Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 5. 1964.
New Big Stick Policy For U.S
New Big Stick Policy For U.S.
The overthrow of the Goulart regime is perhaps the beginning of a marked reaction to the progress of the Kennedy regime in a reappraisal of the United States' position in Latin America.
The last few weeks, the Johnson administration has shown that though it is prepared to do more in the liberal popularist tradition with regard to internal affairs, its policy in Latin America is to be the return ot the "no nonsense" support of conservative regimes. On one hand Johnson has initiated a programme against unemployment, which is far more realistic than the Kennedy scheme of tax reduction, while on the other adopting an almost blimpish attitude toward Latin America.
The speed with which the new regime was recognised after the recent revolution in Brazil and the barely disguised applause of the administration seem to imply that the "Alliance for Progress" could easily become just another catch phrase in the cold war. What was Goulart in fact trying to do? How did this effect the policy of the Johnson administration? Is it not likely, that as in the case of Cuba, the fears of the Administration were completely exaggerated?
Goulart's attempt to gain for government the right to expropriate land so that it can be developed to further its economic potential, has been a part of government in this country since the 1890's. Yet such is the power of the landowning class, reflected through the army, or upper strata of the army, that the uprising hardly seemed to meet with any resistance whatsoever. Goulart's government has never seemed able to gain the support of the peasantry or the industrial worker on such a scale as to counteract the army.
Even when the Kennedy government was subsidising regimes pledged to social change, the standard of living was only just remaining how it was, without making any steps forward. Now it appears that the reforms drastically needed in Brazil, are not to eventuate. Despite the large amount of American capital that is going into Brazil, just as large an amount is going out of the country into the hands of foreign investors.
Pressure groups seem already to be playing a greater part in the Johnson administration than that of J.F.K., causing I lie Stale Department to be quite embarrassed by Senor Goulart's Left Winy ideas which threaten American investment. The new mood of the House of Representatives in regard to foreign aid which demands exaggerated sympathy towards the United States, has meant that following the Panamanian riots of a few months ago, American slocks are at an all-time low.
Into the breach has come the nation state ego of Dc Gaulle, with his enlightened "no strings" economic aid, skilful diplomacy and emphasis on the similar cultural traditions that exist between France and many Latin-American countries. His recent visit to Mexico was a triumph, while Johnson was making a mess of his meeting with those nations in the Alliance for Progress.