On March 29, 1962, President Arturo Frondizi of Argentina was overthrown in a military coup. The overthrow of a democratic government was a major setback for the Kennedy administration’s Alliance for Progress in Latin America, and given the close economic relationship between the United States and Argentina it was reasonable to expect Kennedy to condemn the coup. However, the Kennedy administration recognized the new regime and provided it with a loan under the Alliance that was meant for Frondizi’s government. Many historians have interpreted the Kennedy administration’s response to the Argentine coup in a similar manner. They argue that Frondizi supported the Alliance for Progress, yet opposed Kennedy’s effort to isolate Cuba from the rest of the hemisphere. This fits the relationship between the U.S. and Argentina in a broader Cold War narrative wherein Kennedy demanded complete loyalty from Latin American leaders on his Cuban initiatives. However, I argue that the nature of the U.S.-Argentine relationship from March 1961 to March 1962 was more complicated than this. Frondizi did not completely agree with Kennedy’s positions on the Alliance for Progress, yet his government found a common position with the United States and helped the delegations of the Organization of American States at Punta del Este reach a consensus to craft the charter for the Alliance. In spite of serious differences on the “Cuban question,” U.S. officials once more tried work with the Argentines to find a common position that would exclude Cuba from hemispheric affairs in the hopes that this would again form a broad consensus among Latin American nations during a second conference Punta del Este in January 1962. Ultimately, U.S.-Argentine relations during this period can best be summed up not by broad Cold War narratives, but as a general effort by both governments to find a common position on the Alliance for Progress and the “Cuban question.” The two OAS meetings at Punta del Este provided an opportunity to accomplish this for each issue: while the U.S. and Argentina achieved this in August with the Alliance, they were unable to do so with the “Cuban question.”
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 81/11(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American history|
|Keywords:||Alliance for Progress, Argentina, Frondizi, Arturo , Cold War, Kennedy, John F. , United States|
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