Year XXXV, 1993, Number 2 - Page 123

 

 

 

THE MOVIMIENTO PRO FEDERACION AMERICANA (MPFA)
 
 
It was in Bogotà, in 1948, that the Colombian Santiago Gutiérrez Varela, a longtime mondialist activist in the United States, established the Movimiento Pro Federación Americana (MPFA) on the occasion of the 9th American intergovernmental conference, which witnessed the birth of the Organization of American States (OAS).
At that time, according to what the movement’s magazine, Nuevo Mundo, later reported, he published “the first pamphlet on American federalism analysed from the perspective of continental unity in its fullest sense.” After the first edition of the initial programme of the MPFA was rapidly exhausted by distribution to the conference delegates, a summary was published in English, initially of 12,000, then of 50,000copies, under the title A plan for peace. Having achieved this initial success, Gutiérrez Varela decided to make the MPFA’s organisation more formal: its statutes were adopted in 1953 “by an important group of citizens belonging to different American countries.”[1]
This text remaining up-to-date, it is interesting to reproduce below some extracts from the introduction, and the declarations that were attached to these statutes.
Introduction: 1. The liberators and founding fathers of our American Republics foresaw a great democratic political organisation based on American unity, and able to give all Americans as much freedom, progress and happiness as possible. 2. This feeling of American union and solidarity is shared by all our peoples. 3. An American federation could bring about enormous progress for all our countries, which, combined with a suitable policy of social justice, would translate into an extraordinary benefit for each and every one of us Americans. Moreover, it will be possible to achieve a situation of orderly progress and stable world peace through continental federations under the control of a suitably strengthened United Nations...
We declare that: 1. We will create an association that will implement a concrete programme for an American federation which includes all the nations and countries of America. To this end we consider the Organization of American States as a fundamental step in this direction, and will support its initiatives and actions and promote its evolution towards a real federal government of America. 2. We will encourage and support other movements for regional federations, such as the European movement and the movement for Asian union. 3. We consider the UN to be a great achievement of humanity, and will strive to improve it and give it all the necessary authority so that it may be effective as a world co-ordinating authority, and have sufficient powers to prevent or resolve all conflicts and avoid any possibility of war between the regional federations.”[2]
The MPFA published its above-mentioned magazine Nuevo Mundo in Bogotà and then in Buenos Aires, from 1953 to the beginning of the 1970s; it also published some basic texts and two pamphlets on theoretical issues, generically entitled Temas Americanos. The movement was present, or represented, in the majority of Latin American countries and also had contacts in the United States and Canada under the direction of its Junta Continental.[3]
The MPFA kept in regular contact with the World Movement for World Federal Government (WMWFG), being for some years its “Latin American section,” and established relations with a certain Asian Federation Movement founded in India. During that period it published, either in Nuevo Mundo or as annexes to its pamphlets on theoretical issues, some assessments of the international activities of the WMWFG, the Italian Movimento Federalista Europeo, the international European Movement and the Mouvement socialiste pour les Etats-Unis d’Europe; it also published various articles on European unification by Max Richard, who was a member of the French group La Fédération. From April 1954 onwards, Nuevo Mundo provided information about the contacts between the MPFA and WMWFG, publishing an exchange of letters between Santiago Gutiérrez Varela and the Secretary General of the WMWFG, Maclean W. Maclean. The Colombian stressed his enthusiasm for regional federations, writing: “We place a particular emphasis on the regional federal governments and foresee a world government in the form of a supreme council made up of the representatives of the regional federations; this supreme council will leave most economic and administrative functions to the regional governments.” However, he concluded with the hope that his movement would “join” or “become a member” of the World Movement. Four years later this hope finally became reality when Santiago Gutiérrez Varela and/or Jorge M. Baño seem to have taken part in the Paris Congress of the WMWFG in 1955.[4] At the same time the MPFA developed intermittent contacts with certain other Latin American groups, such as the Unión Federalista Mundial de Puerto Rico (UFMPR) and the Chilean Movimiento de Integración Latinoamericana (MILA).[5]
The MPFA often emphasised its attachment to the principle of “federalist autonomy”, stressing the sharp distinction between the federalist struggle and that of the political parties for national power. It clearly stated this position in July 1956: “Certainly, as mentioned above, the Movimiento Pro-Federación Americana is not a substitute for political parties... Rather, with full awareness of the limits and role which falls to us, we understand that in the future we will be able to concentrate our efforts on the more specific goals of collaboration with national political parties, intra-American organisations (the OAS in particular), the UN itself, or national governments, which need our disinterested help as a non-governmental organisation. With these criteria we wish to emphasise that our function cannot in any way be compared to that of the existing political parties; to these we entrust, without preference, domestic political programmes, and we will give support to individual parties only if and when they match our ideals.
