Alliance for Progress

Alliance for Progress, Span. Alianza para el Progreso, U.S. assistance program for Latin America begun in 1961 during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. It was created principally to counter the appeal of revolutionary politics, such as those adopted in Cuba (see Fidel Castro). It called for vast multilateral programs to relieve the continent's poverty and social inequities and ultimately included U.S. programs of military and police assistance to counter Communist subversion. The charter of the alliance, formulated at an inter-American conference at Punta del Este, Uruguay, in Aug., 1961, called for an annual increase of 2.5% in per capita income, the establishment of democratic governments, more equitable income distribution, land reform, and economic and social planning. Latin American countries (excluding Cuba) pledged a capital investment of $80 billion over 10 years. The United States agreed to supply or guarantee $20 billion. By the late 1960s, however, the United States had become preoccupied with the Vietnam War, and commitments to Latin America were reduced. Moreover, most Latin American nations were unwilling to implement needed reforms. The Organization of American States disbanded the permanent committee created to implement the alliance in 1973.

See A. F. Lowenthal, ed., Exporting Democracy: The United States and Latin America (1991).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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