"An Excellent Laboratory": U.S. Foreign Aid in Paraguay, 1942-1954
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After the United States entered World War II, the nation began a technical assistance program and a military aid program in Paraguay as part of its Latin American foreign policy. The U.S. rooted its technical assistance program in an idealized narrative of U.S. agricultural history, in which land-grant colleges and the agricultural reforms of the New Deal had contributed to prosperity and democracy. The extension of this American Way to other countries would strengthen prosperity, encourage democratic reforms, and prevent fascist and Communist subversion. The U.S. also extended military aid to Paraguay to draw Paraguay's military away from its fascist sympathies. Over the next twelve years, policymakers debated the relationship between technical assistance and military aid, their effects on Paraguay, and their compatibility with U.S. foreign policy. Initially, U.S. policymakers saw the programs as mutually reinforcing. By the mid-1950s, however, the promise of agrarian democracy remained unfulfilled in Paraguay.