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President Kennedy Welcomed to Costa Rica

Mar. 18, 1963 - President Kennedy was welcomed to Costa Rica today by the largest turnout within Costa Ricans’ memory. He promised that his three-day visit would increase the hemisphere’s capacity to prevent infiltration of Cuban agents, money, and propaganda. Opening his conference with the Presidents of six Latin American countries, Mr. Kennedy declared that “we will build a wall around Cuba — not a wall of mortar or brick or barbed wire, but a wall of dedicated men determined to protect their own freedom and sovereignty.” A throng estimated by the San José police at nearly 250,000 persons flowed into the streets, disrupting most of the prepared welcome parade. The President’s car got through without difficulty, but the rest of the cavalcade, including the cars of other visiting Presidents, was held up for half an hour. One of the official U.S. delegation cars was held up for nearly that long while waiting for Senator J.W. Fulbright, who had become lost in the crowd. Mr. Fulbright, who is head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, walked the entire way from the airport into the center of the city.


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