72. Editorial Note
In a November 2, 1971, memorandum to Secretary of State Rogers, Executive Secretary of the Department of State Theodore Eliot noted that the “initial world reaction to the Senate’s rejection of the aid legislation has been one of stunned concern.” Eliot included a sampling of reactions, including “disastrous consequences for the Southern Flank of NATO.” He attached a copy of telegram 6432 from Lima, November 1, which set out country reactions by delegates to the G-77 Ministerial meeting in Peru. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AID (US) 5)
On November 3 OAS Secretary General Galo Plaza Lasso, CIAP Chairman Carlos Sanz de Santamaria, and Patricio Rojas, Chairman of the Permanent Executive Committee of the IA-ECOSOC, sent a joint letter to President Nixon expressing their concern. The opening paragraph reads: “The United States Senate’s rejection of the Foreign Assistance authorization bill is a source of dismay to all those in Latin America who believe in the reciprocal benefits of international and inter-American cooperation for development. The action comes shortly after the imposition by the United States Government of a 10 percent surcharge and nullifies the effect of your action to exempt Latin America from the 10 percent aid cut. In this context, the Senate action cannot but give the impression of a weakening or abandonment by the United States of its special relationship with Latin America.” (Ibid.) Regarding the exemption for Latin America from the 10 percent aid cut, see footnote 3, Document 62.
President Nixon answered the joint letter in a November 29 letter to Plaza Lasso. He stated his continuing commitment to providing assist-ance to developing countries. He added that the recent setback in no way diminished his determination to sustain assistance efforts and noted with satisfaction “that the Senate has begun to reverse the effect of its earlier action and has already approved at least a substantial part of the assistance funds which were originally requested.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AID (US) 5)