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IMPORTANCE OF LATIN AMERICA
My friends early tomorrow I start a journey to several of our Latin American neighbors, with three major purposes in mind. These are: to learn more about our friends to the south; to assure them again that the United States seeks to cooperate with them in achieving a fuller life for everyone in this hemisphere; and to make clear our desire to work closely with them in the building of a universal peace with justice.
Our interest in our sister Republics is of long standing, and of deep affection. This, in itself, is reason sufficient for the journey. But in these days of world tension, of awakening ambitions, and of problems caused by the growing interdependence of nations, it is vital for national partners to develop better understandings and to improve common programs.
The bonds among our American Republics are not merely geographic; rather they are shared principles and convictions. Together we believe in God, in the dignity and rights of man, in peace with justice, and in the right of every people to determine its own destiny. In such beliefs our friendship is rooted.
Yet even among close comrades, friendships too often seem to be taken for granted. We must not give our neighbors of Latin America cause to believe this about us.
So I shall reaffirm to our sister Republics that we are steadfast in our purpose to work with them hand in hand in promoting the security and well-being of all peoples of this hemisphere.
To do so, calls for a sustained effort that is, unfortunately, …