The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Venezuela
A–224. Reference last paragraph your airgram A–431 of May 25, 19481 concerning possible investigation by the Pan American Union of the Caribbean situation.
In discussions of the proposed articles concerning peaceful settlement for the Organic Pact in committees of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union prior to the Bogotá Conference, the Department found great reluctance on the part of the other American republics to include provisions giving the Organ of Consultation (Le. Governing Board or meeting of Foreign Ministers) authority to investigate disputes, although they were willing to have the Organ of Consultation perform certain other peaceful settlement functions. The Bogotá Conference did not give the Organ of Consultation even the peaceful settlement powers recommended by the Governing Board. Consequently, the Department feels the Council (Governing Board) would be reluctant to attempt peaceful settlement efforts at this time.
Although a new treaty on peaceful settlement, the Pact of Bogota, was signed at Bogota, this does not come into force until the parties deposit their ratifications. Consequently, existing inter-American peace machinery as described in ARA intra-office memoranda of January 14 and 29, 1948,2 copies of which were sent to the Embassy under transmittal slips of January 16 and February 2 respectively, is still in force. Any of the parties to the controversy could, if they wish, invoke this peace machinery.
Prior to the Bogota Conference, the Department on appropriate occasions did suggest informally to the Dominican and Venezuelan Ambassadors separately, the possibility of invoking inter-American peace machinery.
The Department would welcome the initiative of any of the parties directly concerned to bring into operation the existing inter-American peace machinery as a possible means of easing the strained relations in the Caribbean area.