The Promise of Democracy for the Americas. U.S. Diplomacy and the Meaning(s) of World War II in El Salvador, 1941-1945
Leiden : Brill
Radboud Studies in Humanities ; 7
InBak, H.; Mehring, F.; Roza, M. (ed.), Politics and Cultures of Liberation. Media, Memory, and Projections of Democracy, pp. 241-264
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Engelse Taal en Cultuur
Bak, H.; Mehring, F.; Roza, M. (ed.), Politics and Cultures of Liberation. Media, Memory, and Projections of Democracy
SubjectCultures of War and Liberation; Europe in a Changing World
During World War II, the United States sought to influence Latin American perceptions of its war effort through the information programs of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Several historians have suggested that these programs bolstered indigenous opposition to existing dictatorships in Central America, including the regime of Maximiliano Hernández Martínez in El Salvador. Based on the archives of the U.S. legation (embassy from 1943 onward) in El Salvador, this essay seeks to enhance our understanding of the role that the idealistic language of the U.S. war effort came to play in U.S.-Salvadoran relations. It shows that Salvadoran oppositionists actively adopted and adapted the language of, for example, the Four Freedoms and the Atlantic Charter, to translate the objectives of their struggle against the local dictatorship to U.S. diplomats. While the United States would ultimately denounce the “dictatorships and disreputable governments” of Latin America, its failure to respond to the overtures of oppositionists prevented it from playing a positive role in El Salvador’s brief experiment with democracy.
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