112. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Colombia1

700. Re Depcirtel 1755.2 Berle and Department officers met with Colombian White House and OAS Ambassadors May 18. Essential points Deptel 6923 conveyed to them. Sanz4 expressed special interest following:

Possible presence FonMins at Extraordinary IA ECOSOC Meeting Uruguay as means achieve informal consensus on subsequent OAS action on Cuba. He was informed Department not in position make commitment re presence Secretary; would appear essential effective advance agreement be achieved before FonMins consider Cuban problem jointly either formally or informally, and some feeling exists even peripheral consideration political aspect might prejudice outcome economic meeting.
Timing possible OAS action on Cuba. Sanz was informed we do not wish exclude possibility political action prior IA ECOSOC although at this moment it may appear doubtful.
Importance Colombians attach to view that OAS actions should be those addressed to possible Cuban aggressive acts in future and not condemnatory of past. Our view that while past cannot be ignored, important thing now is to isolate Cuban-communist danger and prevent its extension.

Sanz inquired whether there are proposals for dealing with Cuban problem other than theirs and was told we knew of none except our own and that of Venezuela5 which now appears dormant.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/5-1861. Confidential. Drafted by Director of the Office of Inter-American Regional Political Affairs Edward A. Jamison, cleared by Chairman of the Task Force on Latin America Adolph A. Berle and Officer in Charge of Colombian Affairs Sam Moskowitz, and approved by Acting Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs Wymberley DeR. Coerr.
  2. Circular telegram 1755, May 8, sent to all U.S. Embassies in Latin America, stated that a decision had been made “to seek as promptly as possible inter-American program to condemn, isolate, and weaken Castro regime and assist other governments to counter its subversive activity.” (Ibid., 737.00/5-861) The text is printed in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. X, Document 211.
  3. Telegram 692, May 15, instructed the Ambassador to give U.S. views on the Colombian proposal to the Foreign Minister. It argued that a basis for action already existed, although advance agreement would be essential and might not be immediately obtainable, and urged more specific measures than the Colombians were suggesting, but it stated that the United States did not object to Colombian consultations with other governments about their proposal. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/5-661)
  4. Colombian Ambassador Carlos Sanz de Santamaria.
  5. The Venezuelan proposal for a meeting of Foreign Ministers to urge sanctions short of armed intervention against Cuba was reported in telegrams 3072 and 3089 from New York, dated May 9 and 11. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/5-961 and 737.00/5-1161, respectively)