11. National Security Council Report1
STATEMENT OF U.S. POLICY TOWARD LATIN AMERICA2
1. Latin American plays a key role in the security of the United States. In the face of the anticipated prolonged threat from Communist expansionism, the United States must rely heavily on the moral and political support of Latin America for U.S. policies designed to counter [Page 92]this threat. A defection by any significant number of Latin American countries to the ranks of neutralism, or the exercise of a controlling Communist influence over their governments, would seriously impair the ability of the United States to exercise effective leadership of the Free World, particularly in the UN, and constitute a blow to U.S. prestige. Apart from the Communist threat, the long term security of the United States requires the maintenance of harmonious relations with the other American Republics, whose rapidly growing population and expanding economies will make them of increasing importance.
2. Latin America is and must be dealt with primarily as an underdeveloped area. Its peoples’ aspirations for higher living standards, more industrialization and popularly-based governments are rising more rapidly than they are being satisfied. Although the area as a whole has averaged an encouraging annual rate of growth of over 4 percent in gross national product, much of the gain is offset by the explosive growth of population—the Free World’s highest—which it is estimated will increase Latin America’s population of approximately 190 million at present to some 500 million by the year 2000. Growth in per capita gross national product has been on the order of 2–2.5 percent, but is unevenly distributed so that in many areas urban living standards are showing a tendency to stagnate. Despite a recent general trend away from dictatorships, the area generally has not yet established stable, representative governments or orderly constitutional processes. Discontent with the rate of economic and political progress is basic to present Latin American attitudes toward the United States.
3. Latin Americans look to the United States for encouragement and concrete support for the achievement of their economic and political objectives. Strongly nationalistic, they focus their interests on their own internal problems. Their responsiveness to U.S. leadership in world affairs is conditioned more by their assessment of the degree of positive interest in these objectives than by their own appreciation of the threat of Sino-Soviet power or of Communist infiltration, which they tend to view as remote from their affairs.
4. A key problem in U.S.-Latin American relationships is psychological. Latin American attitudes towards the United States have deteriorated somewhat from the high point achieved during World War II. Contributing to this are: the feeling of Latin Americans that the United States has neglected them while devoting attention and resources to more distant areas in order to combat Communism, the tendency of Latin Americans to shift to the United States the blame for lack of satisfactory progress, and the growth of nationalism characteristic of underdeveloped areas but especially directed towards the United States in Latin America because of the U.S.’s dominant economic, military and political position in the hemisphere. A series of misconceptions about the United States and its policies have gained currency [Page 93]and constitute a serious impediment to better relations. As a result, what we do may be no more important to the achievement of our objectives than how we do it.
5. Nevertheless the situation in Latin America is more favorable to attainment of U.S. objectives than in other major underdeveloped areas. Alone of the underdeveloped areas, it shares our Western cultural, religious, and historical heritage and emerged from European colonialism over a century ago. None of the Latin American nations faces an immediate threat of overt Communist aggression or takeover. Consequently, in comparison with other underdeveloped countries, defense and internal security need not constitute as great a charge on Latin American energies and resources, leaving them relatively more free to concentrate constructively on strengthening their economies and political institutions.
6. On the other hand, we must reckon with the likelihood of a much more intensive Bloc political and economic effort in Latin America. The Communists have at present limited capabilities there, but are utilizing their resources vigorously and intelligently. Their immediate objectives are to disrupt friendly relations with the United States and to promote neutralist foreign policies. Latin American Communist parties have sought with mixed success to de-emphasize their revolutionary aims and to align themselves and work with all elements actually or potentially hostile to the United States in an effort to influence Latin American governments to disengage themselves from U.S. leadership. At the same time, the Sino-Soviet bloc is complementing the efforts of the local Communist parties by a growing economic, cultural, and propaganda effort designed to hold out inducements for a more impartial position in East-West affairs and to portray the United States as the major obstacle to Latin American progress. The effective countering of this effort, by constructive policies as well as by more direct anti-Communist measures, must be an increasingly important element of U.S. Latin American policies.
