Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 September 2010
This essay, part history of ideas and part history of international relations, examines Brazil's relationship with Latin America in historical perspective. For more than a century after independence, neither Spanish American intellectuals nor Spanish American governments considered Brazil part of ‘América Latina’. For their part, Brazilian intellectuals and Brazilian governments only had eyes for Europe and increasingly, after 1889, the United States, except for a strong interest in the Río de la Plata. When, especially during the Cold War, the United States, and by extension the rest of the world, began to regard and treat Brazil as part of ‘Latin America’, Brazilian governments and Brazilian intellectuals, apart from some on the Left, still did not think of Brazil as an integral part of the region. Since the end of the Cold War, however, Brazil has for the first time pursued a policy of engagement with its neighbours – in South America.
Este ensayo, en parte historia de ideas y en parte de relaciones internacionales, examina el vínculo de Brasil con Latinoamérica desde una perspectiva histórica. Por más de un siglo después de la Independencia ni los intelectuales ni los gobiernos hispanoamericanos consideraron a Brasil como parte de ‘América Latina’. Por su parte, los intelectuales y gobiernos brasileños sólo tuvieron ojos para Europa y crecientemente, luego de 1889, para los Estados Unidos, con excepción por un interés en el Río de la Plata. Cuando Estados Unidos (especialmente durante la Guerra Fría) y por extensión el resto del mundo empezaron a considerar y tratar a Brasil como parte de ‘Latin America’, los gobiernos e intelectuales brasileños, aparte de la izquierda, aún no ubicaban a Brasil como una parte integral de la región. Desde el fin de la Guerra Fría, sin embargo, Brasil por primera vez ha perseguido una política de involucramiento con sus vecinos – en Sudamérica.
Em parte história das idéias e em parte uma história das relações internacionais, este ensaio examina a relação do Brasil com a América Latina em perspectiva histórica. Por mais de um século após sua independência, intelectuais e governos da América Espanhola não consideravam o Brasil como pertencente à ‘América Latina’. Excetuando um interesse pelo Rio da Prata, por sua vez os intelectuais e governos brasileiros somente se voltavam para a Europa, e após 1889 progressivamente mais para os Estados Unidos. Uma vez que os Estados Unidos e consequentemente o resto do mundo começaram a perceber e tratar o Brasil como integrante da ‘Latin America’, particularmente durante a Guerra Fria, salvo alguns esquerdistas, governos e intelectuais brasileiros ainda não consideravam o Brasil como componente daquela região. No entanto, a partir do final da Guerra Fria, o Brasil tem buscado uma política de envolvimento pela primeira vez com os seus vizinhos – na América do Sul.
1 John Leddy Phelan, ‘Pan-Latinism, French Intervention in Mexico (1861–7) and the Genesis of the Idea of Latin America’, in Juan A. Ortega y Medina (ed.), Conciencia y autenticidad históricas: escritas en homenaje a Edmundo O'Gorman (Mexico City, 1968).
2 See Arturo Ardao, ‘La idea de Latinoamérica’, Marcha (Montevideo), 27 Nov. 1965, and Génesis de la idea y el nombre de América Latina (Caracas, 1980).
3 See Miguel A. Rojas Mix, ‘Bilbao y el hallazgo de América latina: unión continental, socialista y libertária’, Caravelle: Cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-brésilien, no. 46 (1986), pp. 35–47, and Los cien nombres de América Latina (San José, 1991).
4 See Aims McGuinness, ‘Searching for “Latin America”: Race and Sovereignty in the Americas in the 1850s', in Nancy P. Appelbaum, Anne S. Macpherson and Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt (eds.), Race and Nation in Modern Latin America (Chapel Hill NC and London, 2003), pp. 87–105, and Path of Empire: Panama and the California Gold Rush (Ithaca NY and London, 2008), chap. 5.
