President Lyndon B. Johnson Praises the Alliance For Progress Program Between Chile and California, in a Letter to California Governor Pat Brown

It is “making a useful contribution to the development of Chile and to good relations with Chile.”.

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In 1963, President Kennedy suggested the idea for the Chile-California program to California Governor Pat Brown. This was a state-based foreign initiative, with its substantial federal assistance, was among Kennedy’s final policy proposals. The program was initiated after LBJ took office in December 1963. The parties agreed to focus on developing Chilean...

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President Lyndon B. Johnson Praises the Alliance For Progress Program Between Chile and California, in a Letter to California Governor Pat Brown

It is “making a useful contribution to the development of Chile and to good relations with Chile.”.

In 1963, President Kennedy suggested the idea for the Chile-California program to California Governor Pat Brown. This was a state-based foreign initiative, with its substantial federal assistance, was among Kennedy’s final policy proposals. The program was initiated after LBJ took office in December 1963. The parties agreed to focus on developing Chilean agriculture, education, water resources and highway transportation. By 1965 there were 45 Californians in Chile working on field projects, including upgrading standards for agricultural commodities. Johnson called the program a showcase for the Alliance for Progress, as it had political as well as commercial benefits for the United States. By 1966, over 100 American corporations had investments in Chile, as Chile had become a primary destination for U.S. farm exports. American loans flooded into Chile during these years.

Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, Washington, February 27, 1967, to Brown, praising the Chile-California Program and arranging to discuss its details with Brown. “I welcome your continuing interest in Latin America. I was especially pleased to note that you were able to go to Chile recently for a discussion of the Chile-California program. I also hope that this particular program can be continued because it is making a useful contribution to the development of Chile and to good relations with Chile.

“I am awaiting a final report from Secretary Rusk on the outcome of the Inter-American Meetings at Buenos Aires. His preliminary report was that it seemed likely that a meaningful agenda could be worked out and that a Summit Meeting could be scheduled for April. We still have a lot of work to do with respect to our participation in such a meeting. I have been awaiting the outcome of this staff work before I consider the composition of our delegation. I will write you again when we have a better idea of the nature of the meeting and the delegation that might accompany me.” He adds in holograph, “I’ll ask Dean Rusk to give  me a reading and then get in touch. L.”

As a result of the information and technology transfers from California to Chile, Chile became a primary supplier for the meeting U.S. demand for off-season produce. By the 1970s, it began to dominate global produce markets during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter season. Thus, on an economic level, the program benefited all parties.

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