Political Unrest in Latin America

June 20, 1952

Report Outline
Ferment in Latin American Politics
Obstacles to Stable Democratic Government
Politics and Socio-Economic Development

Ferment in Latin American Politics

Concern Over Signs of Disunity and Unrest

The forthcoming goodwill visit to Rio de Janeiro of Secretary of State Acheson is a fresh reminder to the people of the United States of the basic strategic, economic, and political importance of the Latin American region in the world struggle against Communist imperialism. Because of the impressive development under the Good Neighbor policy of numerous mechanisms for inter-American cooperation, based on the affirmation of democratic and peaceful purposes, the solidarity and mutual goodwill of the 21 Western Hemisphere republics is easily taken for granted. Yet Nelson A. Rockefeller, who served as wartime Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, has noted that “disunity and unrest in many parts of Latin America are far more widespread and serious than most people of the United States realize”.

The successful garrison coup of Gen. Fulgencio Batista in Cuba in March and the forceful overthrow of the junta governing Bolivia in April are vivid warnings of how uneasy is the political situation in many countries to the south. Hot campaigns are now in progress for presidential elections in Mexico (July 6) and Chile (Sept. 4). Signs of political tension are evident in the prolongation of a “state of siege” in Colombia, the controversy over Communist influence in Guatemala, and the alleged discovery of plots against the ruling junta in Venezuela.

Disquieting propaganda continues to radiate from Buenos Aires. The Argentine ambassador to Ecuador recently was declared persona non grata for interfering in the tense campaign which led up to the Ecuadorian elections of June 1. Brazil has been disturbed by political agitation over economic questions and Communism. Despite striking differences among the individual republics, certain basic and substantially common factors are discernible behind much of the current disunity and unrest.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Latin America
Sep. 14, 2018  Turmoil in Central America
Jun. 05, 2012  China in Latin America
Mar. 2008  The New Latin America
Jul. 21, 2006  Change in Latin America
Mar. 14, 2003  Trouble in South America
Nov. 09, 2001  U.S.- Mexico Relations
Sep. 19, 1997  Mexico's Future
Jul. 19, 1991  Mexico's Emergence
May 05, 1989  New Approach to Central America
Mar. 06, 1987  Soviets' Latin Influence
Dec. 26, 1986  Pinochet's Chile
Nov. 08, 1985  Troubled Mexico
Apr. 10, 1981  Latin American Challenges
May 05, 1978  Central America and the U.S.A.
Sep. 23, 1977  Mexican-U.S. Relations
Jun. 04, 1976  Relations with Latin America
Oct. 21, 1970  Chile's Embattled Democracy
Jun. 24, 1970  Mexico's Election and the Continuing Revolution
Apr. 02, 1969  Economic Nationalism in Latin America
Jul. 19, 1967  Guerrilla Movements in Latin America
Dec. 28, 1966  Militarism in Latin America
Oct. 20, 1965  Common Market for Latin America
Aug. 04, 1965  Smoldering Colombia
Jun. 23, 1965  Inter-American Peacekeeping
Dec. 11, 1963  Progress of the Alianza
Oct. 05, 1962  Arms Aid to Latin America
Dec. 13, 1961  Land and Tax Reform in Latin America
Jul. 26, 1961  Commodity Agreements for Latin America
Jan. 11, 1961  Revolution in the Western Hemisphere
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Feb. 10, 1960  Inter-American System
Jan. 13, 1960  Expropriation in Latin America
Jul. 02, 1958  Economic Relations with Latin America
Mar. 02, 1954  Communism in Latin America
Jun. 20, 1952  Political Unrest in Latin America
Sep. 18, 1950  War Aid from Latin America
Oct. 31, 1947  Arming the Americas
Jul. 24, 1946  Inter-American Security
Jan. 02, 1942  Latin America and the War
Jul. 10, 1941  Export Surpluses and Import Needs of South America
Jun. 04, 1941  Economic Defense of Latin America
Jun. 25, 1940  Politics in Mexico
Nov. 01, 1939  Pan American Political Relations
Oct. 10, 1939  United States Trade with Latin America
Apr. 07, 1938  Protection of American Interests in Mexico
Mar. 04, 1936  Peace Machinery in the Americas
Sep. 27, 1933  Trade Relations with Latin America
Oct. 16, 1928  Pan American Arbitration Conference
Jan. 12, 1928  The Sixth Pan American Conference
Jan. 10, 1927  American Policy in Nicaragua
Dec. 27, 1926  Relations Between Mexico and the United States
Imperialism, Colonization, and Independence Movements
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean