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with all kinds of intellectual curiosity. They have come to see how in a small island with very few natural resources, densely populated. A program of progress is underway in terms of democracy and in terms of the closest association with the United States. We have had seminars on different topics. We've had workshops twice a year. There's a seminar of young Latin American labor leaders that takes place at the University of Puerto Rico. Well, I couldn't numerate all of these things. It is our idea that this kind of work for better relations
in the hemisphere for better understanding in the western hemisphere can be expanded to. Also, we're very happy to receive sometimes invitations from the governments of countries that are having problems of development that are somewhat similar to those that Puerto Rico has and is trying to solve, to lend them some of our men or officials to go and advise with them as to how they can meet these problems. Not by just imitating what's written and not by doing it exactly as we do it here because no two countries have exactly similar problems. But to see how they can adapt to their own conditions, the experience that we have had in Puerto Rico in dealing
with conditions that are somewhat similar. Well, we are of course willing to expand this. We're ready to do this at this very moment. Dr. Piccó, our government development bank has been invited, again, to visit the Republic of Honduras to help advise on some of their economic problems there. And I believe at this moment Mr. Moscosso has been invited to our development, the economic development administrator. He's been invited to go to Bermani and some other countries in the east to advise on economic development problems. There, well, all this we can do more. And we want to make an effort.
It's certainly an effort because we need all these men in Puerto Rico all the time. But we're very happy to make an effort so that we can share our experience. I want to say that this is all on a very modest scale, but it has no grandiose significance. But I do believe that it has a genuine and a legitimate significance for small countries that want to defeat poverty in the lives of their people as we are working to defeat poverty in the lives of the Puerto Rican people. A governor since Puerto Rico is so closely related to the United States. Do you feel that Latin America may look to us as an integral part of the States, and if that should be the case, what effect could that happen for Puerto Rico's role? Well, I believe that Latin Americans as a whole
have a picture of Puerto Rico as a distinct entity in itself. Closely associated with the United States, of course. We are citizens of the United States. We have that association of citizenship, which is about as close as any political association can be between peoples. But in the minds of Latin Americans, generally, as I say, Puerto Rico is a distinct entity, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The people of Puerto Rico are distinct entity. And that is one of the reasons why Puerto Rico can be of some service in helping to better understanding in the end of the hemisphere. Governor, do you feel that Cuba's fidel Castro is gaining ground and exporting his revolution to other Latin American countries? Well, I think he has gained ground.
He has been gaining ground, but with the new administration in the United States. And with the very tourists and clear cut statements of President Kennedy about Latin American policy, I believe Castro has ceased to gain ground. As this policy develops beyond the statements into action, and it is already beginning to develop into action, I believe Mr. Castro will lose more ground. But we must bear in mind that there are grave injustices in Latin American countries, and that the people of Latin America are decided in their hearts and in their will to correct these injustices. There is a revolution going on in the best sense of the word,
not necessarily in the sense of violence, but in the sense of a deep transformation, in the sense of a profound change in land tenure, in industrial relations, in the position of different social classes, in opportunities for education and for health. In that sense, a revolution is going on, it is a good revolution, it is a desirable revolution, and I'm sure that it's the kind of revolution that the United States will wish to help, and to aid so long as it is carried out in terms of democracy, of respect for the human individual, and without serving as a point of penetration for communism in the hemisphere. Governor, have there been any ill effects on Puerto Rico's economy,
you do the local instability in the Caribbean? No, I don't believe there have been any serious effects. On that account, you know last year, we had the greatest economic growth that we had ever had before. The net national income grew by almost 10%, which is one of the fastest rates of growth in the whole world. More new factories were established in accordance with our industrialization program that in any year before, and a tourism increased, so I don't think that I don't see any science of ill effects on the Puerto Rican economy and development, due to the instability in the Caribbean. Thank you.
