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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 who told the truth at the seaside resort in Oregon why it was August 961 representatives of the hemisphere were formulating the blueprint of ideas known as the Alliance for Progress fashioning a 10 year program. President John F. Kennedy's spokesman promised Latin America a better life. Fidel Castro spokesman labeled the program a hoax. Now six and a half years later two thirds of that decade of past. And the question stands who at point adult s day was the prophet who the prevaricator some answers are in the latest assessment of the Alliance for Progress. William de Rogers book The Twilight
Struggle the Alliance for Progress and the politics of development in Latin America. A recent publication of Random House. In all the years of 20th century presidential politics no election in the United States has had a stronger focus on Latin America than did that of nineteen sixty. Cuba and Fidel Castro's revolution in that land guaranteed Latin America a prominent place in the debates between Nixon and Kennedy in that year and early in one thousand sixty one the military fiasco at the Bay of Pigs planned in the twilight of ice and Howard's term and executed in the spring time of Kennedy's presidency suggested that Castro's Cuba was not about to fold up and disappear from our agenda of pressing problems. The permanence of a frankly anti US revolutionary regime in this hemisphere
forced our government to re-examine and restate its basic policy toward Latin America. That policy set forth at pointed LSJ counts. These objectives for the Alliance for Progress. First link a rapid rise in the income and standard of living of the needy or sectors of the population with an end result of more equitable distribution of national income. Secondly the diversification of national economies or put another way may be Douce dependence on a limited number of primary products. Thirdly a rapid rate of industrialization. Fourthly increased agricultural productivity story transport and marketing making life on the land
more attractive. In the fifth place a comprehensive agrarian reform which aimed at breaking up large land holdings and increasing the number of land holders. Hopefully would bring prosperity dignity and stability to the Latin American landscape a sixth of the elimination of illiteracy with a sixth grade education available to all seven for improved health through water and sewage services planned for 70 percent of the urban and 50 percent of the rural population. 8 expanded housing and public services. Ninth. The achievement of stable price levels which in turn would stem inflation spark saving and stimulate investment. And lastly the establishment and operation of cooperative programs the better to prevent the harmful effects of excessive fluctuations in foreign
exchange earnings derived from exports in the aggregate. The social economic proposals in the Alliance for Progress which also required a lot of political action represented a planned program of controlled revolution if it succeeded. The prospect of frustration and futility engendering Castro like revolutions could be averted in other words. Latin American conditions so required change that the future promised one of two kinds of revolution. Either a controlled capitalistic one consciously building on the past or an uncontrolled communistic one dedicated to a well-nigh total repudiation of the past. Viewing both the program and the performance to date William Rogers writes History demonstrates that foreign aid and foreign rhetoric cannot
provide the will to reform. If agricultural stagnation and land hunger are more serious now than in 1051 and parent Benteke leave let it be known such is the case. This is so because Latin America with few national exceptions is not even now prepared to come to grips with the iniquitous land system it inherited from its colonial past or to place the emphasis on increased farm productivity so publicly required. If it is to head off starvation in the years to come the lesson of six years is now clear. This must come from within the discouragement that attends life on the land in Latin America helps to speed the peasants down the roads to the city slum population there is presently growing at the rate of 15 percent each year over a million new houses are needed annually. But at present Latin America is constructing only one
fifth of that number in terms of the population explosion and the urban trend ground is lost every day in the battle for decent housing. Consider another bright hope of the alliance education the charter pledged elementary school education for every child. By 1972 when the alliance began approximately 40 percent of the population beyond the age of 15 was illiterate a percentage that has not been noticeably reduced. Furthermore it should be remembered that education is not simply a succession of the quantitative of percentages in school of percentages that read much of it. If education is to help restructure of Latin American Life must relate to quality and
quality of teacher training quality of curricula and supplies quality of teaching methods and much else. On every count qualitatively education in Latin America is an impoverished thing. Half of all adult Brazilians because they are illiterate are denied the right to vote. Whether it be housing schools sewage systems or any of dozens of other things needed to fashion the better life revenues are at the root of the problem. This in turn means that Latin American governments must divorce themselves from traditional outlooks. Latin America always has relied heavily on direct taxes in part because in direct ones such as income taxes require trained personnel that the governments do not have.
Also the people of wealth selfishly avoiding anything like their fair share of the tax load. You are opposed to income and land taxes in Peru for example. Less than 2 percent of the government revenue comes from income taxes and absolutely no attempt is made to levy and collect real estate taxes. The Latin-American will to change has not come up with the revenues needed to finance the change. Knowing that capital investment comes from savings and saving is encouraged when the value of a currency is stable it goes without saying that today's galloping inflation sabotages the prospect of tomorrow's better life in the early 1980s. Only five currencies in the entire
world were depreciating at average annual rates of more than 10 percent and all five were Latin American in Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile and I consider the case of Brazil where the inflationary spiral has been so rapid that saving cash or investing in fixed interest bearing securities is for the foolhardy only. Instead the person with money hurries to spend it on things that may not depreciate rapidly refrigerators automobiles and the like. But alas none of these purchases promotes the long term economic development of Brazil. The operation of the Alliance for Progress in strikingly underscores the truth that the task of foreign policy has become something bigger
than the maintenance of reasonably friendly formal relations. It also involves the use of the resources of the United States presence abroad to help the process of change. Yet the idea that development should occupy a prominent place in our foreign policy. However implicit it is in the Alliance for Progress is new to our Foreign Service and is resisted by many foreign service officers. It follows then that even as Latin American officials are called upon to develop new perspectives. So it is with American officials. The alliance Rogers concludes represents an attempt a crude and primitive though it may be to coordinate the forces for change. Its success has been limited to date but the
opportunity for success of this kind of program is greater in Latin America than it is in other developing regions of the world long independent Latin America does not suffer certain of the psychological ills that plague the newly independent areas of Africa and Asia. Its resource population ratio is much more favorable than that of crowded Southeast Asia. Its stock of trained personnel is higher and its industrialization further advanced by all odds Rogers declares. If we can be a party to a conscious effort to create another group of modern viable nations it will take place in Latin America. In 1062 President Kennedy his mind on Latin America spoke of the long twilight struggle for
freedom. Is this the twilight that ends in the blackness of night in despair and revolution. Or is it the twilight before the dawning of the day that brings the better life. At one time deputy U.S. coordinator of the Alliance for Progress William de Rogers faces the fact his body of the twilight struggle from Random House is both readable and concise. The latter unfortunately. The Alliance for Progress. Can Never Be. This was a 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 ws IUF Pham at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives
Episode Number
Episode 24 of 39
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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Series Description
Latin American Perspectives. This prog.: The Twilight Struggle, by William D. Rogers.
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-32-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:36
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives; Episode 24 of 39,” 1968-09-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
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APA: Latin American perspectives; Episode 24 of 39. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from