Alliance for Progress

A Marshall Plan for Latin America

Communists... are what they call their rivals.  Economic Developers... are what they call their allies but they are one and the same in practice.



Alianza para el Progreso  

On March 13, 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced his Latin American agenda in an address at a reception for members of Congress and Latin American republics' diplomatic corps.  


Kennedy Proposal:  The Alliance for Progress – March 13, 19611

It is a great pleasure for Mrs. Kennedy and for me, for the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson, and for the Members of Congress, to welcome the Ambassadorial Corps of our Hemisphere, our long time friends, to the White House today. One hundred and thirty-nine years ago this week the United States, stirred by the heroic struggle of its fellow Americans, urged the independence and recognition of the new Latin American Republics. It was then, at the dawn of freedom throughout this hemisphere, that Bolivar spoke of his desire to see the Americas fashioned into the greatest region in the world, "greatest," he said, "not so much by virtue of her area and her wealth, as by her freedom and .her glory."

Never in the long history of our hemisphere has this dream been nearer to fulfillment, and never has it been in greater danger...

The genius of our scientists has given us the tools to bring abundance to our land, strength to our industry, and knowledge to our people. For the first time we have the capacity to strike off the remaining bonds of poverty and ignorance -- to free our people for the spiritual and intellectual fulfillment which has always been the goal of our civilization.

Yet at this very moment of maximum opportunity, we confront the same forces which have imperiled America throughout its history -- the alien forces which once again seek to impose the despotisms of the Old World on the people of the New.

I have asked you to come here today so that I might discuss these challenges and these dangers.

We meet together as firm and ancient friends, united by history and experience and by our determination to advance the values of American civilization.
For this New World of ours is not a mere accident of geography. Our continents are bound together by a common history, the endless exploration of new frontiers. Our nations are the product of a common struggle, the revolt from colonial rule. And our people share a common heritage, the quest for the dignity and the freedom of man.

The revolutions which gave us birth ignited, in the words of Thomas Paine, "a spark never to be extinguished." And across vast, turbulent continents these American ideals still stir man's struggle for national independence and individual freedom. But as we welcome the spread of the American revolution to other lands, we must also remember that our own struggle --
the revolution which began in Philadelphia in 1776, and in Caracas in 1811 -- is not yet finished. Our hemisphere's mission is not yet completed. For our unfulfilled task is to demonstrate to the entire world that man's unsatisfied aspiration for economic progress and social justice can best be achieved by free men working within a framework of democratic institutions. If we can do this in our own hemisphere, and for our own people, we may yet realize the prophecy of the great Mexican patriot, Benito Juarez, that "democracy is the destiny of future humanity."

As a citizen of the United States let me be the first to admit that
we North Americans have not always grasped the significance of this common mission, just as it is also true that many in your own countries have not fully understood the urgency of the need to lift people from poverty and ignorance and despair. But we must turn from these mistakes -- from the failures and the misunderstandings of the past to a future full of peril, but bright with hope.


Throughout Latin America, a continent rich in resources and in the spiritual and cultural achievements of its people, millions of men and women suffer the daily degradations of poverty and hunger. They lack decent shelter or protection from disease. Their children are deprived of the education or the jobs which are the gateway to a better life. And each day the problems grow more urgent. Population growth is outpacing economic growth -- low living standards are further endangered and discontent -- the discontent of a people who know that abundance and the tools of progress are at last within their reach -- that discontent is growing. In the words of Jose Figueres, "once dormant peoples are struggling upward toward the sun, toward a better life."

If we are to meet a problem so staggering in its dimensions, our approach must itself be equally bold -- an approach consistent with the majestic concept of Operation Pan America. Therefore I have called on all people of the hemisphere to join in a new Alliance for Progress -- Alianza para Progreso --a vast cooperative effort, unparalleled in magnitude and nobility of purpose, to satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, work and land, health and schools -- techo, trabajo y tierra, salud y escuela.




