Special of the week; Issue 9-70 "Great Decisions"
The. NBER the national educational radio network presents special of the week from the series great decisions from w d e t. Wayne State University Detroit part two in the 1970s great decisions must be made in foreign policy. We talked with the Honorable William P. Rogers United States secretary of state secretary. What are the premises upon which current Aparna policy is being developed. What new directions do you anticipate. Well as stated. In categories I would say first to negotiate major issues of which confrontation
has led to stalemate. To share responsibilities with other nations and regional groups while honoring our obligations as I just mentioned. Three to conduct international dialogue with a lower voice and in a measured tone and forward to make clear that the United States will continue to play its proper role as a major world power in meeting its international responsibilities. That was William P. Rogers secretary of state. We shall continue in a moment. Great Decisions 1970 today. Latin America does U.S. policy promote military rule in Latin America. This is the second in this eight week series focusing attention on the most critical issues of foreign policy facing the American government and people today. These programs produced by Wayne State University in Detroit are designed to provide a deeper understanding of international problems. Now here is your moderator dean of administration at Wayne State University Dr. Harlan Hagman.
Mr David Brown Hyun is director of the Center for enter American Relations and former deputy United States coordinator of the Alliance for Progress. Mr. Brown I am despite our avowal of good intentions we seem to have made few friends in Latin America. I think expressions of hostility toward Governor Rockefeller and expiration of oil and other properties evidences that the United States is neither needed nor wanted in Latin America. Well I think the evidences of hostility tend to be just that evidences of hostility. I think there are a great many people in Latin America especially among students and perhaps among some of the educated people. We're very unhappy about some aspects of our relationship with Latin America. I think there's increasing nationalism in Latin America and an increasing desire on the part of Latin Americans to be more in control of their own economic and political destinies. And I think they see
some parts of the U.S. connection with their countries as inconsistent with that. I think one area which has been particularly troublesome over the years has been the U.S. connection with Latin American raw materials and the extractive industries have always had a very unpleasant time at various times in various countries and countries. I think the hostility to the governor was a manifestation of the fact that frustrations are rising in the country's desire for development equity justice probably increasing also and that many people tend to blame the United States for some of their difficulties. But I think most of the intelligent people in Latin America understand that if a proper relationship could be worked out with the United States there is a great deal of what we have I think could use this is especially true in the area of technology
and many managerial know how and also capital and I think the challenge to them and to us is to see where their techniques could be found for transferring these very badly needed items to Latin America in ways that are consistent with their views of themselves and their countries around I might some justification perhaps the United States has been accused of neglecting Latin America except on its own the strong interest seems right. But have we not also made some useful honest representation is to our credit a long term benefit of our neighbors to the south. Are there any accomplishments we could point to. Well I think the way the question in the problem gets phrased to create some of the difficulty. I deeply believe that what the United States government does in Latin America should be limited to our own national interest. And I don't think this is evil I think that's what governments are all about.
I think the difficulty comes in deciding how we best carry forward our national interest. And I suspect one of our problems is that our rhetoric in dealing with Latin America has exceeded our performance with them we have a great tendency to speak about the special relationship that exists between North and South America are brothers to the south are good neighbors and in general we have assisted them less in furthering their development. Then we have some other areas in the world. I think from time to time we have made sincere efforts to improve that relationship. And then history tends to distract us. I think in the 30s we were making a very serious effort under the Good Neighbor Policy. And then the second world war and the effort with the Marshall Plan after the Second World War took up our full attention. I think in the late 50s in the early 60s we began again a serious policy of trying to be more helpful more cooperative to work with them to meet their development needs.