The Movimiento Pro-Federación Americana has supporters in all circles, political as well as religious, and in the American scene in general manages not to interfere in the sphere of action of the political parties. Our members, as far as decisions inside the movement are concerned, are apolitical, but free to act individually according to their personal preferences. This does not represent dualism, but a necessary discipline to achieve the disinterested and specific function we aim at.”[6]
In one of its basic texts, part of which we publish below, An American Federation, a European Federation and an Asiatic Federation coordinated in one World Organization (a Modified UNO), published in Bogotà probably at the end of the 1940s and endorsed by its founder, the MPFA announced the main features of its political philosophy.[7] Like European federalists, it favoured the creation of large continental federations which might, one day, be brought together in the framework of a modified and strengthened UN in order to guarantee universal peace through a world federal government. These large regional federations should number three in total, since the MPFA considered Africa as part of a vast Euro-African federation, freed from the legacy of colonialism.[8]
Unlike many Latin Americans, the MPFA always declared itself in favour of an American federation and not only a Latin American one; as a result it tried to establish itself both in the United States and Canada and played an active role in many OAS conferences, calling for the democratisation of this intergovernmental organisation.
As far as the economy is concerned, in a bipolar world dominated by the confrontation of the cold war, the MPFA opted unequivocally for the western model in the struggle against communism. The oft-expressed belief of the movement was in a “programme for free enterprise for the Americas,” which required above all, “freedom of enterprise and guarantees for industry, freedom to trade throughout the continent, a common citizenship for all Americans, common monetary standards for the American continent ...” Nevertheless the MPFA accepted that the state must have a role in the re-distribution of wealth, which only private initiative is able to create, and did not reject social justice as a value aspect of socialism.[9]
 According to the documents we have been able to examine, the MPFA seems to have been best organised and most active in Argentina, although news about other national sections and committees was regularly published in Nuevo Mundo. Yet it was in Argentina that various national or international federalist congresses took place, either organised by the MPFA or with its participation, in November 1956 and October 1960.[10] On the other hand, we have only found some incomplete records relating to the attempts to organise other international federalist congresses in Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay from the beginning of the 1960s until 1964. In a commentary on the Primero Congreso Internacional sobre Federalismo Americano, published in Nuevo Mundo in October 1960, the Ecuadorian federalist Cyrano Tama Paz stressed the difficulties of the struggle when “used to thinking in traditional terms, shaped by old-fashioned ideas and out-dated habits, at times we do not appreciate that there now exists a completely new international reality, an unavoidable necessity, which is linked to the technological progress, of irreversible development. It is more necessary than ever to unite, to organise the overwhelming growth of the world’s population in continent-wide federal states.
Given that the system of small separate nations (with anachronistic governmental regimes, tribal nationalism and other barbaric leftovers) is already demonstrating its failure, ... the economic integration of the American nations is the only formula by which to bring an end to underdevelopment and achieve prosperity”, while “extremist forces are working night and day to destroy the American union.”
But the MPFA, like other militant unionist or federalist groups that were active in politics and established all over LatinAmerica, disappeared at the beginning of the 1970s, after losing over the years most of its idealism and progressively jumping on the bandwagon of intergovernmental integration. This change is evident from reading Nuevo Mundo. The general tone and the subjects dealt with in the magazine at the beginning of the 1970s (at least, as far as it is possible to work out, given a gap of about 10 years in the collections available for our consultation) are not the same as those of the preceding decades.
Along with the wave of military dictatorships which smothered democracy, the enthusiasm waned and the idealistic, pacifist and mondialist beliefs were for the most part replaced by reports on official unionist demonstrations.
As reported in Nuevo Mundo, Dr. Santiago Gutiérrez Varela, the founder of the movement, resigned the presidency in the early 1970s to concentrate on a more mondialist, and less regionalist, militant role.[11]
It is however clear that in that period the MPFA maintained contacts with the UN as a non-governmental organisation, from the occasion when the Director of the UN’s information centre in Buenos Aires gave the MPFA’s Argentinian secretary the task of organising the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the international organisation.[12]
 
 
***
 
AN AMERICAN FEDERATION, A EUROPEAN FEDERATION
AND AN ASIATIC FEDERATION
CO-ORDINATED IN ONE
WORLD ORGANIZATION (A MODIFIED UNO)
 
 
Summary.
 
