The Battle for Latin American Hearts and Minds: JEFF and the Alliance for Progress By the ass’s, Latin America had seen its share to U. S. Policies with aims to improve inter-Armenian relations and regional stability. Especially after World War II, these policies were often unsuited for long-term development and served American interests before the basic needs of the people. President Eisenhower open support of military dictatorships left many Latin Americans Linden oppressive social conditions, and the rest were left with false hopes of economic and humanitarian aid.
Military aid to Latin America, however, had doubled as the fear of communism overtook the hope for any long-term developmental efforts, resulting in a surge in anti-Americanism and inclinations toward non-democratic ideologies. President Kennedy was determined to change the course Of LIST. Policy toward Latin America with the Alliance for Progress, a ten-year plan with more than $20 billion in loans announced in 1961 _ This was a sharp contrast to the hard power approach of the Eisenhower administration, as the threat was now ideological in the form Of communism.Order now
Nevertheless, it is Widely held that he Alliance for Progress and its related programs, such as the Peace Corps, were unsuccessful in bringing about the development and colonization in Latin America that the U. S. Had hoped for in the ass’s. The Kennedy Administration was consumed with finding a way to fight communism in the Western Hemisphere through soft power, and he soon found out that “democracy and social justice could not be easily imparted to poor countries. The revolutionary mentality of Latin America would no longer accept another US. Policy of intervention cloaked in goodwill efforts. Winning the hearts and minds of the people came down to cultural relativism and listening to what the people needed, not what the U. S. Thought they needed. The implementation of public diplomacy tools conflicted with American self-interest and the harsh realities of Latin American society, ultimately undermining the Alliance for Progress.
President Kennedy introduced the Alliance for Progress as a way to “satisfy the basic needs of the American people for homes, favor and land, health and schools” through democracy, social and agrarian reforms. It also planned to solve deep problems such as economic integration and commodity market problems. Most importantly, it would assist in keeping conflicting ideologies, specifically “Coatrooms,” out of the region. Kennedy traveled to Puerco Rice, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Colombia that year to promote the Alliance for Progress.
The Kennedy’s were hardly effective in communicating the plan in Latin America as John conducted the speeches in English and Jackie only spoke briefly in Spanish, but they were initially successful in advocating the plan. John rode on his charisma and reputation in the region to convince the masses that the aid they had waited for had now come, but the over idealistic nature of his plan exulted in disappointment. Kennedy overlooked the two major factors facing Latin America at the time: a rigid social system and a rapidly growing population.
Even if the aid reached the poor after it had passed through the hands of the powerful elite, it was not creating the jobs and quality Of life that they had expected. According to Robert Kinsley, mass communications had caused high expectations for the Alliance for Progress, as the poor became aware of how the other half lived and desired that lifestyle in a less than realistic timeshare. Despite some measurable progress, it was not enough for the rowing population in terms of three of the most important factors: agrarian reform, employment and education.
The Charter of Punt del Est. Outlined the objectives of the Alliance for Progress in more detail, covering expectations for economic growth, distribution of wealth and land, employment, productivity, education and health. Quantitative results showed slow rates of change as population growth worked against them, even back tracking in trends such as education where the percentage of children in primary school dropped considerably by the end of the decade. Agrarian retort and industrialization loud not keep up with the demand of the population either.
There were more mouths to feed and more peasants seeking further estate divisions than ever. Latin American political culture also prevented any sort of economic cooperation and mutual progress, as leaders were unwilling to work together. By and far the most hindering economic feature that was poorly thought out was the fact that many Latin American countries already had existing debt payments. There was huge risk involved for IIS investors to take their business to the region, Vichy success of the Alliance was dependent on. Therefore, repayment of debts was initially slow and hindering.
The execution Of the Peace Corps during the ass’s is another example of how the Alliance for Progress was overly idealistic in anticipating the international community’s openness to American colonization. It was also in many instances a poor advocate for the Alliance. The Peace Corps provided trained volunteers to capacitate impoverished communities With the hope that a better interpersonal and intercultural understanding would ensue. It also allowed Earnings to “feel like one part oftener foreign policy was helping the world.
However, a few logistical aspects were overlooked that would affect the reciprocity. The first was organizational as it was unclear how much structure (or restrictions) the volunteers should be given in their host country. Basic training in language and history, and any behavioral guidelines were not given and therefore it was at the volunteers’ discretion. Cultural differences were also quite a shock to the volunteers who struggled to assimilate and therefore often remained secluded, which was the case in the early groups sent to Ethiopia.
