The National Association of the Partners of the Alliance

September 25, 2007

One of many government-sponsored but privately organized endeavors to build infrastructure projects in Latin America is the National Association of the Partners of the Alliance (NAPA). Through its program, U.S. states "team up" with provinces and countries in Latin America (see list below) to stimulate the development of the region, primarily through health, education and agriculture projects. Advertised as the "grass roots approach to the Alliance for Progress," NAPA channels the efforts of local non-profit and business organizations within the states to various small "impact programs" such as:


* Sports equipment sent to La Purisima and San Isidro for developing Little League activities. (California/Mexico $150)

* Initial shipment of 100 professional books sent by Prof. Sam Beer of Harvard to School of Finance and Administration. (Massachusetts/ Antioquia, Columbia $1,000)

* Mimeograph presented by UAW (Mich.) to FESTRALVA (labor union) in Cali, Colombia. (Oaskland County, Mich./ Cauca Valley, Columbia (since Phased out) ($400)

* Hospital equipment and medical supplies (partial contribution to ongoing statewide collection campaign for purchasing anesthesia apparatus, delivery tables, operating tables, etc.). (Wisconsin/Nicaragua $10,000)

* Funds to provide mimeograph supplies for five rural schools in Guatemala. Project of Downtown Luncheon Business and Professional Womens Club of Miama, Fla. (Project a result of program contributions arranged directly by NAPA/Washington Staff. $150)

* Funds for Lions Club youth project. (New Jersey/ Alagoas, Brazil $400)

* Materials for Moche 4-H Club program. (Texas, Peru $100)

* Agricultural extension training activity, University of Delaware. Room and board, local transportation. (Delaware/ Panama $750)

NAPA also promotes larger projects such as the Michigan/British Honduras plans for "establishing the first independent educational television network for an entire Latin American nation." Originally conceived by Sig Nickelson, vice-president of Time-Life Broadcast, Inc., the project envisions 1) the Belize government and the Partners providing land for transmitter and studio sites: 2) Time-Life Broadcast (a Time, Inc. subsidiary) organizing and advising the management of the station and programing: 3) Michigan educational institutions providing film and video tape programs, "many of which are now being used in the United States." Another NAPA plan with far-reaching potential is an effort to involve state and local 4-H clubs and Scout troops inbuilding similar counterpart organizations in Latin America.

NAPA's Business Advisory Committee sponsors conferences to get potential but inexperienced U.S. investors interested in the Latin American investment scene. At the November 1967 U.S./Brazil Investment Conference, panel discussions ranged from case histories of successful U.S. companies in Northeast Brazil to Brazilian Federal and State investment programs. "We're undoubtedly creating an investment climate by bringing people together who are new to the international investment scene," says NAPA director J.H. Boren. Formerly administrative assistant to Texas' Senator Yarborough (1957-61) and a USAID administrator in Peru (1961-63), Boren has headed NAPA since its inception under the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1964.

The Fourth Inter-American Conference of the Partners of the Alliance is scheduled for May, 1969, in Salt Lake City. Utah's partner is the La Paz and Altiplano region of Bolivia. It was therefore no great surprise that President Rene Barrientos on his visit to the United States last July, after conferring with President Johnson at the ranch, flew to Logan, Utah, where he reviewed Utah State University contracts with Bolivia, inspected a Peace Corps training project, received an honorary doctorate of law and then flew to a Salt Lake City dinner given in his honor by the Utah Partnersof the Alliance. Among those present were Edward S. Marcus, NAPA National President, and members of the Utah power structure, including Royden Derrick, Chairman of the Utah Partners, former Board Chairman of the University bf Utah Regents and a director of the Salt Lake City Branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. Derrick, who was also a member of a 1964 State Department study team to Bolivia, will be co-chairman of the May conference.

Created during Johnson's term of office, NAPA's administrative structure is understandably a little topheavy with Texans and those in the LBJ orbit. Both the President (Marcus, who is also executive vice president and treasurer of Nieman-Marcus Co., the largest department store chain in Texas) and the Director (Boren) have worked actively in various Texan political campaigns. The Director of Public Information, Clark Newlon, a retired USAF colonel, has been managing editor of the Dallas--Dispatch-Journal, an editor of Missiles and Rockets Magazine, a director of Praeger's Washington office and is the author of five books, one of them a biography of LBJ himself.

Tags: National Association of Partners of the Alliance, foreign aid exchange

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