This program calls for the establishment of an American Federation which, in co-operation with similar European and Asiatic Unions, all united in one World Organization (a modified UNO), could assure permanent world stability and peace.
The first step should be the promotion of total production in the three continents, profiting from the creative initiative of a Free Enterprise or Capitalistic system which enjoys freedoms and guarantees. Once production has been fully developed on a continental basis, industry should be co-ordinated under a skilful and modest supervision of each Federal Government, in order to avoid crises of overproduction, correct the inequalities of Capitalism and create a social organization which offers the greatest possible security and happiness for the members of society.
From an individualistic Capitalistic system whose principal virtue is production, toward a co-ordinated Capitalism by the state to complement this production with economic stability and social justice. Everything within democracy and liberty.
Freedom - Productivity - Justice: Bases of World Peace.
 
 
PART I
 
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF A WORLD REORGANIZATION
 
Fundamental Principles of Justice in a Social Organization.
 
No one doubts that the world is in urgent need of a complete reorganization to surpass this period of confusion, economic instability and wars.
This reorganization must be a world-wide co-ordination for better living conditions for all peoples, which will bring about a state of stability and peace.
To establish this condition, people should have the necessary freedom to develop without restrictions their intellectual and moral personality, being able at the same time to satisfy their material needs.
This implies a legal order that guarantees human rights, an economic machinery capable of large scale production and a system of distribution to avoid excessive luxury on one side and misery on the other.
Guarantees and individual liberties to develop the personality without restrictions, large scale production, just distribution. These must be the basic principles of a system pursuing the happiness of man and lasting peace.
To achieve this aim a world reorganization is necessary which will permit the realization of the fundamental principles above cited: freedom, productivity, fair distribution.
Fair distribution and equality without wealth would simply be distribution of misery for all, which would not leave anyone satisfied. Large scale production and wealth without fair distribution would be opulence on one side in contrast to misery on the other, something that this century would not tolerate. And abundance for all without freedom would annihilate the spirit of civilization.
The only thing that can disarm the people of all countries and conduct them toward an area of peace and stability is recognition of a minimum of human rights, abundant production and fair distribution, capable of providing a reasonable status of welfare and security for all citizens.
This means the fulfilment of the fundamental ideals of our civilization: Christianity that seeks justice and love among men; freedom of investigation, freedom of thought, freedom of expression that seeks the truth; complete extension of technology, throughout the world, to reach material wellbeing.
In a society with possibilities of abundant production, freedom as well as just distribution is a matter of juridical organization that depends upon the intelligence and goodwill of the associates. However, in order to have abundant production, it is imperative to have sufficient natural resources to make possible its development. Therefore, it is necessary to provide all people with the essential resources.
There is no doubt that the world, as a whole, has the necessary natural riches for the comfortable welfare of its inhabitants. What is needed is the establishment of a World Organization in which all people have the possibility of participating of these riches.
 
Theory of World Federation.
 
In order to have abundant production for all it would be necessary that the world be a common patrimony of mankind in which each man would have identical opportunities. Besides this common possession, an essential requirement would be the establishment of a social order in which man has the opportunity to develop his personality, satisfy his material needs and obtain justice.
In this case, the ideal would be a World Federation under an effective charter of human rights; with an economic organization capable of producing all products necessary for humanity; to be distributed in such a way that they will satisfy the necessities and reasonable aspirations of men.
To carry out this unity, it is indispensable to have freedom of commerce, freedom of migration, uniform monetary system, an extended language for mutual understanding and a federal government co-ordinating the relations of the different states of the world and guaranteeing the fundamental human rights of men. Otherwise, world unity would not exist.
Should this unity or World Federation be attained, undoubtedly there would be a sure and effective peace, in the same manner as in the United States, where an appropriate federalistic organization exists, a war between the states that make up the federation is incomprehensible.
But it is very difficult to attain this aim. Despite the facility of communications, the world is still too large and diverse to be organised under a unity controlled by a Federal World Government. There are many different races, customs, ideologies, beliefs and living standards. If freedom of migration existed, for example, the Asiatic people, with their systems of uncontrolled population growth, would flood America and Europe with inhabitants and lower the living standard for all.
 
