Mr. Uhl to Mr. Ewing.
Washington, May 23, 1895.
Sir: The Venezuelan minister at this capital has communicated to the Department copies of the correspondence and documents in the [Page 41] case of the dismissal from his country of the French and Belgian ministers, and has made known his Government’s desire that the friendly offices of the United States be exercised to secure the reestablishment of good relations between Venezuela on the one side and Belgium and France on the other. The correspondence is somewhat voluminous, and it is not thought necessary to forward you copies.
You will observe from the inclosed copy of an instruction sent to our ambassador at Paris on the 23d instant,1 that Venezuela asserts that the dismissal of the Belgian and French ministers was a purely personal act due alone to the circumstance that those individuals had joined with certain other foreign representatives not now accredited to Venezuela in signing a certain protocol of conference containing gratuitous and defamatory statements reflecting upon the honor of the State and the integrity of its executive, which protocol was subsequently made public by the Italian Government in the annual Green Book; that by so doing, of their own initiative and not in compliance with instructions from the friendly governments they represented, each of those gentlemen had rendered himself individually to the Government of Venezuela persona non grata; and that in acting upon the situation so created and in accordance with the usual course of independent States in such contingencies, Venezuela intended no affront to France or Belgium, whose flags she had conspicuously saluted on the same day that she dismissed their personally objectionable agents, but rather invited the continuance of the thitherto unbroken friendly relations through new agents who should more fittingly reflect what she is happy to believe are the true sentiments of friendship which those Governments feel for Venezuela.
The Venezuelan minister for foreign affairs in the note to the minister further observes that as Belgium has not in terms broken off diplomatic relations, the good offices solicited of our ambassador in Paris could be limited on this point to expressing to the Belgian representative in Paris the gratification with which Venezuela would receive a new minister from Belgium and the interest that American Republic feels in strengthening and making permanent the cordial ties that unite the two peoples.
It has been thought more convenient that this intimation should be conveyed to the Belgian Government through you, and you are accordingly instructed to make known to the minister for foreign affairs the expressed wishes of the Venezuelan Government in this regard.
I am, etc.,
- See France.↩