A US initiative under President John F. Kennedy, formalized in August 1961 when the countries of Latin America (bar Cuba) and the USA signed a Charter at Punta del Este in Uruguay. Its aim was ‘the maintenance of democratic government’, mainly through assistance in social and economic development. The $18 billion programme was funded almost equally by loans, from banking and investment houses in the USA, and the US government. It resulted in modest development of schools and hospitals, but soon lost impetus. Its fundamental problem was that at the time, social, economic, and political progress rarely coincided. In fact, economic progress often served to reinforce existing social imbalances and dictatorial regimes. Also, the Alliance was weakened by continuing US interference in the domestic affairs of its neighbours, most notably in Cuba in 1961–2, and the Dominican Republic in 1965, as well as through continuing CIA activities.
Subjects: United States History — Contemporary History (Post 1945).