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Rosalynn Carter's Trip to the Caribbean and Latin America Remarks of the President and Mrs. Carter on Her Return.

June 12, 1977

MRS. CARTER. I've had a lot of arrival ceremonies in the last couple of weeks, but it's always good to arrive back home.

Mr. President, Jimmy, Mr. Secretary of State, Mr. Vice President, distinguished Ambassadors:

I bring you greetings from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Es un gran placer para mi esta aqui. (It's a great pleasure for me to be here.)

I've done this for 2 weeks, and I couldn't resist. But seriously, it was a good trip.

This morning in Venezuela, President Perez said to me that Jimmy's Pan American Day speech and my visit to Latin America had opened new paths in inter-American relations instead of the paternalism that has characterized the past. We are ready and eager to develop balanced, natural, normal, and equal relationships.

I found good will and friendship everywhere I went. They love you in the Caribbean and in Latin America, and every head of state that I spoke with without exception agreed with me on the importance of cooperating and consulting closely on the issues that concern you, Jimmy, and that concern us all human rights, nuclear nonproliferation, economic development, arms control.

I think we've made progress in all of these areas. I'm glad to be back home. I'm glad to be with Amy and with Jimmy. I'm going to convey all of this information that I have to Jimmy. In fact, I look forward to consulting closely with him on a regular basis. [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. She's given me permission to say just a word. Every day we have received a comprehensive report on Rosalynn's visit with the foreign ministers and with the heads of state. Of the seven countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America that she has visited along with Mrs. Vance and others this past 2 weeks, all the reports have been good.

Her goals, as laid out very carefully and over a long period of time by the State Department and the White House, have all been carried out, I think, almost with perfection. Although she had scheduled in many instances just 45 minutes or an hour with the Presidents or Prime Ministers of our friends in the south, most of her conversations with them extended from 3 or 4 or 5, sometimes as many as 7 hours.

The substance of those discussions are matters that are of mutual interest to all of us, and Rosalynn has reported already and will report further on areas of closer cooperation and equality of approach to both the opportunities and problems that have always bound us close together.

This has been a trip, I think, of great significance to our country and to the people whom she has visited. The trip had great significance to me, and I'm very glad that she has returned home safely and with success.

The leaders .of those countries probably realize that it means a lot more for me to send Rosalynn to their country than for me to send anyone else. It's much more difficult and a much greater sacrifice for me to have her gone than the Vice President, even, or the Secretary of State. [Laughter]

We're glad to have her home with the renewed knowledge and commitment that our friends in Central and South America are very dear to us. And I believe that the problems that did exist between ourselves and a few of the countries that she visited have, to a great degree, been resolved, and the agenda that she has laid out in close consultation with the leaders of those nations are already being addressed.

I'm thankful that she went and I'm thankful for the results of her trip and, also, thankful that they are home safely.

Thank you very much.

Note: The exchange of remarks began at 4:25 p.m. at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter's Trip to the Caribbean and Latin America Remarks of the President and Mrs. Carter on Her Return. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243682

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