Minister Russell to the Secretary of State .

No. 53.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose for the French Government a translation of a note to me from the French vice-consul here in regard to the retiring of the exequaturs of the French consular officers in Venezuela.

I am, etc.,

W. W. Russell.


Mr. Minister: I had occasion day before yesterday, regarding M. Doyeux, and yesterday, in a general way, to point out to you the measure which the Venezuelan Government had taken against all the consular agents of France in Venezuela, and which should, without fail, paralyze French interests in this country. It is that all direct movement of importation from France to Venezuela finds itself, indeed, suppressed; also there are the interests of our Trans-Atlantic Company, which are gravely touched, as it seems that henceforth its ships can no longer make land at La Guaira and at Puerto Cabello; nor must it be forgot that this company is officially charged with the transport of correspondence and parcels post.

This situation would be explainable if a state of war existed between France and Venezuela. Moreover, although in spite of the rupture of telegraphic communication—I ignore the future intentions of my Government—the fact that it (French Government) designated me to look after the archives of the French legation hi this city seems to prove that in breaking off diplomatic relations with Venezuela France had no idea of going further than this. The attitude [Page 1434] of the Venezuelan Government is, then, in this affair, as it has not ceased to be in other ways during ten days, truly vexating, and I find myself obliged, in order to cover my responsibility, to protest formally against these acts which nothing has justified up to the present moment.

Believe, etc.,

P. Desmartis,
The Vice-Consul of France Charged with the care of the
Archives of the Legation of the Republic at Caracas.