Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Dedication of the Venezuelan Pavilion, New York World's fair.

May 09, 1964

President Betancourt, Mr. Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen:

Buenas tardes, mis amigos.

This is a real honor for me to come here today and be with my old and delightful friend, President Betancourt.

As President of one democracy, I am proud to be present at the pavilion of another great democracy whose vision and spirit have lighted not only this hemisphere but all the world, and to be present here with the leader of that democracy during the time that great effort was being made.

Under progressive leadership, Venezuela is moving vigorously and moving successfully to prove, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, that "democracy is the one form of society which guarantees to every new generation of men the right to imagine and to attempt to bring to pass a better world."

Every nation, whatever its system of government, whatever its ideological faith, must take note of President Betancourt's and Venezuela's progress. In improving the general welfare of her people, in stimulating her economy, in doing that which is good for humanity, Mr. President and Mr. Ambassador, your country is in the vanguard of a better world.

Your progress demonstrates that social reform and economic development are possible within a democratic constitutional framework and that such a framework offers the most hope to the most people, the greatest good for the greatest number.

Three years ago all the people of this hemisphere joined in a new alliance for progress. Mr. President, your efforts helped inspire that alliance. I am proud today to be the guest of a sister republic that has already shown that the alliance is not only a shining promise but has shown it is a successful practice.

We are having a meeting with the Latin American Ambassadors in the White House on Monday. Mr. President, we would like so much for you to be there because you would give them stimulation and inspiration that will be absent if you are not there.

But I do want you to know that we are going to forge full steam ahead to build the kind of hemisphere that you and my predecessor, the late, beloved John F. Kennedy, envisioned together and we will execute it together.

Note: The President spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the Venezuelan Pavilion at the fair. His opening words referred to President Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela and Dr. Enrique Tejera-Paris, Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Dedication of the Venezuelan Pavilion, New York World's fair. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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