856B.20/41: Telegram

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

79. Your 69, February 1, 2 p.m., and your 72, February 2, 2 p.m. The Venezuelan Ambassador has informed the Department that President Medina feels that a failure to arrange for Venezuelan participation prior to the landing of our troops would oblige Venezuela to withdraw her delegate from the committee constituted under, the Act of Habana. The Ambassador further stated that if Venezuela is confronted with a fait accompli, the matter would be very difficult to arrange from the Venezuelan side.

I have discussed this matter with the Netherlands Foreign Minister and have urged his assent to Venezuelan participation.

I think it most important for you to stress that the present case is not one of those contemplated under the Act or Convention of Habana31 [Page 72] since there is involved no “barter of territory or change of sovereignty Nevertheless, earnestly desiring to foster the spirit of inter-American cooperation implicit in the Act and Convention of Habana and in the whole framework of inter-American agreements, as well as to assure recognition of Venezuela’s manifest interest in the defense of these islands, I have urged upon the Netherlands Government and will continue to urge the propriety of Venezuelan participation, in the form set forth by President Medina. I need not point out that the Netherlands Government is not a party to any agreement making mandatory such participation or in any way affecting the completeness of Netherlands sovereignty over the islands in question.

You will be kept fully advised of all developments in this matter.

  1. The Convention of Habana was signed July 30, 1940; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 977, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1273.