Minister Russell to the Secretary of State.

No. 73.]

Sir: Referring to my cable on the subject, sent through Bogota and duplicated through Trinidad, I have the honor to inclose herewith translation of the answer from the Venezuelan Government to my communications in regard to French vessels sailing from French ports direct to Venezuela.

I am, etc.,

William W. Russell.


D. P. E. No. 532.]

Mr. Minister: I acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of the 16th of the current month.

In turn I have instructions from the first vice-president of the Republic, in charge of the presidency, to say to your excellency as follows:

The minister knows that by his official communication of January 10 of the current year the relations between France and Venezuela have been broken since that date; the minister also knows that in consequence of the expulsion from French territory without just cause of our chargé d’affaires, Mr. H. Maubourguet, the Government of Venezuela found itself obliged to withdraw, in turn, its consuls from France, for which reason there exists at present a difficulty in regard to the consular clearance for merchandise that leaves French [Page 1438] ports; and, lastly, the minister knows that our consular law does not allow of clearance by other consuls who, although they may be of a friendly nation, have not the authorization of the respective Governments, being, as unfortunately there is to-day, a break of relations with France, according to a statement from your excellency on the above-mentioned date.

It is opportune, in conformity with your excellency’s wish, to state to you that the French steamers on their several trips have been delivering correspondence in all of the ports of Venezuela wherever they have touched, and that they have also taken in said ports and can continue taking the correspondence and merchandise which Venezuela sends to foreign parts, and that in regard to passengers, these will be received always, provided that they comply with the requisites prescribed by the laws of the Republic.

I take, etc.,

Luis Churion.