49. Memorandum of Meeting1

  • PARTICIPANTS
    • The President
    • President Rafael Caldera Rodriguez of Venezuela
    • Aristides Calvani Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela
    • Pedro Rafael Tinoco, Jr., Minister of Finance of Venezuela
    • Hugo Perez La Salvia, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Venezuela
    • Haydee Castillo de Lopez Acosta, Minister of Development of Venezuela
    • Mr. Charles A. Meyer, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs
    • Ambassador Robert McClintock, Ambassador-designate to Venezuela
    • Ambassador Emil Mosbacher, Chief of Protocol
    • Mr. Viron P. Vaky, NSC
    • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Advisor

Petroleum

The President said that he wanted to assure President Caldera that with reference to the 1970 second-half petroleum quota, Venezuela would receive an increase. He was not in a position to give specific figures, since there were still some technical considerations to be worked out. However, he felt it would be a significant increase and that President Caldera would not have to apologize to anyone.

The President noted that the US would announce the second-half quotas about June 10. He said that when we had specific ranges pinned down we would inform the Venezuelan Government prior to public release.2

He asked Dr. Kissinger to elaborate a little more on the proposed increases. Dr. Kissinger explained that what we had in mind was a combination [Page 115]of measures, involving imports of crude and No. 2 fuel oil, which would result in an overall increase in Venezuela’s share. He said that as soon as we had specifics we would be in touch with Ambassador Sosa.

The Minister of Mines asked, by way of clarification, if the increase would cover both crude and fuel oil. He was told it would. Asked by the President which was the more important, he said crude exports were of the greater importance to Venezuela.

The President observed that he knew Venezuela wanted parity treatment with Canada. He did not think this was possible at this point, but he wished to emphasize that the increases pushed Venezuela closer to Canada’s position. He said, in fact, that he was brought a figure this morning and that he had ordered it increased. Thus the measures we would take would be clearly in the direction of bringing Venezuela closer to Canada’s position.

President Caldera said that he did not want to hurt Canada, but he noted that his countrymen are infuriated when publicity and public statements indicate that Canada received preference and that Venezuela is a “second-class friend.” He noted that US officials had publicly stated that Venezuela would be helped, but of course it could not receive the same treatment as Canada. This infuriates Venezuelans. Consequently he hoped that in public statements no invidious comparisons with Canada are made. The President said that was a very important point, and he asked Dr. Kissinger to be very careful in public statements that no invidious comparisons are drawn.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to oil.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 943, VIP Visits, Venezuela, Visit of President Caldera, 2–4 Jun 1970. Confidential; Exdis. This meeting took place in the President’s Office at the White House. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the participants met from 10:09 to 10:50 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) The complete memorandum of meeting is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–10, Documents on American Republics, 1969–1972, Document 666. Nixon met briefly with Perez February 27. (National Archives, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) A full explanation of Venezuela’s position on imports is contained in notes that Perez prepared for his meeting with Nixon. (Ibid., Subject Files, Confidential Files, Box 26, EXTA 4/CM Tariff Imports, Oil April 1970)
  2. According to telegram 90413 to Caracas, June 11, the Oil Policy Committee agreed on June 11 to increase the overall import quota for crude by 100,000 bpd and by 40,000 bpd for No. 2 fuel oil refined from Western Hemisphere crude. The result was an increase of approximately 55,000 bpd from Venezuela for both crude and fuel oil. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 796, Country Files, Latin America, Venezuela, Vol. I) The public announcement was made on June 17.