Mr. Rojas to Mr. Olney.


Your Excellency: The Republic of Venezuela has been for a long time regarding its boundary dispute with the English colony of Demerara as a cause of constant disturbance to the tranquillity of its civil life, and as an insuperable obstacle to its present and future prosperity. Aware of its rights, desirous of securing its own repose, and, at the same time, convinced that the danger to which it is exposed constitutes a common menace to all the states of this hemisphere if the controversy is not decided in accordance with the laws of justice, it has not hesitated to request the cooperation of the other American Governments in order to arrive at the adjustment or settlement of the dispute by means of the certain and peaceful methods suggested by modern international law.

One of the most earnest requests on this subject was addressed to the United States, and the Venezuelan Government, when reiterating it, with sanguine confidence, during the course of the last three years, has never failed to see, in the replies received, the flattering prospect of the vigorous and generous action of your great Republic in the attainment of a fair and reasonable settlement of this old and dangerous difference. Recent events and, with them, the phase which, according to public opinion, the dispute has reached, a phase which promises well for the prevalence of the right and for the preservation of the peace of the continent, fully justifies the hopes cherished by Venezuela of the efficient aid of the United States.

Those views which urge us to seek in the Guiana boundary dispute arguments of legal or historical force, instead of those based upon fortuitous circumstances or upon the fact of local occupation, and to deduce from them, by means of a fair and rigid investigation, the rights of the two parties to the dispute, are a convincing proof of the assistance rendered by His Excellency the President of your Republic, with the wise cooperation of the high legislative bodies and with the energetic action of the Department of State.

The manner in which your Republic has exerted its powerful influence in this vexatious controversy well deserved, on the part of Venezuela, [Page 1491] the eloquent public acknowledgments which are well known to have been made; but it likewise demands the respectful thanks of those who, in their political capacity, represent the authority of the nation 5 and this is the object of the present letter, which is intended as a special tribute of gratitude both to His Excellency Mr. Cleveland and to your excellency, in the name of the Venezuelan Government.

Señor José Andrade, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Venezuela, has special instructions to place this communication in your excellency’s hands.

It gives me great pleasure to avail, etc.,

P. Ezequiel Rojas.