The Committee of Returned Volunteers is an independent national organization of persons
who have served as volunteers in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Various members have
worked for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), International Voluntary Services
(IVS), the Frontier Interne Program of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., the Yale
in China Program and so forth, but most of its 3,000 members are former Peace Corps Vol-
unteers. CRV was initiated in 1966 and is composed of twelve chapters with numerous
The annual General Assembly, consisting of 65 delegates from all parts of the United States,
met this year in St. Paul, Minnesota; on September 15, it unanimously approved the follow-
ing position paper on the Peace Corps.
Position Paper on the Peace Corps
We are United States citizens who have worked abroad for voluntary service organizations
including International Voluntary Services, the American Friends Service Committee and,
for the great majority of us, the United States Peace Corps. We who volunteered for the
Peace Corps saw that organization as a vehicle through which we could work in poor com-
munities overseas to help people improve their lives. However, our original idealistic
concern did not include an understanding of the underlying causes -- social, economic and
political -- of the underdevelopment we sought to combat.
Now we have gained first-hand experience of the conditions of life in the Third World,
and we have also worked to develop a broader perspective on our individual experiences
through extensive discussions with many other returned volunteers. Moreover, we have
come to a new realization that present day underdevelopment is in many cases perpetuated
by the negative and destructive policies of the United States. Therefore, because of our
continuing commitment to the well-being of the people with whom we lived and worked, we
have come to the unavoidable conclusion that the Peace Corps should be abolished, for the
I. The Peace Corps supports the status quo in the countries to which it sends volunteers.
A. It ives legitimacy, through its very presence, to the local power structure which
invi.ed it. This elite typically in collaboration with powerful U.S. financial in-
terests, indulges its narrow self-interest at the expense of the common people.
B. It provides an illusion of progress by helping to coax out of an obsolete and in-
adequate politico-economic system some token social projects (a school here, a
health center there), although on a scale so small that it can only be described as cynical.
C. It attempts to work through individual volunteers on a person-to-person level to
ameliorate small, local difficulties, even though these may be but symptoms stemming
from problems in the nation's basic institutional structure whose solutions require col-
lective action and awareness.
D. It seeks to channel the energies of local people with-sincere aspirations (youth,
leaders, idealists) away from examining and challenging underlying social, political,
and economic injustices of the existing order by drawing them into superficial efforts to
make that order, no matter how unjust, work more smoothly.
E. It as the effect of reinforcing the belief already held by many of the world's
poor that their underdevelopment is really their own fault and that the unjust
social order in which they struggle for existence is immutable. Their conviction that
they themselves do not have the creativity and cannot marshall the resources to under-
stand and overcome their poverty and dependence is confirmed.-7-
II. The Peace Corps supports the world-wide vested interests of United States business
and the United States government.
A. It "makes friends for America" abroad who will become the future supporters of an
apologists for U.S. policy in the Third World and can easily be recruited into local
American business concerns and cooperating host country agencies. The ultimate goal of
this process is the Americanization of the entire world.
B. It collaborates with other U.S. agencies in underdeveloped countries (including the
Agency for International Development, the United States Information Service, the
Alliance for Progress) to promote an "alternative to communism." This is nothing more
than a kind of "development" along lines which American interests can control for their
own benefit -- a goal which can only be assured by frustrating the development of the
people's awareness of their own self-interest, which might well take the form of social-
C. It grooms Americans for future employment as "area specialists" with the State De-
partment, A.I.D., the Foreign Service, and pacification programs, and with U.S.
business interests overseas, thus serving, in effect, as a "graduate school for im-
D. t assembles the considerable collective knowledge which the Peace Corps volunteers
have about a country, as expressed in the reports, surveys, plans and evaluations
they are frequently called upon to submit to their superiors. The Peace Corps director
in the country, in turn, attends regular meetings called by the U.S. ambassador of his
"country team" (including Foad f the U.S. military assistance program, the Central In-
telligence Agency, A.I.D., U.S.I.S.). It cannot be denied that much of the information
they gather is available for passing on to other government agencies.
E. It capitalized on the idealism of U. . youth and on the good will of the people of
the United States to present a false image of the United States presence in the
Third World. Far from radicalizing volunteers, it attempts to dissipate their "excess
energy" and to channel it to further U.S. interests.
