Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Volume E-11, Part 1, Documents on Mexico; Central America; and the Caribbean, 1973-1976

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 3, 2015


The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States 1969–1976, Volume E–11, Part 1, Documents on Mexico; Central America; and the Caribbean, 1973–1976 on the Office of the Historian website.

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. The volume on American Republics has been divided into two parts: Part One, this volume, documents the formulation of a new U.S. policy towards the region as a whole and bilateral relations with fourteen countries and one British possession—The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Nicaragua—during the second Nixon and Ford administrations; Part Two, forthcoming, documents bilateral relations with countries in South America.

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.

This volume was compiled and edited by Halbert Jones, which is available exclusively on the Office of the Historian website here. For further information, contact Adam Howard, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, at (202) 955–0202 or by e-mail to history@state.gov.