92. Record of a Delegation Meeting, Santiago, August 12, 1959, 10 a.m.1

The Secretary, Chairman

1. Procedural Matters

Mr. Rubottom discussed the procedural arrangements for the Inaugural Session this morning. He said that the important procedural question still to be decided was whether meetings of the General Committee should be open to the public. The Secretary commented that this is a touchy matter and said that, while making such sessions public would cut down on the time for the real work of the conference, the United States should avoid taking the lead in urging that they be held in secret. Mr. Rubottom thought the Colombians might take the initiative in arranging a suitable compromise on public sessions. Ambassador Dreier called attention to the demagogic Cuban attitude which he said challenged the success of the conference. He thought that we could work out a solution which would satisfy the public without sacrificing the objectives of the conference.2

2. Chilean Political Situation

Ambassador Howe said that the Chilean left in general is identifying itself with the Cuban position. In Chile, Cuba is supported not only by the far left but by other opponents of the Government as well, among them the Christian Democrats. The United States must therefore, in the Ambassador’s view, be careful not to allow itself to be placed in the position of charging up all public pressure on this issue only to the Communists.

3. Reported Invasion of Nicaragua

Mr. Rubottom cited a report from Costa Rica that an invasion attempt was being mounted in Costa Rica by the Cubans against Nicaragua. If the attempt develops, Mr. Rubottom thought we should prevail upon President Echandi to have his Foreign Minister3 discuss [Page 336]the matter with the Cubans here and make public the facts in this situation. Mr. Rubottom said that he would be conveying these views to the Department and our Embassy in Costa Rica.

4. Cuban Situation

The situation in Cuba, Mr. Rubottom said, is confusing, with a substantial force apparently fighting the Government in central Cuba. He surmised that this development would affect Roa’s posture here.

5. Invitation to Lleras Camargo to Visit US

The President has agreed to the issuance of an invitation to Colombian President Lleras Camargo to visit the United States in March of next year. Mr. Rubottom suggested, and the Secretary agreed, that the invitation be discussed today with the Colombian Foreign Minister.4

6. Possible Meeting with Argentine President

The Secretary indicated his agreement to Mr. Rubottom’s suggestion that the Argentines be informed that the Secretary would not be able to drive in to Buenos Aires from the airport to visit with President Frondizi during his stopover in Buenos Aires on the trip home.

7. Asylum for Batista in Portugal

The Secretary said that the Brazilian Foreign Minister5 last night claimed credit for inducing the Portuguese to grant asylum to Batista. In reply to Mr. Rubottom’s query, the Secretary said he thought that the sooner we announced that Batista had been granted a Portuguese visa the better. Mr. Rubottom said, however, he would like to consider the matter briefly before making a recommendation to the Secretary on release of this information.

8. Venezuelan Views on the Conference

Mr. Rubottom said that he and Ambassador Dreier had breakfasted this morning with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister who had suggested that the United States work closely with the Venezuelans. Mr. Rubottom said that he should try to move the Venezuelans away from the Cubans. He thought that whatever resolutions and proposals we could agree on with the Venezuelans would be acceptable to the rest of the conference.

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9. Possible Resolutions

During a discussion of the El Salvador draft resolution,6 the Secretary said he had no objection to a resolution covering both nonintervention and human rights. Ambassador Dreier thought that the Secretary’s speech under Agenda Item I should be revised to put greater stress on human rights. There was general agreement that this should be done. Mr. Berding suggested that the Secretary not make a speech on this item today since he would already have made a speech earlier in the day. There was consensus that the Secretary should speak tomorrow morning.7

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1432. Secret. Drafted by A.G. James.
  2. At the First Plenary Session on the afternoon of August 12, Permanent Chairman of the meeting, Chilean Foreign Minister Germán Vergara Donoso, accepted a proposal by Cuban Minister of State Raúl Roa to open both the plenary and General Committee sessions of the meeting to the public.
  3. Alfredo Ortiz Manda.
  4. Julio César Turbay Ayala. The conversation was reported in Secto 9 from Santiago, repeated to Bogotá, August 12. (Department of State, Central Files, 721.11/8–1259)
  5. Horacio Láfer.
  6. Document 6 of the Fifth Meeting of Consultation, dated August 10; a copy is in Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 64 D 560, CF 1422.
  7. See Document 94.