5 See Arturo Ardao, España en el origen del nombre América Latina (Montevideo, 1992).
6 Since the publication of Ardao's Génesis de la idea y el nombre de América Latina, there have been a number of articles on this subject worthy of note. See, for example, Carlos, JuanEstrada, Torchia, ‘“América Latina”: orígen de un nombre y una idea’, Inter-American Review of Bibliography, vol. 32, no. 1 (1982Google Scholar) (a lengthy review of Ardao); Quijada, Mónica, ‘Sobre el origen y difusión del nombre “América Latina” (o una variación heterodoxa en torno al tema de la construcción social de la verdad)’, Revista de Indias, vol. 58, no. 214 (1998), pp. 595–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Paul Estrade, ‘Del invento de “América Latina” en Paris por latinoamericanos, 1856–1889’, in Jacques Maurice and Marie-Claire Zimmerman (eds.), Paris y el mundo ibérico e iberoamericano (Paris, 1998); Hector H. Bruit, ‘A invenção da América Latina’, in Anais electrônicos do V Encontro da Associação Nacional de Pesquisadores e Professores de História das Américas (ANPHLAC) (Belo Horizonte, 2000).
7 The concepts ‘raza latina’ and ‘América Latina’, as Walter Mignolo has reminded us in The Idea of Latin America (Oxford, 2005), also served the purpose of emphasising the common European roots of the ‘white’ post-colonial criollo elites of Spanish America which separated them from the mass of Indians, mestizos and blacks.
8 Nicolas Shumway, The Invention of Argentina (Berkeley and Los Angeles CA, 1991), p. 244.
9 See Gerald Martin, ‘The Literature, Music and Art of Latin America from Independence to c. 1870’, in Leslie Bethell (ed.), The Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. 3: From Independence to c. 1870 (Cambridge, 1985).
10 See the classic study by Arthur P. Whitaker, The Western Hemisphere Idea: Its Rise and Decline (Ithaca NY, 1954). On the name ‘America’ – from the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci, and first used in a map of 1507 – to describe the landmass (or two landmasses joined at the isthmus of Panama) ‘discovered’ by Europeans at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries, the classic work remains Edmundo O'Gorman, La invención de América (Mexico City, 1958).
11 See Kenneth Maxwell, Naked Tropics: Essays on Empire and Other Rogues (New York, 2003), chaps. 8–9.
12 Quoted in D. A. G. Waddell, ‘International Politics and Latin American Independence’, in Bethell (ed.), Cambridge History of Latin America, vol. 3, p. 219.
13 Quoted in Lars Schoultz, Beneath the United States: A History of US Policy toward Latin America (Cambridge MA, 1998), pp. 10–11.
14 Brazil was later invited, by Vice-President Santander of Colombia, to send representatives to Panama; two were eventually appointed, but failed to attend. The United States was also invited late, and no US delegates attended the Congress.
15 See Luís Cláudio Villafane G. Santos, O Brasil entre a América e a Europa: o Império e o interamericanismo (Do Congresso do Panama a Conferência de Washington) (São Paulo, 2004).
16 Cláudio, LuísSantos, Villafane G., ‘A América do Sul no discurso diplomática brasileiro’, Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, vol. 48, no. 2 (2005), pp. 186–7Google Scholar.
17 The first International Conference of American States was held in Washington from October 1889 to April 1890. Subsequent conferences were held in Mexico (1901–2), Rio de Janeiro (1906), Buenos Aires (1910), Santiago de Chile (1923), Havana (1928), Montevideo (1933) and Lima (1938) before the Second World War, and Bogotá (1948) and Caracas (1954) after.
18 On the settlement of Brazil's frontier disputes with its neighbours in South America, see Demétrio Magnoli, O corpo da pátria: imaginação geográfica e política externa no Brasil, 1808–1912 (São Paulo, 1997); and Synésio Sampaio Góes Filho, Navegantes, bandeirantes, diplomatas: um ensaio sobre a formação da fronteiras do Brasil (São Paulo, 1999), and ‘Fronteiras: o estilo negociador do Barão do Rio Branco como paradigma da política exterior do Brasil’, in Carlos Henrique Cardim and João Almino (eds.), Rio Branco, a América do Sul e a modernização do Brasil (Brasília, 2002).
