THE WINE IS BITTER by Milton Eisenhower


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Our wine is bitter but it is ours"", said Jose Marti, a turn of the century Cuban revolutionary. Milton Eisenhower uses only the first half of the quotation for the title of his personal and historical reminiscences about Latin America, based on eight years' experience as his brother's personal representative and special ambassador. He traces the U.S. relationship to Latin America in light of the events and background against which the Alliance for Progress emerged. He examines three events which led up to the implementation of large scale aid: Eisenhower's 1960 proposal to Congress; the Act of Bogota; and the Punta del Este conference which laid down the principle of ten-year development plans. One of several debatable points is the statement- ""I do know that President Eisenhower did not have any plan to sponsor an invasion of Cuba"" which certainly conflicts with all claims of the Kennedy Administration. Unfortunately Eisenhower fails to examine the implications of his views and opinions. He alleges foresight but demonstrates a lack of understanding of the basic forces in Latin America; perhaps the fact that he could see no greater difference between Batista and Castro than between Tweedledum and Tweedledee is an index to his thinking. There is a mass of miscellaneous information here but presented in such disarray that it is difficult to follow his thought processes through to the sometimes debatable conclusions.

Pub Date: July 19th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday