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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: SEVENTH CONVERSATION IX

April 8, 2012

JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: SEVENTH CONVERSATION IX

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on the seventh conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” published by Hyperion.


The seventh conversation was recorded on June 3, 1964.

Arthur Schlesinger says:

“Latin America was something (JFK) cared about a great deal….& you mentioned earlier about his admiration for Betancourt* & for Lleras Camargo**.  Do you remmeber Frondizi*** of Argentina?”

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“No. That was a men’s lunch (but) we always had our bags packed for that trip (to Brazil) & I remember one….thing that (Jack) said about Quadros****when he resigned.

He said: ‘You don’t have the right to do that.’  It wasn’t (Jack’s) way of doing things.  Again the whole thing of ‘Profiles In Courage.’ And that’s just what Quadros was the opposite of.”

Mr. Schlesinger asks if Mrs. Kennedy remembers anything particular about Peru.

She answers:

“Yes…Prado***** of Peru had been here on a state visit.  

He was really rather a comic character.  

When he was overthrown, it reminds me so now of everyone saying that the U.S. recognized the junta in Brazil too quickly.

“The minute the junta took over….everyone just had cheers.  And that was the most disillusioning thing.  

(Romulo) Betancourt (told me that) half of Congress…had their civil liberties taken away & that was one of the most despairing things in Latin America–the difference between (JFK & LBJ). 

 It affected all the countries.  Jack never would have done it that way.”

*Romulo Betancourt (1908-1981) was President of Venezuela from 1945-1948 & 1959-1964.  He is known as the Father of Venezuelan Democracy.


Presidents Betancourt & Kennedy, La Morita, Venezuela, December 16, 1961


**Lleras Camargo (1906-1880) was the 1st Secretary General of the OAS & President of Colombia 1958-1962.

***Arturo Frondizi (1908-1995) was President of Argentina 1958-1962.

****Janio Quadros (1917-1992) was President of Brazil for 7 months in 1961.  His resignation initiated a political crisis ultimately resulting in a military coup in 1964.


Janio Quadros, Photo by Argencia Brasil

*****Manuel Prado (1889-1967) was President of Peru 1939-1945 & 1956-1962.

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