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At the center of this study is the Pan American Union Building in Washington, DC, initially a trade hub between the Americas in the late nineteenth century and an "incubator," as Fox writes, for peace through the so-called Good Neighbor Policy; in 1948, as the headquarters of the Organization of American States, the PAU took on a far more aggressive role in promoting Latin American culture.
The Credit Union of the Pan American Union (PAU)--now the OAS Staff Federal Credit Union--was founded in May 1962 when 25 staff members carne together to form the entity, each making a minimum deposit of five dollars.
It provides new insights on the real meaning of Jamestown, colonial racial intermingling, complex urban identities, the gothic side of conquest, the development of an "American Mediterranean," the complex and disparate forces within Reconstruction, the ever-shifting spaces between Central America and the Southern US, Paul Robeson's representations of New World racism, literature with African American and Latin American influences, US efforts at cultural diplomacy, the Pan American Union, African Americans in comics and film, the Islamic in the literature of the Americas, observations about the hemispheres by Yamashita, and the experiences of Latinos in Canada.
At that time, the Division of Intellectual Cooperation of the Pan American Union (which later became the OAS) was open to anyone who wanted to hold cultural activities and to artists who might want to exhibit their works.
The international conferences of the Pan American Union provided a forum in which, over the next half century, the legal conventions and agreements underlying inter-American economic, social, and cultural collaboration were established.
That conference launched a multilateral process whose many manifestations include the elaboration of law and cooperative agreements, the establishment of the Bureau of American Republics, and the emergence of the Pan American Union, predecessor of the OAS, today's pre-eminent political framework for inter-American relations.
As the headquarters of the association which linked all twenty-one of the then-existing American republics, the Pan American Union seemed ideally suited to Espinosa's purposes.