19 On Brazil's relations with the United States from the proclamation of the republic to the First World War, see, for example, E. Bradford Burns, The Unwritten Alliance: Rio Branco and Brazilian–American Relations (New York, 1966); Joseph Smith, Unequal Giants: Diplomatic Relations between the United States and Brazil, 1889–1930 (Pittsburgh PA, 1991); Steven Topik, Trade and Gunboats: The United States and Brazil in the Age of Empire (Stanford CA, 1996); and, most recently, Paulo José dos Reis Pereira, A política externa da Primeira Republica e os Estados Unidos: a atuação de Joaquim Nabuco em Washington (1905–1910) (São Paulo, 2006).
20 On Brazil's relations with the United States between the two World Wars, see, for example, Eugênio Vargas Garcia, Entre América e Europa: a política externa brasileira na década de 1920 (Brasília, 2006); Frank D. McCann, The Brazilian–American Alliance, 1937–1945 (Princeton NJ, 1974); and the later debate between McCann, and Hilton, Stanley E., beginning with Hilton's article ‘Brazilian Diplomacy and the Washington–Rio de Janeiro “Axis” during the World War II Era’, Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 59, no. 2 (1979), pp. 201–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar, which provoked a comment from McCann and rejoinder by Hilton in Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 59, no. 4 (1979), pp. 691–701. See also R. A. Humphreys, Latin America and the Second World War (2 vols., London, 1981–2).
21 See Quijada, Mónica, ‘Latinos y anglosajones: el 98 en el fin de siglo sudamericano’, Hispania, vol. 57, no. 2 (1997), pp. 589–609Google Scholar.
22 See José Martí, Nuestra América (many editions). For translations of Martí's writings in English, see Philip S. Foner (ed.), Inside the Monster by José Martí: Writings on the United States and American Imperialism (New York, 1975) and Our America by José Martí: Writings on Latin America and the Struggle for Cuban independence (New York, 1977). See also Jean Lamore, José Martí et l'Amérique (2 vols., Paris, 1986–8).
23 See, for example, César Zumeta (Venezuela, 1860–1955), El continente enfermo (New York, 1899); Francisco Bulnes (Mexico, 1847–1924), El porvenir de las naciones hispanoamericanas (Mexico City, 1899); Carlos Octavio Bunge (Argentina, 1875–1918), Nuestra América (Barcelona, 1903); and Alcides Arguedas (Bolivia, 1879–1946), Pueblo enfermo (Barcelona, 1909). Francisco García Calderón (Peru, 1883–1953), Les democraties latines de l'Amérique (Paris, 1912; English trans. Latin America: Its Rise and Progress, London and New York, 1913), did include one chapter on Brazil, but a chapter of only ten pages.
24 On Ugarte's ideas on ‘América Latina’, see Miguel Angel Barrios, El latinoamericanismo en el pensamiento político de Manuel Ugarte (Buenos Aires, 2007).
25 The Palácio Monroe had been constructed for the third Pan-American Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1906. It temporarily housed the Chamber of Deputies from 1914 to 1922, and the Senate from 1922 to 1937, when it was closed by Getúlio Vargas, and from 1946 to 1960, after which the Senate moved to Brasília. The building was demolished in 1976.
26 See Fred P. Ellison, Alfonso Reyes e o Brasil: um mexicano entre os cariocas (Rio de Janeiro, 2002).
27 Since completing this essay my attention has been drawn to Kátia Gerab Baggio's unpublished doctoral thesis, ‘A “outra” América: a América Latina na visão dos intelectuais brasileiras das primeira décadas republicanas’, Universidade de São Paulo, 1998, which examines changing Brazilian attitudes towards Latin America (Spanish America, in other words), but more especially towards pan-Americanism. Baggio divides Brazilian intellectuals into opponents (Eduardo Prado, Manuel de Oliveira Lima, José Verrisimo, Manoel Bomfim) and defenders (Joaquim Nabuco, Euclides da Cunha, Artur Orlando, Sílvio Romero) of pan-Americanism.
