856B.20/40: Telegram

The Ambassador in Venezuela ( Corrigan ) to the Secretary of State

69. My 63, January 29, 9 p.m. Just before making a radio address to the nation last evening the President called me to his residence for reasons which he described as “lamentable”. He told me he had received a message from Ambassador Escalante advising him of the stubborn opposition of the Dutch Government to Venezuelan participation in the Dutch island matter. He added that while Venezuela had no commitments with the Dutch Government it had an agreement with us on the subject and that if Dutch opposition persists he will consider reprisal measures. He indicated such measures might take form of determining where outflow of Venezuelan oil should go and spoke of Venezuelan withdrawal from emergency committee established under Habana Conference of 1940.29 He feels that in such a Western Hemisphere question United States should fully support Venezuela against uncooperative attitude of a European power. While manifestly indignant he said he would do nothing publicly for the present.

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He stated that he has no desire to impugn Dutch sovereignty but feels strongly that if an European Government accepts American help in this hemisphere it should also accept the terms of previous agreements between American states and should not object to steps taken in conformity with such agreements. The seriousness of the matter is indicated by the fact that he told me he had Asked Escalante to seek an audience with President Roosevelt about it. The Department’s 7630 just decoded. I will see President Medina, this evening but am positive that his position will remain as described above.

He is fully informed and not concerned about our troop movements but he is vitally concerned about Venezuela not being asked to participate.

  1. See Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. v, pp. 180 ff.
  2. January 31, 9 p.m., supra.