President Aylwin and members of the Chilean Government, I am deeply honored to bring to all the people of Chile the greetings of the American people.
These past few days, from Brasilia to Montevideo to Buenos Aires, I have witnessed firsthand the irresistible power of the democratic ideal. Around the world, across the Americas, a democratic renaissance is underway. Along with the return to free government is a parallel movement toward free markets. Here in our hemisphere, democracy's made great gains. At long last we're moving closer to the common destiny that once moved Chile's great champion of freedom, Bernardo O'Higgins, to write: ``The Americas are giving great hope to philosophers and patriots alike.''
Chile's peaceful return to the ranks of the world's democracies is cause for pride and celebration. And Chile's record of economic accomplishment is a lesson for Latin America in the power of the free market. Nowhere among the nations of this continent has the pace of free-market reform gone farther, faster than right here in Chile.
In just a few minutes from now, President Aylwin and I will proceed to his home to hold private discussions to continue the open and honest dialog that we began 2 months ago at the White House. And just a few hours from now, I will have the honor to address the Chilean National Congress, gathering in special session at the port of Valparaiso. And tomorrow I meet with leading members of the Chilean business community.
As you say here, brick by brick, houses are built; and so, too, are the foundations of lasting friendship built by each additional contact between the people of our two nations. America and Chile do share a bright destiny based on common ideals. Let me say to President Aylwin and to the people of Chile, it is in the spirit of those shared ideals that I come to Chile today.
Thank you for this warm welcome, and may God bless the people of Chile.
Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. on the tarmac at Arturo Merino Benitez Airport.