The Marshall Plan was a proposal by Secretary of State George C. Marshall to provide funding for rebuilding Europe after WWII.  The Alliance for Progress was a Marshall Plan for Latin America not for post war rebuilding -  rather it was for economic development.  Kennedy's program clearly had support from the Congress because during his brief stint in the presidency, he succeeded in setting up the institutional infrastructure for what would eventually become the means for extraction of American wealth to foreign countries through foreign aid and trade. The legislative summary for JFK's international agenda can be viewed on the JFK Presidential Library2.  

The Office of the Historian of the State Department3 wrote this:

Washington policymakers saw the Alliance as a means of bulwarking capitalist economic growth, funding social reforms to help the poorest Latin Americans, promoting democracy--and strengthening ties between the United States and its neighbors. A key element of the Alliance was U.S. military assistance to friendly regimes in the region...The Alliance did not achieve all its lofty goals. According to one study, only 2 percent of economic growth in 1960s Latin America directly benefited the poor; and there was a general deterioration of United States-Latin American relations by the end of the 1960s.


Of particular note in the extensive list of legislation to establish the foreign aid infrastructure was the Foreign Aid Authorization Act of 1961.  An extract of the webpage with highlights can be viewed HERE.  A new agency, USAID was created by Executive Order 10973 to carry out the programs characterized as foreign aid.


Latin American Common Market


In April of 1967, Lyndon Baines Johnson attended the second summit of the Latin American Presidents.  He signed the Declaration of the Presidents of the Americas including an Action Plan making promises of U.S. assistance to create a Latin American Common Market. The text below are excerpts from the Declaration.




Declaration of the Presidents of Americas
Punta Del Este, Uruguay - 1967


RESOLVED to give more dynamic and concrete expression to the ideals of Latin American unity and of solidarity among the peoples of America, which inspired the founders of their countries;

...INSPIRED by the principles underlying the inter-American system, especially those contained in the Charter of Punta del Este, the Economic and Social Act of Rio de Janeiro, and the Protocol of Buenos Aires amending the Charter of the Organization of American States;

...PLEDGED to give vigorous impetus to the Alliance for Progress and to emphasize its multilateral character, with a view to encouraging balanced development of the region at a pace substantially faster than attained thus far;

Latin America will create a common market.

THE PRESIDENTS OF THE LATIN AMERICAN REPUBLICS resolve to create progressively, beginning in 1970, the Latin American Common Market, which shall be substantially in operation in a period of no more than fifteen years. The Latin American Common Market will be based on the complete development and progressive convergence of the Latin American Free Trade Association and of the Central American Common Market, taking into account the interests of, the Latin American countries not yet affiliated with these systems. This great task will reinforce historic bonds, will promote industrial development and, the strengthening of Latin American industrial enterprises, as well as more efficient production and now opportunities for employment, and will permit the region to play its deservedly significant role in world affairs. The ties of friendship among the peoples of the Continent will thus be strengthened.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, for his part, declares his firm support for this promising Latin American initiative.


We will lay the physical foundations for Latin American economic integration through multinational projects.

Economic integration demands a major sustained effort to build a land transportation network and to improve transportation systems of all kinds so as to open the way for the movement of both people and goods throughout the Continent; to establish an adequate and efficient telecommunications system; to install inter-connected power systems; and to develop jointly international river basins, frontier regions, and economic areas which include the territory of two or more countries.



