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President Bush's trip to Latin America

Emery Gorondy quotes the New York Times (3/21/02): "Mr. Bush will spend the first two days of his trip to Monterrey, Mexico, at a conference on global aid to the poor. He is expected to say definitively that the United States will double its foreign aid budget from $10 billion to $20 billion over three years. He will also reiterate that the increase in aid, which he wants to place in what he has referred to as a "millennium fund," will be contingent on the recipients' undertaking a range of economic, political and social reforms.

"I'm not interested in funding corruption, period," Mr. Bush said in one of four interviews with Latin American journalists at the White House today.He added: "And if a country thinks they're going to get aid from the United States and they're stealing money, they're not just going to get it out of this millennium fund. And hopefully not out of any fund."

Emery then comments: "It is very encouraging to see the President of the USA acknowledge the mistaken US Foreign Policy of the past which resulted in "funding corruption!" Let us hope that the President's demands for "economic, political and social reforms" of the aid recipient countries will not fall into the same failure as President Kennedy's "Alliance for Progress," which was the first attempt by the USA to transform Latin American dictatorial oligarchies into democratic societies! If President Kennedy's plan had been implemented, hundred of thousands of Latin American lives would have been spared, and all those noble young Latin American "idealists," who were willing to give their lives to bring about "justice and opportunity for all," would have supported the USA effort and would not have embraced the enemy of the "corruption funding" forces, the Communists!"

My comment: Bush was not apologizing for previous US conduct, he was criticizing the corruption of some Latin American regimes. To say that hundreds of thousands of young Latin American idealists were killed by dictatorships seems like a gross exaggeration, but I do not have figures.

Ronald Hilton - 3/26/02