227. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

3999. For the Secretary from Ambassador Bush. Subj: SYG Candidacy of Herrera.

Based on recent conversation with friendly LAs here, including Costa Rican chairman of LA group, I have concluded that Chile is on the verge of obtaining the endorsement of the Latin American group for Felipe Herrera’s candidacy. Even our natural allies on this subject are being pulled in the direction of supporting Herrera out of pride at the thought of a Latin American SYG. Some don’t like it but will go along.
This project is picking up so much steam that it is my considered judgment we should face the issue squarely now. Our dilemma can only get worse. Accordingly, I recommend that I be authorized to inform the PermRep of Chile, in response to his written request for support, the US would be happy to see a well-qualified Latin American as SYG. I do not happen to know Mr. Herrera personally, but I think honesty requires me to say that, given the current status of US-Chilean relations, there is no way in which the US could support a Chilean for the post of SYG.
Comment: Such a line will, of course, produce an adverse reaction. However, in my judgment, it is preferable to having to come out against Herrera or another Chilean (Valdez, Santa Cruz) at a somewhat later stage after formal LA group endorsement. This matter is urgent. The Dept may have other alternative ways to suggest to obtain the desired result. However in my view the above-mentioned course is the best. We might also be prepared to state that we would be happy to [Page 406]consider other qualified LA aspirants such as Guyer (Argentina), Cuevas Cancino (Mexico) or Perez de Cuellar (Peru).
Chile will be upset, but some other LAs will sigh with relief.
UK PermRep Colin Crowe in informal talk Nov 2 also believes above is best course at this date.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Exdis.