740.0011 EW/2–145: Telegram

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

81. I delivered the President’s letter (received with Department’s secret airmail instruction 2924, January 26) to President Medina at 5:30 p.m. today. He opened it in my presence and then requested me to translate it for him. He was deeply moved and said “It means a declaration of war. I have no power to declare war, only the Congress can do that. I took my stand alongside the United States immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor and Venezuela has never wavered in its support of the United Nations and particularly of the United States.” Following Department’s instructions I underlined the matter of Venezuelan interest involved.

President Medina expressed his appreciation of the urgency of the situation and said that he would give his most serious consideration to the determination of Venezuelan position, that he would consult with his Cabinet immediately and make prompt reply to President Roosevelt’s letter before leaving for the Sucre Sesquicentennial celebration at Cumana, February 3.