F. It presents the Peace Corps volunteer to the people of the United States as the em-
bodiment of its sincere concern with the world's "less fortunate" peoples. The
Peace Corps volunteer supposedly represents a sacrifice to carry our "help" to the remotest
village. The public is led to see the Peace Corps as a sincere effort to do the "right
thing" making up for many mistaken policies and bureaucratic shortcomings of other U.S.
G. It not only draws attention away from the obvious manifestations of U.S. imperial-
ism, such as the GreenBerets, but because of its subtlety it is a dangerous exten-
sion of U.S. penetration and domination of the Third World.
The Committee of Returned Volunteers is convinced that real development is often impossi-
ble without a revolution which carries out an equitable re-distribution of economic and
political power, including nationalization of all resources; one which makes education,
employment, housing and medical care available to all the people. The United States
opposes any such revolutions, and the Peace Corps is an integral part of U.S. policy.
There may well be many superficial changes in the Peace Corps structure and policies from
time to time, but regardless of these changes it will continue to function as an instru-
ment of U.S. domination. Therefore, we oppose the presence of Peace Corps volunteers in
the Third World. We call for abolition of the United States Peace Corps. We call upon
present volunteers to subvert the Peace Corps and all other institutions of U.S. imperialism-- 8-
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
The FAS serves to main functions: 1) to promote the sale of U.S. agricultural products
abroad; and 2) to maintain a "global reporting and analysis network covering world agri-
cultural production, trade competition, and policy situations that affect American
agriculture." These activities are administered by the 104 FAS officers and attaches
stationed in over 100 countries; 17 FAS officers are assigned to Latin America. The FAS
also teams up with AID to distribute surplus commodities under the Public Law 480 (Food
for Peace) program. These commodities are paid for in local currencies which are then
used to pay for other U.S. government expenditures in the particular country.
In cooperation with U.S. agribusiness corporations, the FAS undertakes jointly financed
market development projects including trade fairs and the operation of trade centers.
The FAS makes available to .S. farm and business interests the latest intelligence on
the world's major farm commodities.
The 'Country Team'
Deputy Chief of Mission
Counselor for Political Affairs
Two Political Officers
Counselor for Economic Affairs
Three Economic Officers
Four Commercial Officers
Transportation and Communicatiols Attache
Four Consular Officers
(;ounselor for Administration
Twr\o Security Officers
Budget Management Officer
tGeneral Services Officer
(:ommunication.s and Records Supervisor
(,eneral Services Assistant
Foreign Service O)ticer ( unior otlicer on
rilst tour (,f dutit alhroad)
A distant Army At a c!:'
Assistant Naval Attache
Assistant Air Attach
Forign Agriculturul Serrice (AS)
AricilIt u rld Attach(c
Assistallat Agricultural Attach
Agency for Inticrnolional Development (AID)
A II) Representat ivt
Programs Analysis Officer
Public Safety Adviser
Agriculture Credit Adviser
Resources Development Officer
Peace Corps Representative
lUnited States Information Service (USIS)
Counselor for Public Affairs
(Cultural Affairs Officer
C C, D O
..U.S. FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICIALS IN LATIN AMERICA -- SEPTEMBER 1969
Note: The following breakdown of U.S. government personnel stationed in Latin America was
compiled from the State Department's Foreign Service List of September 1969. It is
by no means accurate in terms of the total number of U.S. government personnel in Latin
America, rather, it is a description of the tip of the iceberg. This tabulation includes
only Foreign Service Officers (FSO's) of class 6 rank and above, and the officers only of
the various agencies (e.g., AID, USIA, FAS, Peace Corps). All FSO's below class 6 rank,
American and local secretarial, clerical and maintenance employees, translators, librar-
ians, security personnel and other support staff, "contract employees," Peace Corps vol-
unteers (PCV's) and undercover agents are excluded from the totals. Neither does the
table include paramilitary personnel working with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
(aerial reconnaissance and mapping) or the thousands of U.S. government employees in the
Panama Canal Zone, Guantanamo and other bases. The figures in the Armed Forces Attaches
column include only the commanding officers of each branch of the embassy's armed forces
mission. The total numbers of Peace Corps volunteers in each country were "unavailable"
from PC headquarters at the time of this writing.
EMBASSY - Gen'l
AID I USIA
6 1 10 i 24
_- -- 1
3 66 12
6 164 46
5 37 16
1 48 18
4 23 5
3 67 6
2 34 13
4 18 3
4 41 8
- 15 2
I - - 1)~~~
885 720 248 252 17 2193
The Committee of Returned Volunteers is an independent national organization of persons