Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Toasts of the President and President Orlich of Costa Rica

June 30, 1964

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen:

This has been a very happy and a very gratifying day to welcome to this country a true and trusted friend and a very good neighbor.

Four centuries ago, the King of Spain granted to Costa Rica, the first capital, a coat of arms which bore the words "Faith and Peace." Those words characterized Costa Ricans unusually well. This very peaceful democracy has always kept faith with that ancient motto and, in so doing, Costa Rica has won the respect and the trust and the praise of free men everywhere.

I believe those words apply aptly to our great continent in these times. Our faith in democracy is unyielding. Our determination for peace is uncompromising.

As we shall never turn away from democracy, so we shall never turn back from the quest for honorable peace.

In the Americas we today realize that peace among nations can only flourish when men have found peace in their individual lives.

The great purpose of our Alliance for Progress is to achieve peace and dignity for every man who calls himself an American-North or South.

Mr. President, a great Central American patriot once said, "To have rights but live in rags is bitter living."

The Alliance for Progress is transforming the bitter living of the underprivileged in Latin America, and it is demonstrating that democracy is more than voting. It is also living. Democracy is living in dignity and living in the knowledge that man has not forsaken his fellow man.

We work together to achieve economic progress, to achieve social justice and, as the author of our Declaration of Independence said, "to oppose every tyranny over the mind of man." Together in peace, we work in the new world for a new age of progress, a new era of prosperity for all Americans of all walks of life.

We have faith and we have peace. On these foundations we build together for a better tomorrow.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to join with me tonight in a toast to the President of Costa Rica and to the perpetuation of the friendship and the understanding between our peoples and all the peoples of America--Mr. President.

Note: The President proposed the toast at a dinner in the State Dining Room at the White House. President Orlich responded as follows:

Mr. President, Mrs. Johnson, ladies and gentlemen:

I think I am really a lucky man to be here with you tonight. Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your nice words.

We feel in Costa Rica, Mr. President, that you have given us a real opportunity to have with you and your country a better relationship than we have had in the past. There is nothing better than this personal contact that we are having now.

We feel real proud of your invitation. I think it is too much for us in Costa Rica. Thank you very much for that, Mr. President.

You can be sure that in this battle for freedom that you have as the leader not only of this Nation but as a leader of the world, Mr. President, you have in Costa Rica a friend, and you have, too, a friend who has been given this opportunity now of talking to you. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Thank you very much, President Johnson, and I repeat that in this great task which you have as a conductor of the free world, Costa Rica is with you side by side and shoulder to shoulder. Thank you very much.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Toasts of the President and President Orlich of Costa Rica Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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