Mr. Andrade to Mr. Gresham.


Sir: In connection with the diplomatic controversy now pending between Venezuela and France, of which your excellency already has knowledge, I have received instructions to communicate to the United States Government the contents of the dispatch which I have the honor herewith to inclose, together with the documents therein mentioned, with the exception of the Italian Green Book, which I have deemed it unnecessary to send to your excellency, since I know that the said publication is in the library of the Department of State, and since what is essential in relation to the controversy in question is found in Incisures V and VI.

The American embassy at Paris was authorized, when the difficulty began, through the well-timed kindness of your excellency’s Government, and at the instance of that of Venezuela, to take Venezuelan citizens residing in France under its protection. The friendly feelings of which the United States then furnished evidence to my country lead it to hope that the request now made will be followed by an equally speedy and satisfactory result.

Accept, etc.,

José Andrade.

Mr. Pulido to Mr. Andrade.

Sir: The matter to which this note relates is deserving of special attention.

The rupture of relations with the French Republic was not, as is well known, occasioned by Venezuela. Urgent necessity and the requirements of the national honor decided the Chief Magistrate to declare the representative of that nation unfitted to act as the medium of the friendly relations cultivated by the two Republics. The measure was one of a purely personal character; and the acts and explanations which followed it, and which the French Government would not await before breaking off its diplomatic intercourse with us, are manifest evidence of the conciliatory spirit by which Venezuela, from the very outset, wished to be guided, provided always that the national dignity should not be in the slightest degree impaired.

This Government is of the opinion that, if the French Government had awaited the special communication which was addressed to it by [Page 1477]this ministry on the same day that his passports were sent to its minister at Caracás, which communication set forth, more fully than could be done by cable, the reasons which led to the adoption of the measure, that rupture, which Venezuela, from the very first, has regarded as an act for which there was no necessity and no cause, would not have occurred; the more so, as affection for France is with us an almost inborn feeling, as is proved by the recent public demonstrations on the occasion of the murder of President Carnot.

It by no means becomes either Venezuela or France to prolong this state of ill feeling. The causes which gave rise to the attitude assumed by this Government toward the person of M. Monclar are discussed by the publicists and authorities of the greatest note, and not one of them expresses any views which can be used as an argument against the procedure adopted in this case by Venezuela.

As the action of the President of the Republic was justified by a series of weighty circumstances, as has been understood and declared by the American press and a considerable portion of the European press, it is well to attempt some friendly action which may put an end to the dispute and restore harmony between two nations who have long been living in sincere friendship with each other. To this end this Government attaches great weight to the friendly intervention of the United States, both on account of the high esteem which that great Republic enjoys among other civilized nations and because it is the chief nation of America, and the one called, so to speak, to exercise its good offices most effectually in any difficulty that may arise between the countries of this continent and the powerful States of the Old World.

In requesting the United States Government to be pleased to authorize its embassy in Paris to ask for the reestablishment by honorable-means of the relations between Venezuela and France, the executive power thinks that it is giving a very convincing proof of the interest which it feels in that European Republic, and of its earnest desire to continue to cultivate close and cordial relations with it. The service which the United States will thereby render to Venezuela will constitute both an act deserving of all our gratitude and a species of homage to those principles of civilization which tend to the establishment of permanent harmony between enlightened nations, without prejudice to the political equality prescribed by modern (international) law.

The documents bearing most directly upon the diplomatic incident in question should accompany the petition of Venezuela, and, as you will have to make a formal application on the subject to the Department of State, inclosing a copy of this communication, I send you1 herewith the following documents, in order that you may annex them to the petition above referred to:

The Italian Green Book, containing the protocol which occasioned the step taken with reference to the French minister. The document in question appears on pages 11–18.
Documents of a public nature, connected with the incident and with the order issued by the Venezuelan Government on the 5th of March, published in the Gaceta Oficial of that day.
Resolution of the National Congress, approving the steps taken in the matter by the President of the Republic. (Gaceta Oficial of March 7.)
Circular of the minister of interior relations. (Gaceta Oficial of March 8.)
Communication from the minister of foreign relations to the president of the National Congress, concerning the rupture of political relations between Venezuela and France. (Gaeeta Oficial of March 18.)
Reply of the president of Congress to the foregoing communication. (Diario de Carácas, No. 444.)
Certified copy of the diplomatic note addressed to the minister of foreign affairs of the French Republic on the 5th of March, giving an explanation of the circumstances which had occasioned the dismissal of M. Monclar, the latter part of which note contains an expression of the pleasure which it will afford Venezuela to see a new representative of the French Republic accredited to her.

As Belgium has not as yet made any demonstration incompatible with the perfect harmony which Venezuela wishes to maintain in her relations with that European State, the good offices of the United States ambassador at Paris might be confined, on this point, to conveying to the representative of His Majesty Leopold II, near the French Republic, the expression of the pleasure with which a new minister from that Kingdom will be received here, and of the earnest desire of the Venezuelan Government that the ties of friendship uniting the two nations may be strengthened and perpetuated. For your better information, I inclose a certified copy of the communication which was addressed on the 5th of March to the department of foreign affairs of Belgium, upon sending his passports to the chargé d’affaires of that Kingdom at Caracas.

It is well to recall here, as applicable to this case, the friendly action taken formerly by the United States in settling the difficulty which had arisen between Venezuela and France in 1881, when M. Tallenay, the chargé d’affaires at Caracas, left the country because the demands which he had presented in the shape of an ultimatum were not granted. The kindly feeling then displayed by theUnited States in reconciling the conflicting interests has always been remembered by Venezuela with sincere gratitude.

I am, etc.,

Lucio Pulido.
  1. Inclosures not printed.