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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 46, Jan- Mar 1962) online

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Hanoi, building on foundations which they had
maintained in the south since 1954, systematically
expanded the guerrilla forces in South Viet-Nam
from something like 2,000 in 1959 to more than
16,000 at present, in a purposeful and organized
act of international aggression; in the Congo,
amidst the confusion which followed the end of
colonialism, the Communists were rigorously seek-
ing to establish a central African base ; in Cuba a
Communist regime was installed, having seized
and successfully subverted what appeared to be
a broad-based national movement to escape an
intolerable dictatorship. These limited break-
throughs carried with them serious threats to the
security of southeast Asia, to Afi-ica, and to
Latin America.

It has been a first charge on our energies to find
ways to deal with these problems. I shall not de-
tail here the policies we have adopted in each case,
for they are imdoubtedly familiar to you. In
different ways, however, they all pose for us the
test of learning to deal with what is called, in the
inverted language of communism, "wars of na-
tional liberation." Beliind this concept is the no-
tion that the safest way to extend Communist
power and influence in the contemporary world is
to exploit the inevitable turbulence which accom-
panies the revolutionary movement toward mod-
ernization, by building a jwlitical base rooted in
local fnistrations, painful memories, and imful-
filled aspirations, and by mounting, on that base,
insurrectional activity aided from outside the
country. The objective is, of course, not national
liberation but entrapment within the Commimist
bloc. TMs method, from the Commimist point of
view, is designed to bypass American nuclear
strength, to bypass the conventional strength that
we have helped build with our allies, and to tear
down institutions not under their own control.

Over the past year we have given increased at-
tention to this form of mixed political and mili-
tary aggression, and in South Viet-Nam we — and
the whole world commmiity — are up against a for-
midable problem : mounting from outside an in-

dependent nation of a guerrilla war with men
trained, infiltered, supplied, and directed from
day to day across international bomidaries. The
free world must recognize this familiar form of
aggression and act accordingly.

I cannot report to you that we have fully solved
these problems which were waiting for us in Jan-
uai-y of this year. I do believe that we have made
some headway, but they remain on the list of im-
finished business. We can draw confidence from
the long list of failures in other and somewhat
similar Communist efforts to expand their empire.
And we can be encouraged to note that the large
numbers of new nations which have become inde-
pendent since World War II have shown a stub-
born resistance to the imposition of Communist

But the points of crisis which dominate the
headlines do not reflect adequately all that is going
forward in the underdeveloped areas in the south-
ern half of the world.

Our objective in these regions of revolution is
simple. We wish to see emerge out of the powerful
ferment of modernization a community of inde-
pendent nations. We wish them to modernize, not
in our image but in the image they themselves
formulate out of their own imique liistories, cul-
tures, and aspirations. We are confident that if,
in tlais crucial transitional process, they maintain
their independence, they will fashion societies
which, in one way or another, will move in the
direction of consent.

Democracy is not an absolute; and the condi-
tions for democracy are complex. It requires not
merely a literate population but a sense of national
direction and of consensus, a linkage of urban and
rural peoples, the existence of rules and institu-
tions of law, a civil service and armed forces dedi-
cated to nationhood and not to faction. And in
the end political freedom requires a citizenry
which assumes substantial individual responsi-
bility for the fate of the community.

All this takes time. Our first objective, there-
fore, is to help preserve the independence of the
modernization process, meanwhile working to help
build the conditions which will make consent in-
creasingly a reality and to encourage those who
would remain steadfast to their own version of the
democratic objective.

How should we assess our chances? Wliat are
the possibilities of seeing emerge in the southern

January 15, J 962


half of the world an environment of independent
and increasingly democratic states which would
permit our own society to maintain and develop
its humane and open character?

The task ahead is long, but I am basically opti-
mistic. The impulse of these peoples and govern-
ments to remain independent is strong. I sense
that there is a new generation emerging, dedicated
to modernizing their societies with vigor and imag-
ination. I sense that the word is spreading that
the pragmatic and apparently diffuse methods of
free men are more effective than the iUusory ef-
ficiency of totalitarianism.

The issue is not yet fuUy decided. There are
certain to be frustrations and setbacks; but I
would doubt that the Communist leadership, as-
sessing recent developments and trends, believes
with confidence that commimism is the wave of
the future in the underdeveloped areas of the free
world. It is our assessment that the wave of the
future will lie with those who struggle for their
independence, face their problems pragmatically,
and maintain loyalty to the longrun goal of politi-
cal and social democracy.

It is in this sober but confident spirit that we
are going forward with the Alliance for Progress,
with our programs of long-term economic develop-
ment elsewhere, and with other measures of au-
thentic partnership with the new nations who are
entering the world commimity.

Complexities of Alliance Policy

Professor Bemis, in his concluding pages, puts
to us a third question, which I might rephrase as
follows : Can a free- world system, based on a loose
alliance of sovereign nations, stand up against the
outward thrust of a highly centralized Communist
bloc ? Can an international democracy of nations
deal with disciplined and purposeful totalitarian
adversaries ?

No Secretary of State can be immindf ul of the
complexities of alliance policy in a period when
our allies number more than 40. The problem of
clarifying a national policy within our own Fed-
eral Government is, in all conscience, complex
enough; and to achieve common action within a
large alliance is, as you well know, major business.

Nevertheless, having seen that business at close
range, I can again report to you a mood of tem-
perate optimism. Over tlie past year our Western
allies have been subjected to an ugly threat: the

threat of being held in nuclear hostage by the in-
termediate-range ballistic missiles which the
Soviet Union now commands. They have stood
firm against that tlareat, and I have no doubt but
that the Soviet Union will find, in the response
of the West, that this form of blackmail is counter-

More than that, there is a wholesome ferment in
Europe and throughout the Atlantic community,
generating a debate wluch historians may well
rank with the American constitutional debate of
the I780's. Tliis ferment centers on the emer-
gence and articulation of a new vision : the vision
of a Europe moving toward unity and establish-
ing, as it does so, a transatlantic partnerehip in
all the affairs with which great powers must be
concerned in the 1960's — the problems of defense
in a nuclear age, the problems of sustained assist- i
ance to the underdeveloped areas, the problems
of trade, the problems of using our international
monetary reserves with economy and wisdom in
the mutual support of each other's currencies, and
problems of economic growth itself. This ferment
has not yet yielded a resolution of all the com-
plicated matters involved. But beneath the sur-
face our alliance arrangements are moving into
a new and rather grand phase.

In 1947 the American Government decided that
it would link the recovery of Europe to efforts at
European unification. We cliose quite consciously
not to play a balance-of-power game with the na-
tions of Europe but to build toward a strong part-
nership in the affairs of the West. At that mo-
ment we joined forces with those Europeans who ,
drew from the lessons of the Second World War, |
and iiideed fi-om the longer history of Europe, the
conclusion tliat the great European center of West-
ern culture and strength could play its proper part
on the world scene only if it transcended its na-
tional divisions and moved toward unity. The
extraordinary resurgence in Europe of the 1950's
now provides the base for a major move forward,
and I am confident that we shall see the "grand
design" unfold in coming months and years.

Our relations with the countries of Western
Europe have, of course, been complicated from
time to time since the Second World AVar by prob-
lems arising from the end of the colonial era.
During the past year we have confronted several
problems where there have been divergencies, in
emphasis at least, with some of our European part-
ners. These inevitable difliculties should not, how-


Department of State Bulletin

ever, obscure tlie larger pattern whicli is emerg-
ing — a pattern of constructive association among
the whole of the northern half of the world, from
Toliyo to Bonn, and with the new nations to the
south — an association based on principles of part-
nership among equals, a shared interest in the eco-
nomic development of the emerging nations, and,
in the end, a shared commitment to the objectives
of the United Nations Charter.

