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Letter to President Goulart of Brazil on the Signing of an Alliance for Progress Agreement With Brazil.

April 13, 1962

Dear Mr. President:

I am deeply gratified by today's signature of an agreement through which our two countries, under the Alliance for Progress, will work together in a program of development in the Northeast of Brazil.

We approach this program with the same sense of urgency and in the same determined spirit that your government has demonstrated in its planning for this region. We share with you the conviction that the twenty million people in the Northeast must be afforded an opportunity to participate in the future growth of Brazil, and that we must make a bold attack on the economic and social problems of the region.

We work together under this program to give full meaning to the Alliance for Progress, confident that this undertaking will move us forward toward the goals set forth last August at Punta del Este. What makes it an Alliance program in the true sense is that the initiative came from Brazil; that the plan was conceived in your country; and that it will be administered by Brazilians.

Our joint program will consist of a two-pronged attack on the problems of the Northeast.

First, we will act to meet specific urgent needs of highest priority to bring pure water to areas that lack water, to create sources of electric power, to provide education that will enhance workers skills, and to establish emergency health units throughout the area.

Second, we will pledge ninety-eight million dollars to the first two years of your five year long-range program of development--a program designed to bring about a steady increase in living standards, rising opportunities, and the integration of the Northeast into the national economy of Brazil.

At the end of the two years we will conduct a joint review of the program and decide together how we can most effectively work toward our goals in the succeeding years.

We are aware that the problems we face are complex and deep-rooted, that they will not yield to slogans or superficial action. Only hard work, patience and persistence in carrying project after project to completion will achieve what we seek: to change the face of Northeast Brazil and provide a better life for its people.

I am most grateful, Mr. President, for this opportunity to join with you in what we hope will be a major contribution to a better life in our hemisphere.



[His Excellency Joao Belchlor Marques Goulart, President of the Republic of the United States of Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil]

Note: Under the agreement, signed at Washington on April 13 by Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Brazilian foreign Minister San Tiago Dantas, the United States and Brazil together committed $276 million to the development of northeast Brazil. The text of the agreement is printed in Treaties and Other International Acts Series 4990 (13 UST 356).

John F. Kennedy, Letter to President Goulart of Brazil on the Signing of an Alliance for Progress Agreement With Brazil. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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