It is a great experience to fly many hundreds of miles over the Atlantic Ocean to come to an island and be greeted in Spanish, to come to an island which has an entirely different tradition and history, which is made up of people of an entirely different cultural origin than on the mainland of the United States, and still be able to feel that I am in my country, here in this city and island, as I was in my country in Washington this morning.
And I'm particularly appreciative and glad that I've been welcomed by you, Governor. What you and your devoted associates and the people of this island have been able to do in the last decade, to build a better life, to tackle the difficult problems of education, and housing, and employment, and all the rest, has given us inspiration to feel that we can carry on a great cooperative effort throughout the entire hemisphere. And I think it most appropriate that the man who served under you in this great enterprise, Ambassador Ted Moscoso, who was our Ambassador to Venezuela, should now be the Director of the Alliance for Progress and be able to hold .up encouragement to people everywhere in this hemisphere by pointing to what has been done on this island. And also, another devoted public servant from this island, Arturo Morales-Carrion, who is now our Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America.
Puerto Rico serves as an admirable bridge between Latin America and North America. You have, I think, served to make it easier for us to understand each other, and therefore it is most important and appropriate that we should start this journey to two great countries, Venezuela and Colombia, that we should come here first.
I want to express the thanks of all of us to you--you welcomed our Peace Corps representatives and gave them training which I think has contributed to their success.
We come here today and I will value your counsel, and I'm sure as a result of our stay here that our journeys tomorrow and Sunday will be more fruitful.
Governor, I'm grateful to you, and I am grateful to your people. We have many of them on the mainland, and they are among our best citizens--and I'm glad to be in America this afternoon.