No. 674.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Fish.

No. 52.]

Sir: I have the honor to send a brief record of events showing the present state of things in Venezuela.

I inclose a copy of a proclamation of the President, with a translation, and would call attention to the last paragraph, in which the wealth of this government and its ability to cope with other powers are set forth. It is generally supposed to refer to Holland and Colombia.

The President returned to Caracas March 1, and was welcomed with great display and at great cost. The rejoicings occupied four days, and included a municipal banquet, which was attended by all the diplomatic body. This body was also received officially by the President, whose speech was an assurance that internal peace will long continue undisturbed.

At the consular reception, the President stated that the blockadehad not ceased, but would cease soon; that by new custom-house rules the custom-houses of Vela de Coro and Maracaibo would be suppressed, and all foreign trade, export or import, would be forbidden at those ports. He added that, by discriminating duties on ships and goods, he intended to destroy all communication with Curaçoa, and that no vessel should come to Venezuela that touched at Curaçoa even for coal. Puerto Cabello is to be substituted for the closed ports, and a depot of coal is to be established there. I reserve any further report on the above until the publication of the decrees, some of which are already signed.

The 22d of February was honored by the display of the Venezuelan diplomatic and consular flags, and by visits from my colleagues.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 52.—Translation.]

General Guzman Blanco, President of the Republic, in campaign, to the constitutional army.

Compatriots and Companions in Arms:

The sixteen thousand soldiers of the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th army corps, who are now formed in the grand parade of Coro, joined with the two thousand of the [Page 1365] 6th corps, and the fifteen hundred of the 7th, the fifteen hundred of the Barcelona and Margarita divisions, and the one thousand of the auxiliary force of Zulia, make a total of twenty-two thousand men of the active army, besides which there are eight thousand of reserve garrisoning all the States of the Union from the Orinoco to the Záchira.

These thirty thousand men, representatives of the desire of Venezuela, have re-established peace, vindicated popular dignity, and strengthened the titles of my government, more by the power of opinion than by the action of force. All the political problems of the past having been resolved by the revolution of April, 1870, there remained pending that of the ambition of some (one) of its chiefs-, and in one hundred days the people have shown them that it is master of its own destinies, and that we, its servants, have been and are only instruments, more or less competent, of its intelligent and patriotic will. I congratulate you on a lesson so eloquent, and I make known here my gratitude toward the people for the support they have given me, and toward each one of the leaders of the army corps, who with loyalty and abnegation have confounded the ambitious, and confirmed once more the honor of the liberal army. But I owe to the country another congratulation. These thirty thousand men not only signify our power and sustain internal peace, but they show that, when the case arrives, our independence and our (rights) international rights would be defended with a force of fifty thousand men of the active army, and with twenty thousand or forty thousand of reserve, without adding that there are few peoples that can count on such resources and money, relatively, as those of which Venezuela can dispose.

Long live the sovereign people!

Long live the peace of the republic!

Long live the constitution of ’76!