While Portuguese-speaking Brazil declared war on Germany in the First World War, the rest of South America held back. In the end no other South American nation joined the fighting. But four – Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay – did break off diplomatic relations with Germany in 1917, in sympathy with US policy and with the Allies in Europe. Their reward was a place at the Paris Peace Conference table and for the first time a chance to play a role on the world stage rather than just in their own backyard.
MICHAEL STREETER is an experienced writer and journalist who has travelled widely in Latin America and has an MA in Latin American politics and history from the University of London. His books include a biography of General Franco and The Mediterranean; Cradle of European Culture. He has written for most British national newspapers and was editor of the Daily Express website. He also runs a news consultancy and teaches. He lives and works in France.