By Eduardo Galeano
Memory of Fire: Century of the Wind
In an emotional ceremony in Washington, ten Marine Corps officers receive the Cross of Merit for distinguished service and extraordinary heroism in the war against Sandino [in Nicaragua].
The Washington Herald and other papers devote pages to the crimes of the outlaw band who slit Marines' throats. They also publish documents newly arrived from Mexico, with impressive numbers of spelling mistakes, proving that Mexican president Calles is sending bolshevik weapons and propaganda to Sandino through Soviet diplomats. Official State Department sources explain that Calles began revealing his communist sympathies when he raised taxes on US oil companies operating in Mexico, and fully confirmed them when his government established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
The US government warns that it will not permit Russian and Mexican soldiers to implant the Soviet in Nicaragua. According to official State Department spokesmen, Mexico is exporting bolshevism. After Nicaragua the next target of Soviet expansion in Central America will be the Panama Canal.
Senator Shortridge declares that the citizens of the US deserve as much protection as those of ancient Rome, and Senator Bingham says: We are obliged to accept our function as international policeman. Senator Bingham, the famous archaeologist who sixteen years ago discovered the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, has never concealed his admiration for the works of dead Indians.
For the opposition, Senator Borah denies his country's right to act as the censor of Central America, and Senator Wheeler suggests that the government send Marines to Chicago, not Nicaragua, if it really wants to take on bandits. The Nation magazine, for its part, takes the view that for the US president to call Sandino a bandit is like George III of England labeling George Washington a thief.