Courtesy Reuters

Revolution in Latin America

If the United States is to secure its vital interests in Latin America, it must better understand the nature of revolution there; it must determine more precisely its relationship and commitment to that revolution; and it must revise accordingly its Latin American policies and programs, both private and public.

Today there can be no doubt that the interests of the United States are in jeopardy. Chaos and violence are prevalent in some countries and imminent in others. Our efforts to promote economic development and political stability have been less than satisfactory, especially in rural areas. Conversely, one of the most hopeful political developments in the hemisphere, the Christian-Democratic movement led by Eduardo Frei of Chile, came about and is proceeding in several countries quite apart from our efforts. In fact, it appears to derive part of its virility from its political and ideological alienation from the United States, as well as its increasing affinity with Europe.

The initial vision of the Alliance for Progress has been blurred and its spiritual message garbled. Once more the image of the United States is tarnished by the suspicion that it is committed to the status quo and therefore to passive resistance to change. The unique dedication of the Alliance to what in Latin America is seen as radical reform, which enlightened its inception and gave it fire, has been all but smothered. With it has gone the ideological initiative which the United States had seized in 1963.

There of course were those in places of power and influence who chafed noisily under the demands of the Alliance for tax reform, more equitable land distribution and other actions which in the Latin American context must be called revolutionary. There were more, however, who inarticulately and undemonstrably felt for the first time that their rich and powerful neighbor to the north was genuinely committed to the struggle for social justice; that there was in truth a real alternative to the cynical demagogues of the Left who promised

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