The second aspect that was overlooked was the presence or the further development f any anti-American sentiments, such is the case of Bolivia. The peace Corps volunteers’ work, although successful at the beginning, was too ambitious for the leftist government as they were promoting community reforms that threatened traditional social balance. As seen in the backlash to the distribution of birth control, proper training on the religious and social attitudes in the destination country, along with awareness of that country’s current tensions with the LIE.
S. , is necessary to avoid upsetting a very fragile balance. Under such conditions, not much progress could be made to benefit local populations, and the volunteers ere expelled in 1971 _ George Keenan suggests that it is in Latin America’s best interest to listen to the advice of the u. S. , but this case study shows in fact that it must be the Opposite. Public diplomacy cannot be successful if listening is not conducted on either side, but particularly on the side of those who are implementing the policy.
The Alliance for Progress also lost credibility in the fact that Kennedy’s lofty words did not always match the aggressive actions of the LIE. S. Abroad. The claim that it was acting Without self-interest in Latin America as deceitful, as some of the funds were quietly put toward counterinsurgency programs to prevent the spread of communism in Latin America. There was suspicion of U. S. Involvement in the assassination of the Dominican President Trujillo in 1961, but all that can be proven is that the CIA provided the assassins’ weapons.
He also openly supported states run by oppressive dictators, such as Brazil and Guatemala, through the Mann Doctrine’s idea of non-discrimination in foreign investment. One of the pitfalls of the Alliance for Progress was that there was greater weight on economic performance than political or social improvements, This had unintended consequences of political instability for years to come. Meanwhile, highly publicized events such as the 1961 Bay of Pigs and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis proved to the international community that the U. S. Was indeed willing to act forcefully and unilaterally in Latin America if necessary.
In the minds of Latin American nationalists, the Alliance for progress was never able to overcome the idea of “Yankee imperialism,” despite the public diplomacy efforts in other sectors of society. Aggressive LLC. S_ policies were the ones that ever most commonly known, and the ones they resented the cost. The final question of legitimacy in the Alliance for Progress is the lack Of what Robert Kinsley calls “business diplomacy. ” As mentioned, any economic development in Latin America through the Alliance for Progress funds would have to depend primarily on private investment.
American business did not concern itself With combating the corruption that controlled the economies Of Latin America while working under the Mann Doctrine, and this contributed to the question of whether the LIST. Was truly working in the region’s best interest. Business leaders failed to look at the actual realities of Latin America and what ACH country needed, using their work as a problem-solving tool for social justice, freedoms, and national identity. Kinsley suggests that this could have been the ideology that the U. S. Remoter as its own during this time – economic progress through honest foreign investment – as the affects of business can be felt virtually anywhere. Despite overwhelming support for his efforts upon his election and continued adoration tort his good intentions, Kennedy’s policies still tailed to win the hearts and minds of Latin Earnings by the end of the decade, His desire to help the or in Latin America conflicted with the obsession in Washington to combat communism from all sides. In this case, the soft power and public diplomacy efforts (and successes) went unnoticed as long as hard power was also at work.
The legacy of hard power in the American foreign policy toolbox had led to very high expectations for other efforts. By the ass’s, no comprehensive Latin American development program was created despite the tens of billions of dollars that were committed to the region. In most cases, the Alliance for Progress continued to line the pockets of elites because the funds were poorly allocated. The actions of the Peace Corps demonstrated the continued inability to recognize Latin American’s cultural, historical and economic differences, and furthered sentiments of American arrogance. Y the early ass’s, the program was considered a failure and in 1973, the Organization Of American States disbanded the committee that implemented the Alliance for Progress. As G. John Snobbery suggests, true colonization is a long-term commitment Of external inducement or internal reconstruction. However, if the hegemony does not have legitimacy in those that it is socializing, colonization will only be successful through coercion. Kinsley states, “Nothing has been more destructive of good inter.
American relations than this smug sense of superiority of the Anglo-Saxon world and its implicitly material values,” a useful lesson for the 21st century where relations with Latin America continue to be crucial. The effect past policies have on U. S. Soft power and public diplomacy in the region today are infinite. There must be a concerted effort to acknowledge and appreciate the differences between economic and social experiences, to follow through on promises and to make listening the first step in advancing positive relations in the region.