28 Joaquim Nabuco, Discursos e conferências nos Estados Unidos (Rio de Janeiro, 1911) and Camões e assuntos americanos: seis conferências em universidades americanas (São Paulo, 1940).
29 Nabuco to Graça Aranha, 17 December 1905, in Obras completas de Joaquim Nabuco, vol. 14: Cartas a amigos, vol. 2 (São Paulo, 1949), pp. 235.
30 Nabuco to Rio Branco, 19 December 1905, in Obras completas de Joaquim Nabuco, vol. 14, p. 238.
31 Nabuco to Barbosa Lima, 7 July 1907, in Obras completas de Joaquim Nabuco, vol. 14, p. 277.
32 Nabuco had always regarded Chile, in view of its political stability, respect for liberty and rejection of militarism and dictatorship, as an exception among the republics of the ‘raça espanhola’. This explains his interest in the ‘dictatorship’ of Balmaceda and the Chilean revolution of 1891: see his Balmaceda (Rio de Janeiro, 1895) and, in particular, the ‘Post-scripto: a questão da América Latina’.
33 See José Verissimo, Cultura, literatura e política na América Latina (São Paulo, 1986); see also Kátia Gerab Baggio, ‘José Verissimo: uma visão brasileira sobre as Américas’, Anais Electrônicos do III Encontro da ANPHLAC (São Paulo, 1998).
34 Quoted in Ellison, Alfonso Reyes e o Brasil, p. 17.
35 See Alvaro Fernandez Bravo, ‘Utopías americanistas: la posición de la Revista Americana en Brasil (1909–1919)’, in Paula Alonso (ed.), Construcciones impresas: panfletas, diárias y revistas en la formación de los estados nacionales en América Latina, 1820–1920 (Buenos Aires, 2004). Since completing this essay my attention has been drawn to another unpublished doctoral thesis: Any Marise Ortega, ‘A construção de uma ideologia continental no início do século XX: a Revista Americana 1909–19’, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, 2003.
36 See Emir Rodrigues Monegal (ed.), Mario de Andrade/Borges: um diálogo dos anos 20 (São Paulo, 1975).
37 In the world of show business, Carmen Miranda, the most famous Brazilian film and recording artist living and working in the United States before, during and after the Second World War, famously resisted all the efforts of her US promoters to present her as a ‘Latin American’ entertainer and insisted on her separate Brazilian identity (though she had been born in Portugal): see Ruy Castro, Carmen, uma biografia: a vida de Carmen Miranda, a brasileira mais famosa do século XX (Rio de Janeiro, 2005).
38 See Ana Luiza Beraba, América aracnidea: teias culturais interamericanas (Rio de Janeiro, 2008), pp. 14, 27. On the ‘Americanisation’ of Brazilian culture during the Second World War, see Gerson Moura, Tio Sam chega ao Brasil: a penetração cultural americana (São Paulo, 1984); and Antonio Pedro Tota, O imperialismo sedutor: a americanização do Brasil naé poca da Segunda Guerra (São Paulo, 2000).
39 Quoted in Smith, Unequal Giants, p. 52.
40 See Francis M. Huntington Wilson, Memoirs of an Ex-Diplomat (Boston MA, 1945); Walter V. Scholes and Marie V. Scholes, The Foreign Policy of the Taft Administration (Columbia MO, 1970), pp. 25–7.
41 See João Feres Jr., A história do conceito de ‘Latin America’ nos Estados Unidos (Bauru, São Paulo, 2004), p. 81 and Appendix 1.