7. Greater friendship, mutual respect and sense of interdependence among governments and peoples of the American Republics.
8. Greater Latin American understanding and support of U.S. world policies as well as greater recognition of the constructive U.S. interest in Latin American aspirations.
9. Sound and growing economies capable of providing rising living standards within the general framework of a free enterprise system.[Page 94]
10. Increased flow of U.S. and other Free World investment capital to Latin America, and increased trade among Latin American countries and between them and the United States and other Free World countries.
11. Evolutionary development of democratic governments supported by stable political, economic and social institutions compatible with, though not necessarily identical with, those of the United States.
12. Maximum limitation of Communist and Sino-Soviet bloc influence and greater awareness of the nature and threat of international Communism in Latin America.
13. Latin American participation in and support of measures to defend the hemisphere under U.S. leadership.
14. Adequate production of and access to resources and materials essential to U.S. security and identification of such resources and skills as may be capable of making a significant contribution to U.S. recovery in the event of nuclear attack.
15. Emergence of Latin America as a strong component part of the Western community of nations.
16. Further development of Western Hemisphere regional cooperation for the maintenance of peace, regional security and economic and social advancement.
17. Recognize that, as seen by the Latin Americans, the role and responsibility of the United States is to provide leadership and assistance within a framework of hemispheric partnership which will assist Latin America to achieve political and socio-economic development and sound institutions.
18. Conduct U.S. relations with Latin America in full recognition that pride, disparities of power and standards of living between the United States and Latin America, population pressures, dependence on one-commodity economies and U.S. markets, and opportunities for assistance from the Soviet bloc, are important factors, among others, influencing the present dominant Latin American attitude that the United States should assume a greater measure of responsibility in assisting Latin America toward its goals.
19. a. When feasible and possible, associate U.S. policies with the legitimate aspirations of the Latin American peoples and states, and seek to assure that they contribute, insofar as possible, to better Latin American attitudes toward the United States.[Page 95]
b. In the conduct of relations with Latin America, reflect acceptance by the United States of a spirit of partnership and equality among the American Republics and a sympathetic understanding by the United States of the special problems and interests of Latin America, especially when these differ from our own.
20. Non-Intervention Policy. Continue to adhere to the policy of not intervening unilaterally in the internal affairs of the other American Republics.
[paragraphs 21–a and 21–b (161/2 lines of source text) not declassified]
- Recognize all Latin American governments qualifying for recognition under the accepted criteria of international law (unless a substantial question should arise with respect to Communist control).
- Maintain correct diplomatic and other relations with all recognized governments. Where possible, give special encouragement to those governments which have a genuinely popular base and are effectively striving towards the establishment of representative and democratic governments. Seek to counter any impression that the United States favors dictatorships, either of the right or the left.
23. Hemispheric Solidarity. Strengthen hemisphere solidarity by:
- Strongly supporting and strengthening the OAS, utilizing it whenever feasible as a principal means of achieving our objectives and as a major forum for multilateral discussions of political and economic questions affecting the hemisphere.
- As may be appropriate, seek to bring the Inter-American Defense Board into closer relationship with the Council of the OAS and to utilize the Advisory Defense Committee of the OAS.
- Obtaining greater understanding and acceptance by Latin American countries of the inter-relationship of the security of the Western Hemisphere and the security of other areas of the Free World.
- Maintaining close liaison with the other American Republics with a view to maintaining their support for the U.S. position on key issues arising in the United Nations affecting the security of the Free World, but: (1) refraining from placing heavy pressure on Latin American governments on less important issues, and (2) recognizing the differences between the position of the United States and of most Latin American states on issues concerning economic assistance to underdeveloped areas, intervention, and colonialism, among others.
- Consulting with Latin American states, whenever possible, before taking actions which will affect them or for which we wish their support.