Governor, you have said in the past that Puerto Rico's own development has been achieved on a sort of a revolution when you cared to elaborate. Well, this is what I was speaking about a little while ago, when I was referring to the Latin American Revolution. There has been, since World War II, a profound change in the life of the Puerto Rican people. A profound change in the opportunities of all classes of the population, for better income, for better educational opportunities, for better health, better homes. These things that, in some places, have been achieved by a violent appeal of appeal in Puerto Rico have been achieved by democratic processes. And if it can be done here,
there is no reason why it cannot be done in other places. Mr. Governor, Fidel Castro has stated that he feels the United States is financially supporting counter-revolutionary activities in Cuba. And in retaliation, he now intends to financially support Puerto Rican nationalists for independence. How do you feel about this? Well, nationalists are very few in Puerto Rico. Meaningless. I don't suppose they're more than 300 nationalists among the two million, 350,000 Puerto Ricans. So, if he gives them any help, I don't think it will have any significance, whatever. There simply is not any nationalism in Puerto Rico in any practical sense of the word. Governor, do you see any problems hampering the development of the Latin American nations that could or should be solved
by the Latin nations themselves? Oh, surely. All the problems of Latin America are not to be solved just by the United States. Of course, not no Latin American country respects that, I don't suppose no Latin American individual respects that. Yes, I think there's a problem of armament. In many countries, there's the army is larger than it need be for the maintenance of order within the country. And this means a large expense. This means a use of much money that could be employed in education and in other ways of developing the growth and the civilization of other people. Probably the income taxes are lower in not in all, but in many Latin American companies and they should be. And many Latin American leaders are in favor of the people
taxing themselves, so that whatever economic aid comes from the United States is in addition to the maximum effort that each Latin American country itself can make. And every self-respecting Latin American I am sure agrees with me this. Speaking from the economic angle of supporting large armies governor, wouldn't that hold true mostly in these dictatorship countries? Yes. These states. Yes, and I want to say that one of the policies that the United States should make, and I believe the government is making clear, is that the American people, the American government, like the peoples of the Americas generally, are against dictatorship whether of the right or of the left. They're against the dictatorship. And the clearer that the clearer
that the United States makes its position against the dictatorship of all countries, the better it will be for the growth of the democracy and the hemisphere. You asked a question a little while ago about nationalism. I told you it was very little nationalism for Rico. That does not mean that the people of Puerto Rico do not love freedom. The people of Puerto Rico are a freedom loving people. It means that in the creation of a Commonwealth association with the United States, the people of Puerto Rico, or at least the great majority of them, feel that they have achieved in this new way, in this new manner of federalism, the political freedom that they need. You're feeling that they're nationalistic in the sense that Texans are nationalistic. No, no. The brag about their accomplishments. No, no, no, no, no. If we thought that independence
or a statehood, where the only forms of political freedom, obviously we would be for one or the other, but we have created a new kind of political freedom within a federal system and we're very proud of that creation. So we have freedom in this new manner. Hello. Do you think the Latin American republics appreciate the position of Puerto Rico today or is there any antagonism toward the Commonwealth as such? I think many people in Latin America understand the position of Puerto Rico and the significance of this new creation of the Commonwealth a form of government and of association with the American Union. They understand it, but of course there are some propagandists that will purposely avoid understanding it.
But many people do, and as I said, 14,000 visitors on the point four and similar programs have come to Puerto Rico in these last few years about half of them have been from Latin America. And when they go back, they go back knowing by direct observation, by having lived with it as a reality of Puerto Rican freedom, political and freedom of the individual. And of the way the Puerto Ricans are using that freedom to make a great effort in the economic development and to create their own way of life on the basis of that economic progress. Their own way of civilization on the basis of that economic development. What chances do you see for a general improvement in the relations between the states of Latin America and have you seen those parts
any steps being taken by the new administration may it be helpful on all these lines? Yes, I think the whole attitude of the new administration their obvious energetic interest in Latin America as well as in other regions of the world but focusing in Latin America with the special interest that is natural because Latin America is part of the hemisphere is the closest neighbor of the United States. That clear show of interest in itself has already begun to work for a transformation in the attitude towards the United States. Of course, it takes more than what can be done in a few weeks naturally but I think things are developing in a very encouraging manner along
that sphere. Governor, the rest of the world shows a lot of problems which might be considered by administration officials as more pressing for the attention of the states than the Latin American question. Do you think that there could be any problem if that were to be true? Well, they're not generally speaking. Speaking of the regions of the world, I don't think any region of the world needs more attention than Latin America. They all need, of course, attention cooperation and not only by the United States but by all the countries that have the good fortune of having developed faster than others. But Latin America certainly would not
put it second to any other region of the world in its importance to peace in its importance to democracy in its importance to progress and to the hopes of a better civilization for all mankind. Let's have a brief talk now with Clem Littower to get his impressions of the most salient points of the interview with Governor Munoz. How are you, Clem? Fine, how are you? All right, sir. Did you learn something today? Well, you know, I always get a personal pleasure out of participating in any conference with Governor Munoz Marie on this subject of Latin America. Because I feel that he has a tremendous grasp of the economic and social problems that confront Latin America. Certainly, for the last 15 years, he's been wrestling with these problems right here in Puerto Rico. And he has certainly demonstrated to the world
that he has come up with some of the formulas to counteract these things. But what do you think was the most important thing that Governor said today about US and Latin American relations? Well, I think that the most important point that he brought out was the fact that he feels that Latin Americans are not just standing around looking for a handout. He feels that they are ready to put their own shoulder to the wheel and kind of pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, similar to our operation bootstraps here in Puerto Rico, which I believe got its name from that type of thing. And in order for them to do that, he seemed to be stressing political stability. Did you get that impression? Yes, he mentioned political stability, which is important to Puerto Rico, because I think that that is the climate that has been produced in Puerto Rico, which has attracted investment capital from the United States. And this is probably one of the most important goals
to some of these underdeveloped countries rather to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps to get this financial aid, so to speak. But in bringing out this democratic process and people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, I believe one of the best examples of that in operation right now in Latin America is Venezuela under the administration of President Romulo Betancourt, who is one of the first civilian presidents of the country has had in many, many years. He has instituted an austerity program in that country and has lasted for two years now. He has just come through his second anniversary and I think that is a demonstration that certain Latin American leaders are ready to put their own children to the wheel and not just stand around looking out for financial hand out from the United States. Did you get the feeling that Puerto Rico would then be important as a meeting house between the United States
and between countries such as Venezuela and the other countries in South America? Yes, I do, because I think it's important for the peoples of Latin America in general to see the democratic processes that exist here in Puerto Rico. As the governor pointed out today that the American people are against dictatorships, whether they're dictatorships of the right or the left and while previous administrations have more or less tolerated this thing, the governor feels that the Kennedy administration is going to look a little differently upon this question. It does certainly seem that there will be a fresh approach. Did you spoke to the governor about Dr. Morales Caryon? Yes, I did. Dr. Morales Caryon at this moment is holding the highest position in the federal government that was ever held by a Puerto Rican. He is now an assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs and I think that's not only a tribute to Puerto Rico,
it's a tribute to the governor and his administration and I think certainly a step in the right direction by the administration in Washington. Well, Klem, our time seems to be running out. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you to be with you. We've been interviewing Governor Luis Muñoz Marín in La Fortaleza in San Juan Puerto Rico with Klemlet Tower of NBC, Roy Brown of United Press International, Julio Rivera of WIPR TV, which is an NET affiliate. This is Hal Underhill speaking for the National Educational Network. This is National Educational Television.
