128. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1
- Cooperation for Energy Development
In late June, President Perez quietly raised the issue of energy conservation with you.2 His purpose was probably two-fold: to obtain some technological help for developing the Orinoco Tar Belt and to obtain our support for two regional organizations OLADE and SELA which Venezuela leads.
From our perspective, we have an interest in responding to his proposal, which he is likely to repeat, for three reasons:
1. We have an interest in encouraging Venezuelan leadership in this and in other areas in which other developing countries could benefit from new and appropriate technology.
2. We have a number of other important interests in U.S.-Venezuelan relations, and we want to be responsive when Venezuela raises certain issues.
3. We do want to help develop the Tar Belt, though most recent studies indicate that such development is not economically feasible now, and not likely to be for a number of years.
In addition, as State’s paper points out, our interests in the field of energy cooperation are primarily global, and to this end, we have solicited support from other industrialized and OPEC countries and LDCs for the International Energy Institute. This would facilitate technical assistance and energy technology development for the LDCs. NSC supports State’s recommendation that we continue to pursue this ap[Page 437]proach, but I disagree with State’s position that there is such a clear-cut choice between a regional and a global approach. Both are needed.3
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South File, Box 46, Pastor Country Files, Venezuela. Confidential. Sent for action. Under the subject line, Brzezinski wrote: “Mainly with President Perez.”↩
- Carter met with Pérez on June 28 and 29. At their June 29 meeting, Carter said that “he was greatly concerned about increases in the price of oil,” given that “such increases would contribute to worldwide inflation and serve no one’s interest.” Pérez “complimented President Carter for supporting OPEC by urging Americans to conserve on energy,” and observed that “thanks to oil and OPEC,” the world “realized the gravity of the energy crisis.” Carter “expressed his eagerness to work with Venezuela and with other OPEC nations on scientific research on petroleum production and exploration—for example, on developing technology for the Orinoco tar belt.” Pérez replied that “any agreement to develop technology for the tar belt must be within the context of an overall plan or agreement between the United States and Venezuela.” (Ibid.) The memoranda of conversation of their meetings are scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume XXIV, South America; Latin America Regional.↩
- Brzezinski added by hand all the text after “pursue this approach.”↩
- President Pérez visited Washington September 6–9 to attend the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty. He met with President Carter on September 7. The memorandum of conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, volume XXIV, South America; Latin America Regional.↩
- Carter checked the Approve option and initialed.↩