History Has Not Stopped in Communist World

A fourth question posed by Professor Bemis is,
in effect, whether we are wholly on the defensive.
Must we look to a future in which we can, at best,
hold the frontiers of freedom ? Must we abandon
hope that the principles of independence and de-
mocracy might emerge within what is now the
Commimist bloc?

It would not be prudent to close one's eyes to
the capacity of totalitarian methods to maintain a
surface of unity and order. It is infinitely harder,
for example, for opposition to make itself felt in
a police state than in an open society. Nor should
we imderestimate the capacity of a totalitarian
system to produce striking results by mobilizing
men and resources around high-priority objectives.
But it is inaccurate to believe that history has
stopped within the Communist world or that the
currents of history are moving automatically to its

In Europe we have had, in the postwar years, a
fundamental test of Western and Communist con-
cepts as they apply to economic, social, and politi-
cal life. No one can question, I believe, the out-
come of that test thus far. It is Western, and not
Eastern, Europe that constitutes the more vital

Despite a Commimist monopoly of education
and propaganda, the peoples of Eastern Europe
remain loyal to their culture and to their nation-
hood. In every field — from natural and social sci-
ence to painting and music — they find ways to ex-
press their traditional association with Western
civilization. And in time, as Communists know
perhaps better than others, these tests of historical
vitality count.

In free Asia there has been another test; and
there, too, free men are doing vastly better than
even the greatest optimists would have predicted
only a few years ago. The economic progress of
the new Japan — democratic and working in co-

operation with other free nations — is one of the
splendid achievements of the postwar era. In the
Indian Peninsula, in southeast Asia, in Hong
Kong, on Formosa, and now in Korea, there is a
resilience, a will to get on with the job, the emer-
gence of a new, modern generation of men and
women which promise well for the future. IMean-
wliile, in the areas controlled by communism the
techniques of totalitarianism, applied in regions
where three- fourths of the people live in the coun-
tryside, have been unable to deal with hunger and
apathy. Every day it becomes clear that the Com-
munist methods for modernizing an underdevel-
oped area are old-fasliioned, reactionary, and re-
strictive, quite aside from their simple inhumanity.
And this, too, will count.

Finally, it is becoming clear that the same power-
ful forces which are diffusing power and influence
within the free world — forces which our own polit-
ical history and instinctive methods teach us how
to weave together in new patterns of interdepend-
ence — are operating within the Conxmunist world
itself. We should take no cheap comfort from the
deep schisms within the Communist bloc. On the
other hand, we should be aware that the concept
of independent nationhood, of national interest,
and of national cidture are day to day asserting
themselves strongly. And if we are wise, we can
patiently find ways to pick up strands of overlap-
ping national interest between Communist nations
and the free world, moving toward a cushioning
of the raw clash of power.

From Berlin to Laos, from the question of arms
control and disarmament to the exchange of per-
sons, we are prepared to look at each proposal
and possibility on its merits and to look system-
atically toward a world which would permit us
all to live easier on a planet shadowed by nuclear
weapons. And we are prepared to do so not de-
fensively, out of fear, but out of an inner con-
fidence that, if we use time well, time is on the
side of the forces making for independent nation-
hood, dignified interdependence, and human

Taking Our Part in the Shaping of History

What of the American base? Is ours a society
really given to "loose social dalliance and croon-
ing softness"? There is enough dalliance to
merit our genuine concern, but my view of our
condition is less somber than your president's.

January 15, 1962


Democracies have always given an appearance
of some disarray and self-indulgence. As a stu-
dent I knew well interwar Britain. It was a
costly conclusion tliat Hitler and Mussolini — and
perhaps Stalin — deduced from surface phenomena
that Britain of those years had lost its fiber. I
was present in the Oxford Union, for example,
when the house resolved "not to fight for King
and country." It was apparent to most of us
present that the vote was a compliment to the
entertaining brilliance of C. E. M. Joad rather
than a verdict on the merits of the issue. Although
the Union was not amused by a later effort to ex-
punge the record, the record was set right, in
fact, witliin a few short years by the gallantry
of its members in fighting for King and country,
and for freedom, in a great war.

