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Letter to Thomas C. Mann Upon His Assuming New Responsibilities for Latin American Affairs.

December 15, 1963

Dear Ambassador Mann:

I want you to know how gratified I am by your response to my request that you leave your important position in Mexico and come home to take up the tasks we have discussed.

I have asked you, in addition to your duties as Assistant Secretary, to undertake the coordination and direction of all policies and programs of the U.S. government, economic, social, and cultural, relating to Latin America. There can be no illusion that the work will be easy. But, as I told you, next to keeping the peace--and maintaining the strength and vitality which makes freedom secure-no work is more important for our generation of Americans than our work in this hemisphere.

I am sure you share my pride in the accomplishments to date; my deep gratitude to the loyal and dedicated U.S. officials--and to officials of other governments in the hemisphere-who have made this possible; and to the Congress for its vision in authorizing and financing the Alliance for Progress program.

I know that you share my determination to press to full realization the visions of President Roosevelt and President Kennedy of an American community of Nations moving forward together in progress and freedom.

The Alliance for Progress is a partnership in which each free American republic has a part to play together. We must find ways to expand education, health, and low-cost housing facilities; we must find ways to help governments increase revenues by tax reforms and, at the same time, maintain an adequate and sustained rate of economic growth; we must find ways to bring about land reform and, at the same time, to increase agricultural production. Job opportunities must be expanded and educational and health facilities and low-cost housing must be provided. Social justice is a goal for which we must constantly strive.

All of the American nations must market their resources and devote themselves to finding ways to bring the strength of those resources to the task at hand.

I want you to work closely with private U.S. groups and institutions carrying out activities in Latin America. These include, but are not limited to, the AFL-CIO, religious and charitable groups, cooperatives and the private business sector, which can make the significant contribution envisaged in the Punta del Este Charter.

You will find many outstanding public servants throughout our Government who will help you in your difficult task. You can count on my intense interest and complete support.



[Honorable Thomas Mann, United States Ambassador, Mexico City, Mexico]

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to Thomas C. Mann Upon His Assuming New Responsibilities for Latin American Affairs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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