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

201677. Subject: SYG Candidacy of Herrera. Ref: USUN 3999.2

We agree Latin Group likely become solidly committed to Herrera and that unless we spike his candidacy now cost to us will increase. You should accordingly immediately inform orally PermReps of Argentina, Costa Rica and Nicaragua that US regretfully cannot support Herrera and that out of consideration for Herrera, whom we hold in high regard, we have felt it advisable to convey our decision without delay. You may say that we believe SYG should be someone with more direct UN experience. We are actively considering current SYG candidacies with this as a major consideration. As far as Chile itself is concerned we have noted that it has already obtained a number of important positions and honors recently in UN System.
Request you not allude to status US-Chilean relations as reason. Chile and others will naturally assume this to be the case but we do not wish to enable them to attribute it to us because such quotation could more easily be exploited against us.
We understand Chilean PermRep and Herrera have asked to see you Nov 5 p.m. We leave it to your discretion how much of above you wish to convey to them. Suggest you also inform promptly UK and Venezuelan PermReps. You may add, with Latins with whom you have already discussed Herrera candidacy, that Chile has already [Page 407]obtained more than its share of honors in UN system (e.g., Horowitz, Secretary PAHO; Valdez, Deputy Administrator UNDP; Santa Cruz, President FAO Council 1970–71 and President FAO 25th Anniversary meeting; 2 Resident Representatives; Garcia, President LA Region for WMO. Santiago is site of ECLA and Economic Research Institute for LA. UNICEF, UNDP, UPU, UNCTAD and PAHO bodies have met in Santiago since 1969). If asked whether we would consider some other Latin American, you may reiterate we believe it would be good to have outstanding Latin candidate, but you should avoid naming any because we do not wish to imply we would support another specific Latin American in present circumstances.3

For Santiago: Upon receipt confirmation that Chilean UN Del has been informed, we will provide guidance for your use if queried by FonOff.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Assistant Secretary De Palma; cleared by Crimmins, Pedersen, Armitage, and Executive Secretary Eliot; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Asuncion, Bogota, Brasilia, Caracas, La Paz, Managua, San Jose, Santiago, and Teguciga pa.
  2. Document 227.
  3. Bush replied that this telegram reached him too late to contact other Permanent Representatives before attending a Cabinet meeting in Washington. He agreed that prompt action should be taken to stop the Herrera candidacy. He had been impressed by Latin American leaders who said that the United States could be anti-Allende without appearing to be anti-Herrera. Bush therefore repeated his recommendation in telegram 3999 that Chile be informed that the United States could not, under the present circumstances, support a Chilean candidate for UN Secretary-General. (Telegram 4055 from USUN, November 5; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)