THE FIRST INDONESIAN PRESIDENT SUKARNO VISITED US IN APRIL 24, 1961.
President John F. Kennedy stands with President of Indonesia Ahmed Sukarno at Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland, Maryland. Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles stands behind President Sukarno; Air Force Aide to the President Godfrey T. McHugh stands right of the President off stage. The United States Marine Corp Band plays in background.
Sukarno (1901-1970) was the first president of Indonesia, a nationalist leader, and a demagogue. He was the founder of the Republic of Indonesia and a dominant figure throughout its history until his death.Kennedy had said he was willing to accept an invitation from President Sukarno to visit Indonesia in the spring of 1964. Such a turn of events, sought strongly by Sukarno, would have signaled in a dramatic way Kennedy's support for independent third world nations. As one analyst pointed out, Sukarno was "the most outspoken proponent of Third World neutralism in the Cold War" Sukarno had himselfcoined the term "Third World" at the first Conference of Non-Aligned Nations that he hosted at Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955.Kennedy's support for Sukarno was another sign of how out of step he was with his national security state. Sukarno was a close ally in the Non-Aligned Movement with Ghana's president Kwame Nkrumah, a leading African nationalist whom Kennedy was also helping--to the dismay of advisers opposed to Nkrumah, including even Robert Kennedy. When JFK challenged the National Security COuncil in November 1961 by announcing he had decided to lend Kwame Nkrumah the money for his Volta Dam project in Ghana, he added.
President Sukarno on his visit to the USA. He was accompanied by the US President, John F. Kennedy .
However, regardless of who opposed him in his support fro Nkrumah, the president was determined "to dramatize the new American attitude toward non-alignment thoughout Africa" (note 900) Suakarno's invitation to him to vist Indonesia gave JFK the further oppostunity to support hte leader of the nonaligned bloc in Southeast Asia.Sukarno had recieved a warm welvvome from Kennedy at the WHite House. In his invitation to JFK to visit Indonesia, Sukarno promised him in return "the grandest reception anyone ever received here" (note 901) In visiting Indonesia, Kennedy would cross a threshold by demonstrating publicly hs long-held support of third world nationalism. In terms of the policies he was forging in Indonesia, Ghana, and the Congo, with their adverse impact on multinational corporations, the presidnet was being seen increasingly as a class traitor and a Cold War heretic.
Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and President Soekarno