And again wars in the Far East Korea and more recently Vietnam have taken the U.S. national interest energies in other directions. I think there have been some very impressive accomplishments and it's quite clear that now in Latin America everybody who is seriously concerned with his country's future is involved in problems of development. Mr. Brown I mean the Latin American governments seem to have seems to represent cheaply the large land holders and wealthy businessmen and the military forces have our policies tended to support military governments or military dictatorships in South America. I think our policies may have made a small contribution to that. On the other hand I think it's very important for us to understand that even without the United States policies United States military assistance a Latin American
military would be very deeply involved in their political process and would be taking over the governments from time to time whether or not we had any policies. I think the more difficult question for us is not whether Latin American military would be taking over their countries from time to time but who we are as a nation and whether we want to be involved with those people. But I would not blame all of the uprising for the increase of military takeovers on U.S. policy. I think from time to time we may not have discovered enough but I'm not sure it would any good anyway. The Honorable John H criminal says Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of enter American Affairs and former ambassador to the Dominican Republic. We asked Mr. Clemens about the ways in which the Nixon administration might move to better our Latin American relations. The basic purpose of the Nixon administration when is to is to
attempt to put our relationship with the individual countries in Latin America on a sounder footing for the for the long term. As you know from the president's speech what we're trying to do is to establish a more balanced relationship expressed in a more mature more near nearly equal partnership one in which the United States moves away from the paternalistic almost didactic role which we have exercised in Latin America in favor of a road in which we respond to Latin American initiatives in which there is a more nearly equal sharing of rights and responsibilities. This is the key thrust of the administration's policy.
Do you believe Mr. Clemens that we have been taking our southern neighbors too much for granted. I think that the government did over the years certainly has not taken our neighbors for granted. As you know I've spent a great deal of time in Latin American affairs and perhaps my my view is is somewhat skewed in this respect. I am seriously concerned that the the public at the American American public at large and even the academic community tends to pay attention to Latin America in a very hit and miss fashion. Attention is is is paid only at moments of crisis. This this concerns all of us I think. Common time we not however as years have gone on
made some very useful and honest representation this to our credit and to the long term benefit of our neighbors to the south. Well I think this is this is certainly true but there is a great deal of talk about the Alliance for Progress being dead as a as a participant in the execution of the Alliance for Progress. I want to state very clearly that for me the alliance is very much alive to the principles the noble principles which the alliance set out continued to guide Latin American policy to be aligned with with respect to the alliance. I think that that despite the. Failure to achieve the goals set in
the in the strong idealistic enthusiasm of the early 60s goals which were perhaps overstated particularly in terms of the timeframe in which they could be achieved in spite of the of the shortcomings of the faith in the lack of fulfillment of all the objectives the alliance has accomplished a very great deal in Latin America. Putting it in a negative cast perhaps. I think it's very important to consider what the economic and social conditions of the hemisphere would have been without the alliance. I think our participation in the alliance in short has. Accomplished a very great deal. Not anywhere nearly so much as we had
hoped we and all the other partners of the alliance had hoped but I think it would be a very serious mistake to understate or minimize the achievements that have occurred. Too many Americans and master criminals it seems are Latin American governments represented chiefly the large landholders the wealthy businessman and the military forces. Why has greater democracy in government not developed. Well I think here we have an example of a tendency which is perhaps quite natural but which also is quite misleading. This tendency consists of. Of a generalization about Latin America I think all of us have to be very much in mind the enormous diversity the enormous disparity among
the nations of Latin America. Generalizations are sometimes necessary but this is a particular case where I think that the underlying assumptions that comprise a generalized generalization have to be have to be questioned. For example the military is mentioned by you in a negative cast I think there is considerable evidence that in some of the larger countries and I do not want to to fall into the trap of generalization here either in some of the larger countries the military has the potential of being a socially aware socially conscious socially conscientious force. I think with respect to the general question. We have to look
at individual countries that have constructed in their own fashion a representative open system. It may not meet the canons of democracy that we ourselves abide by or hope to abide by but. Certainly by any objective test there are several countries which have established and firmly established conditions of a society which is responsive to the needs of the people which is the really the basic test I think this is what we're talking about. So I think it's very I think there is a great deal of movement toward this kind of open society in Latin America expressed in one form or another. I think it's also extremely dangerous to generalize from examples of retrogression of which there certainly have been some.