Theory of Three Federations: Europe, Asia and America.
 
World Federation is not the only solution to attain abundant production for all men. Three groups could be formed: America, Europe-Africa and Asia-Oceania. Each one of these groups have such large territories and such great economic resources that within their frontiers possess all that is needed for a perfect and complete economic organization, with enough area to create a great civilization in all phases of human activity and with sufficient wealth to provide for the necessities of their inhabitants.
America can form a great federation which would have all the natural resources to establish a perfect economy completely supplied with all kinds of products to satisfy its population’s needs. The same can be said of Europe and Asia.
From this grows the other idea of world reorganization which consists in forming Three Federations: Europe, Asia and America, autosufficient, autonomous and non-competitive in commerce and industry, and coordinated in one World Organization (a modified UNO) that will regulate the relations amongst the Three Federations.
The accomplishment of the Three Federations is a difficult task. However, it is more feasible than a World Federation. Furthermore, the establishment of the Three Federations will not be an obstacle for the creation, at a later date, of a World Federation. On the contrary, the realization of the Three Federations would be a great step toward world unity.
America has many similitudes and can approach a unity by means of a large and well chosen European immigration to Latin America and with greater facilities for movements of population within the continent. If to this is added freedom of commerce, a continental currency, extended guarantees for capitals and other sound reforms directed toward American unity, we would soon have a very great, rich and powerful Federation capable of providing for the welfare of its citizens and of being a decisive factor in the organization of the world.
On the other hand, the best statesmen of Europe are working for the European Union, since each day it becomes more evident that the only alternative against the complete destruction of Europe is its unification.
With respect to Asia, there are many voices in favour of the Union and several Pan-Asiatic Congresses have been held, with the idea of developing its formation. In brief, throughout the world one notices many tendencies and appeals favouring the organization of the world in Three Federations.
 
Arguments Against Three Federations and its Refutation.
 
The principal arguments against the world organization in Three Federations arise from the possibility that there could be conflicts among these three blocks which would impede the world peace sought.
The following are the arguments against such a plan:
First: The population of the world is badly distributed and as soon as one continent has insufficient resources in relation to its population, it will seek to expand or conquer other territories for its surplus peoples.
Solution: Since America requires additional inhabitants, immigration to this hemisphere must be encouraged until there is a population large enough to develop its resources. Furthermore, by practicing moderation in procreation, as is the case in the United States and other European countries, it is possible to maintain an adequate balance between population and natural resources. Under a system of voluntary birth control the three main continents can live independently, without having to seek other regions to dump their surplus population. If one continent should permit the disproportionate growth of its population, this continent would bear sole responsibility for its resulting low standard of living. Since the obvious solution would be the education of its inhabitants in moderation in procreation, there would not be the slightest justification for dumping its excess population on other continents and endangering the proper balance in all.
Second: The continents do not have sufficient resources to be self-sufficient and provide abundance for their population.
Solution: The three continental groups do possess all the resources necessary for building up self-sufficient economies capable of providing abundance for all. If, during the war, countries such as Germany were able to organize relatively self-sufficient economies with the assistance of synthetic industries, there is no reason why a continent cannot accomplish much more. Even if self-sufficiency should not be entirely attainable, there is no reason why a barter system cannot be adopted in order to exchange necessary materials and services. Neither does the system of the Three Federations oppose the interchange of students, scientific connections, tourist and many other relations that will maintain the world in very close co-operation. Such relations would not unbalance the co-ordination of the autonomous economies of the Three Federations.
Third: Men, in spite of having the necessary resources which make possible their high standard of living and welfare, nevertheless, owing to their whims and folly, can seek conflicts and wars.
Solution: It is highly improbable that a self-sufficient, democratic federation capable of bringing prosperity and happiness to its inhabitants would seek conflicts that could only result in mutual destruction. Besides, the Three Federations would be co-ordinated in one World Organization which would have the monopoly on armaments and would maintain the tribunals necessary for mediating any conflict or dispute that might arise. Finally, if the organization of the world in Three Federations should not prove fully satisfactory, the people could strive for a World Federation. The material and cultural development which the establishment of the Three Federations would bring to the entire world would surely produce such an extremely high level of culture and living standards for all mankind that world unity would be facilitated.
For these reasons, world reorganization could be planned upon the basis of Three Continental Federations co-ordinated in one World Organization, which would surely offer positive perspectives of stability, peace and abundance for mankind. This objective is both feasible and practical and is, at least, less difficult to realize than the creation of a World Federation, the other alternative.
 
