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Panama in 1003 to insure the success of the canal. In 1905 we extended our influence into the Dominican Republic lest European creditors despoil the little country. Protection of the property of our own citizens and of that of Europeans caused us to interfere in Nicaragua in 1012. We landed marines in Haiti in 1015 to stop a reign of horror. And so the story runs. Each case seems easily justifiable.
But the fact remains that, regardless of the sincerity of our direct motives, the unpleasant consequences of each experience are invariably the same. More and more of our wealth is being invested in these countris where it yields generous returns to us, while the native financial condition is not improving in a proportional degree. And the people in these countries regard our continued presence in their midst with more and more apprehension. Our positioin in relation to our smaller neighbors is yearly becoming more difficult. Its ramifications insidiously underlie all of our political and economic life. The recent Mexican and Nicaraguan affairs, with their religious and financial complications, are intruding themselves far into the domestic life of our country, and we arc becoming involved in actions which we should blush to own.
Let us recall just one incident. Why. in 1023. when Charles E. Hughes was Secretary of State, the representatives of Central American powers met in Washington, and we. wih them, signed a treaty in which we promised not to recognize any other government which might come into power through a coup d’ etat, or revolution in their countries. That was in 1023. but in 1026 Adolpho Diaz was given the support of the United States at the time when, by virtue of President Solorzano’s resignation, J. Bautista Sacasa. Nicaragua’s vice-president, should legitimately have come automatically into power. The record of Diaz is well known. In 1010 he was an employe of a Pittsburg mining company, at a salary of one thousand dollars a year, and contributed six hundred thousand dollars to the revolution then in progress in Nicaragua. Shorn of its embellishment, this transaction of ours in Nicaragua reads like this—the United States, a great world power, in its dealings with a small neighbor, broke its word and raised to a position of great power a man of unsavory reputation.
At the present time, our diplomats, fearing an enraged public opinion, may deem it wise to modify temporarily their plans for aggression, but no matter what settlement is made in this present crisis, Mexico and the other Caribbean countries, like the poor, we shall have with us always. The matter is far from ended; and there is little doubt that sooner or later, action will be resumed to insure our dominance in the south. Southward the course of empire takes its way, and from the present outlook, the American empire may ultimately bestride the entire area bounded by the Monroe Doctrine.
Is this the course the United States of Lincoln and Washington really wishes to pursue? Is the greatest free government in the world to give a large share of its attention to insuring additional financial returns to persons who are already burdened with wealth? Is the idealism of our past to become mere materialism in the future? If so. then let us seal the pages of our former history that future generations may not recall how this same country, once devoted its best efforts to establishing religious freedom, and to striking the shackles from slaves. At least let us acknowledge what we are doing and be consistent. Let us not sanctimoniously vote for prohibition with one hand, while we raise the embargo on arms against Mexico with the other. Let us not shun the Turk for his treatment of the Armenian, while we send our battleships and land our marines, in violation of treaty agreements, to safeguard our investments in Nicaragua. In the name of Justice and Civilization the imperialists of America have professed to pursue their policy, and by Justice they shall hereafter be judged. If the course is continued, let them see to it that by Civilization they be not condemned. This country that was conceived in liberty and has so often taken sides with right against might, is now treading on treacherous grounds. We are in grave danger of losing sight of the great traditions that have guided us wisely through many a sin-beset way.
"Lord GotI of Hosts, be with us yet.
Lest we forget,—lest ivc forget."
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