331.1121 Welch, James E./86

The Venezuelan Minister ( Arcaya ) to the Secretary of State

[Translation]
No. 468

Excellency: When I assumed charge of the diplomatic representation of the Government of my country in the United States of America, there had already been introduced, some time before, in the Senate and the House of Representatives of this country, resolutions, the object of each of which was, as they themselves state, to investigate the political conditions of Venezuela in connection with the claim which the American citizen, Welch, undertook to make against my Government but to which the Department of State, now in Your Excellency’s worthy charge, denied its support, and, when such denial occurred, the Honorable Mr. Cotton was Acting Secretary.

Those resolutions and the publications previously issued by their authors in various newspapers, especially by Representative Gasque, are, as Your Excellency may note by simply reading them, extremely aggressive against my Government and in the highest degree injurious to the dignity of the Republic which I have the honor to represent. My predecessor, the Chargé d’Affaires Doctor Luis Churión, called the attention of the Department of State to the matter at the conference held on the 30th of June last with Mr. Dana Munro.

In regard to this unpleasant matter, the undersigned thought that its promoters would not any more engage in fresh aggressions; but much to his surprise he saw in the La Prensa of New York of the 5th instant that Mr. Gasque is resuming his gratuitous attacks on my Government and threatens to turn the Congressional Record into an organ of agitation and civil war against the present political Venezuelan situation by giving access to its pages to everything that the enemies thereof may think of writing.

Venezuela, Excellency, complies with all its international duties. If there should be any claim to be lodged against it on any concrete [Page 881] act, by which, it is claimed, any particular [foreigner] has been injured, the law prescribes formulas for its introduction and for a discussion as to its admissibility or propriety; but it is unusual and inadmissible that such procedure, against a sovereign and independent country, should be employed as that which in this case has been put into practice and a continuation of which, with even worse aggressiveness, if possible, is already announced in advance.

My Government and I are aware, Excellency, of the constitutional system of separation and reciprocal independence of the powers which constitute the political organization of this country; for that system is the same as that of our Constitution. We are, therefore, aware that it is not for the Executive Power to intervene in what the Members of Congress may see fit to say in the Houses or in the press. But as it is to the Executive Power and not to the Legislative Power that access is given to the Representation of Venezuela and as my Government is bound to express in some way the painful impression caused it by the procedure above referred to, I have been authorized by it to put that impression on record before Your Excellency. Another reason in support of my addressing Your Excellency on the subject is the fact, which cannot escape consideration, Your Excellency, that the Venezuelan revolutionists, small as their numbers may be, on finding the official journal of the American Legislative Power turned into an outlet for their complaints, will, no doubt, make bold to launch adventures which may disturb the peace of Venezuela. It is my duty to point out to Your Excellency the very imminent probability that this may happen as a consequence of the attitude of Mr. Gasque, who is in close connection with a group of the aforesaid revolutionists.

I avail myself [etc.]

Pedro M. Arcaya