File No. 4832/8.

The Secretary of State to Chargé Sleeper.


(Mr. Root instructs Mr. Sleeper to inform the Government of Venezuela that in view of the persistent refusal of the present Government of Venezuela to give redress for the governmental action by which substantially all American interests in that country have been destroyed or confiscated, or to submit the claims of American citizens for such redress to arbitration, and in view of the tone and character of the communications received from the Venezuelan Government, the Government of the United States is forced to the conclusion that the further presence in Caracas of diplomatic representatives of the United States subserves no useful purpose, and has determined to close its legation in that capital and to place its interests, property, [Page 821] and archives in Venezuela in the hands of the representative of Brazil, which country kindly consented to take charge thereof.

Mr. Sleeper is also directed to apply for his passports and safe conduct to and until his departure from the appropriate port of departure; to close the legation in Caracas, leaving the building with its archives and property with the legation clerk, Mr. Brewer, to watch over under the direction and protection of the Brazilian chargé d’affaires, Mr. de Lorena Ferreira; and to make arrangements for continuing the rental of the premises heretofore occupied as a legation in order that the archives and property may be safely preserved there Mr. Root instructs Mr. Sleeper to proceed to Puerto Cabello, where the U. S. naval vessel Marietta will be prepared to receive him and take him to Guantanamo, whence he will come to the United States by the ordinary means of conveyance Adds that no present instructions varying the position or action of Gonsuls will be given.)