Holt, Pat M. 1920–2007

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Holt, Pat M. 1920–2007

(Pat Mayo Holt)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 5, 1920, in Gatesville, TX; died of septicemia, September 24, 2007, in Arlington, VA. Latin American affairs expert, government official, columnist, and author. Holt became a specialist on Latin America in the 1950s, when not many people regarded the area as important to U.S. interests. That would change over the next several years, when then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon was confronted by hostile crowds in South America in 1958, Fidel Castro's communist regime took control of Cuba in 1959, and President John F. Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. During all of these events, in fact from 1950 to 1977, Holt was a staff member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee; he chaired the committee from 1974 to 1977. During that time, and also into his retirement, Holt maintained his conviction that U.S. political, economic, and diplomatic actions against Cuba were ill-advised mistakes, constituting an overreaction to the so-called Communist threat at America's doorstep, but he failed to convince policy-makers to exercise restraint in that regard. He held a similar view of President Lyndon B. Johnson's military intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965 and later incursions in Vietnam. Holt began his career as a journalist in the 1940s and ended it as a foreign affairs columnist for the Christian Science Monitor. He was also a board member of the Institute of Current World Affairs. Holt shared his expertise on Latin America and U.S. policy in several books, including Colombia Today and Tomorrow(1964),United States Policy in Foreign Affairs(1971),The War Powers Resolution: The Role of Congress in U.S. Armed Intervention,(1978),Invitation to Struggle: Congress, the President, and Foreign Policy(1980), and Secret Intelligence and Public Policy: A Dilemma of Democracy(1995).



Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2007, p. B11.

Washington Post, October 5, 2007, p. B7.