Memorandum by the Colombian Minister (Lozano)



In my opinion President Roosevelt’s policy of strengthening relations with Latin America is one of great statesman-like vision and will contribute more than all that has been done in the past to strengthen between these peoples a Pan-Americanism both idealistic and practical. I believe, therefore, that it is the duty and is to the advantage of all of us to cooperate with good will toward the prompt realization of the President’s idea and in order to facilitate this I consider it indispensable that there should be no attempt at this time on the part of the United States to accomplish, in the commercial treaties, something of immediate and strict advantage to the men of business of this country, but to lay extensive plans in the way of future business. I consider that the key to success is to be found in this, and only in this, precisely because of the great disproportion existing between the power of the United States and that of each one of the countries of Latin America. I trust, because I have been observing the work of President Roosevelt very carefully, the treaty with Colombia—which is due, on account of being the first one in the series and for other circumstances, to have great psychological influence on the continent—will be discussed and adjusted according to the standards enunciated above, and possibly within a brief time, which will intensify, from this point of view, the favorable impression in the other countries.


Colombia keenly desires to cooperate in the work of the United States and to this end will lend herself to everything which, while advantageous to the United States, will not prejudice the incipient economic system of Colombia, for the sake of which it is indispensable to defend some native industries, which are now in the very first stage of development. Colombia hopes that the United States will have a clear idea of these circumstances, and will facilitate the means of arriving at an early solution.

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The figures which have been submitted to Colombia by the United States are numerically exact, but in order that these figures may express what may be called the “true reality”, it is necessary to make the said figures talk, and, therefore, to bear in mind that the greater part of the profit from Colombian coffee in its resale, in the transportation thereof, in the roasting industry, etc., is reaped by United States citizens and companies; the same is true of bananas; that petroleum is in fact American-owned, etc. And it is necessary to consider also that the United States already has some factories in Colombia and will naturally have more as soon as it is possible for it, by lawful business methods, to take better advantage of economic factors in Colombia.