Only two U.S. Presidents, Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, ever made long tours of South America, and both trips yielded great dividends of good will. Hoover made his trip as President-elect, traveling by battleship (much against the wishes of outgoing President Calvin Coolidge, who tried to get him to go in a cruiser, because "it would not cost so much"). His reception in Buenos Aires was so tumultuous that the Argentine President had his tailcoat ripped up the back. Hoover also journeyed into Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, met Bolivian government chiefs on a U.S. warship in the Pacific,...

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