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Mr. Uhl to Mr. Eustis .

No. 424.]

Sir: The Venezuelan minister at this capital has communicated to this Department the desire of his Government to seek some friendly solution for the rupture of diplomatic relations now existing between France and Venezuela. Attaching great importance to the amicable offices of the United States by reason of our absolute impartiality as regards the affairs of Europe and our natural influence in the councils of the American Hemisphere, the Government of Venezuela asks that you be authorized to invite in all proper ways the reestablishment of relations between France and Venezuela.

The President directs that you will accede to this request, taking an early occasion to state to the French Government, through its minister [Page 423]for foreign affairs, the great pleasure it would afford the Government of the United States to see such restoration of necessary and friendly intercourse between the two countries, and its readiness to contribute in any fitting way to bring about so desirable a result.

It is not, of course, incumbent upon this Government, as the impartial and equal friend of both France and Venezuela, to express any opinion as to the merits of the difference which has arisen between them. The Venezuelan minister has communicated to me copies of the correspondence and documents in the case, of which I send you the English text as conveniently furnished to me by Señor Andrade, and from this you will observe that Venezuela asserts that the dismissal of the French and Belgian 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 hitherto 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.

Señor Pulido’s instruction to Señor Andrade further suggests that as Belgium has not in terms broken off diplomatic relations in response to the action of Venezuela, the good offices now solicited of you may be limited in this regard 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 is thought more convenient to convey this intimation to the Belgian Government through the United States minister at Brussels, to whom a copy of this instruction will be sent, with suitable directions for his guidance, so that no action in this sense is expected of you. It is herein adverted to in order that you maybe informed should your Belgian colleague speak to you on the subject.

I am, etc.,

Edwin F. Uhl,
Acting Secretary