THE ORGANIZATION of American States has demonstrated why, as Franklin Roosevelt said, it is the oldest and most successful association of sovereign governments in the history of the world.
Today, faced with a threat to the principles of the inter-American system and the peace of the hemisphere, the OAS acted decisively.
A committee made up of five member states will soon be on its way to the Dominican Republic. Its mission is to reestablish peace and normal conditions in that strife-weary island.
The good offices of this commission, representing the entire hemisphere, will be available to every group and party in the Dominican Republic. It will work for a cease-fire. It will try to ensure the safe evacuation of foreign nationals. And it will investigate every aspect of the current volatile situation in that island.
We look forward, as do all the American States, to the success of the mission, and to any recommendations and suggestions the commission might make.
For our part, the United States is ready to support--with every resource at its command-the inter-American system. We will help carry out the solemn judgments of the assembled American Republics.
And we once again join in the common appeal to put an end to violence. For only when shooting and bloodshed stop will it be possible to work toward the aspirations and hopes of the Dominican people. Progress and justice do not flourish at the point of a gun.
The daily work of the inter-American system is filled with hope for the progress of the American peoples. But it is in moments of crisis such as this we truly test the vitality of our association. We prove that independent and proud nations can work together in the common cause of peace and human liberty.
Our goal in the Dominican Republic is the goal which has been expressed again and again in the treaties and agreements which make up the fabric of the inter-American system. It is that the people of that country must be permitted to freely choose the path of political democracy, social justice, and economic progress. Neither the United States, nor any nation, can want or permit a return to that brutal and oppressive despotism which earned the condemnation and punishment of this hemisphere and of all civilized humanity. We intend to carry on the struggle against tyranny no matter in what ideology it cloaks itself. This is our mutual responsibility under the agreements we have signed, and the common values which bind us together.