165. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2

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  • FY 1972 Economic Assistance to Colombia

Secretary Rogers (Tab A) requests your approval to negotiate with Colombia an FY 1972 AID program of up to $91.5–$110 million ($78–$95 million in AID loans, $3.5 million in technical assistance, $10–$11.5 million in PL 480, Title I). (A range is indicated for loans because the timing of the loan authorization depends on the pace and outcome of current discussions with the Colombian government.) Treasury, Agriculture and 0MB (Tab A) concur.

In approving the 1971 AID program for Colombia, you directed that in negotiating the loans the following guidelines be adhered to:

  • —We should not provide a greater percentage of the total investment in any sector than was committed to that sector by the US last year.
  • —We should not provide more than one-half of the funds for any new activity, or for the expansion of any on-going activity.

State also intends to apply these guidelines to the FY 1972 loans with the objective of further increasing the relative share of Colombian investment in each sector where AID is making loans. OMB will monitor compliance with this goal.

US lending will be directed, as it was last year, principally toward supporting Colombia’s development program in the agricultural, educational, and urban/regional sectors. In addition, consideration is being given to another area of activity for loan support—housing finance/capital markets. In view of the difficulties Colombia has experienced in mobilizing its internal resources, we believe that assistance to improve the system of mobilizing private savings, particularly for housing construction, is warranted.

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Colombia is one of the few Latin American countries that has consciously pursued a national policy of free political processes, economic growth, social development, and warm relations with the US. A sound development plan coupled with multinational coordination of economic assistance has enabled Colombia to use external investment efficiently and to achieve steady economic progress. The proposed AID agreement provides evidence of our continued commitment to Colombian development, but does so in a way which supports, rather than substitutes our assistance for, Colombia’s own efforts.


That you approve Secretary Rogers’ FY 1972 aid program for Colombia of up to $91.5–$110 million. Peter Flanigan concurs.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 779, Country Files, Latin America, Colombia, Vol. 1. Confidential. Sent for action. Haig approved for Kissinger, who approved for the President. Attached but not published are Tabs A and B. Tab A is Secretary Rogers’ April 7 request. Tab B is an April 26 memorandum from Director Shultz of OMB to Nixon. Davis, in a May 12 memorandum, informed Eliot of the President’s approval.
  2. Kissinger argued that assistance to Colombia was important, as it would stabilize the government and support its economic and social development, and noted that U.S. assistance to Colombia did not substitute for Colombia’s own efforts.