A Short History of American / Portugese Relations Concerning the Azores Islands 1918-71
Miller, John D.
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My concern and interest in this topic of American connections to Portugal has its foundations in my concern with Africa. American policy towards Portugal has profound effects on our image and future in Africa, and I was deeply disturbed by the moral, economic and political implications of an alliance with the repressive Portuguese government. I must confess that when I began this project, I was seeking evidence to support my contention that the American presence in the Azores was intended as a prop to the Portuguese government. I thought our presence was a justification for aid to a weak but right-wing government. I was wrong. American interest in the Azores did assist Portugal, but I believe that to be of secondary importance to American planners. The history of American interests in the Azores is extremely complex. Portugal has never been an important element in her history, and it has characterized .American policy towards that nation. Portugal has been a peripheral issue until the middle seventies. This secondary status and the complexity of the issues touching Portugal have determined the style of this paper. I felt it necessary to include a great deal of material relating outside events and issues that affected either Lisbon or Washington in their dealings with each other. These additions make it difficult occasionally to follow the specific thread of American/Portuguese relations, but I feel them to be necessary. A paper which traced only the events and attitudes of the U.S. and Portugal would ignore the most important aspect of U.S./Portuguese relations; the effects of these relationships on the rest of the world.