Jacob Javits

Jacob Javits, a Ukrainian Jew from the lower east side of Manhattan, liberal Republican Senator from New York was the prime mover behind the policies to provide U.S. aid and technical assistance to create a Latin American Common Market.  According to Emilio Collado an executive for Standard Oil of New Jersey, in a 1963 CFR article titled, Economic Development through Private Enterprise, "More rapid economic development for the less developed areas of the world is something which most of us in the United States want very much.  We want it for humanitarian reasons and we want it because we believe it is in our national interest".4  Mr. Collado was recruited by Javits (and David Rockefeller) to promote the policies of Latin American economic integration5.  A simplified explanation of the early policy was that financial institutions with guarantees for private investors would be set up so they could safely (and profitably) invest in Latin America


Jacob Koppel Javits
NY Senator 1957-1981

while the governments of Latin America, Foundations and NGOs handled the social aspects of development.  Javits' intent was to build international administrative and financial structures ala the Marshall Plan to develop Latin America.  Thanks to declassified U.S. State Department documents6, we know that the real intent of the Marshall plan was not to rebuild European countries, rather, the intent was to subvert national sovereignty of European countries replacing national governments with the European Union - a regional "governance" structure.  Money for economic development was used as a weapon for that purpose.            

Toward the goal of a Marshall Plan for Latin America:

 "Javits and Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-MN) initiated a bipartisan effort to promote and secure investment of European capital in Latin America by creating a private non-profit organization known as the Atlantic Community Development Group for Latin America (ADELA).  In order to maximize the amount of European capital, the organization also sought capital from the United States and Japan to augment investment.  ADELA was intended to perform the dual functions that were viewed as mutually necessary--the promotion of economic integration in Latin America and encouraging private capital investment."

Javits informed the NATO group that the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (O.E.C.D.) needed to be enlisted in ADELA and the Latin
American economic integration effort because NATO was not designed as a development
agency. He warned that unless Latin America was given the necessary economic
assistance, its commodity-based economy might crumble under the weight of competition
resulting from the new trade agreements made between the European Economic
Community (EEC) and its former colonies. These agreements provided the ex-colonies
with preferential treatment within the EEC organization by giving preference to their
commodities over those of the Latin Americans...

He and Humphrey both campaigned to bring supporters to ADELA. Javits referred to his enthusiastic supporters as “apostles.” He recruited such American business leaders as George Moore of the First National City Bank of New York, Emilio Collado of Standard Oil of New Jersey as well as Warren Wilhelm from the Texaco Oil Corporation. Javits was especially adept at gaining support from foreign business magnates such as Giovanni Agnelli and Aurelio Peccei, who served as executive officers of Fiat.7

Aurelio Peccei, co-founder of the Club of Rome with Alexander King, Chairman of Productivity and Industrial Research Committee within the Organization for European Co-operation (OEEC) and later Director of the European Productivity Agency.  In 1961, when the OEEC became the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Alexander King became a Director and then a Director-General.  Aurelio Peccei was also instrumental in the founding of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).  The IIASA was a joint effort between the United States and the Soviet Union to allow scientists to conceive solutions to global problems (choke! gag!).  The idea for IIASA was conceived in 1966 and the charter was signed in London in 1972 - eighteen years before the cold war was supposedly ended.8 

Step by Step...Country by Country - falling like pieces taken on a chessboard.



1.     John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Address at White House reception for members of Congress and Latin American republics’ diplomatic corps, March 13, 1961,  link current as of May 10, 2013   local copy pdf

2.   IBID.  Research Aids, Legislative Summary, International, link current as of May 10, 2013   local copy pdf  

3.   U.S. State Department, Office of the Historian, Milestones, 1961-1968, Alliance for Progress and Peace Corps,  link current as of May 10, 2013  local copy pdf 

4.   Foreign Affairs, Emilio Collado, July, 1963, Economic Development through Private  Enterprise,

5.   The Independent Institute, Working Paper Number 68, Salvador Rivera Ph.D, Jacob K. Javits and Latin American Economic Integration, August 20, 2007, link current as of May 10, 2013

6.   Truman Library, Papers of Clark Clifford, declassified in 1960, U.S. Department of State, August 26, 1947, Summary of the Department's Position on the Content of a European Recovery Plan,

7.   IBID...5, Page 10-11

8.   The Stalking Horse, prior research documentation on the Club of Rome,


Vicky Davis
August 30, 2012 Updated May 13, 2013