 
PART II
 
A PROGRAM OF FREE ENTERPRISE FOR THE AMERICAS
 
“We shall hasten with the keenest interest to establish for ourselves the American pact which, by forming one political entity from all our republics, will give to America an aspect of majesty and greatness unprecedented in ancient nations.”
Bolivar
 
After exposing the fundamental ideas, it is necessary to present a concrete program of Free Enterprise to define the general principles. This plan is for America, but similar programs, with the necessary modifications for meeting different conditions, may be encouraged in Europe and Asia to establish a world-wide action of Free Enterprise.
I. Establishment of an American Federal Government and support of a European Union and Asiatic Union. Co-ordination of these political spheres within one World Organization (a modified UNO) to assure permanent world stability and peace.
II. Freedom of enterprise in every state in the hemisphere and full guarantees for the industry and capital that contribute to progress. Abolition of laws that obstruct the normal development of Capitalism. Once Capitalism has been developed to its limit, a logical co-ordination of the economy under a skilful and modest supervision of the state, in order to avoid crisis and distribute income more equitably.
III. Freedom of trade in the hemisphere. Elimination of all barriers that interfere with free exchange of goods.
IV. Enactment of a law in each American state by means of which any citizen of any other American nation will be considered its own citizen, with the same rights and obligations and with the prerogatives of entering, residing and leaving freely. This law can be extended on a reciprocal basis.
V. Promotion on a large scale of carefully chosen European immigration in order to develop and industrialize the entire hemisphere and unify the population of the two Americas, thus preparing the way for an American Federation.
VI. Establishment of a sound and stable uniform monetary system in the hemisphere, to be directed by an International Monetary Board.
VII. Formation of a continental army to protect the hemisphere against the possibility of attacks from third parties and to back up the international and internal policies of the Federation.
VIII. Freedom of religion, speech, press and meeting.
IX. Equality before the law of every human being, regardless of race, nationality, religion or sex.
X. Universal education which would enable every citizen to assume his social and democratic responsibilities.
XI. The best possible standard of living for the worker, without endangering the capitalization necessary for industrial development.
XII. A program of social insurance that would control the risks that make life uncertain, such as sickness, unemployment, old age and childhood.
XIII. Adoption of a uniform metric system and other standardizations of rules, codes, etc.
XIV. Complete elimination of colonial systems in America, and efforts to abolish them in the rest of the world.
XV. Democratic governments expertly organized to render the best possible service to their citizens and respecting the human rights.
XVI. Establishment of a Continental University of Social Philosophy and Administration with branches in the different countries of the hemisphere. Here the future leaders of America would not only receive a thorough education in the social sciences, but would be taught how to apply their knowledge in an administrative capacity, so as to help solve the problems of society.
XVII. Promotion of a language to be used as means of communication for the different countries of America and also in their relations with other continents. The political, social, cultural and commercial relations would become easier if a great part of men, besides their own language, spoke a universal one understandable to all. The most appropriate would be English, because it is the most extended in the world.
 
