Committee of Santa Fe

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According to Group Watch (1991), "In l988, the Committee of Santa Fe released a new document, Santa Fe II, with recommendations for the next administration. Although it is somewhat less ideological and more pragmatic than the original 'Santa Fe Document,' this second publication is unlikely to have the impact of the first simply due to the changing political tenor of the country and the absence from the White House of a truly ideological president" (i.e. Ronald Reagan).[1]

Members of the Committee of Sante Fe, which was affiliated with the Council for Inter-American Security (CIS), included:[2]


Again, according to research by Group Watch, "In l980, CIS produced the influential report A New Inter-American Policy for the Eighties, known popularly as the Santa Fe Document. This document became a central building block in the construction of Ronald Reagan's foreign policy in Central America during his first term. The document argued that the U. S. was 'engaged in World War III,' and proposed that 'in war there is no substitute for victory.' Describing Central America as 'the soft underbelly of the United States,' the report called for the restoration of the Monroe Doctrine as the underpinning of U.S. foreign policy in the region.

"Its recommendations included increased military ties with 'friendly' Central American governments, the provision of military training and assistance programs, and both technical and psychological assistance programs to help those countries fight terrorism. It suggested an 'economic and ideological campaign' to deal with such issues as energy, Latin American debt, industrial and agricultural development, and education to 'win the minds of mankind.' To undermine the communist goverment of Cuba, it recommended the establishment of Radio Marti and the Caribbean Basin Initiative. It urged the U.S. to revitalize the Rio Treaty and the Organization of American States but simultaneously called for the United States to 'assume the role of the unquestionably cohesive force in building a Western Hemispheric community.'

"'The "Santa Fe Document' criticized isolationism, containment, and detente as ineffective responses to the Soviet threat in the Americas. Instead, the U.S. was exhorted to take an activist stance in the region as well as in the world, mindful that "the very survival of this republic is at stake.'

"A subsequent document, published in late l988, Santa Fe II offered the CIS policy recommendations on Latin America for the l990s. While lacking much of the hyperbole of the original 'Santa Fe Document,' this second report argued that 'the Americas are still under attack,' and listed communist subversion, along with terrorism and the drug trade, as manifestations of that attack. An underlying assumption of the document was the assertion that communist organizations were connected to and allies of the terrorist and narcotics networks which formed the other two components of the 'attack' on the Western hemisphere. The report criticized a 'continuation of the attitude of strategic indifference' on the part of the United States toward Latin America and a failure to establish a bipartisan consensus on a long-term, pro-active (as opposed to reactive) set of policies toward the region. Noting the economic stagnation characteristic of the region, CIS called for U.S. policies which support the formation of national capital markets, deregulation, and privatization in order to stimulate Latin American economies.

"It also noted that the present Latin American debt burden 'has to be lessened because it can never be repaid at current terms,' although it suggested market-oriented approaches to resolving that dilemma. The document asserted that liberation theology and intellectual leftist social criticisms are based on a Gramscian attempt to establish Marxist cultural hegemony. In response, Santa Fe II proposed that the United States must set up institutions and programs which 'support democracy among the permanent bureaucracy including the military and the political culture,' as well as among labor unions, business groups, trade associations, and educational organizations. It also urged the U.S. to recognize the 'need' of newly democratic governments or governments in transition to democracy to 'restrain anti-democratic parties.' Among its other suggestions were bolstering the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, strengthening the budget of the U.S. Information Agency and the Office of Public Diplomacy, revitalizing and expanding the Caribbean Basin Initiative, setting agricultural policies based on comparative advantage, eliminating U.S. and Latin American trade protectionism, protecting and restoring tropical rain forests, implementing structural changes in the U.S. defense establishment to accommodate the requirements of low intensity conflict (LIC) strategy, renovating the Organization of American States, expanding military assistance to Latin America, utilizing a 'sophisticated' version of LIC to support the 'democratization' of Nicaragua, and educating the American media and public about the nature of communist subversion in the hemisphere. In a section on Coming Regime Crises in Latin America and U.S. Responsibilities, the document's authors highlighted Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, and Panama. In each, they suggested ways in which the United States might influence the changes likely in those political systems over the next decade."