Jump to content
The Education Forum

the funding of JFK's Alliance for Progress; strike one against him


Dan Doyle
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

JFK's Alliance for Progress was proposed publicly in March of 1961.  Notice that this was a month before Operation Zapata(Bay of Pigs); a remnant of the Eisenhower/Nixon Administration that JFK inherited.  The Alliance for Progress was intended by JFK to counter the appeal of Castro's Revolution in underdeveloped Latin America.  Whereas Eisenhower and Nixon were very much into "hard power"(military/CIA), especially so after Arbenz in Guatamala and then Castro in Cuba,  to keep Latin America "free" of more left wing revolutions, Kennedy's Alliance was a "soft power" (money and culture) strategy with the same goal.  The kicker that JFK used to make the Alliance not just more of the "same old, same old" that Latin America had heard many times before was how this program would be funded;

  "The basic idea was that aid money would now come from the Treasury Department, bypassing the punitive restrictions of the IMF, Export-Import Bank and private loans". (kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-enemy-within-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-alliance-for-progress). 

Giving Latin American countries access to development funding( JFK proposed 20 billion in 1961 dollars) through the US Treasury was a seriously revolutionary proposal in terms of threatening The Established Order not only in the Latin American countries but also in the US.  Basically JFK  was proposing to fund Latin American competition against the existing  local and  foreign corporations( mostly US ones) who had the proverbial "stranglehold" on both the local economy and society.  This is enough to give any old Latin American aristocrat, let alone any old US aristocrat, heartburn, to say the least.  So it is my thinking that commonly held historical view that JFK's presidency first, serious alienation of the "power structure" in the US occurred with his refusal to use the US military in  the beleaguered BOP invasion of Cuba is incorrect( not to mention the JFK -US Steel price roll back that happened a week earlier than the BOP).  I believe that "strike one" against JFK happened a month earlier when his  Alliance for Progress, with its revolutionary funding, was proposed.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan:

Did you see this article that was posted yesterday at Kennedys and King.com?

Anyway, it describes Kennedy's approach to the problem of poverty and lack of capital in Latin America and how that would encourage communist rebellions. So Kennedy and Arthur Schlesinger decided to imitate the Good Neighbor Policy except adding on the 20 billion dollar, ten year plan of providing funding through the Treasury, thereby bypassing the Export-Import Bank, the IMF and private loans.  

Its been kind of ignored by people in the critical community and also by historians who have minimized it.  So I was glad to get this article from Michael LaFLem, and I hope he writes for us in the future.  The thing to note is how it all ended, first with Johnson, and then Nixon providing the final kabosh.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-enemy-within-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-alliance-for-progress

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Dan:

Did you see this article that was posted yesterday at Kennedys and King.com?

Anyway, it describes Kennedy's approach to the problem of poverty and lack of capital in Latin America and how that would encourage communist rebellions. So Kennedy and Arthur Schlesinger decided to imitate the Good Neighbor Policy except adding on the 20 billion dollar, ten year plan of providing funding through the Treasury, thereby bypassing the Export-Import Bank, the IMF and private loans.  

Its been kind of ignored by people in the critical community and also by historians who have minimized it.  So I was glad to get this article from Michael LaFLem, and I hope he writes for us in the future.  The thing to note is how it all ended, first with Johnson, and then Nixon providing the final kabosh.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-enemy-within-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-alliance-for-progress

 

yes,  it just confirmed what I'd been thinking.  thanks

 

Edited by Dan Doyle
time
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, Ron Ecker said:

I guess no one informed JFK that the Alliance for Progress in Spanish is La Alianza para el Progreso, which can be literally translated as "the alliance stops progress."

 

 

 

 

Dude, it means "The Alliance for the Progress",  your disinformation won't fly here

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/18/2018 at 12:48 PM, James DiEugenio said:

article that was posted yesterday at Kennedys and King.com

Great piece. The RFK quote at the end is brilliant, and summarizes not only what happened to the Alliance but also what U.S. foreign policy was all about. (And what the Kennedys were all about.)

"When Senator Robert Kennedy was preparing for a journey to several countries in South America, he was briefed by the State Department. After listening to their instructions, he replied it looked to him as if what the Alliance for Progress had come down to was that you can “abolish political parties and close down the Congress and take away the basic freedoms of the people … and you’ll get a lot of our money. But if you mess around with an American oil company, we’ll cut you off without a penny. Is that it?” His briefer said that that was about the size of it. As he walked out RFK told an assistant, 'It sounds like we’re working for United Fruit again.'” 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/19/2018 at 3:35 PM, James DiEugenio said:

This was a senator from the sixties saying that stuff.  

 

BTW, what RFK did once he was down there was nothing short of revolutionary.  You can read about it in my review of the Bohrer biography.

they were revolutionary, because they betrayed their class much like FDR, it all ended on June 5 1968,

 

Edited by Dan Doyle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...