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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. Senator Robert Kennedy one of the running assist non candidates in the annals of the Democratic Party of our country has again put some of his thought and observation into print. This latest work published by Doubleday of New York is entitled to seek a newer world and it joins his other literary efforts. Three of which I would remind you were also between the covers of books. First the pursuit of justice. Secondly just friends and brave enemies. And thirdly the enemy within. When one thinks of the sweep of the contents of the previous Kennedy writings one
is led to expect precisely the kind of treatment that comes forth in this latest book. By that I mean to say the senator has always been one to give attention to pressing domestic and foreign issues before us as a people and before us as a government on the international scene. And so it is that the contents of the present book embrace the following. First there is a fat chapter on the theme of youth. It is not to be unexpected that the politician who perhaps has the easiest and most successful rapport with the youth of this nation would make much of this. His identification with that sizable and growing segment of our population. But once he speaks to and hopes to gather the attention of the youth he proceeds at once to a very pressing domestic issue that of race
and the city the slums and the community that spawn it. The community that must indeed seek a solution for it. Obviously in this segment of his book President Kennedy the senator is among other things as indeed he may aspire to the presidency thinking of the large segment of his electorate to be found in places such as Harlem. Then he proceeds to foreign affairs. And for the Western Hemisphere couches his thinking under the title The Alliance for Progress. Then he proceeds to nuclear control to the problems of a China policy. And lastly to Vietnam. On the latter score he has of course attracted a great deal of attention and the last years time because of his increasing departure from the position of the president. Interesting in this the sweep of his foreign subject matter is one omission
I referred to the fact that not a word is said much less a chapter dedicated to the Middle Eastern problem. Nothing is said about the Arab Israeli problem. This interview with the fact that the outburst of June certainly preceded the last writing that went into the book. As of September suggests that in the short interval this senator hoping to put thought on to his pages has not sufficiently clarified his own position. And that's to put himself before the public at large. Needless to say if one chapter in the book is a recognition of a problem faced by some of his electorate the negroes of Harlem. There may well be yet another book in the making one which will address itself to
issues of concern to his Jewish constituency and so the Arab Israeli omission of this work may invite yet the next work being in the mill. Even now. But it is to the Latin American front to the Alliance for Progress that I would particularly direct our attention in relation to Senator Kennedy's thoughts. He is of course in this area very much the direct heir and the willing recipient of the viewpoint the program of the late president. It was of course President Kennedy's idealism tempered by the prospects of realism over a decade or more that suggested that the multi facet alliance for progress with its hopes for our social change with its insistence upon economic advancement its plea for political reform
for what comes a fundamental restructuring of Latin American life. And this at a tempo that would give the prospect of democratic success. The real chance of victory all of this I repeat is something that Senator Robert Kennedy easily identifies himself with except fully from the heritage of his brother. In addition to this the inheritance of his brothers thought and position the senator in 1965 made a very significant trip to five important countries of South America. Then it was that he visited in Argentina Brazil Chile Colombia and Venezuela. Incidentally among those five the latter pair Colombia and Venezuela we're the only ones that his brother had during his brief presidency ever visited.
During the trip in 1955 Robert Kennedy. Well steeped in his American ism well steeped in his love of country his support of democracy his belief in a dynamic capitalism was one to stand before the newsman of South America and state his case. And take their questions and deliver forthright answers. And he was also one to go into what on more than one occasion was a sort of intellectual lion's den before exceedingly hostile student groups on Latin American university campuses. And again explain his position and confess errors of American policy as well as hoping to point to a new day. There was no doctrine of automatic superiority. There was no suggestion of infallibility. There was indeed a reasonable desire to reconcile their
best hopes with our best hopes in some harmonious course of action. The course of action of course comes back to principles involved in the Alliance for Progress. One important issue there and always has been that of land reform. The very geography of Latin America must in part be overcome if there be significant land reform. There simply is not enough arable land in many countries in Peru for example there is under cultivation about one half an acre per person. The president below one day has said an average of three quarters of an acre per person as a target for agricultural achievement for increased land use. But even this is far
below the US average of over 2 acres per person. Given the low productivity of land in Latin America Peru would at least have to quadruple its present acreage under cultivation to match our food out put per person. As Senator Kennedy labors such a thought as this in terms of what becomes almost a simple mathematical formula. There is of course and implied comparison here. There is an implied Goole that suggests that the Latin-American must eat exactly as we eat and that his desire is to attain precisely the caloric intake that we know that his activities will so parallel our activities as individuals. That the demand for food intake is the same. I believe that there is.
A certain fundamental falsity in this the suggestion that ours is a happy state of affairs that it must be matched by them or they will forever be in an unhappy state. I am saying that in part but even as the senator went to Latin America and tried to face Latin Americans and their problems on their own terms he could not completely divorce himself from his American experience his American background and it on occasion however generous he wants to be in terms of cultural tolerance insinuates itself in as a ghoul that they should hope to attain. There is another area in which I would refer to the problems of the alliance. The completion of the prospect of improvement of Latin American life that
of education the issue has posed itself in many forms and I would focus on this the problem of how do we best prove the prospects of the greatest number. Do we do it. Working at the university level or do we do it. Working at the primary level at the university level you may very frequently be reinforcing the aristocracy that is presently synonymous with complacency with a certain capacity for dragging one's feet. A reluctance in fact to effect reform. If on the other hand one is working with the elementary groups it is obviously a matter of our every educational effort being taken to their countries rather than bringing their students here. This incidentally is not a bad idea. Because
once you go into their country you are made increasingly aware of the circumstances into which the education is to have meaning. You do not wean yourself away from the realities of their life and as you are preparing their citizens for it they are continuously within it and so they do not have to re identify with it. Furthermore as students are oftentimes brought to our country and stay here periods of time they come to conclude that they are over educated for the situation back home. They are reluctant to return and oft times do not. In fact Latin America is losing 5000 university graduates a year to the United States because of this. The matter of their feeling their over educated. And then too there are those who believe that with marriage in this country the Follow-Up of American citizenship is obvious and therefore they should not go home. The problems
that the senator faces in the book are oftentimes very forthrightly stated. Sometimes there is a bit of evasion. For example he suggests that we may wish to explore means to strengthen the machinery of the OAS. Indeed if the OAS the Organization of American States is to be made meaningful there must be means for accommodating our desires and Latin-American desires. And so it is that Senator Kennedy gives us a book that should provoke thought. This was a Latin American perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Your house for our next program when Dr. Gardner will examine another aspect of life in Latin America. Latin American perspective is produced and recorded by station WFIU FM at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational
radio network.
Latin American perspectives
Population issues
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on population issues in Latin America.
Series Description
A series of comment and analysis about current affairs in Latin American countries.
Global Affairs
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Host: Gardiner, C. Harvey (Clinton Harvey)
Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:01
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Population issues,” 1968-09-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives; Population issues.” 1968-09-11. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives; Population issues. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from