42 Feres, Historia do conceito de ‘Latin America’, pp. 82–4; Helen Delpar, Looking South: The Evolution of Latin Americanist Scholarship in the United States, 1850–1975 (Tuscaloosa AL, 2008), p. 50. The Hispanic American Historical Review was virtually the only journal to publish articles on ‘Hispanic America’ before the Second World War. It was 1940 before the first article with Latin America in the title, ‘Some Cultural Aspects of Latin America’ by Herbert Eugene Bolton (author of ‘The Epic of Greater America’, his famous presidential address to the American Historical Association in 1932 calling for the study of the common history of the Americas), and the first issue dedicated to Brazil appeared.
44 My emphasis.
45 My emphasis.
46 Quoted in Smith, Unequal Giants, pp. 175–6, 178.
47 The French also discovered, or in their case re-discovered, ‘l'Amérique latine’, but it now included Brazil: see, for example, André Siegfried, Amérique latine (Paris, 1934); and Victor Tapié, Histoire d'Amérique latine au XIXe siècle (Paris, 1945). However, in a famous article (‘Y a-t-il une Amérique latine?’, Annales ESC, vol. 4 (1948)), Fernand Braudel insisted that there were many and various ‘Amériques latines’. The British generally preferred the expression ‘South America’ to ‘Latin America’, even when including Mexico and Central America: see, for example, the South American Handbook, published annually since 1924.
48 See Wendell Clark Bennett, The Ethnogeographic Board (Washington DC, 1947); and Martin W. Lewis and Karen E. Wigen, The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (Berkeley and Los Angeles CA, 1997), p. 163.
49 Also influential in US geo-strategic thinking at this time were two books by Nicholas J. Spykman, America's Strategy in World Politics (New York, 1942) and The Geography of Peace (New York, 1944). Spykman emphasised the differences between Anglo-Saxon America and Latin America, which included Brazil: ‘The lands below the Rio Grande represent a different world, the world of Latin America. It is perhaps unfortunate that the English and Latin speaking [sic] parts of the continent should both be called America, thereby unconsciously evoking an expectation of similarity which does not exist’: Spykman, America's Strategy, p. 46. The influence of Isaiah Bowman, director of the American Geographical Society from 1915 to 1935 and ‘territorial advisor’ to President Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference and to President Roosevelt during the Second World War, deserves attention: see Neil Smith, America's Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization (Berkeley and Los Angeles CA, 2003).
50 ‘Latin American Studies’, especially in US universities, were, however, overwhelmingly studies of Spanish America, especially Mexico and Central America. Brazilian studies were usually to be found, in the words of Walnice Galvão, ‘no fim do corredor’. Most ‘Latinamericanists’ did not speak or read Portuguese, knew little of Brazilian history and culture, and indeed rarely, if ever, visited Brazil.
51 Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, 1996), pp. 45, 46, 87.
52 Quoted in Leslie Bethell and Ian Roxborough (eds.), Latin America between the Second World War and the Cold War, 1944–1948 (Cambridge, 1992), p. 22 note 15.
53 Quoted in Jordan A. Schwartz, Liberal: Adolf A. Berle and the Vision of an American Era (New York, 1987), p. 312.
55 See Vagner Camilo Alves, Da Itália a Coréia: decisões sobre ir ou não a guerra (Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, 2007). It was in 1951 at a meeting of American Foreign Ministers in Washington to discuss the Korean War that the Brazilian chanceler spoke, apparently for the first time, ‘em nome de países latinoamericanos’: Itamaraty, Relatório (1951), quoted in Santos, ‘A América do Sul’, p. 196.
56 Francisco Clementino de San Tiago Dantas, Política externa independente (Rio de Janeiro, 1962), is a contemporary account by a key player; see also Paulo Gilberto Fagundes Vizentini, Relações exteriores do Brasil (1945–1964): o nacionalismo e a política externa independente (Petrópolis, 2004).