- Promoting with appropriate Latin American leaders close personal relationships and encouraging reciprocal visits by appropriate high government officials and distinguished personages.
- When feasible, bringing Canada, Puerto Rico (and, as it gains greater autonomy in foreign affairs, the West-Indian Federation) into closer relationship with the inter-American system.
24. Maintenance of Peace within the Hemisphere. Take all practicable measures, within the limitations of the non-intervention policy, to prevent armed conflicts between states in the Western Hemisphere:
- Encourage and support actions by the OAS designed to solve peaceably disputes involving, or likely to involve, armed conflict between American states.
- Insist that, in accordance with the UN Charter, the OAS has priority of responsibility over the UN Security Council with respect to threats to peace arising among the American Republics.
- Assist American states resisting pressures from their neighbors, when such pressures are inimical to U.S. interests and to the peace of the hemisphere.
- Fulfill U.S. obligations in conjunction with Brazil, Argentina, and Chile as co-guarantor of the Peruvian-Ecuadoran boundary; work toward a peaceful settlement of the Nicaraguan-Honduran boundary dispute; and seek to prevent other boundary and territorial disputes from developing into threats to the peace and/or a justification for the maintenance of armaments by the disputants.
25. Canal Zone and Three-Mile Limit.
- Maintain in force all the rights, power and authority granted the United States by the Convention of 1903 with Panama, as the basic treaty covering the status of the Canal Zone; seeking positive means of diverting Panamanian attention from the Canal problem to economic development.
- Unless and until other criteria are accepted, refrain from giving juridical or de facto recognition to claims by Latin American governments to sovereignty beyond the three-mile limit and endeavor to obtain support for or acquiescence in the U.S. position.
- Encourage acceptance and implementation by the interested European states of the principle that dependent and colonial peoples in this hemisphere should progress by orderly processes toward an appropriate form of self-government.
- When disputes between American and non-American states over dependent territories cannot be settled by direct negotiations, encourage peaceful settlements by other methods available to the parties.
- Seek to create greater awareness of the specific threats posed to Latin America as well as to world security by Communism by (1) exposing, [1 line of source text not declassified] the activities of local Communist parties and of the Soviet bloc as they relate to Latin [Page 97]America; and (2) carrying out, as appropriate, a prudent exchange of information with Latin American governments on Communist and Communist bloc activities.
- Obtain maximum recognition by those states which have ratified Resolution 32 of the Ninth Inter-American Conference at Bogota and/or Resolution 93 of the Tenth Inter-American Conference at Caracas2 of their continuing obligations under these articles with respect to Communism.
- To the extent feasible and under methods and procedures that are
prescribed by the Department of State to guide personnel operating in
the field, encourage individual and collective action by the other
American Republics against Sino-Soviet bloc influence and Communist or
other anti-U.S. subversion, including:
- Adoption and enforcement of adequate laws to control Communist activities.
- Restriction on the entry, production, and dissemination of Communist and bloc information and propaganda material.
- Restriction on the admission to Latin American countries of identified Communists and of individuals or groups from the bloc when the intent is to raise the prestige of Communism and the Communist countries.
- Limitation of trips by Latin American nationals to bloc countries and to Communist international front meetings.
- Prevention of the opening of new diplomatic and consular establishments by bloc countries and limitation on the size of the staffs and the activities of existing establishments.
- Prevention of direct or indirect trade in strategic materials with the Sino-Soviet bloc.
- Prevention of trade with the bloc (a) on prejudicial terms, or (b) at levels or in fields which would create damaging dependence on the bloc or result in a significant bloc influence over the international actions of the country. Within these limitations, normally refrain from discouraging Latin American countries from trading non-strategic surplus commodities to the European Soviet bloc for consumer goods or other products they can use.
- Rejection of bloc aid in sensitive areas and exclusion of bloc specialists and technicians.
