Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles C. Hauch of the Division of Caribbean Affairs


Subject: Dominican-Venezuelan-Haitian Relations; Dominican requests for planes and ships.

Participants: Ambassador Luis F. Thomen—Dominican Republic
Mr. Daniels—Director, ARA
Mr. Hauch—CRB

The Dominican Ambassador called by appointment to discuss general matters of interest. He presented a note (copy in translation attached1) and then outlined its contents. He stated that the Dominican Government in advising the Department of Venezuelan activities against his country had not intended to seek our good offices as a mediator in the affair, but had merely desired to inform us of events. He went on to say that nevertheless the Dominican Government while not seeking mediation would be disposed to accept mediation spontaneously offered by one or more other governments or by some qualified organ of the inter-American system. He added that it would be especially satisfying to the Dominican Government if any such mediation could obtain from the Cuban and Venezuelan Governments an official and public statement that they will not permit on their territory the formation of revolutionary expeditions against the Dominican Republic. (Note: In his remarks the Ambassador stated that this mediation might be through the American Government, or a combination of several governments, or through an organ of the inter-American system, whereas the note he presented referred simply to good offices or mediation by the American Government or any other government.)

Mr. Daniels stated the Dominican suggestion was an interesting one and without agreeing to the tendering of good offices or mediation by this Government indicated that he would informally sound out the Venezuelan Ambassador with regard to the Dominican proposal of an official public statement. Mr. Daniels said that the Venezuelan Ambassador might inquire whether the Dominican Government would likewise issue such a statement regarding activities on Dominican soil against Venezuela. The Ambassador said he had no instructions on this point, but would make inquiry. He said that personally he thought this might be possible. (Note: Despatch No. 17 of January 6 from Ciudad Trujillo1 transmitted an official Dominican Foreign Office press release denying that the Dominican Government is aiding or tolerating a conspiracy against the Venezuelan Government. This was [Page 160]published in the Ciudad Trujillo newspaper La Nacion. It is intemperate in language and would probably serve to keep the pot boiling rather than to calm it down.)

The Ambassador inferred that Haiti’s participation in any revolutionary activity depended upon the existence of such activity in other countries and that by itself Haiti would not be used as a base of operations. As for Guatemala, he said that country is too far away to serve as a jumping off place for an attack on the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Daniels then informed the Ambassador of the circular telegram of January 17 sent to our diplomatic missions in the other American republics advising them regarding our intention to comply with our international obligations on revolutionary activities and expressing our confidence that other governments would do likewise.

The Ambassador stated that he had received information that Juan Bosch and a brother of President Arévalo of Guatemala had very recently arrived in Venezuela and were conferring with one another. Mr. Daniels said that we understood certain Venezuelan exiles were residing in the Dominican Republic and that several such Venezuelans upon arriving at Ciudad Trujillo had been received by General Fiallo.

The Ambassador then referred to the Dominican desire for planes and ships. He observed that Cuba had obtained warships from the United States. He added that we had, of course, indicated our willingness to license the export of certain vessels into the Dominican Republic, but that the vessels available from surplus stocks were in poor condition. …

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