The Chargé in Venezuela (Carrigan) to the Secretary of State

No. 293

The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim has the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction no. 9 of January 21, 19481 requesting the Embassy to comment on the conclusions set forth in an enclosed report concerning the ability of Venezuelan Communists to sabotage oil installations.

The enclosed memorandum,1 which contains the Embassy’s comments on this question, proposes that a joint Venezuelan Government–oil [Page 760]industry survey be made for the purpose of formulating concrete recommendations concerning the measures which should be put into effect in case of a future emergency. While there is no certainty that sabotage will be attempted, the world situation, recent developments in Colombia and persistent but unconfirmed reports of Communist intentions to damage oil installations make it prudent to minimize the danger as much as possible. If the Department concurs, an attempt will be made to obtain the consent of the Venezuelan Government to the project. Officials of the Creole and Mene Grande oil companies have been informally and confidentially consulted and have expressed their agreement in principle with the conclusions expressed in the enclosed memorandum; if and when the consent of the Venezuelan Government is obtained, the other American and British companies should be brought into the survey.

There is also enclosed a memorandum2 which contains additional comments on the enclosure to the Department’s instruction under reference.

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