Prof. William Kelly
History of Modern Latin America
April 23, 2018
Week 13 Reading Response Paper
Election of Salvador Allende & These Are My Final Words
Latin America had been a victim of opposing points of view throughout the twentieth century which left most of the region weak including poverty rates going up and employment numbers were at an all-time high, but most important it left their people wondering what is best for them. The United States, a country that since their independence had been maximizing all their resources saw this as an opportunity to penetrate this region. The company Ford try to incorporate a manufacturing plant in Brazil that had little to no success in that part of the world and after five years of failed attempts Ford Motor Company and their investors decided to sell their holdings in Brazil including the factory and land back to the Brazilian government. This however did not mean that all American investors withdrew from this region. “Fast-Forward three decades: Ford Motor Company had not, of course, deserted Latin America. Far from it, as its factories rolled out cars and trucks for sale throughout the continent”
However, officials at Washington were far more concerned with confronting the Soviet Union than working on their democracy in Latin America. Therefore, when Salvador Allende, the hemisphere’s first Marxist president, won the Chilean elections in 1970 the U.S. government knew they had to become involved. There were many concerns about Allende’s presidency but the main threats were: Socialism in Latin America and its effect on US economy, United States losing power in Latin America, and their ability to intervene with a president that was freely elected by the Chilean people.
The American government as well as American business owners and investors had tremendous amounts of money invested in Latin America some of them dating back to the nineteenth century. Therefore, America and its people were tremendously vulnerable and if Allende decided to cut ties with the US they could have lost billions. “In the mid-1960’s executives from thirty-seven corporations organized themselves into the Business Group for Latin America, made up of delegates from Ford, U.S. Steel, Dupont, Standard Oil, Anaconda Copper, International Telephone and Telegraph, United Fruit and Chase Manhattan Bank.” They did so to serve as liaisons in the white house and to in a way secure their investments in Latin America. The group’s focus was to make s...