28. Sanction Against Close Bloc Ties. If a Latin American state should establish with the Soviet bloc close ties of such a nature as materially to prejudice our interests, be prepared to diminish or suspend governmental economic and financial cooperation with that country and to take any other political, economic or military actions deemed appropriate.
29. National Leaders. Increase efforts to influence present and potential political, military and labor leaders, journalists, radio commentators, educators, and others exercising substantial influence over the opinion-forming process.[Page 98]
30. Moderate Leftists. Utilize, as appropriate, the potential of moderate elements of anti-Communist leftist and/or nationalist political and labor movements and other groupings as a means of limiting and countering Communist influence.
31. Opposition Elements. Maintain contact with elements of the opposition to recognized governments to the extent and at a level which (a) will not seriously impede the achievement of U.S. objectives through the recognized government; (b) will not associate the United States with efforts to overthrow recognized governments by unconstitutional means; or (c) will not create an impression that the United States supports or condones the establishment of authoritarian regimes, either rightest or leftist; these limitations not necessarily to apply to a country in which there is a reasonable expectation that the government will act in the interest of Communism.
32. Intellectuals and Students. Devote increased attention to the development of attitudes favorable to U.S. policy objectives among the Latin American teaching profession, students and intellectuals by such means as (a) exchange programs specifically designed to influence attitudes in educational systems; (b) cultural, sports and information programs specifically planned to enhance U.S. prestige among such groups; (c) encouraging private U.S. organizations capable of increasing their efforts in these and related fields; and (d) encouraging other Free World governments, groups and individuals to supplement U.S. efforts in these respects.
- Encourage non-Communist labor organizations.
- Encourage U.S. labor organizations to carry out sound programs designed to strengthen free labor in Latin America.
- Encourage and support the training of anti-Communist labor leaders in the United States and other countries of the hemisphere.
- Encourage, as may be appropriate in individual countries, the activities of the Organizacion Regional Inter-Americana de Trabajadores (ORIT) and other Free World labor organizations.
- In the employment of local labor by the U.S. Government pursue exemplary labor practices and encourage such practices on the part of private U.S. employers.
- Encourage Latin American countries to increase incentives tending to influence labor toward a democratic system based on free enterprise.
- As may be appropriate, encourage and/or conduct labor information activities designed to counteract Communist infiltration in labor organizations and to assist them in learning the purposes and methods of free trade union organization.
34. Proceed as feasible in selected countries with the implementation of the program for strengthening the capabilities of the local public safety forces and activities necessary to maintain internal security and to render ineffective the Communist apparatus, but take into account the dangers of U.S. association with local public safety forces which adopt extra-legal and repressive measures repugnant to a free society.
35. Technical Assistance. Strengthen and program, on a longer term basis, technical cooperation; provided, always, that each recipient country has a genuine interest in and desire for our participation in programs undertaken by it, and that our participation makes a contribution toward the achievement of our foreign policy objectives commensurate with its cost. Within these policy limits, increase specialized training of Latin Americans in host countries, the United States, including Puerto Rico, and third countries.
36. Trading Policies. In order to expand inter-American trade:
- Make every effort to maintain stable, long-term trading policies and avoid, to the maximum extent possible, restrictive practices which affect key Latin American exports to the United States.
- Work toward a reduction of tariff and other trade barriers with due regard to total national advantage.
- Encourage those American Republics which are not now members of GATT to accede to GATT and to negotiate reductions of trade barriers within the GATT framework.
- Demonstrate U.S. concern for the commodity problems of Latin American nations. In an effort to find cooperative solutions, be prepared to discuss and explore possible approaches to such problems in accordance with U.S. policy on international commodity agreements.
- Encourage and endorse the establishment of customs unions or free trade areas in Latin America which conform to GATT criteria.
- Be prepared to endorse proposals for regional preference arrangements which do not conform to GATT criteria, if consistent with over-all foreign economic policy.