***
 
I. American Federal Government. *
 
For a long time the Pan-American Union has been working for American Unity and now the Organization of the American States continues doing the same in a more practical way. But due to the tremendous crisis the world is living, it is urgent to intensify the campaign of co-operation more vigorously and intensely, inasmuch as the present problems require an immediate solution, if we do not want new wars, each time more violent.
The ideal for America would be the establishment of a Federation, but to achieve this great aim it is necessary to prepare for its fulfilment by means of freer commercial interchange, facility for the movement of population within the continent, uniform monetary system, greater European immigration to Latin America, legal guarantees for capital and industries, cultural interchange, etc., so as to have appropriate bases for the establishment of an American Federation.
But in a world so solidary as this, in which a nation or continent, notwithstanding how united and powerful it might be, is threatened by the events in other parts of the world, to form an American Federation is not sufficient: it is necessary to support, with a definite plan, the establishment of a European Union and an Asiatic Union whose policies would not be a threat to the American Federation.
Even if these Three Federations were established completely independent and balanced, there would always exist international relations of world order such as armaments, control of atomic power, cultural interchange, tourism and others, which necessarily would have to be coordinated in a World Organization (a modified UNO) to assure permanent world stability and peace.
This modified UNO could be organized to co-ordinate the Three Federations in such a way that through the intervention of this organization the mutual relations of the Three Federations would be regulated and the conflicts which might arise solved. It would not be wise to establish an organization more complicated than necessary. A simple organization would be more effective. As for example, a Supreme Council made up of the heads of the Three Federations or their representatives; a Permanent Secretariat with the proper technical organization to execute the decisions of the Council; a Supreme Court to solve the conflicts which might arise; and an international army to support the policies of the World Organization.
The Organization of the American states, as we said before, is a great step forward in the Pan-American movement and through this organization it will be necessary to work a long time to promote the Continental Union. But only until this Organization derives its authority from the public vote, will an effective principle of American Federal Government be initiated. An organization based on popular vote, although in the beginning undoubtedly would have very restricted powers, because of world evolution trends, it would gradually acquire extraordinary importance and would soon be a truly American Federal Government, capable of orienting the American Continent toward tremendous prosperity and to serve as example and guide to the other two Federations.
The American Federal Government could be organized in different forms, but it should have as its fundamental basis the popular vote, since democracy is an essential principle in every American political organization.
One of these forms could be the appointment of a Constitutional and Electoral Assembly elected by popular vote with the task of drafting and perfectioning the Constitution of the Federation and to elect the Legislative, the Executive, the Judicial and the Attorney General empowered to execute their respective functions within the limits of the Constitution [...]
The Assembly would be the supreme director of the Federal Government as direct representative of the people. From this Assembly the other powers would originate and depend and to this Assembly they would render accounts of their functionings.
The Assembly could reserve the right to establish new taxes and, since it is the Supreme Constitutional Body, it may change the organization of the Government when it so deems necessary, subjecting itself obviously to the rules established in the Constitution for cases of reformation.
The Assembly could appoint a Legislative Council or Board of Directors that would establish the laws within the constitutional standard; a President that would appoint his Vice-Presidents or Secretaries and would exercise the executive functions; a Supreme Court as arbitrator or umpire to interpret and enforce the constitutional and legal order; and an Attorney General that would administrate a Fiscal Office with two sections: one to control the proper fulfilment of the Constitution and Laws of the Federation; the other to control budget expenditures.
The criterion which should predominate in the organization of a Government ought to be similar to that of an efficient business enterprise in order to render the best service to the public without neglecting, at the same time, the democratic principles. This could be achieved with a governmental organization simple, stable and with ample authority, but duly controlled by public vote. Democracy and efficiency should go united for the best social service. [...]
 
(Prefaced and edited by Jean-Francis Billion)


