Published Date

March 1, 1945

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

By Lewis Hanke
Director, Hispanic Foundation, Library of Congress
(Published March 1945)


Table of Contents


What Is the Good Neighbor Policy?

How New Is the Good Neighbor Policy?

Has the Good Neighbor Policy Paid Dividends?

Does “Latin America” Exist?

There Is No One Latin-American Type

Can Poetry and Music Win Friends?

Another Quarter Heard From

The Gold-Rush Days Are Over

Is the Policy Here to Stay?

To the Discussion Leader

For Further Reading


Can people as different in language, background, and customs as Latin Americans and North Americans learn to cooperate with each other and even to like each other?

Can the United States promote its own security and the security of the Western Hemisphere by fostering mutual good neighborliness among the American nations?

Have all the effort and money spent by the United States during the past ten years to win the economic and political support of the twenty countries below the Rio Grande built up a real understanding between us?

Aren’t some of these countries ruled by dictators who have no real love for democracy?

Could it be that they support the United Nations cause only because it means lend-lease material and armaments?

Will they use these guns and ships to keep down opposition to their dictatorships and to stir up trouble with their neighbors after the war?

Under the circumstances, can we honestly be good neighbors to each other, and can the Good Neighbor policy be anything more than an international gadget that will fall into disuse once the extra wartime pressure for cooperation is off?

Latin Americans also are deeply troubled when they look at the postwar world. Will the United States become so interested in world affairs that it will forget its hemisphere neighbors? Do the American people in general steadfastly support the Good Neighbor policy, or is it a football kicked around by political parties? Will a powerful United States continue to respect the rights of small nations and refuse to intervene in their affairs? In other words, is the Good Neighbor policy here to stay?

These are some of the problems now before the people of the Americas, and upon their proper solution depends the peace of the Western Hemisphere.