Lobo, Hélio (1883–1960)

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Lobo, Hélio (1883–1960)

A Brazilian diplomat and writer, Hélio Lobo was born on October 17, 1883, in the city of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais. He was the son of Fernando Lobo, a government minister and Brazilian senator, and Maria Barroso. After graduating in 1903 from the Faculdade de Direito do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro School of Law), he became a diplomat at the invitation of the Baron of Rio Branco. He served as an assistant in the Brazilian-Bolivian and Brazilian-Peruvian arbitration courts from 1907 to 1909. He was named a first secretary in the Brazilian diplomatic corps in 1914 and was elected to the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Language and Literature) in 1918, succeeding João Carneiro de Sousa Bandeira. In 1919 Lobo served on the Secretary of Brazil's delegation to the Versailles Conference. He was a consul-general in London and New York between 1920 and 1926. He taught a course in the College of Sciences, Economics, and Politics of the University of Columbia and inaugurated the Portuguese Chair of the University of Princeton in New Jersey.

Lobo's writings include several books that deal mainly with historical aspects of Brazilian diplomacy in the late nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century. In books and at international conferences of American nations, he defended the development of closer diplomatic and business relations between Brazil and the United States. In that sense he shared Joaquim Nabuco's view of the Monroe Doctrine, which Lobo defined as "the keystone of pan-Americanism" (Lobo 1912, p. 34). He distinguished between two interpretations of that doctrine: one of "mutual application among equal sovereign nations" and one of unilateral application "at the discretion of the United States" (Lobo 1939, p. 5). In his view, pan-Americanism, as originated in the Monroe Doctrine, "is above all an aspiration, an understanding among the countries of the American continent for the common good" (1939, p. 2). As he saw it from his pacifist perspective, Brazil was destined to be "a balancing point between Latins and Anglo-Saxons on this side of the Atlantic" (Lobo 1926, p. 163), an agent for harmony in the Americas. Hélio Lobo died in Rio de Janeiro on January 1, 1960, in his seventy-seventh year.

See alsoBrazil: Since 1889; Monroe Doctrine; Pan-Americanism; United States-Latin American Relations.


Primary Works

De Monroe a Rio Branco. Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1912.

Brasilianos e yankees. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Pimenta e Mello, 1926.

O pan-americanismo e o Brasil. São Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1939.

Secondary Works

Corrêa Filho, Virgílio. "Helio Lobo." Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro 248 (July-September 1960): 81-91

                                     Daniel Mesquita Pereira