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Encyclopedia > Alliance for Progress

The Alliance for Progress initiated by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961 aimed to establish economic cooperation between North and South America. The aid was intended to counter the perceived emerging communist threat from Cuba to U.S. interests and dominance in the region. Judicial System Supreme Court of the Republic Superior Courts of Justice Courts of First Instance Courts of Peace Elections Electoral system Peruvian Constituent Assembly elections, 1978 Political Parties APRA List of political parties in Peru Region & Local government Regional Governments Provincial Municipalities Districtal Municipalities Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... John Kennedy and JFK redirect here. ...


Origin and goals

In March 1961, President Kennedy proposed a ten-year plan for Latin America:

...we propose to complete the revolution of the Americas, to build a hemisphere where all men can hope for a suitable standard of living and all can live out their lives in dignity and in freedom. To achieve this goal political freedom must accompany material progress...Let us once again transform the American Continent into a vast crucible of revolutionary ideas and efforts, a tribute to the power of the creative energies of free men and women, an example to all the world that liberty and progress walk hand in hand. Let us once again awaken our American revolution until it guides the struggles of people everywhere-not with an imperialism of force or fear but the rule of courage and freedom and hope for the future of man.[1]

The program was signed at an inter-American conference at Punta del Este, Uruguay, in August 1961. The charter called for: Department Maldonado Department Altitude 0m Coordinates 34º 58S 54º 57W Founded 1907 Population 8,252 (2004) Demonym Puntaesteño Phone Code +042 Postal Code 20100 Skyline of Punta del Este looking from Punta Ballena Image:Sunrise punta ballena 2006 january. ...

  • an annual increase of 2.5% in per capita income,
  • the establishment of democratic governments,
  • the elimination of adult illiteracy by 1970
  • price stability, to avoid inflation or deflation
  • more equitable income distribution, land reform, and
  • economic and social planning.[2][3]

First, the plan called for Latin American countries to pledge a capital investment of $80 billion over 10 years. The United States agreed to supply or guarantee $20 billion within one decade.[3]

Second, Latin American delegates required the participating countries to draw up comprehensive plans for national development. These plans were then to be submitted for approval by an inter-American board of experts.

Third, tax codes had to be changed to demand "more from those who have most" and land reform was to be implemented.[2]

U.S. aid to Latin America

Because of the program economic assistance to Latin America nearly tripled between fiscal year 1960 and fiscal year 1961. Between 1962 and 1967 the US supplied $1.4 billion per year to Latin America. If new investment was included, this amount rose to $3.3 billion per year.

But economic aid to Latin America dropped sharply in the late 1960s, especially when Richard Nixon entered the White House.[2]

Authors L. Ronald Scheman and Tony Smith state that the amount of aid totaled $22.3 billion.[4]

But this amount was not necessarily net transfers of resources and development. Latin American countries still had to pay off their debt to the US and other first world countries.

In addition, profits usually returned to the US, and profits frequently exceeded new investment.

In March 1969, the US ambassador to the OAS, William T. Denzer, explained to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs: OAS may stand for: Old Age Security Oracle Application Server Oral Allergy Syndrome Organisation de larmée secrète Organization of American States Office Automation Systems Option Adjusted Spread Oas, Albay is a municipality in the Philippines. ... The U.S. House Committee on International Relations (also known as the House International Relations Committee, the House Foreign Relations Committee or the House Foreign Affairs Committee), is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives which is in charge of bills and investigations related to the foreign...

"When you look at net capital flows and their economic effect, and after all due credit is given to the U.S. effort to step up support to Latin America, one sees that not that much money has been put into Latin America after all."[2]

Business lobbying

The alliance charter included a clause encouraged by US policy makers that committed the Latin American governments to the promotion "of conditions that will encourage the flow of foreign investments" to the region.

U.S. industries lobbied Congress to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to ensure that US aid would not be furnished to any foreign business that could compete with US business "unless the country concerned agrees to limit the export of the product to the US to 20 percent of output". In addition the industries lobbied Congress to limit all purchases of AID machinery and vehicles in the US. A 1967 study of AID showed that 90 percent of all AID commodity expenditures went to US corporations.[5] The Foreign Assistance Act is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress on September 4, 1961. ...

Success and failures of the plan

Growth in regional output in Latin America in the 1960s was 2.4 percent, nearly matching the Alliance for Progress goal of 2.5 percent.

In contrast to 2.1 percent growth in the 1950s, GDP growth rate in Latin America reached 2.7 percent in the later part of the 1960s and climbed 3.8 percent between 1970-1974.

Overall seven countries reached the target goal of 2.5 percent GDP growth, twelve nations didn't reach the goal, and Haiti and Uruguay had lower GDPs.

