... all of us comefrom and were born to this world, our nations, through violent revolution. Now our charge and our task is to provide the means and the method through which those great changes that need to be made in the world, in our own countries and in the world, can be made through peaceful change.

Toast at a dinner honoring
President Caldera of Venezuela,
June 2, 1970

For more than a century and a half, our most consistent peacetime foreign relations were hemispheric relations. We have shared with our sister republics the experience of gaining and preserving our independence from the Old World. It was only natural that the nations of the New World should see their destinies as intertwined and continue to pay special attention to their ties with each other. Geography and history have bound us together and nurtured a sense of community, now formalized in the treaties and institutions of the inter-American system.

The purposes and practices of our association have changed over time, but its benefits have endured. It has helped to maintain the independence of the hemisphere from outside domination, to facilitate political and economic progress, and to enhance the region's influence in the world community.