Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume E–11, Part 1, Documents on Mexico; Central America; and the Caribbean, 1973–1976. Editors: Halbert Jones; Douglas Kraft
This volume is part of a Foreign Relations subseries that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. It was compiled and edited by Halbert Jones, Director of the North American Studies Programme, and Douglas Kraft.
U.S. policy towards Latin America during this period centered on establishing what Henry A. Kissinger called a “New Dialogue” with the region. Launched in October 1973, just days after Kissinger took office as Secretary of State, the “New Dialogue” was envisioned as a constructive way for the United States to meet the challenge posed by the perceived emergence of a Latin American regional bloc. The initiative called for regular meetings of foreign ministers to address issues of mutual concern and aimed to restore a sense that a special relationship existed between the United States and its neighbors to the south. By 1976, however, U.S. officials had largely abandoned the idea of pursuing a unified regional policy, as called for by the “New Dialogue.” Instead, recognizing that Latin America was not a monolithic bloc, the Ford administration focused more on bilateral relations with the nations of the hemisphere. As this volume documents, during the Nixon and Ford administrations immigration and narcotics control emerged as key issues in bilateral relations, particularly with Mexico. Other themes that occur are water salinity, economic concerns, and investment disputes. Finally, military regimes controlled many Central American governments during the 1970s, and some early hints of the unrest that generated the civil wars of the 1980s appear in the documents in this volume.