Vietnam War in Latin America


General overview:

  • Latin America was experiencing numeral problems in the 1960s-1970s, hence their involvement in the Vietnam and Korean wars was quite limited.
  • Saw the Vietnam War as an example of “American imperialism” => condemned this approach to foreign policy.
  • Cuba and Chile had the strongest protests because of their relations with the US at the time.



  • Anti-war protests and peace marches in 1967-1968.
  • Multiple sporadic and poorly organized protests (University of Chile => students protested at a ceremony where their university was receiving gifts from University of California).
  • “Peace March” of 1967 was widely televised => national platform for criticizing the US.
  • The reason the general public was so bitter about the US in Vietnam was because of the economic dependency Chile had on the US and the anti-American rhetoric.
  • President Frei: initially supported the US.
  • As the Vietnam War reduced the amount of financial aid Chile was receiving, diplomatic relations between Chile and the US cooled down.



  • Castro: vocally critical of the Vietnam War.
  • Very anti-American after the Bay of Pigs invasion, outspoken against interventionism and imperialism.
  • 1965: Castro stated that it was a duty of all socialist states to support Northern Vietnam.
  • 1966: Tricontinental Conference (Asia, Latin America, and Africa) => resolution condemning imperialism in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Castro and Che Guevara encouraged other states to support North Vietnam that was “terribly alone”.
  • Cuba lacked resources to actually support North Vietnam => encouraged China and the USSR to help instead.
  • Castro’s position: Latin American countries needed to endorse North Vietnamese communists but lacked resources to actually support them, so it was the duty of wealthier socialist states to provide assistance.


Mexican Americans:

  • Mexican Americans: ⅕ of casualties in the Vietnam War.
  • Congress for Mexican American Union (1970): officially condemned the invasion of Cambodia.
  • Mexican Americans claimed that the Vietnam War was mostly harming non-white people on both sides of the conflict.
  • 1970s: regionalized protests in the south of the USA.


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