With respect to the basic reasons why democracy has not taken from a root in Latin America I think that this is really a question for social scientists sociologists even psychologists the this raises all sorts of questions about cultural heritage. The Spanish colonial tradition the conditions of colonial life the whole array of fundamental causes. I for one however am not anywhere nearly so pessimistic about the prospects for more open societies in Latin America as many of my associates in and out of government are. Once again we turn to Mr. David Brown Hi. Too many people are here to be a threat of the spread of communism or Latin American countries. Perhaps exporting Castro is from Cuba to other areas
and to the south. What is your opinion about the possibility of the spread of communism in Latin America. I think if the United States government acts stupid enough over a long enough period they may even permit that or encourage it to happen. I don't really believe at the present time that communism whether it be of the Peking or Moscow variety is a grave threat in Latin America today. I think on the other hand there is increasing violent nationalism which tends to be very strongly socialist when used in some cases even Marxist. But I don't believe that this nationalism is under international communist direction. I certainly don't believe the Russians have a serious policy today of encouraging violent revolution in the hemisphere. I think they're trying in many ways to slow Castro down. I think all three communist groups will do everything possible to embarrass the United States in Latin America and may even change your policy in the future and
encourage more violent at least the Russians may change their policy and encourage more violent revolution. I don't think that something called communism is the major threat in the hemisphere today and I think if the United States. Keeps giving the communist the credit for everything that happens in Latin America and blaming everything on them and conduct itself in a sufficiently silly manner we just likely to make it into the kind of threat that we worry about as a Organization of American States. So official agency for the needs of the 1970s or should other agencies be developed showed that our participation be that of a leader or partner. What would you say about what we should do if the organization American state the Organization of American States is an umbrella type organization that can be fixed modified improved as it goes. Question of Is it adequate for the 70s I'm not sure that today anything is adequate for the 70s I think.
Institutions will have to be modified and improved as the problems of the 70s develop. I think what the United States role in hemispherical institutions should be is a very difficult one. I think quite clearly the United States has to see itself as a partner but that cannot be a silent partner and it cannot be a partner with a decreasing psychological and financial investment. I think Partnership means exactly what it sounds like somebody who participates is concerned and is working for the goals of an organization. I think the United States has to avoid dominating or manipulating the organization. On the other hand. I personally believe that there is a very real role for the United States to play in helping to formulate the policies for the 70s in this hemisphere. I think it would be a grave error were we to give up the function of working with the people in this hemisphere and formulating this policy. I think there is a great temptation to say well we're partners and we will do whatever you come up
with. Well that's not a partner and that's something else I'm not quite sure what the United States does have a very legitimate role to play. But we have to be very careful that and playing that role we don't dominate or manipulate the OAS does not have a terribly good reputation in many places in Latin America there are too many people who feel that it has been dominated by the U.S. in the past and that the U.S. is treated as a toy. And from time to time it has been true. But I think the reaction to that which many people have today is that we should just take a backseat. Well you can take a back seat you're too big a country you're the most important country in the world or you're the dominant power in the hemisphere. We are deeply connected with most of the countries in the hemisphere and we cannot run away from my responsibilities. I have a second I'd like to comment on something that I think affects the way we see it anytime civilians start using military language. You have to look at it very carefully here a great deal today about a low profile and a low profile tends to be how you
become a smaller target. And I think we have to be very careful that when you're the most powerful country in the world and you're trying to avoid participating in the decision making of the 70s you don't disappear everybody sees you there what you're doing is sticking your head in the ground. And as I think most people know if you're visualizing an animal that tends to stick its head in the ground it does not give you a lower profile gives you more inviting target. And I think we cannot escape from our responsibilities. But I guess they have to be exercised in ways where we do not dominate or attempt to manipulate international organizations. But a new direction for American policy are indicated then with respect to Latin America. The problem of new directions or new policies tends to detract from the fact that there are many people who know what the relationship should be. It's a continuing relationship. We have to look more carefully at Latin America's trade problems what we buy from them what we sell to them. We
