Lyndon B. Johnson photo

The President's Toast at a Luncheon at the LBJ Ranch Honoring President Barrientos of Bolivia

July 05, 1968

Mr. President and distinguished guests:

We're delighted that you could come here and give us some of your time on your visit to the United States.

You have held the President's chair now for 2 years. The long logbook of Bolivia's progress speaks for the sureness and for the strength of your hand. It shows the new course that you have set, and the new horizons that you have opened for your own People:

--political and social stability to speed your development plans;

--economic integration with LAFTA [Latin American Free Trade Association] and the Andean Group, to increase your growth opportunities;

--physical integration with your neighbors, to share in the benefits of such projects as the Bolivian highway and the River Plata Basin;

--and now you look forward to the day when a pipeline carries Bolivian gas into Argentina.

We, in America, share the pride and the happiness that your people find in these achievements. We admire and support your determination to press forward with creative change, to keep firm hold of the democratic process that is really the lifeline of those who work for a better day.

In that pursuit, Mr. President, United States support will be gladly given. I hope that our countries are always as close as they are today. I hope their presidents always feel as simpatico as we do today. I hope that when your people are represented on our soil by Bolivian participation in Hemis-Fair that you will enjoy what you see there and that your visit will be a pleasant and a profitable One.

We're so proud that you could be educated and trained some in our State. We're proud of the record that you're making in your country. I hope to some day be able to come there and see you in your own land, in your own atmosphere. We are grateful for the impressive gesture of good will and partnership that you have extended to us.

My friends and my family, please join me in a toast now to the brave and beautiful Republic of Bolivia--and to the proud and distinguished leader of a great people, President Barrientos.

Note: The President proposed the toast at 1:25 p.m. at a luncheon in the dining room at the LBJ Ranch.

After the President's meeting with President Rene Barrientos Ortuno of Bolivia, the White House released the following statement:

President Johnson was with President Barrientos at the ranch for over 3 hours. (President Barrientos arrived at the ranch at 12:30. He departed the ranch at 3:50 p.m.)

President Barrientos was accompanied by Foreign Minister Dr. Tomas Guillermo Elio; the Ambassador of Bolivia to the United States, Julio Sanjines; the Finance Minister of Bolivia, Dr. Jose Romero Losa; the Minister of Rural Affairs, Jorge Solis.

President Johnson had with him Assistant Secretary of State Covey Oliver, Ambassador Douglas Henderson, Ambassador Angler Biddle Duke, Walt Rostow, and Bill Bowdler.

After a short tour of part of the ranch President Johnson and President Barrientos settled down in the shade of the lawn and talked informally for about one-half hour before lunch. The two Presidents had further opportunity for discussion at lunch. After lunch, before departure, President Johnson drove president Barrientos around the ranch.

Short friendly toasts were exchanged at the end of lunch.

President Barrientos in his discussions with the President recalled that they had met in July 1966 just prior to his inauguration as President of Bolivia. In the 2 years which have passed President Barrientos explained the problems that he had confronted; the progress he had made; and the progress he hoped to make in the 2 years ahead.

He underlined the efforts that his government had made to create an environment of political and social stability as well as loyalty to democratic process. president Johnson expressed the respect and satisfaction he felt for Bolivia's success in moving forward its economy including work on multinational projects with its Andean neighbors and the cooperation emerging among those interested in the development of the River Plata Basin. He looked forward to the full exploitation for Bolivia's development of its oil and gas resources as well as the possibilities of the gas pipeline to Argentina.

More broadly the two Presidents reviewed the progress made throughout the hemisphere in carrying out the commitments made in common at Punta del Este last year.

Lyndon B. Johnson, The President's Toast at a Luncheon at the LBJ Ranch Honoring President Barrientos of Bolivia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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