Adult illiteracy was not wiped out, although it was reduced. In some countries, the number of people attending universities doubled or even tripled. Access to secondary education also showed increases.

Health clinics were built across Latin America. However, success in improving health care was hindered by population growth.

Of the 15 million peasant families living in Latin America, only one million benefited from any kind of land reform. The traditional elites resisted any land reform.[2]

Minimum wage laws were created but the minimum wages offered to Nicaraguan workers, for example, were set so low as to have no appreciable effect on the wages received.[6] In other nations, such as El Salvador, minimum wage laws encouraged employers to use labor-saving machinery. [citation needed] The minimum wage is the minimum rate a worker can legally be paid (usually per hour) as opposed to wages that are determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market. ...

During the 1960s, several Latin American nations developed authoritarian military governments, and according to some authors this is a failing of the Alliance for Progress.[2]

Military version

During the Kennedy administration, between 1961 and 1963 the U.S. suspended economic and/or broke off diplomatic relations with several countries which had dictatorships, including Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru. But these suspensions were imposed only temporarily, for periods of only three weeks to six months[citation needed].

By 1964, under President Johnson, the program to discriminate against dictatoral regimes ceased. In March 1964 the US approved a military coup in Brazil, and was prepared to help if called upon under Operation Brother Sam.[7] Template:Quality João Belchior Marques Goulart (March 1, 1918—December 6, 1976) was the last left-wing president of Brazil (1961–March 31, 1964) until the October 6, 2002 election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. ...

In 1965 the US dispatched 24,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to stop a possible left-wing take over under Operation Power Pack. This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ...

The Alliance for Progress included U.S. programs of military and police assistance to counter Communist subversion, including Plan LASO in Colombia. Marquetalia Republic was a term used to unofficially refer to one of the enclaves in rural Colombia which Communist peasant guerrillas held during the aftermath of La Violencia (aprox. ...


The Alliance for progress achieved a short-lived public relations success. It also had real but limited economic advances.[7]

The program failed for three reasons:

  • Latin American nations were unwilling to implement needed reforms, particularly in land reform.
  • Presidents after Kennedy were less supportive of the program.
  • The amount of money was not enough for an entire hemisphere, $20 billion averaged out to only $10 per Latin American.[2]

The Organization of American States disbanded the permanent committee created to implement the alliance in 1973.[3] Headquarters Washington, D.C. Official languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese Membership 35 countries Leaders  -  Secretary General José Miguel Insulza (since 26 May 2005) Establishment  -  Charter first signed 30 April 1948 in effect 1 December 1951  Website http://www. ...

See also

The Foreign Assistance Act is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress on September 4, 1961. ... Map of Cold-War era Europe and the Near East showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. ...


  1. ^ President John F. Kennedy: On the Alliance for Progress, 1961. Modern History Sourcebook. Retrieved on 2006-07-30.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, Peter H (1999). Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512998-9.  p. 150-152
  3. ^ a b c "Alliance for Progress". The Columbia Encyclopedia (6). (2001). 
  4. ^ Smith, Peter H (1999). Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S.-Latin American Relations. Oxford University Press. 0195129989.  p. 152
    Scheman, L. Ronald (1988). The Alliance for Progress: A Retrospective. New York: Praeger. p. 10-11
    Smith, Tony "The Alliance for Progress: The 1960s," in Lowenthal, Abraham F. (1991). Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.  p. 72
  5. ^ Cox, Ronald W (1994). Power and Profits US Policy in Central America. University Press of Kentucky. 0813118654.  p. 83-85
  6. ^ Bethell, Leslie (June 29, 1990). The Cambridge History of Latin America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24518-4.  p. 342.
  7. ^ a b Bell, P M H (2001). The World Since 1945. Oxford University Press. 0340662360. 

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 211th day of the year (212th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Alliance for Progress and Peace Corps (462 words)
Washington policymakers saw the Alliance as a means of bulwarking capitalist economic growth, funding social reforms to help the poorest Latin Americans, promoting democracy—and strengthening ties between the United States and its neighbors.
A key element of the Alliance was U.S. military assistance to friendly regimes in the region, an aspect that gained prominence with the ascension of President Lyndon B. Johnson to power in late 1963 (as the other components of the Alliance were downplayed).
Ronald Scheman, ed., The Alliance for Progress: A Retrospective (Praeger, New York, Praeger, 1988).
Alliance for Progress - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1270 words)
Regional output in Latin America in the 1960s was 2.4 percent, nearly matching the Alliance for Progress goal of 2.5 percent.
The most significant failure of the Alliance for Progress was the number of new dictatorships that emerged in the region during the 1960s.
A liberal reform programme like the Alliance for Progress is a safety-valve for capitalist injustice and exploitation - as the frontier served for release and escape from oppression in American cities during the last century.
  More results at FactBites »



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