ABSTRACT

In July 1906, two gentlemen, one a prolific essayist, former leader of Brazil’s abolitionist movement, and its first Ambassador to the United States; the second, an internationally renowned Nicaraguan poet, journalist and occasional diplomat, crossed the Atlantic on the same boat with other Spanish American delegates to participate in the third Pan-American Conference in Rio de Janeiro. For Joaquim Nabuco the conference was to be a crucial step toward realizing his vision of a spiritual unification of the continent under the tutelage of the United States, a project that had earned him the reputation of an ardent Monroeist, “more Yankee than the Yankees themselves,” in the words of a friend.1 Rubén Darío, in contrast, had recently published his anti-Yankee manifesto “A Roosevelt,” condemning, in the name of “our America,” that “wealthy country” to the North “joining the cult of Mammon to the cult of Hercules; while Liberty, lighting the path to easy conquest, raises her torch in New York.”2