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Joint Statement Following Discussions With the President of Chile.

December 12, 1962

FOR TWO DAYS, we have had the opportunity for a frank exchange of our points of view on an important number of topics referring to the development of relations between our two countries and the responsibility for their international action at both the American and world level. We are happy to state that our conversations have been extremely useful. The purpose of this statement is to report briefly on the lines followed by those conversations and the results attained.

Since their beginning as free nations, the United States and Chile have been constantly involved in a historic revolution--a revolution that seeks to improve the lot of the common man of our two countries under a system of political freedom and individual dignity. We have no reason to attempt to rectify what was done by our forebears, or to doubt what the present generation can and should do in order to progress toward the achievement of the objectives which our countries have worked out as the goals of their convictions and aspirations.

We are aware that the progress of science and technology, as well as comparison with the ways of life that prevail in the more developed nations, have given a new and bracing tone of urgency to the legitimate claims of the masses of those countries which are still demanding that a proper equation be found between the ideals of liberty and democracy in the political order, and the satisfaction of their desires for a more abundant way of life in the spiritual order and, in the social field, equality of opportunity for all.

In this sense, we believe that the Alliance for Progress constitutes an adequate reply to the concern which we, as leaders of government, have for satisfying those aspirations and demands of our peoples. During our meetings, we have come to a clear and firm agreement to encourage by all possible means the effective advance of that inter-American cooperative undertaking. At the end of the first year since this bold venture was initiated at Punta del Este, we have noted on the one hand the progress achieved, but we have also examined objectively the weaknesses and gaps that still hinder its further progress. In both the concept and the implementation of the Alliance, we have already overcome innumerable barriers that some years ago might perhaps have jeopardized the undertaking itself or its material success.

We have agreed that the Chilean Ten-Year Plan, taken together with the recommendations of the IBRD and the Committee of Experts of the OAS, constitutes a useful framework for achieving the increase in living standards called for in the Charter of Punta del Este and that the Plan merits the support of the United States and other external capital sources. In this respect, we have found that this program provides for an adequate measure of internal effort and that Chile has been vigorously taking a number of the important steps necessary to achieve that effort as contemplated in the program.

We have agreed that the impulse which the Alliance for Progress is designed to give to the progress of these countries--and Chile in particular--will not be possible without an ample amount of foreign private capital, since investments of this nature have contributed and continue to contribute substantially to the economic development of the region as a whole and especially of Chile.

Nor are we unaware of the fact that the objectives of the Alliance for Progress make it imperative that Latin America succeed in the next few years in bringing its development as a whole in line with the new shape of world trade. It must move progressively toward economic integration, in accordance with formulas that are yielding significant results in other areas of the world. It is our purpose to spare no effort so that our respective countries may adapt their international conduct, public as well as private, to practices that will best favor the integration of Latin America and its action as an important force in world affairs.

To succeed in this undertaking, we have noted the need for constantly improving the overall machinery of the Alliance and its operation. We recognize that, along with its important achievements, this year of experience has demonstrated certain difficulties in moving rapidly toward the objectives of the Alliance. As Chiefs of State, it is our firm proposal to support and promote the measures to implement the Alliance. For this reason, we are in full agreement with the recent resolution appointing two prominent personalities of the hemisphere who have been entrusted with the formulation of recommendations for revision of the inter-American system so as to promote the progress of the Alliance.

We should emphasize the fact that this Alliance in which we are engaged with the other nations of Latin America is only one aspect of our reply today to the threat that hangs over the free world to which we belong and in whose defense we are resolved to play the responsible role dictated to us by history and our common spiritual heritage. We firmly believe in democracy and personal liberty; we also believe that through a system that respects the national sovereignty and independence of our countries, we shall be able to improve the destiny and accelerate the progress of our countries.

The faith and democratic course of the United States and Chile have not altered in more than a century and a half of independent life. We maintain that they cannot, and should not, be interrupted. In the face of the threats that appear on the inter-American horizon from time to time, we reaffirm our decision firmly to call upon our respective national communities to continue to fulfill the obligations they have freely accepted, based on the principle of inter-American solidarity. Recent actions of the OAS in connection with the Cuban case, in which our participation was decisive, demonstrate beyond a doubt the vigor of that decision.

We reaffirm our adherence to the United Nations and our firm decision to continue collaborating with the efforts of that organization to promote understanding among the peoples of the world and the maintenance of peace. Especially we undertake to provide every assistance to the efforts to obtain disarmament and the outlawing of nuclear tests, under adequate control, both tasks being of special significance for the people of this hemisphere who must accomplish in the next few years the rational and constructive investment of their human and material resources.

The United States and Chile are playing a key role at this time in the history of the Americas. We do not intend to avoid our responsibility. We shall not cease in our efforts until hunger, poverty, ignorance, social injustice, and the threat to our free institutions have been definitively eradicated. We consider that working through democracy is the best means of bringing prosperity and well-being to our peoples. Our complete understanding on the occasion of this meeting has only confirmed our faith and will to work together for the good of the Americas and the Free World in the future.

John F. Kennedy, Joint Statement Following Discussions With the President of Chile. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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