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Rubottom, the man nominally responsible for the earlier policy as head of the State Department's Latin American desk, was forced to walk the plank. He now becomes U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, will be succeeded by Thomas C. Mann, 47, another career diplomat. The U.S. is resolved (and committed by treaty) not to intervene militarily in Cuba. Raul Castro says, "We're not going to touch" the $76 million U.S. naval base at Guantanamo.
In the rest of Latin America, Cuba seems the underdog, and suspicions of "Yankee imperialism" are easily recalled. But the Latinos' natural sympathy with the Cuban revolution has been shaken by Khrushchev's rocket-rattling, and by the discovery that the agents of Communism and subversion are already spreading from the Cuban beachhead to the interior of the hemisphere. Last week the Organization of American States unanimously approved a Peruvian proposal to consider the threat of Soviet intervention at a meeting of Latin American foreign ministers at San Jose, Costa Rica on Aug. 16.
In the past five years, eight dictators have been overthrown and replaced by democratically elected governments. But in many Latin American nations, democracy has not yet satisfied man's craving for enough food for his family, a decent house, an education and medicine. A month ago Latin Americans cheered the announcement from the summer White House at Newport that the U.S. at long last was ready to start a big program of loans for social needs. A high-level team of U.S. loan experts arrived in Peru almost immediately to sign a $2,000,000 U.S. housing loan (the U.S.'s first for housing) and to work out details for $53.2 million more in loans aimed at direct help to people.
But because the new U.S. aid program coincided so transparently with the U.S. need to counter Cuba's and-Yankee campaign, Latin American skeptics call it "the Castro plan." Ike recently sent a personal note to Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek concerning the September meeting in Bogota of the "Committee of 21," a committee dreamed up by Kubitschek to guide the hemisphere's economic growth and win U.S. aid. Kubitschek thought the letter would amplify Ike's promise of U.S. loans for social ends, such as housing and land reform. Instead, Eisenhower merely hoped in general for "concrete results in Bogota" in "economic development, technical assistance in industrial and agricultural production and further consideration of problems concerning basic products." Kubitschek sent a blunt and worried reply: "Your Excellency knows very well that words have no meaning for peoples of stagnated regions where life is continual sacrifice, patience and resignation."
The U.S. has not yet got itself squared away in Latin America, though it belatedly recognizes its obligations and perhaps its opportunities. Luckily Che Guevara and the Brothers Castro, with their own hostile designs on Latin America, are meeting increased resistance abroad, and are having increased difficulty at home.