710 Conference W and PW/1–2445

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

No. 6993

Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 47 of January 20, 5 p.m.29 I have the honor to enclose a single copy and a translation29 of the [Page 16] report which appeared in El Universal of January 20, 1945, of the interview with representatives of the local and foreign press given by the Foreign Minister, Dr. Parra-Pérez on January 19, 1945 covering topics related to the forthcoming Inter-American conference at Mexico City.

In this interview the Foreign Minister reiterated Venezuela’s interest in the holding of a conference for the consideration of war and post war problems, adding that it was natural that President Medina’s reply to the invitation of the President of Mexico had been favorable.

With regard to the proposed agenda he said that Venezuela approves it on general lines but that the agenda submitted by Mexico is still in the preliminary stage of study and that he could make no detailed comment on it at the time.

He stressed that Venezuela is lending to the cause of the United and Associated nations all that her means and possibilities permit, but is always disposed to examine with other countries measures as a whole which contribute to forwarding the common effort.

Referring to the Dumbarton Oaks30 plan, he mentioned that Venezuela’s observations are now common knowledge and that these observations would be renewed and amplified at the conference.

Alluding to the paragraph of the Agenda regarding furtherance of the Pan American system and its coordination with the world organization, he stressed Venezuela’s constant efforts to strengthen the union of all of the American Republics and to give concrete form to the Pan American ideal and expressed its determination that continental solidarity be taken into account in the future.

Recalling his experience at Geneva, he expressed preference for a form, in a certain way federative, as being the best, if not the only method of correcting one of the fundamental weaknesses of the League of Nations and added that the set up in the American continent could be a most powerful factor of equilibrium, peace and progress within such a federative organization.

In the field of economic and social problems he said that the Venezuelan Commission which had been set up to study post war questions had already determined some of the points of view that Venezuela will support and that these problems have the greatest attention of the Venezuelan Government.

With regard to the Argentine case he said that Venezuela’s presence at the proposed conference indicated that the Argentine matter was considered from the beginning independently and in the light of Venezuela’s national interests, and that actually two questions are being submitted to the American countries; that of Argentina which [Page 17] arose after apparent unification of opinion regarding the necessity of an immediate conference on war and post war problems which would require a Consultative Meeting, and the Mexican invitation to an Inter-American conference on war and post war problems, which is a special conference.

Dr. Parra-Pérez characterized the divergences between Argentina and the other American nations as constituting the most serious and dangerous crisis of any that the Pan-American system has faced, and one which had long preoccupied his Government. In this connection he cited the Joint Declaration of August 7, 1944, issued by Colombia and Venezuela,31 which expounded the policy of both nations on this difficult question. In relation to this he explained the action of the Pan-American Union with regard to the Argentine request, and added that the Venezuelan Delegation will carry to Mexico the intention of contributing with all of its efforts to the settlement of the divergence.

Concerning the possible composition of the Venezuelan Delegation to the forthcoming conference, the Foreign Minister replied that President Medina had not selected its members as yet, but that he (the Foreign Minister) would preside over it and that it would have two Delegates, two Counselors and the Secretaries, probably eight persons in all.

In answer to a question about the attitude of the Venezuelan Government at the conference in relation to Argentina, Dr. Parra Pérez said that it will contend that good relations with that nation are important from the point of view that the Government considers the absence of any member of the American community will be very deplorable.

In a general observation Dr. Parra Pérez said that there is an idea that the Minister for Foreign Affairs always commits his Government, adding that Chancellors have to consult their Governments concerning immediately urgent problems.

On the petroleum question the Foreign Minister said that he believed this to be one of the most important at this moment, not only for the war effort but for the economy of certain countries, including Venezuela and that this is a matter for very special conversations among the Governments, adding that in view of the essentially political character of the forthcoming conference, he did not think that petroleum would be considered.

In answer to another question he expressed approval of the possibility of a Consultative Conference after a “meeting of consultation”, especially in these times.

[Page 18]

Commenting on relations between the Bolivarian countries, he said their relations are always very close, but disclaimed any present project for acting together.

In concluding the interview Dr. Parra-Pérez said he had no absolute knowledge of the reasons for the resignation of General Peluffo from the Cabinet in Argentina.

The above summarized interview was also published in the leading Caracas newspapers of January 20, 1945 and was commented on editorially by El Universal to the effect that the Foreign Minister’s words reiterate the policy traditionally followed by Venezuela within the framework of Pan-American relations.

Ultimas Noticias of January 21, 1945, remarked editorially with reference to the expressed criterion of the Government, that it considered that it did not correspond to the realities of the problem because it did not take into consideration the quality of the Government which Argentina has today, and went on to say that the Government of Perón-Farrel is nothing else than a bridgehead of Nazism on this continent, and that to disperse the divergences between Argentina and the other American nations a profound change must take place in Argentine policy signifying the total displacement of the forces which today subjugate the heroic people of the Republic of the Plata.

Respectfully yours,

Frank P. Corrigan
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For documentation on the Dumbarton Oaks conversations, see Foreign Relations, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.
  4. Quoted in despatch 4197, August 9, 1944, from Bogotá (835.01/8–944). The substance of the declaration is printed in the New York Times, August 8, 1944, p. 11. For statement on August 10 by the Secretary of State concerning this declaration, see Department of State Bulletin, August 15, 1944, p. 158.