Thank you very much.
Puerto Rico: Workshop for the Americas
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Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Program Description
30 minute program produced on film.
Program Description
Puerto Rico occupies a unique position in the Western Hemisphere. Its inhabitants enjoy both the privileges of self-determinations and the benefits of US citizenship. It has two official languages - Spanish and English. It partakes of the busting character of North American business, and of the gracious manners and customs of its Latin heritage. Recently, President Kennedy described Puerto Rico as a meeting place for North and South America, as a workshop where people form both continents can come together and learn from each other. Because of the recent growth of interest in our neighbors to the south, National Educational Television, working though the facilities of WIPR-TV, the NET affiliate in Puerto Rico, has prepared a special interview with Governor Luis Munoz-Marin. Filmed on location in La Fortaleza, the official residence of governors of Puerto Rico for the past 170 years, the program presents to NET audiences the man who has done so much to help Puerto Ricans achieve prosperity and dignity. Governor Munoz-Marion is the first Puerto Rican to occupy the governor's mansion. The program is divided into two sections. In the first, after a brief introduction by Hal Underhill, a member of the Puerto Rico News Service, Governor Munoz-Marin is interviewed by three reporters: Clem Littauer of NBC-TV, Ray Brown of UPI, and Julio Rivera of WIPR-TV. In the second, Mr. Underhill and Mr. Littauer analyze the remarks of the Governor and summarize the program. Governor Munoz-Marin begins by explaining the why it is that Puerto Rican development is so clearly related to that of the Western Hemisphere as a whole. He points to the visitors who have come to Puerto Rico to study the progress of Operation Bootstrap, by which the Puerto Ricans themselves developed their economy and society to their present high levels. He makes it clear that although Puerto Rico is associated with the United States in an unusual political fashion, it is accepted as a separate entity by the rest of Latin America, a fact that permits it to be extremely helpful to other small nations struggling with the problems it has faced and solved. Turning to comment on Castro in Cuba, Governor Munoz-Marin declares that firmness on the part of the United States will do much to deter Castro from interference in other Latin American countries. Referring in part to the revolution in Cuba, the Governor points out that there is a widespread revolution going on in all parts of Latin America ? a peaceful revolution that will bring opportunity, education, health, and comfort to the people without imposing on them oppressive governments. This is the kind of revolution that has been carried on in Puerto Rico since World War II, and it is spread by those who come to study in Puerto Rico. The countries of Central and South America want to help themselves, the Governor asserts, and it is important to support these efforts. In the second and far briefer portion of the program, Mr. Underhill and Mr. Littauer discuss the most important points made by Governor Munoz-Marin. They re-emphasize the importance of understanding that Latin America wants to help itself, citing evidence to show that this "peaceful revolution" is already underway. The program ends with comments on the importance of Puerto Rican achievements to the whole of the Western Hemisphere. The program was produced with the assistance of the staff of the Puerto Rican News Service. The executive producer was Donald Hillman, program associate of the National Educational Television and Radio Center. The director was Jack Delano of WIPR-TV. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
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War and Conflict
Politics and Government
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Director: Delano, Jack
Executive Producer: Hillman, Donald
Guest: Littauer, Clem
Host: Underhill, Hal
Interviewee: Munoz-Marin, Luis
Interviewer: Brown, Ray
Interviewer: Littauer, Clem
Interviewer: Rivera, Julio
Producing Organization: WIPR
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2325886-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W

Identifier: cpb-aacip-512-cr5n873v23.mp4 (mediainfo)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:29:07
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Chicago: “Puerto Rico: Workshop for the Americas,” 1961-05-21, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Puerto Rico: Workshop for the Americas.” 1961-05-21. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Puerto Rico: Workshop for the Americas. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from