57 See Matias Spektor, Kissinger e o Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 2009).
58 Quoted in Carlos Fico, O grande irmão da Operação Brother Sam aos anos de chumbo: o governo dos Estados Unidos e a ditadura militar brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, 2008), p. 271 note 77.
59 ‘The military dictatorship’, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has written, ‘… spent far more energy on its relations with countries in Africa and the Middle East than it did on relations with its neighbors. This was due to a rather bizarre formulation of Third World power politics. The military believed … it could cheaply gain allies and help Brazil realize its long-stated dream of becoming a strategic world power … Simultaneously, the Brazilian dictatorship had seen the South American countries, particularly Argentina, as strategic rivals’: Fernando Henrique Cardoso, The Accidental President of Brazil: A Memoir (New York, 2006), p. 220.
60 Leopoldo Zea's works include The Latin American Mind (Norman OK, 1963), El pensamiento latinoamericano (Mexico City, 1965), América Latina y el mundo (Buenos Aires, 1965; English trans. Latin America in the World, Norman OK, 1969), Latinoamérica, Tercer Mundo (Mexico City, 1977), Latinoamérica en la encrucijada de la historia (Mexico City, 1981), América Latina en sus ideas (Paris and Mexico City, 1986), Filosofía latinoamericana (Mexico City, 1987) and Descubrimiento e identidad latinoamericana (Mexico City, 1990). In the three-volume Fuentes de la cultura latinoamericana (Mexico City, 1993), edited by Zea, only three of more than 100 texts were by Brazilians: Darcy Ribeiro, described as a ‘brasileño latinoamericano' (‘La cultura latinoamericana’), João Cruz Costa (‘El pensamiento brasileño’) and Gilberto Freyre (‘Raíces europeos de la historia brasileña’).
61 ‘It was … in Santiago [immediately after the 1964 golpe]’, Fernando Henrique Cardoso has written, ‘that I awakened to the concept of “Latin America”. It seems quite intuitive now, but the concept of the region as a political and cultural bloc was still not popular back then. We just didn't believe that Brazil, with its Portuguese heritage and continental size, had much in common with Peru, Venezuela or Mexico.' See Cardoso, The Accidental President, p. 88.
62 The English translation was published by University of California Press in 1979.
63 The latter was published in English by Cambridge University Press in 1970.
64 ‘Americanidade e latinidade da América Latina: crescente interpenetração e decrescente segregação’ [Diogene, no. 43 (June–Sep. 1963), republished in Estudos Universitários (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco), vol. 6, no. 1 (Jan.–March 1966), under the title ‘Americanidade, latinidade e tropicalidade’], in Edson Nery da Fonseca (ed.), Americanidade e latinidade da América Latina e outros textos afins (São Paulo, 2003). See also Gilberto Freyre, O brasileiro entre os outros hispanos: afinidades, contrastes e posseveis futuros nas suas inter-relações (Rio de Janeiro, 1975).
65 The increasing number of Brazilians living in the United States did not, and apparently still do not, think of themselves as ‘Latinos’, though more research could usefully be done on this topic.
66 A agenda internacional do Brasil: a politica externa brasileira de FHC a Lula (Rio de Janeiro, 2009), the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of opinion within the Brazilian ‘foreign policy community’ (diplomats, senators and deputies, business leaders, academics, researchers, journalists, leaders of NGOs and so on), commissioned by the Centro Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais (Brazilian Centre for International Relations, CEBRI) in Rio de Janeiro, conducted by Amaury de Souza and based on almost 100 in-depth interviews and 250 questionnaires carried out in 2001 and 2008, begins with the words: ‘In the last 20 years Brazil has expanded significantly its presence in the world and in South America’. The rest of the book has much of interest to say about Brazil's agenda in South America in the first decade of the twenty-first century, about which, interestingly, opinion had become even more sharply divided in 2008 than it was in 2001. But the book has nothing at all to say about ‘América Latina’, which does not even merit an entry in the index.