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The Hickenlooper Amendment Limits U.S. Aid to Latin America

In 1962, the U.S. Congress passed an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 named for the Republican Senator from Iowa, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, who proposed it. The law not only restricted aid to communist countries, but to any country that nationalized U.S. corporate property without full compensation. The Kennedy Administration strongly opposed the Hickenlooper Amendment because its restrictions on nationalization ran counter the Alliance of Progress's efforts to narrow the gap between rich and poor in Latin America.

Prohibitions against furnishing assistance

Cuba; embargo on all trade
(1) No assistance shall be furnished under this chapter to the present government of Cuba. As an additional means of implementing and carrying into effect the policy of the preceding sentence, the President is authorized to establish and maintain a total embargo upon all trade between the United States and Cuba.


… The President shall suspend assistance to the government of any country…which…. has nationalized or expropriated or seized ownership or control of property owned by any United States citizen or by any [U.S.] corporation, partnership, or association …

Communist Countries

…No assistance shall be furnished…to any Communist country. This restriction may not be waived…unless the President finds and promptly reports to Congress that:

(A) such assistance is vital to the security of the United States;

(B) the recipient country is not controlled by the international Communist conspiracy; and

(C) such assistance will further promote the independence of the recipient country from international communism. For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase “Communist country” includes specifically, but is not limited to, the following countries:

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
People’s Republic of China,
Republic of Cuba,
Socialist Republic of Vietnam,

Source | United States Statutes at Large, vol. 76 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1963), 260-261; from Cornell University Law School, U.S. Code Collection,
Creator | U.S. Congress
Item Type | Government Document
Cite This document | U.S. Congress, “The Hickenlooper Amendment Limits U.S. Aid to Latin America,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed February 24, 2024,

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