37. Economic Development. Recognizing the sovereign right of Latin American states to undertake such economic measures as they may conclude are best adapted to their own conditions, encourage the Latin American nations:
- To make maximum contribution to their own economic development.
- To base their economies on a system of free private enterprise adapted to local conditions.
- As far as practicable, to curtail diversion of public funds to uneconomic state-owned industries.
- To take all feasible steps to create a political and economic climate conducive to private investment, both foreign and domestic.
- Where appropriate, to diversify their economies on a sound basis.
38. Recognizing that Latin American economic development will require an additional flow of external private and public capital:
- Encourage Latin American countries to look to private capital and international lending institutions as major sources of external capital for development, negotiating wherever feasible (1) suitable income tax agreements designed to reduce obstacles to international trade and investment and to give recognition to tax incentives offered by Latin American countries, (2) investment guarantee agreements, and (3) where needed, Treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation.
- Be prepared to extend public loans which are consistent with relevant U.S. loan policy considerations, seeking by the use of appropriate U.S. Government lending institutions to make a substantial flow of capital available for Latin American economic development, to alleviate balance of payments crises, and to stimulate economic reforms.
- Facilitate as appropriate favorable consideration of applications to international institutions for credits consistent with U.S. loan policies and support the approval of such applications by the Boards of these institutions.
- Encourage efforts by international lending institutions to bring about desirable financial and economic reforms.
- Cooperate with the Latin American countries to establish at an early date an Inter-American Development Institution which will seek to collaborate with other development institutions and sources of public and private capital with a view to expanding the resources for financing economic development. Support incorporation in it of a highly qualified technical staff capable of assisting Latin American countries in development planning and with preparation and engineering of development projects.
- Be prepared to extend limited amounts of special economic assistance on a grant or loan basis in those exceptional circumstances when other means are inadequate to achieve economic and political stability essential to U.S. interests.
- Encourage other Free World countries to provide capital and technical assistance to Latin America.
- Continue to assist in the financing of the Inter-American Highway and the Rama Road in accordance with existing agreements and established legislative authority.
39. In carrying out programs involving disposal of U.S. agricultural surpluses abroad:
- Negotiate with Latin American governments sales of surplus agricultural commodities where appropriate.
- Give particular attention to the economic vulnerabilities of the Latin American countries and avoid, to the maximum extent practicable, detracting from the ability of these countries to market their own exportable produce.
- Encourage the use in the purchasing countries of the local currency proceeds of sale for loans for economic development purposes, with particular emphasis on private enterprise.
40. Encourage the use in peacetime of selected Latin American military personnel and units in development projects where such use will not interfere with the capability of the units involved to perform their military missions or to meet the military requirements for which they were organized. Activities along this line may include training and equipping engineer units with construction equipment where such activities will contribute to economic development through the construction of public service projects, including communications.
Informational and Cultural
41. In addition to lines of action indicated above place special emphasis, as a matter of urgency, on increased U.S. informational and cultural activities designed to:
- Present the United States as a constructive force cooperating with Latin America on a basis of partnership toward the achievement of a greater measure of political and economic progress.
- Promote greater understanding and acceptance by Latin American countries and peoples of primary responsibility for progress.
- Obtain a better mutual understanding by the peoples of Latin America and of the United States of each others’ special characteristics and problems.
- Obtain the cooperation of the American Republics in assuming a large measure of responsibility for promoting better mutual understanding within their own countries through such means as the establishment of national commissions of distinguished citizens to work for these purposes.
42. To the extent feasible encourage U.S. nationals, including business and industry represented in Latin America, to participate broadly in efforts to achieve the purposes of the preceding paragraph.
43. Assume primary responsibility for hemispheric military operations in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Caribbean Sea, including the sea and air approaches to the Panama Canal, and seek, in our military and other relations with the states concerned, acceptance of U.S. military control of the defense of these sea areas.
