14. Memorandum From the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Gleason) to the National Security Council 1


  • U.S. Policy Toward Latin America


  • A. NSC 5613
  • B. NSC Action No. 1601–b–(4)

The enclosed draft revision of paragraphs 14, 32, 34–b and 35 of NSC 5613, prepared by the NSC Planning Board pursuant to NSC Action No. 1601–b–(4), is transmitted herewith for consideration by the National Security Council at its meeting on Thursday, September 20, 1956.

The enclosed draft includes, also for consideration by the Council at its meeting on September 20, a draft revision of paragraphs 22 and 34–a of NSC 5613, prepared and recommended by the NSC Planning Board.

S. Everett Gleason



Draft Revision of Paragraphs 14, 22, 32, 34 and 35 of NSC 56132

14. In addition to being a source of vital strategic resources, Latin America provides bases important to our security. Accordingly, we should be prepared to provide military equipment and training to the Latin American states to assist them to maintain internal security and to defend coastal waters, ports, bases and strategic areas and installations within their own borders and communication routes associated therewith, when this will contribute to the defense of the hemisphere. In exceptional cases, political or hemispheric defense considerations may make it in the interests of national security for the United States to provide military equipment and training to [Page 115] certain Latin American states over and above that needed to assist them to discharge the normal military missions described above.

22. Be prepared to encourage, through the Export-Import Bank, the financing of all sound economic governmental development projects or private commercial projects, for which private capital is not readily available, provided each loan is (a) in the best interests of both the United States and the borrowing country; (b) within the borrower’s capacity to repay; (c) within the Bank’s lending capacity and charter powers; and (d) sought to finance U.S. goods and services.

32. a. Encourage acceptance of the concept that each of the Latin American states is responsible for its own internal security and for providing, through effective military and mobilization measures, a contribution to the defense of the hemisphere by the defense of its coastal waters, ports and approaches thereto, bases, strategic areas and installations located within its own territory, and routes of communication associated therewith.

b. In exceptional cases, be prepared to accept participation by a Latin American state in combined operations in support of U.S. military responsibility under paragraph 31 above, where its location and resources make such participation feasible, and where political or hemisphere defense considerations make such a course of action in the interests of the security of the United States.

34. a. Recognizing that Latin American requests for military equipment are requirements against limited MDAP funds and supplies of U.S. military equipment; that their purchases of military equipment, especially on credit, have an adverse effect on their borrowing capacity and our ability to make loans to them for economic development purposes; that the denial of their requests has disadvantages for the United States; and that in certain instances the military elements in Latin America exercise a disproportionate influence on the governments; discourage Latin American governments from purchasing military equipment not essential to the missions in paragraph 32. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a Latin American government cannot be dissuaded from purchasing unneeded military equipment, and if it is essential for U.S. political interests, make additional equipment available on a cash, credit, or, under extraordinary circumstances, grant basis, if appropriate.

b. In order to be in a position effectively to supply military equipment on a reimbursable basis in accordance with this and the foregoing paragraph:

Offer to Latin American governments military equipment at competitive prices and under competitive delivery dates.
Make sales of military equipment to Latin American governments on credit, which should normally be limited to three years.

35. Except when it will create undue demand on the United States for modernization, replacement, spare parts, and ammunition; seek, in the interests of standardization as well as for other reasons, to discourage purchases by Latin American governments of military equipment from other Free World countries, primarily by assuring the Latin American countries that we will endeavor to fill their essential requirements on reasonable terms. Wherever feasible consistent with the above, seek to prevent other Free World countries from selling military equipment to Latin American states.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5613—Memoranda. Secret.
  2. Inserts containing the text of these paragraphs as they appeared in NSC 5613 are not printed as part of this memorandum.