I recall, too, the headshaking of many Ameri-
cans about our youth in the twenties and thirties.
In tlie twenties it was said that they were irre-
sponsible, even decadent ; in the thirties, that they
lacked enterprise, yearned only for security, and
neither wished nor knew how to work. Yet these
were the generations which fought our greatest
war, fashioned a remarkable achievement in our
own society, and took up a worldwide responsi-
bility we have never known before.

Moreover, I am not excessively concerned witli
the tendency of Americans to self-examination and
self-criticism. Long ago Alexis de Tocqueville
noted that we were a self-conscious people, com-
pelled by our remarkable origins to measure our
day-to-day performance against exceedingly high
standards and the transcendent idealism built into
our Declaration of Independence.

I am confident tliat we still have the will and
the dedication required for the great tasks aliead.
From the men in the Strategic Air Command, fly-
ing complex missions on endless alert, to the volun-
teers in the Peace Corps ; from our special forces
working side by side with soldiers in southeast
Asian villages to our Berlin garrison; from our
imaginative scientists to my devoted colleagues
working long hours at the Department of State

and abroad, there is solid reason for confidence —
not for despair — in the fiber of our people in gen-
eral and of our youth in particular.

Moreover, I believe I detect among our citizens
a developing ability to live in this world of revolu-
tionary change, of multiple crisis, and of nuclear
threat with a poise supported by the endemic sense
of liumor which has always been a great solvent in
our national life. We go about our business with
a solid sense of a good and grave and resilient
people behind us.

And so, as we deal with the day-to-day problems
which are our lot, we are not merely counterpunch-
ing against crises. We are taking our part in the
shaping of history. Step by step, cable by cable,
we are trying to build a commonwealth of inde-
pendent nations, each — including ourselves — try-
ing to improve the degree to which we actually live
by the high standards of democratic ideals. We
are trying to pull together in new association the
powerful, industrialized nations of the north ; we
are trying to build a new partnership between the
north and the south. Against the background of
an enlarged and increasingly flexible military
strength, we are protecting the frontiers of free-
dom; and with confidence we are peering beyond
for every constructive possibility of bringing the
nations now under communism toward that com-
monwealth wliich the charter of the United Na-
tions described in 1945.

Perhaps it is a profession of faith to believe that
the human story continues to show the power and
majesty of the notion of political freedom. But
the historian can find the evidence, and many have
done so. The future historian will assess what we
in our generation are doing to write new chapters
in that story and how we emerge from this cli-
mactic period in which we sense we now live. Our
commitments are deeply rooted in our own history,
a history which links us in aspiration to the great
body of mankind. If we move ahead with these
shared commitments, we shall not lack company,
for men at their best are builders of free common-
wealths and a peaceful world community.


Department of Sfofe Bulletin

President and Mrs. Kennedy Visit Venezuela and Colombia

President and Mrs. Kennedy visited Caracas,
Venezuela, on Decerriber 16 and Bogota, Colom-
hia, on December 17. Following are texts of re-
marlcs made by the President at the dedication of
an agrarian reform project in Venezuela and a
self-help housing project in Colombia, together
with a joint coimnunique released at Caracas and
an address made by the President at Bogota.


White House press release (Maracay, Venezuela) dated December
16 ; as-delivered teit

President Betancourt, Governor, ladies and gen-
tlemen: I want to express to you our warm ap-
preciation and thanks for the generous welcome
which you have given to Mrs. Kennedy and my-
self, and I know that in welcoming us you extend
the hand of friendship to the people of my coun-
try, who are so vitally interested and concerned
with the common destiny of our hemisphere. And
for this welcome we both thank you.

Tomorrow is the 131st anniversary of the birth
of the great liberator of this coimtry, who not
only had the satisfaction and pride in liberating
this country but also in a feat almost unprece-
dented in history, provided for the freedom and
liberation of five comatries — and I refer of course
to Simon Bolivar. I come here today in a tradi-
tion originated by him who saw and predicted
that some day this hemisphere would be bound
together by the closest of fraternal ties, and I
come in the footsteps of a distinguished predeces-
sor, Franklin Roosevelt, who in his own time and
generation attempted to bring to fruition the work
which Simon Bolivar had so well begun.

