KC Johnson

History 30.8: Oct. 6 & 8

October 6: World War II & the Hemisphere

  • Friedman, Max Paul, “There Goes the Neighborhood: Blacklisting Germans in Latin America and the Evanescence of the Good Neighbor Policy.” Diplomatic History 27, pp. 569-597.
  • map–Latin America and World War II  la--wwii

Rio Declaration, 1942

Declaration on Continental Solidarity in Observance of Treaties


1. The concept of solidarity, in addition to embodying altruistic sentiments held in common, includes that of cooperation so necessary to forestall obstacles which may prejudice the maintenance of that principle, or the reestablishment of harmony when weakened or disrupted by the adoption of measures contrary to the dictates of international law and morality;

2. This solidarity must be translated into facts in order to become a living reality; since from a philosophical concept it has developed into an historic affirmation through repeated and frequent reaffirmations in international agreements freely agreed upon;

3. Respect for the pledged word in international treaties rests upon incontestable juridical principles as well as on precepts of morality in accordance with the maxim of canon law: Pacta sunt servanda;

4. Such agreements, whether bilateral or multilateral, must not be modified or nullified unilaterally, except as otherwise provided, as in the case of “denunciation” clearly authorized by the parties;

5. Only thus can peace, inspired by the common welfare of the peoples, be founded on an enduring basis, as proclaimed at the Meeting in Habana [in 1940]; and

6. All peaceful relations among peoples would be practically impossible in the absence of strict observance of all pacts solemnly celebrated which have met all the formalities provided for in the laws of the High Contracting Parties in order to render them juridically effective,

The Third Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics


1. That should the Government of an American nation violate an agreement or a treaty duly perfected by two or more American Republics or should there be reason to believe that a violation which might disturb the peace or solidarity of the Americas is being contemplated, any American State may initiate the consultation contemplated in Resolution XVII of Habana with the object of agreeing upon the measures to be taken.

2. That the Government desiring to initiate the consultation and propose a Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, or their representatives, shall communicate with the Governing Board of the Pan American Union specifying in detail the subjects to be considered as well as the approximate date on which the meeting should take place.

(b) Declaration on the Good Neighbor Policy


1. Relations among nations, if they are to have foundations which will assure an international order under law, must be based on the essential and universal principle of justice;

2. The standard proclaimed and observed by the United States of America to the effect that its international policy must be founded on that of the “good neighbor” is a general criterion of right and a source of guidance in the relations between States; and this well-conceived policy prescribes respect for the fundamental rights of States as well as cooperation between them for the welfare of international society; and

3. This policy has been one of the elements contributing to the present solidarity of the Americas and their joint cooperation in the solution of outstanding problems of the Continent,

The Third Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics


That the principle that international conduct must be inspired by the policy of the good neighbor is a norm of international law of the American Continent.

Act of Chapultepec, 1945


The Governments represented at the Inter-American Conference on War and Peace


First. That all sovereign States are juridically equal amongst themselves.

Second. That every State has the right to the respect of its individuality and independence, on the part of the other members of the international community.

Third. That every attack of a State against the integrity or the inviolability of the territory, or against the sovereignty or political independence of an American State, shall, conformably to Part III hereof, be considered as an act of aggression against the other States which sign this Act. In any case invasion by armed forces of one State into the territory of another trespassing boundaries established by treaty and demarcated in accordance therewith shall constitute an act of aggression.

Fourth. That in case acts of aggression occur or there may be reasons to believe that an aggression is being prepared by any other State against the integrity and inviolability of the territory, or against the sovereignty or political independence of an American State, the States signatory to this Act will consult amongst themselves in order to agree upon the measures it may be advisable to take.

Fifth. That during the war, and until the treaty recommended in Part II hereof is concluded, the signatories of this Act recognize that such threats and acts of aggression, as indicated in paragraphs Third and Fourth above, constitute an interference with the war effort of the United Nations, calling for such procedures, within the scope of their constitutional powers of a general nature and for war, as may be found necessary, including: recall of chiefs of diplomatic missions; breaking of diplomatic relations; breaking of consular relations; breaking of postal, telegraphic, telephonic, radio-telephonic relations; interruption of economic, commercial and financial relations; use of armed force to prevent or repel aggression.

Sixth. That the principles and procedure contained in this Declaration shall become effective immediately, inasmuch as any act of aggression or threat of aggression during the present state of war interferes with the war effort of the United Nations to obtain victory. Henceforth, and to the end that the principles and procedures herein stipulated shall conform with the constitutional processes of each Republic, the respective Governments shall take the necessary steps to perfect this instrument in order that it shall be in force at all times.


The Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace


That for the purpose of meeting threats or acts of aggression against any American Republic following the establishment of peace, the Governments of the American Republics should consider the conclusion, in accordance with their constitutional processes, of a treaty establishing procedures whereby such threats or acts may be met by the use, by all or some of the signatories of said treaty of any one or more of the following measures: recall of chiefs of diplomatic missions; breaking of diplomatic relations; breaking of consular relations; breaking of postal, telegraphic, telephonic, radio-telephonic relations; interruption of economic, commercial and financial relations; use of armed force to prevent or repel aggression.


The above Declaration and Recommendation constitute a regional arrangement for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action in this Hemisphere. The said arrangement, and the pertinent activities and procedures, shall be consistent with the purposes and principles of the general international organization, when established.

This agreement shall be known as the “Act of CHAPULTEPEC”.


October 8: The Cold War Order

  • Glenn Dorn, “Perón’s Gambit,” Diplomatic History 26, pp. 1-20.
  • map–Cold War in Latin America  la--cwar

Rio Conference, 1947

In the name of their Peoples, the Governments represented at the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security, desirous of consolidating and strengthening their relations of friendship and good neighborliness, and


That Resolution VIII of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, which met in Mexico City, recommended the conclusion of a treaty to prevent and repeal threats and acts of aggression against any of the countries of America;

That the High Contracting Parties reiterate their will to remain united in an inter-American system consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, and reaffirm the existence of the agreement which they have concluded concerning those matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security which are appropriate for regional action;

That the High Contracting Parties reaffirm their adherence to the principles of inter-American solidarity and cooperation, and especially to those set forth in the preamble and declarations of the Act of Chapultepec, all of which should be understood to be accepted as standards of their mutual relations and as the juridical basis of the Inter-American System;

That the American States propose, in order to improve the procedures for the pacific settlement of their controversies, to conclude the treaty concerning the “Inter-American Peace System” envisaged in Resolutions IX and XXXIX of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace,

That the obligation of mutual assistance and common defense of the American Republics is essentially related to their democratic ideals and to their will to cooperate permanently in the fulfillment of the principles and purposes of a policy of peace;

That the American regional community affirms as a manifest truth that juridical organization is a necessary prerequisite of seeurity and peace, and that peace is founded on justice and moral order and, consequently, on the international recognition and protection of human rights and freedoms, on the indispensable well-being of the people, and on the effectiveness of democracy for the international realization of justice and security,

Have resolved, in conformity with the objectives stated above, to conclude the following Treaty, in order to assure peace, through adequate means, to provide for effective reciprocal assistance to meet armed attacks against any American State, and in order to deal with threats of aggression against any of them:
Article 1.

The High Contracting Parties formally condemn war and undertake in their international relations not to resort to the threat or the use of force in any manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations or of this Treaty.
Article 2.

As a consequence of the principle set forth in the preceding Article, the High Contracting Parties undertake to submit every controversy which may arise between them to methods of peaceful settlement and to endeavor to settle any such controvers among themselves by means of the procedures in force in the Inter-American System before referring it to the General Assembly or the Security Council of the United Nations.
Article 3.

1. The High Contracting Parties agree that an armed attack by any State against an American State shall be considered as an attack against all the American States and, consequently, each one of the said Contracting Parties undertakes to assist in meeting the attack in the exercise of the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense recogndzed by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.

2. On the request of the State or States directly attacked and until the decision of the Organ of Consultation of the Inter-American System, each one of the Contracting Parties may determine the immediate measures which it may individually take in fulfillment of the obligation contained in the preceding paragraph and in accordance with the principle of continental solidarity. The Organ of Consultation shall meet without delay for the purpose of examining those measures and agreeing upon the measures of a collective character that should be taken.

3. The provisions of this Article shall be applied in case of any armed attack which takes place within the region described in Article 4 or within the territory of an American State. When the attack takes place outside of the said areas, the provisions of Article 6 shall be applied.

4. Measures of self-defense provided for under this Article may be taken until the Security Council of the United Nations has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

Caracas declaration, 1954

The Tenth Inter-American Conference


The fundamental principles and aims of the Charter of the Organization of American States, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the resolutions of the Organization that refer to those principles and aims,


Recognition of the inalienable right of each American state to choose freely its own institutions in the effective exercise of representative democracy, as a means of preserving its political sovereignty, achieving its economic independence, and living its own social and cultural life, without intervention on the part of any states or group of states, either directly or indirectly, in its domestic or external affairs, and, particularly, without the intrusion of any form of totalitarianism.


The conviction of the American States that one of the most effective means of strengthening their democratic institutions is to increase respect for the individual and social rights of man, without any discrimination, and to maintain and promote an elective policy of economic well-being and social justice to raise the standard of living of their peoples; and


To unite the efforts of all the American States to apply, develop, and perfect the above-mentioned principles so that they will form the basis of firm and solidary action designed to attain within a short time the effective realization of the representative democratic system, the rule of social justice and security, and economic and cultural cooperation essential to the mutual well-being and prosperity of the peoples of the Continent; and


This resolution shall be known as the “Declaration of Caracas.”

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