
    America – "No"
    Latin America – "you're a racist, we hate you and will do everything we can to destroy you"

  39. Vargas do Brasil was a smart ass made a lot of money from both sides until the day the USA sank a Brazilian boat and blamed it on the Nazis

  40. "Just invade LATAM!"
    After WW1, 1929 crisis and about to start the WW2? With what army? Without money? In 1930 22% of USA population was under the line of poverty. Wake up!

  41. You should also make videos where you explain strategies of great leaders like Napoleon, Alexander, Hanibal, Wellington, Eisenhower, Rommel and others

  42. The Peru-Ecuador conflict had to do with overlapping territorial claims dating back to unclear border lines set since the XIX Century. By 1924 Peru and Colombia had agreed on borders, but Ecuador refused to comply.
    For Peru the 1941 conflict was a mere affirmation of territorial claims, rather than an invasion.
    Ecuador and Peru did not agree on border lines until the definitive 1999 peace agreement.

  43. One thing we all need to recognize is that all states have their own interest and pursue it. In the hypothetical neutral block proposed by Argentina: who was going to be the leading force? Argentina. And what was the goal? To squeeze as much benefits as possible from both sides. Not exactly a moral high ground and I don’t say that as a judgement call, that’s a smart move, but it doesn’t prove that Latin America are innocent victims and the US is the big bad imperial villain.

  44. Wow the USA did so well during this time period! 30:46 that's quite a roll call for "regime change". 8 countries in 2 years!

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