831.00/7–2646

The Ambassador in Colombia ( Wiley ) to the Secretary of State

confidential

540. FonMin informed me he and President Lleras will leave Monday to meet Venezuelan President Betancourt in Barranquilla. He [Page 1304] said they will return to capital Tuesday. When questioned re any possible attempts against the life of Betancourt he indicated he did not believe any such occurrence would take place as every precaution had been ordered by Colombian authorities. Concerning Venezuelan ex-President López Contreras, now in Medellín, FonMin said Venezuelan political refugees are welcome to live in Colombia but decision had been reached that those in border states must move to interior points. When asked re recent statements made by López Contreras against present Venezuelan regime, he replied Colombia did not wish to interfere in such matters and that certain elements now in Betancourt’s regime when exiled in Colombia indulged in similar activities.

Wiley