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Letter to Governor Rockefeller on Receiving His Report on His Latin American Mission.

September 03, 1969

Dear Nelson:

As you know, it was my conviction from the earliest moment of my Administration that our policies toward Latin America and the way in which we conceived of our relationships with the other nations of this hemisphere needed a fresh and comprehensive re-examination. It was evident during the past several years that the area had been experiencing profound change which had deeply affected institutions, attitudes and relationships, and had set in motion new dynamics of which we were only beginning to be aware. Yet the assumptions and conceptions that guided our policy had remained relatively static during this same period.

I concluded, therefore, that it would be advisable to send a mission to the other American Republics to consult with leaders and people, to listen to their points of view and then to recommend to me measures that we could take to develop new policies, and more effective relationships. As you know, during my first day in office, I discussed the question of U.S. Latin American relations with Galo Plaza, Secretary General of the OAS [Organization of American States], and he suggested that you be asked to head such a mission.

I cannot express to you adequately enough my appreciation and admiration for the dedicated, courageous and efficient way in which you and your associates carried out this trust. I consider this inconvenience and sacrifice of time to have been tremendously useful and worthwhile. It has dramatized our concern with the relationships that unite us with our sister Republics, it has focused attention on the problems and concerns of our neighbors and it has provided the Administration with an informed and fresh perspective of our relationships and policies.

I consider your mission in all of its aspect--both the personal contacts and the analysis and recommendations you are now submitting--to have constituted a signal contribution to our Latin American policy. Your report and its recommendations will be a central point of reference in the formulation of new policies toward the other nations of the hemisphere. I will submit your report and its proposals very promptly to the National Security Council for its study and appropriate action, and I am confident that these recommendations will play a vital part in the construction of sensitive new concepts and programs.

Please accept again my very sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that you have done, and for the devotion and dedication which you brought to this task. Please express my appreciation as wall to your staff and to the advisors who also gave so generously and unselfishly of their time and energy.

With warmest personal regards,


[Honorable Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of the State of New York, Albany, New York]

Note: The letter was released at San Clemente, Calif.

Richard Nixon, Letter to Governor Rockefeller on Receiving His Report on His Latin American Mission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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