The Ambassador in Guatemala (Kyle) to the Secretary of State
198. It becomes increasingly obvious that Guatemalan closure Belize border being maintained in hopes exerting pressure on United States for support Belize question in view heavy financial losses suffered US lumbering companies (Embtel 150 March 23 and A–70 March 151). According representatives Weiss–Fricker Mahogany Company that firm already faces possible quarter million dollar loss and operation ITW2 now serious predicament. British interests not believed materially affected.
Despite personal assurance Foreign Minister Muñoz Meany to Weiss–Fricker before departure Bogotá that lumbering firms would be permitted resume operations across border, said permit, although reliably reported to have approval entire Cabinet, Foreign Office advisory committee on Belize and President Arévalo, being withheld by Acting Foreign Minister upon explicit instructions Muñoz Meany from Bogotá.
Embassy’s informal representations Acting Foreign Minister have produced only indefinite statement that permit probably forthcoming “in about 15 days”. Lawyer for Weiss-Fricker says company’s recourse exhausted and only strong diplomatic protest will result favorable action.
In view situation discussion with Muñoz Meany at Bogotá may be advisable. I expect discuss case informally with Arévalo at earliest opportunity and would appreciate any specific instructions Department may have.