We today share the realization which Presi-
dent Eoosevelt expressed in 1944, when he said
that "true mdividual freedom cannot exist with-
out economic security and independence."

With a system of national independence origi-
nated over a hundred years ago, with a policy of
friendship and good neighborliness which was de-
veloped in the administration of President Roose-
velt, now, today, in 1961, it is our obligation to
move ahead and to bring to fruition the concept
that along with national independence and indi-
vidual liberty goes the well-being of people them-

We do not merely talk of slogans, of democracy
and freedom; it is our function here in this hemi-
sphere in 1961 to make it possible for all the people
not only to be free but to have a home and edu-
cate their children and have a job for themselves
and in security. And that is what we are deter-
mined to do.

Economic security, the bringing of a better life
to all of our people, must now be, in the sixties,
the principal object and goal of the inter- Ameri-
can system. And what is happening here today
at La Morita, in pursuit of that goal, symbolizes
the gigantic new steps that are now being taken.

From this day forward the inter- American sys-
tem represents not merely the unity of the gov-
ernments that are involved but the unity of peo-
ples, not only a common goal of political alinement
but a common vow by all of our governments and
all of our people to improve man's economic, social,
and political well-being— not just an alliance for
the protection of our countries but an alliance of
progress for our people. We will be, in the six-
ties, more than good neighbors. We will be part-
ners in building a better life for our people.

Here in Venezuela the meaning of the new
Alianza para el Progreso ^ is being demonstrated
for you have made a tradition and transition from
a repressive dictatorship to a free life for the peo-
ple of this country, to progressive democratic
rule under one of the great democratic statesmen
of the Western Hemisphere, your distinguished

'For bacUgroiind, see Buixetin of Apr. 3, 19C1, p. 47.

January IS, J 962


President, Romulo Betancourt,. And one of the
first goals of the new spirit of this hemisphere
must be the elimination of tyranny from the north
to the south until this is a hemisphere, as Simon
Bolivar once predicted, of free men and free coun-
tries, living under our system of liberty.

Mr. President, the achievement of these two
freedoms, freedom from dictatorship and freedom
from the bonds of economic and social injustice,
must be the contribution of our generation in this

It is in pursuit of these goals that I have come
with you to La Morita. It is a long way from the
noisy streets of Washington, D.C., to this field;
but it is in this field and in fields and cities across
our hemisphere that this battle must be fought,
not in speeches by Presidents, or exchanges of dip-
lomats, or studies by experts — though all those are
important — but the work must be done here — here
today — and tomorrow — all through this hemi-
sphere, imtil our people live the kind of life, Mr.
President, for which you have dedicated your life
and to which the people of my country are com-

Today 86 families will receive titles to own
homes under a program which is already settled —
38,000 families on 3,800,000 acres of land. This is
your program, the program of your progressive,
farseeing Government; and the people of my
country will share in this program by making
available for loans to build rural homes and in
credits to finance your crops.

This program is at the heart of the Alianza para
el Progreso, for no real progress is possible unless
the benefits of increased prosperity are shared by
the people themselves.

I do not hold the view, which some now preach,
that the only way we can make economic progress
is through dictatorship. I believe the reverse. I
believe that the experiences of Eastern Europe,
the wall in Berlin, the famine in China, the hard-
ships in our own hemisphere, show that liberty
and economic progress go hand in hand, provided
the people and the government together are com-
mitted to progress for the people.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I .shall return to
Washington on Monday and tell the people of my
country that you and they are bound together in
one of the great adventures of human experience,
to make of our licmisphere a bright and shining
light for all the world.

The United States and Venezuela are bound to-
gether, and in the sixties I believe that we can

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 46, Jan- Mar 1962) → online text (page 23 of 101)