The Chargé in Venezuela (Flack) to the Secretary of State

No. 5557

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s circular airgram of February 15, 11:40 a.m.24 and the five subsidiary airgrams of February 1525 outlining a proposed “roll-back” in trade controls for adoption as of March 1, 1944, to confirm this Embassy’s urgent telegram No. 197 of February 2526 reporting Venezuela’s complete acceptance of the Washington proposal, and to add the following details in relation thereto:

The Resolution of the Minister of Hacienda implementing the “roll-back”, as published in the Official Gazette No. 21,343 of February 26, 1944, a translation of which is attached,26 makes the effective date March 1 rather than March 15 as stated in the above cited telegram, which was based on the verbal statement of the Minister; the advance of the effective date to March 1 was made in order more fully to comply with the Department’s desires.

The proposal was presented to Sr. Rojas, Minister of Hacienda, by the Embassy’s Economic Counselor27 on February 24, when an informal memorandum of which a copy is enclosed,26 was left with the Minister. Sr. Rojas immediately expressed the belief that his Government would accept in toto the proposed elimination of controls and promised to give the Embassy a definite answer the following day. Accordingly, Sr. Rojas telephoned the following morning to confirm the full acceptance of the proposed action, as reported in the Embassy’s urgent telegram No. 197.

The action of the Venezuelan Government in this instance is particularly gratifying since it represents a significant reversal of its policy in maintaining control of imports through the “Licencia Previa”, as established by Ministerial Resolution No. 8 of October 5, 1943 (see despatch No. 4934, October 6, 194326), despite the elimination of Import Recommendations. This apparent change in policy may be due at least in part to the recent trip to Washington of President Medina accompanied by Sr. Rojas and other high Venezuelan officials.

Respectfully yours,

Joseph Flack
  1. Ante, p. 653.
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  5. H. Lawrence Groves.
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