Latin America

1958 was communism’s year in Latin America. Facts apparent at year’s end: Stepped up activity of Soviet agents in Hispanic countries, and alarming indifference of public sentiment. In 1958 the Communist party (1) was legalized in Chile, (2) joined a coalition to elect a conservative president in Costa Rica; (3) helped oust a dictator in Venezuela; and (4) threw Argentina into a state of ferment.

Mexico is Latin America headquarters of Soviet infiltration. All Red satellite countries maintain large embassies in Mexico. The Russian embassy alone boasts a staff of over 900 trained operators. No one can guess how many agents are scattered throughout the continent. But their espionage and indoctrination are backed by a tidal wave of literature and propaganda.

Communists now publish 135 periodicals in Spanish and Portuguese (28 of these were launched in the last 12 months). Radio Moscow is on the air in Spanish 100 hours a week. Even Radio Peking devotes 14 hours weekly to Spanish propaganda.

More than 1700 Latin American travelers went behind the Iron Curtain in 1958—one-third of them to receive Soviet indoctrination.

In many Latin American countries, indoctrination schools for agents, sympathizers and children are conducted openly. Communist literature is distributed by mail. The hammer and sickle is a familiar sign on political posters and handbills.

An increasing tempo of Communist activities has been noted even since August, when Nikita Khrushchev and Mao Tse-Tung reportedly agreed to devote more attention to Latin America.

Target countries at present appear to be Venezuela and Argentina. In October, the Russian government granted Argentina a $100 million loan. And while most party expenses are borne locally, Vision ...

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