[1] For the creation of the MPFA see “Como se organizó el Movimiento pro Federación Americana - Habla el Dr. Santiago Gutiérrez V.”, in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 1, no. 2, July 1953; “Quién es Quién en el federalismo, Santiago Gutiérrez?”, in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 6, no. 49, and other notices in federalist magazines such as World Government News, New York, vol. 10, no. 105, February, March, April 1952 and WMWFG (World Movement for World Federal Government) Newsletter (March 1952?).
[2] Cf. Nuevo Mundo, no. 61, September 1962.
[3] As reported in the same issue of Nuevo Mundo, the MPFA in 1962 was directed by a general secretariat made up of a secretary general (“programme co-ordinator”), who was for a long time its founder Santiago Gutiérrez Varela, and subsequently the Argentinian Jorge M. Baño, when the former became president of the MPFA, an additional secretary general (Jorge M. Baño, who was also editor of the movement’s magazine), a further secretary general (“financial promoter”), at that time the Mexican Esteban Espejel G., and three general delegates. Other of the movement’s international bodies were the General Continental Assembly, which represented the different sections and national committees, and its extension, the Junta Continental (in 1962 this had 13 members from 9 nations). In 1960 the MPFA had created other committees within its structure: in addition to an honorary committee, there were pro Mercado Común Latinoamericano, pro Cultura Americana and pro Universidad Continental committees (for their membership list, see Nuevo Mundo, vol. VIII, no. 50, December 1960).
[4] See WMWFG Newsletter, March 1952 (?), which cites two Colombian groups as being in contact with the WMWFG at that time: the first (of which this quotation is the only trace) is that of Dr. M. Bartenstein de Medellín, who was “interested in developing a Spanish-language section of the World Movement”; the latter is the MPFA. Subsequently, the News-Digest-WMWFG returned to the question of links with the MPFA: in May 1952 in order to note that the MPFA’s secretary general Jorge M. Baño had made a request for his movement to be affiliated to the WMWFG; and in September/October of the same year to confirm that the World Movement’s Executive Council had accepted this request.
See also “Ahora es miembro asociado de la Asociación Universal de Federalistas Mundiales el MPFA”, in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 5, no. 36, June 1958. For many years Nuevo Mundo published a regular column entitled “Federalismo mundial en marcha.” For their part the world federalists wrote in February 1958 in “The World Federalist” that the MPFA aimed at the federation of the Americas and regarded world government as a secondary and more distant aim, contenting themselves with the fact that the movement had branches in most American states, as well as enjoying parliamentary support in some of them.
[5] The UFMPR was the WMWFG’s Puerto Rican section, and was independent of the MPFA. It is mentioned many times, particularly in relation to its sporadic contacts with the MPFA, in The Federalist Newsletter published by the North American “United World Federalists,” vol. 6, no. 7, March 1960, in The World Federalist, one of the WMWFG’s international publications, The Hague, vol. 7, no. 4, November 1961 and in Nuevo Mundo, Buenos Aires, vol. 10, no. 61, December 1962 and vol. 16, no. 76, 1969.
As far as MILA is concerned, see Nuevo Mundo, June 1961, “Movimiento de integración latinoamericana, en Valparaiso, Chile”.
[6] “El éxito logrado por la reunion de Panama impone una nueva actitud al Movimiento pro Federación Americana,” in Nuevo Mundo, July 1956, no. 25.
[7] In order to examine the ideas of the MPFA in more depth it is necessary to study, apart from its initial programme, parts of which are reported here in the English-language version, several texts which elaborated it over the years, such as: “Ya es urgente un plan de paz permanente!”, in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 4, no. 27, November/December 1956 and “Nuevo Plan de paz para el programa del MPFA,” in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 5, no. 33, December 1957; as well as the two remaining brochures of the series Temas Americanos which we were able to find, El colonialismo y America, published in 1954 on the occasion of the OAS’s conference on colonialism in Caracas, and La Libre Empresa (promotoria insustituible de producción y abundancia para los pueblos. Un alegato en su favor); and, finally, the English-language “A progressive Plan - Do you know the American Federation Movement’s Programme?”, in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 10, no. 59, July 1962.
[8] In the fifth part of El colonialismo y América, following an introductory note by the editor, a resolution of the Mouvement socialiste pour les Etats-Unis d’Europe and a contribution by Leopold S. Senghor, who was at that time still a member of the French Parliament and of the European Council Assembly, on the subject of integrating African colonies into the European community are reported. As far as colonialism on the American continent is concerned, the MPFA often declared itself in favour of its total eradication and proposed a plan of resolution at the above-mentioned OAS assembly in Caracas, which however was not considered by the delegates of the American states.
As far as world federalism is concerned, two observations need to be made. On the one hand, the MPFA’s evolutionary theory, which foresaw the achievement of a world federation through large regional federations which would progressively delegate a part of their powers to a strengthened UN, confirmed the minimalist trend of the WMWFG, which was against those who wanted to ignore inter-state organisation and proceed with elections for a world constituent assembly. On the other hand, three large regional federations seem too few, even if one excludes Africa. In contrast the “Preliminary Draft of a World Constitution” published in 1948 by the Chicago committee and widely diffused in world federalist circles, and so in all likelihood known about in the MPFA, as witness an article in Nuevo Mundo written on the occasion of Giuseppe A. Borgese’s death, tried a more precise approach and foresaw nine regions: the European continent with its dependent islands, the United States of America (and the United Kingdom if it preferred to join it), European and Asiatic Russia (and the countries of Central and Baltic Europe which preferred to join this region), “Afrasia,” which included the Near and Middle East (and the Maghreb and Pakistan if they so wished), “the Indias” (and Pakistan if it preferred), Asia (China, Korea and Japan with some of the Pacific archipelagos), “Austrasia” (Indonesia and Indochina with or without Pakistan and the territories of the Southern and Central Pacific which asked to join this region), and finally Colombia, comprising “the western hemisphere to the south of the United States” (re-published in A Constitution for the World, Santa Barbara, California, edited by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1965).