have to look much more carefully at how we encourage our private businessmen to do business in Latin America. The aggregate interest of the United States as a country as a nation and a people is not necessarily identical with the particular interests of an individual business firm. I think on the aid side there's a great temptation today to worry about our domestic problems and not concern ourselves with foreign problems. I think for the country that we are the one thing we should have learned lately is that you cannot separate our internal problems from our foreign problems. Our trade policy our credit policy our labor policy our educational policies our tax policies these are all interconnected with international problems. I think we have to pay more serious attention to what our own domestic purposes what we are as a nation and when we have a clearer notion of that we have to decide those Latin governments that we will work closely with how we can help them most and those that we will tend to be
more coolly correct. I think the most important thing that we have to look to is our trade policy. This is a bad time to think about trade policy in this country if anything our Congress and our people seem to want more protection when the trade and economic health of many countries in the world depend upon selling increased amounts to us and sales which might in fact lower the cost of living in this country. And it becomes important to us to have a much broader view of what our trading responsibilities are. I think the dilemma in that. That it would be nice if the countries that want to sell us more had political systems in their own countries that could assure that the increased earnings from those sales would be used equitably and for a fair development and would not just go to make a handful of exporters even more disproportionately wealthy but I think there is a problem on both sides. I don't think we will be able to run away from the financial assistance question either. I think we have discovered that when a country gets moving and is
moving in the appropriate direction a large injection of capital is sometimes extremely helpful and moreover it works to our advantage over the long run because they then become an adequate trading partner with us. I look to the future. We turn first to the Honorable John H Crimmins. Well by nature I am an optimist. I think that my optimism I think is is a rational one. I think it is if it is informed by full awareness of the enormous problems that the countries of Latin America face as they move toward. The satisfaction of the of the tremendously growing aspirations of the masses. I have no doubt whatsoever. I think it is very very clear that the decade of the 70s will be a period of of tension of
conflict. But I think that the be adjustments to these of these tensions and conflicts can be made in a way that by the end of the 70s the minimum aspirations of the peoples of Latin America can be satisfied. In the parallel development of more open and more responsive societies this is going to be an enormous problem for the Latin American nations themselves. Our role of course can be only supportive. Here again I think it's important to emphasize that the influence of the United States the ability of the United States to shape. The development of any given
country in Latin America is extremely limited. We operate at the margin. I think we have to devise better more efficient more productive more sensitive techniques for providing our cooperation. But I think we must be very clear eyed about the limited effect that our role has. The problem is essentially is that of the nations of the governments in the peoples of Latin America. We intend to support the initiatives of those governments and people. But we must be clear that we are not in any case decisive or even significant influential. I repeat that we work at the margin. We can and we must work better at that margin. But we should not be deluding ourselves about the role that the purely supportive role that we play.
Mr. BROWN. Had this to say on the future of Latin America. I wouldn't look at something called a Latin America I think for that kind of question you have to look at it nation by nation. It's quite quite clear to me that Mexico is in the process of becoming a first class modern industrialized country it will shortly have a population of 75 million with a modern industrial plant a very dynamic government and a large number of very well-educated dedicated people they're going to have political problems but when placed in the scale of powers in the world that's going to be a very serious power. Things seem to be going pretty well in Colombia in Venezuela. One has the impression that over the next 25 to 50 years with the right kind of political policies a country like Brazil will take its place as a major world power with the Argentines can come back and become again what their prospects held out for them in the past. It's hard to estimate but there are certain countries that have the capacity to become significant. Power's on the world
scene certainly an atmospheric scene. There are other smaller countries which do raise the whole problem of what is the role and what is the position the posture of smaller nations in the second half of the 20th century first half of 21st century. And that's not just a Latin American problem that's universal from great decisions 1970 program number to Latin America. Our moderator Dr. Harlan Hagman dean of administration at Wayne State University had his guests the Honorable William P. Rogers secretary of state Mr. David Brown hime director of the Center for into American Relations and former deputy U.S. coordinator of the Alliance for Progress and the Honorable John H Crimmins deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of into American Affairs and former ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Join us next week for a discussion on Friends great decisions 1970 is produced by Wayne State University in Detroit in cooperation with the Foreign Policy Association any ours a special
- Special of the week
- Issue 9-70 "Great Decisions"
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