518. Action Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

Mr. President:

Sec. Rusk requests your authorization to resume diplomatic relations with the new Peruvian Government which took power on October 3. (Tab A)2 His memorandum projects this action on or about Wednesday, October 23. I understand, however, that State may now wish to recognize as early as Monday, October 21.

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  • —The Military Government is in full control, and no significant opposition has materialized. It has met all the traditional tests for recognition.
  • —We have carried out full consultations with other OAS members. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and several others have already recognized. Most of the others will have recognized by Monday.3
  • —The new government has assured it will honor its international obligations and that it will hold a referendum to decide whether a new constitution shall be drafted before holding new elections. However, it may be many months, or even years, before freely elected government returns to Peru.
  • —The IPC expropriation will gravely complicate our future relations, but should be kept separate from the diplomatic recognition question. Prompt recognition may help us protect IPC’s interest in obtaining a reasonable settlement.
  • —Resumption of relations does not imply resumption of all assistance programs.

Events in Panama are also moving toward early recognition by most countries. State may recommend that we follow suit next week. The Peru case should be resolved first.

I recommend that you authorize the resumption of diplomatic relations with Peru whenever Sec. Rusk wishes to move.4




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  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Peru, Vol. III, 10/67–1/69. Secret.
  2. Tab A was a memorandum from Rusk to the President, October 19; attached but not printed.
  3. October 21.
  4. No option is checked, but see Document 519.