a political principle in the Americas, enunciated in 1907 by C. R. Tobar, the minister of foreign affairs of Ecuador, proscribing the extension of recognition to any government that accedes to power by other than constitutional means. Tobar proposed that the American states sign an agreement allowing for intervention in the internal affairs of Latin American countries with such a government.
The Tobar Doctrine was incorporated in two agreements concluded by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in December 1907 and November 1923. The agreements stipulated that the signatories would withhold recognition from a government established in any of the five republics as a result of a coup d’etat or revolution. The USA, although it refrained from signing the agreements, nevertheless freely invoked them in the pursuit of its policies during the first half of the 20th century.