151. Memorandum of conversation, November 30, between President Kennedy and President Villeda Morales and other U.S. and Honduran officials1

Part III (of 7)
[Facsimile Page 1]


  • Honduran Agrarian Reform and the United Fruit Company


  • President Kennedy
  • Ambassador Charles R. Burrows
  • Assistant Secretary of State Martin
  • Assistant Administrator of AID Moscoso
  • Mr. Ralph Dungan, The White House
  • President Villeda Morales of Honduras
  • Honduran Ambassador to the United States and the OAS Céleo Dávila
  • Honduran Foreign Minister Alvarado Puerto
  • Honduran Finance Minister Bueso Arias

In a brief reference to Honduras’ controversial Agrarian Reform Law and difficulties with the United Fruit Company, President Villeda said he would meet with United Fruit Company representatives in Miami. He said he would promise the company that its investments in Honduras are secure.

President Villeda noted that agrarian reform cannot be conservative. However, it does keep certain groups from usurping the leadership of revolutionary change. He added that a basic element of agrarian reform is respect for private property. He assured President Kennedy that “as long as a civilized man is head of my country, there is no reason to fear”.

Concluding the interview, President Kennedy said he was pleased that President Villeda planned to meet members of the United Fruit Company. President Kennedy observed that it is not in the interest of either country that United Fruit should withdraw from Honduras, since withdrawal could produce chaos. The company should carry out its responsibilities in Honduras. President Kennedy was sure a solution could be found with the United Fruit Company which would protect the company’s interests.

Interpreters: Mr. Van Reigersberg and Mr. Hervas

  1. Honduran agrarian reform and United Fruit Company. Confidential. 1 p. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Honduras, December 1962–September 1963.