44. a. Encourage acceptance of the concept that each of the Latin American states is responsible for providing, through effective military and mobilization measures, a contribution to the defense of the hemisphere by insuring its internal security and by the defense of its coastal [Page 102]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 43 above, where its location and resources make such participation feasible, and where political or hemisphere defense considerations make such a course of action desirable in the interest of the security of the United States.
45. a. Make available to Latin American states, on a grant basis if necessary, the training and minimum military equipment necessary to assist them to carry out the missions relevant to hemispheric defense in the preceding paragraph, except that internal security requirements shall not normally be the basis for grant military assistance.
b. Discourage Latin American governments from purchasing military equipment not essential to the missions in paragraph 44. However, 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.
c. In order to be in a position effectively to supply military equipment on a reimbursable basis in accordance with a and b above, make equipment available to Latin American countries on terms which insofar as feasible are sufficiently favorable to encourage the Latin American governments to obtain such equipment from the United States rather than from another source.
d. In making military equipment and training available to Latin American countries, take into account the provisions of paragraph 22–b, relative to the type of Government involved, exercising caution in the provision of such assistance to dictatorships.
46. Encourage, to the maximum extent consistent with the needs and capabilities of each Latin American nation, the standardization along U.S. lines of military doctrine, unit organization and training. Except when it will create undue demand on the United States seek, in the interests of standardization as well as for other reasons, to discourage purchases by Latin American governments of military equipment from other countries, especially Communist countries, primarily by assuring the Latin American countries that we will endeavor to fill their essential requirements expeditiously and on reasonable terms. Where appropriate, seek to prevent other Free World countries from selling military equipment to Latin American states.[Page 103]
47. Seek to develop a conviction that collaboration, including military purchases, by any of the American states with Communist nations would be a serious hazard to all of the nations of this hemisphere.
48. If participation of Latin American military units is required in future extra-continental defense actions, provide logistical support, if necessary without reimbursement, to such forces.
49. Take action as necessary, including military action, to insure the continued availability to the United States of bases and base rights in Latin America that are considered vital to the security of the United States.
50. Seek the continued cooperation of the Latin American states in carrying out the hemisphere mapping program.
51. Continue our active participation in the Joint Military Commissions we have with Brazil and Mexico, and make effective use of the IADB to achieve our military objectives.
52. Foster close military relations with the Latin American armed forces in order to increase their understanding of, and orientation toward, U.S. objectives and policies, and to promote democratic concepts and foster pro-American sentiments among Latin American military personnel.
53. Provide adequate quotas for qualified personnel for training in U.S. armed forces schools and training centers. Seek, as appropriate, new legislative authority to facilitate provision of such training to personnel from all Latin American countries. Encourage Latin American states to fill their authorized quotas at the three Service Academies.
54. Continue, and establish where appropriate, military training missions in Latin American states, countering any trend toward the establishment of military missions, or agencies or individuals with a similar function, other than those of the American Republics.
55. Conduct a special study of the potential contribution of Latin American resources, production and skills to U.S. recovery following a nuclear attack.
[Here follows a 21–page Financial Appendix.][Page 104]
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5902 Series. Secret. A title sheet, a February 16 transmittal note by Lay, and a table of contents are not printed. NSC 5902/1 was approved by the President on February 16, superseding NSC 5613/1.↩
- Except as specifically stated herein, this statement of policy does not apply to dependent overseas territories of European powers. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- See Annex A. [Footnote in the source text. Annex A is not printed.]↩
- Treasury would insert the following sentence at this point: “U.S. efforts to discourage the acceptance of Soviet trade offers are subject to the accusation that the United States is merely seeking to promote its commercial interests to the disadvantage of Latin America.” [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Treasury would add the following to this sentence and delete the remainder of the paragraph: “without adversely affecting the objective of promoting attitudes of partnership and juridical equality, particularly if it is necessary to exert any great degree of pressure in order to obtain anti-Communist actions”. [Footnote in the source text.]↩