thumbnail of Latin American perspectives; Edward Kennedy
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner some brothers look alike some brothers act alike some brothers named Kennedy think and write alike. Late in 1967. Senator Robert Kennedy produced a book entitled to seek a newer world. Now in opening weeks of one thousand sixty eight brother and fellow Senator Edward M. Kennedy has produced a book entitled decisions far a decade of policies and programs fall of the 1970s. A recent publication of Doubleday and Company. The brothers are alike in terms of their approach to issues at large.
Senator Edward Kennedy gives half of his two hundred twenty page book to consideration of domestic problems and about half of it to foreign affairs. Within that segment dedicated to foreign affairs there is a 24 page chapter dealing with Latin America. They're under headings. He considers the area broadly to the south of us. One important point that he makes concerning Latin America is that the communist menace there should be brought into proper perspective that very commonly and mistakenly we view that every agitation by a subjugated by a disappointed element of Latin American society has been led to foment revolution when indeed revolution comes by virtue of outside influence. We have come to
equate to often unrest in Latin America with the meddling of Russians the meddling of Chinese the meddling of people from outside Latin America. Senator Kennedy points quite honestly and correctly to the fact that there are enough indigenous woes there is misery enough in Latin America to spawn every kind of response including an indigenous form of communism. And therefore he suggests that we look at the problems and not gain any emotional reactions of an automatic sort that to suggest that the international problems that lie between us and Latin America are all a part of Cold War are all a part of the capitalist communist framework in the world today. He suggests then that the nature and reality of the challenge of Latin America
be made increasingly aware to us. In this manner of course he is thinking much as brother Robert has on occasion and indeed much as the late president did. It's interesting to note that the one the president established the Alliance for Progress when Robert Kennedy wrote the volume. He had a very very lengthy chapter on the Alliance for Progress standing as it were in the shadow of his departed brother. And now Senator Edward Kennedy in his consideration of Latin America is somewhat in the shadow of Senator Robert Kennedy. I say somewhat in the shadow because the younger Kennedy has not had a first hand experience in Latin America that his older brother has known except for a very brief trip to a part of Latin America in one thousand sixty one. Senator Edward Kennedy is writing as it were off the top of his head or off the top to the
heads of those who can aid him with this matter in 161 to speak a little further of his own limited personal acquaintance with Latin America. Edward Kennedy made a short trip south of the border in behalf of his then President and brother John Kennedy. At that time his first trip and only trip to Latin America. It was Edward Kennedy's desire to see things that were off the beaten track to look at housing projects to see what impact they had on the middle classes of Latin America. But when I read closely the newspaper accounts of that day one thousand sixty one when he made his trip and his slight allusion to it in his book at present one finds that that experience one of very few weeks in duration was limited. Capacity for developing a real awareness
of Latin American problems. But one thing when he visited such a major city of Brazil as I see Faye he was not as he had promised to be off the beaten track of the diplomats. And when indeed he looked at housing projects for the middle classes of Latin America. He was somewhat missing the boat missing the reality. The fact that there is very little middle class to be found in Latin America and that the great need the crying need for housing is among that submerged 50 60 or 70 percent that easily becomes perhaps not element. South of the border. It is then against a very limited personal experience that he now projects his thinking regarding what should be done what should be our focus of attention in reference to Latin America in the years ahead. He does quite commendably and again correctly cite the fact that the Democratic
left is the political element in Latin America that holds hope of peaceful change progressive change. The kind of revolutionary change that can be made legally lawfully and indeed within a capitalistic democratic framework such as we would know and from our standpoint in foreign policy approved. It is quite evident whether one looks to Chile Brazil or elsewhere. But the Democratic left in Latin America has offered in the last decade the only viable alternatives to the violent revolution. He does then advocate that our government look more closely to its capacity to cooperate with that distinct political segment in Latin America in the area of business. The senator from Massachusetts has several suggestions. He
says that if we were to sell more American made goods in Latin America under Latin American brand names instead of US brand names we perhaps would sell more and indeed have better relations with them. I'm not sure that a corporation such as a Coca Cola is after all these years going to change the name of its product and particularly one that has a name that so easily can be so easily relates to the languages of Latin America. This matter of reducing the branding that has been the basis the focal point of a great advertising campaigns in the past so that we may start from scratch and create goodwill is open to question and I am sure that those men who wear the grey suits on
Madison Avenue would be among the first to question this suggestion of the senators. The senator also suggests that American business in Latin America would do well if it provided greater opportunities for stock options. This the idea of course that the employee would indeed become a part owner of the corporation. This I fear would work far but a very small percentage an infinitesimally small percentage of the Latin Americans employed by American corporations in Latin America. Only that very slight managerial group would consider that it had the surplus take home pay that would permit it the luxury of indulging in stock purchases. However it might well be to the advantage of American corporations to hit upon this Kennedy launched
idea for whatever it is worth realizing at the same time that the rank and file workers would never have in their weekly on the Lopes the surplus cash that would move them into the category of middle class stock and bond owners again then the idea has an inkling of truth an inkling of worth and may be explored further to our advantage. The senator also suggests of course that in the treatment of employees American businesses still have some things to learn. This of course may have to do with the housing facilities it may have to do with wage scales. It may have to do with willingness to admit the unionization programs of the workers it can have a great deal to do on many fronts. He is suggesting that employer employee relations can be improved.
No he does not spell out the exact text Meek's far achieving those ends. One of the most serious and I think at the same time open to serious question of all of his proposals has to do with armies and armaments. The senator suggests that we do all we can to discourage military takeovers. Well this of course is a bland generalization and does not face the fact that military takeovers have a habit of taking place with such suddenness that you realize they are going to take place only after they have taken place and therefore anticipation of them and indeed the avoidance of them is oft times well-nigh impossible. He suggests too that we use our influence to slow down Latin Americans races. We have had in recent years some instances of arms races in the purchase of jet planes.
Planes that are of that type not needed by the countries concerned. But as we try to encourage them so he suggests to scale down their purchase of arms. He suggests that we eliminate our sale of arms to them completely. Now the assumption may be that if we don't sell to them they won't be able to build the armies. But of course the truth is that if we don't sell to them the French will the British will the Czechoslovak swill the Russians will they will have their armies. Nonetheless it becomes a bit difficult for us to tell Latin Americans that they should reduce their military budgets when in terms of the amount of money spent the United States today in military affairs spends five times as much as all of Latin America. There is no country in Latin America in the 20th century that has had military budgets approximate the percentage
of total budget that we know in our nation and therefore the Latin American Review dimly such suggestions that mean do as we say rather than as we do. We have the senator also saying that we should dispel our ignorance that we should have a steady purposeful commitment that we should indeed be aware of Latin America not in the off and on hot and cold fashion attention this year and a reduction of it next. The senator then has ideas galore in a book entitled deck decisions from a decade of publication of Doubleday and Company. This was Latin American perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program when Dr. Gardner will examine another aspect of life in Latin America Latin American perspectives is produced and recorded by station WSI you
FM at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives
Edward Kennedy
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-j678xj8p).
Episode Description
This program focuses on Edward Kennedy's book, "Decisions for a Decade."
Series Description
A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Global Affairs
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-3-28 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:45
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Edward Kennedy,” 1968-04-22, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives; Edward Kennedy.” 1968-04-22. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives; Edward Kennedy. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from