Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 13.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith, for the information of the department, a communication dated July 7 but received July 18 inclosure No. 1, with the translation of the same, inclosure No. 2, relative to the conduct of General J. M. Aristiguieta, the chief of staff of General Bruzual, before and during the recent siege of Caracas. In inclosure No. 3 will be found a copy of the argument between General Aristiguieta and General José T. Monagas, concerning terms of capitulation, &c., and inclosure No. 4 contains a translation of the same. * * *

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.


Señor Villegas to Mr. Pruyn.


The undersigned, minister of foreign affairs of the United States of Venezuela, has the honor to call the attention of the incumbent of the legation of the United States to the inclosed authorized copy of the convention which, on the 25th of last month, was entered into with General J. M. Aristiguieta, chief of staff of the forces of General Bruzual: a communication which had not been made heretofore, because it was still doubted that the convention, conceded by the generosity of the conquerors, would have been violated to the point of attacking neutral interests.

After the army of General Bruzual became completely conquered within this city, where it had intrenched itself in its rash resistance, those who had taken refuge in the barrack of Saint Carlos proposed to surrender themselves to the conquerors. Their surrender was accepted and guarantees were conceded to them under the stipulations of that covenant, wherein General Aristiguieta in his expressed characters bound [Page 956] himself by his word of honor to deliver up all the individuals of the troops and elements of war upon which the government counted, which he had defended, the town of La Guayra, and the forces there existing, and to give orders for the delivery of the vessels of war of the nation, the castle and town of Puerto Cabello, and other points garrisoned by national forces, together with all the elements of war that they might have.

Far from having fulfilled the convention, the conquered took away with them from La Guayra the garrison, armament, and ammunitions, not without first rendering useless the artillery, too cumbersome to transport, and, after seizing the vessels of war, went off to Puerto Cabello.

From the facts set forth, and others that are notorious, it is evidently deduced that no right assists the refugees in Puerto Cabello to decree blockades, nor any other measures hostile to the government of the republic.

As the national executive has information that the herein mentioned legation has received some note relative to the matter, he has deemed it opportune to convey this copy to it, as a new foundation for its ulterior proceedings, which, the uudersigned hopes with reason, will be conformable to the principles of justice that have always distinguished the relations of friendly nations with Venezuela.

The undersigned, &c., &c. Union and liberty.



The general-in-chief of the armies of the revolution that have occupied the city of Caracas, to the end of causing to cease fraternal bloodshed, and the painful situation that afflicts the country, concedes to all the individuals who have sustained the government of General Manuel E. Bruzual the guarantees that the constitution grants; in consequence, if they should desire to go out of the territory of the republic, passports in that event shall be issued to them.

The same general-in-chief insures and guarantees to General Jesus Ma. Aristiquieta, chief of staff, his departure from the territory by sea, preferring therefor to make use of a national vessel, if there should be any in La Guayra, in which case General Natividad Mendoza shall be the chief of said vessel.

General Jesus Ma. Aristiquieta, in his character of chief of staff of the defensive forces of that government, shall deliver up to the general-in-chief of the armies of the revolution, or to whom may represent him, all the individuals of the troops which he commands, as likewise also the elements of war, upon which the government counted that he has defended.

The same General Aristiquieta, in the character he holds, shall also deliver up the town of La Guayra, with the forces that defend or garrison it, and shall give orders that the vessels of war of the nation, the castle, and town of Puerto Cabello, and other points garrisoned by the national forces, together with all the elements of war that they may contain, be also delivered up to the general-in-chief of the armies of the revolution, or to whom may represent him.

General Aristiquieta, for the fulfillment of what may correspond to him, according to the preceding articles, pledges his word of honor, towards which end, he signs the present act, which is extended in duplicate.

Given in Caracas on the 25th of June. 1868.


It is a copy.

RAFAEL SEIJAS, The Secretary of Foreign Affairs.