Richard Nixon photo

Remarks to Delegates to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.

July 07, 1970

Ladies and gentlemen:

Mrs. Nixon and I are very honored to have those from the Organization of American States present in the White House today.

If I may simply say to you that I do not plan at this point to make any extended comments upon policy matters, but I want all of you to know that you are truly in a house that welcomes you very warmly. As many of you might say, "Estan ustedes en su erisa."

I realize that the Secretary of State and other Government officials from our Government have spoken to you about some of our United States policies.

The reason I asked Mrs. Nixon to step up here with me is that not only will we be receiving you all but also because I want to speak about her and not just our policies.

This is a great organization. It is an organization which represents large countries and small countries, richer countries and poorer countries. It represents people of differing religions and different languages and different backgrounds.

We have differences sometimes in our policies. Sometimes we have one government that differs in its form from another government; and one policy may not be popular in another country.

There is one thing I feel very deeply, and I know everybody in this room shares this feeling: The differences we have in the Americas are differences of the head and not of the heart, because we are truly one family as the Organization of American States would imply.

I had this brought home to me very eloquently by the trip that Mrs. Nixon took to Peru. Whatever differences nations may have, when one member of this family has problems, when children are orphaned, when families are homeless, when people suffer, the heart of America beats as one.

The point that I wish to emphasize is that our Government, the United States Government, is hopeful that its policies will be cooperative with the wishes and desires of the governments of all the people in the hemisphere.

But whatever those government policies may be, we want you to know that the people of the United States have a feeling of very great friendship and a feeling of being very close to all the people of the Americas, because I personally believe that more important than great amounts of money--and all the nations in the hemisphere have made their contributions to the suffering in Peru--more important than that is the fact that all of the people in this hemisphere, regardless of our other differences, found that our hearts were going out to the people of this country.

Sometimes it takes tragedy to bring a family together--and this is one family.

After our Fourth of July, when so many citizens of the United States were saying, "Long live the United States, long live America," I would like to say it in a different way today.

When I refer to America, I refer to all of America--to the United States of America, to North America, to Central America, to South America. And when I say, "Long live America," I say today, "Viva la familia Americana!"

Note: The President spoke at 5:48 p.m. in the East Room at the White House.

Richard Nixon, Remarks to Delegates to the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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