[9] “We are supporters of free enterprise, so long as it is directed to the common good. We believe that free enterprise is the best way to produce efficiently, and to obtain plenty. When appropriate, the state has the duty to regulate free enterprise with the aim to achieve social justice or distribute the fruits of production as fairly as possible... If socialism means wishing to achieve more justice and a better distribution of wealth, without prejudicing production, in that case we are socialists. But if socialism means state management of business to make it inefficient, because it is subjected to the damaging effect of political games and intrigues, then we are thoroughly anti-socialist, since we are well aware of the fact that with the bureacratisation of business there can be no wealth and no production,” in La Libre Empresa, op. cit., p. 9.
The MPFA’s obsession with production can be found at the end of the same pamphlet, when the editors recall the motto of the movement: “Freedom-Productivity-Justice. Bases of World Peace” (ibid., p. 63), or in the movement’s symbol which over the years retained the sole words “Freedom-Productivity-Justice.”
[10] On the subject of the “First Congress of Federalism,” which was an exclusively Argentinian event, organised by the Asociación Cultural Argentina para Defensa y Superación de Mayo (ASCUA) in September 1956, see the report published by Nuevo Mundo, vol. 4, no. 26, September 1956. The editorial of the same issue discusses the ideas which arose in the congress (attended by more than 200 delegates) and states that federalism is “the antithesis not only of centralism, but of colonialism as well”, and furthermore that “only federalism, which has its origins in man as an individual, is able to achieve true democracy.” The congress was divided into six commissions which studied the following matters: structural issues, the role of local autonomies in the federal system, institutional measures, economic measures, financial measures and regional planning. Various Argentinian leaders of the MPFA took part in this congress, in particular Juan Esteban Serchio (son), who was at that time the secretary of the Argentinian section and with whom we are once again in contact after so many years, Professor Jorge M. Baño, and a member of the Uruguayan section, Francisco Reboredo, who attended as an observer.
Even more important, in as much as it was directly organised by the MPFA and gathered together in October 1960 several hundreds of federalists from many Latin American countries, was the Primer Congreso Internacional sobre Federalismo Americano (see Nuevo Mundo, vol. 8, no. 49, October 1960), which also took place in Buenos Aires. The Congress attracted 98 delegates representing 61 organisations, among which, apart from the MPFA, was the República de los Ciudadanos del Mundo with 6 representatives, including David Victor Btesh who sat at the presidential table, and 200 individual participants. Nuevo Mundo emphasised the quality of the support received by the Congress, such as that from the President of the Argentinian Republic, Arturo Frondizi, and the Secretary General of the GAS, José A. Mora, as well as the depth and variety of the issues dealt with; it published a summary of the six main resolutions adopted, which we report below, as well as the titles of the 63 proposed resolutions, which were examined on the suggestion of the MPFA or various participants.
“Summary of the resolutions approved: 1. Increased intra-American relations through pan-continental universities, general education and culture, indigenismo, tourism and sport. 2. A common American citizenship, a continental Supreme Court of Justice and an Intra-American Legislative Congress, as the first steps towards American federal government. 3. Better distribution of the population throughout the continent with internal migration to promote better regional development. Private insurance. Economic integration and common markets. Modernisation of state administrative systems. Reduction of the bureaucracy. A single currency and standardised weights and measures. 4. Complete eradication of colonialism in America and the restoration of the previously existing sovereignties in occupied territories. 5. Moral recovery. Permanent peace. A Military Security Council with an attached general staff to provide against external attacks. Consultations with the OAS as regards the possibility of electing representatives by universal suffrage. 6. American federal government and support for other regional federations. Encouragement to the MPFA so that it may carry forward the initiatives of the Primer Congreso Internacional sobre Federalismo Americano. Institution of a Day o fBrotherhood and Universal Freedom, and support for a conference of heads of state on the issue of world peace.”
[11] See “Renuncia el Doctor Santiago Gutiérrez”, in Nuevo Mundo, no. 81, January/February 1970. The organ of the MPFA commented on Gutiérrez Varela’s decision as follows: “His behaviour can be explained by his desire to concentrate more fully on his programme for world peace, which needs to be developed by means of a special committee. As we already know, Dr. Gutierrez is a great idealist and staunch pacifist who wants to work within a broader perspective and not a regional one.” So far we have not been able to find out more about the success, or otherwise, of his militant activities.
[12] “El movimiento pro Federación Americana y las Naciones Unidas,” in Nuevo Mundo, vol. 17, no. 85, 1970.
* Each of the points listed above is more fully explained in the original version. We publish below only the explanation of the first one.

 

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