The Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs (Braden) to the Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan)


Dear Frank: I am very glad to have your letter of July 13 giving me more of the background concerning Dawson’s recent trip to Medellín. Taking into account the current status of the Venezuelan political scene, it was readily apparent to us in the Department that no harm and possibly much good would come of a frank exchange of views between López Contreras and the Junta. However, I know you appreciate our reasoning back of the Department’s telegrams emphasizing the desirability of obtaining at least the association of Colombia in the role of go-between. It was my feeling, from the Department’s position, that some such instructions were necessary for the record in view of your telegram no. 355 of July 13,14 although it appeared you had already handled the problem nicely by instructing Allan to consult with Wiley before proceeding. While I haven’t seen a full report, I judge from your cables that the trip came off smoothly.

With respect to your telegram no. 369 of July 20,14 I must say that the Junta’s communiqué blasting López Contreras indirectly struck me as being especially dumb, coming on the heels of the assurances brought by Dawson. Anyway, Betancourt must not have felt too concerned [Page 1305] since he did not permit the “counter-revolutionary activities” to interfere with the junket to Mexico.

With cordial personal regards,

Sincerely yours,

Spruille Braden
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