President Roosevelt to the President of Venezuela (Medina)20

My Dear Mr. President: It was a great pleasure to receive from the hands of Dr. Gustavo Manrique Pacanins your letter of August 3 and to hear from Dr. Manrique Pacanins of the views, objectives and plans of your Government with respect to a revision of its relations with the oil companies operating in Venezuela. The fact that you have communicated with me on this subject is a most welcome indication of the degree of mutual confidence and wholehearted friendship existing between our two Governments.

All those who have had the privilege of knowing Your Excellency and the purposes and ideals which inspire you and your collaborators are confident that this matter will be handled in a manner wholly adjusted to the highest principles of right and equity. I welcomed the very categoric and satisfactory assurances offered by Dr. Manrique Pacanins. As the Government of Venezuela well knows, this Government will not claim for American companies doing business in other countries any undue or unreasonable privileges or rights and fully recognizes the Venezuelan interest in guiding its economic development in the best interest of its people. Since I understand it to be the policy of your Government to deal fairly with American companies and to give full recognition to their legitimate rights, and is fully aware of the need for maintaining production in the interest of both of our countries, I naturally feel confident that your Government and the companies will shortly find a just and satisfactory settlement of all controversial questions.

Your Excellency, as well as I, appreciates the importance to our common defense of production and exportation of oil from Venezuela. From this point of view, as well as from the standpoint of general welfare, it is gratifying to note your statement that it is the purpose of your Government to guarantee “the longest and most stable possible future industrial peace, which will be as beneficial to the nation as to the petroleum concessionaires”; and “to avoid and prevent in this manner events which could prejudice these concessionaires in the future, as has happened in other countries”. It seems entirely possible to me to resolve the present problems in a manner which will benefit Venezuelan development and at the same time preserve the rights of the private parties concerned.

This expression is in keeping with sound international relations and the principles of the Good Neighbor policy, to which your country and mine have wholeheartedly subscribed.

With the assurances [etc.]

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Handed to Dr. Manrique Pacanins on October 8, 1942.