18. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

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  • Status of Rockefeller Country Recommendations

Attached, as you requested, is a tabular resume of recommendations on individual countries made by Governor Rockefeller and their current status. This summary was compiled from the country recommendations made to the President in writing by the Governor. These are the only ones that I know of with two exceptions: (a) the recommendation for helicopters for Panama, which was made orally, and (b) a recommendation that we help Ecuador which has just been received and is being staffed.

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Status Report

Specific Recommendations by Governor Rockefeller

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Country Recommendation Action Taken
Argentina a) That we agree to renew bilateral US-Argentina economic consultations. a) This has been done.
b) That you consider trying to avoid further action on the pending Hruska bill limiting cooked meat imports, which would if passed present a serious problem with Argentina. b) Bryce Harlow was asked to estimate the bill’s prospects and feasibility of the recommendation. He has not done so. However, the bill does not appear to be prospering, and no additional action is called for at this point.
Barbados a) Study the possibility of a duty-free allowance for Caribbean Islands or all the Western Hemisphere. a) My action memo of 8/30 recommended referral to IG. You did not act on that recommendation. However, I have just requested staffing from State. In the meantime, this will be studied in the context of the IA–ECOSOC tourism development.
b) Study the airfare structure differential to achieve greater uniformity in fares to Caribbean. b) Same as (a) above.
Bolivia a) Provide military equipment for rural development. a) Being done through “civic action.”
b) Explore possibility of sharing cost of Che Guevara campaign of approx. $6 million. b) US aid extended has already exceeded this figure; no further action feasible.
c) Work quietly to achieve Chilean and Peruvian agreement to Bolivian access to sea. c) This already one of our objectives.
d) Consider refinancing Bolivia’s foreign debt burden. d) Will be handled in the context of IA–ECOSOC consideration of the debt service problem.
(Note: All of the foregoing for Bolivia has been affected by the Bolivian coup, which warrants careful reconsideration of our posture.)
Brazil That the US allocate additional FY 1969 funds for a Brazilian destroyer program. The President did not accept this recommendation because of the complexities of the issue, the shortness of time for FY ’69 allocation, and legislative restrictions on military assistance funds. The recommendation was referred to the Under Secretaries Committee for consideration under the FY 70/71 programs.
Dominican Republic a) That we consider (1) in creasing their sugar quota, (2) releasing PL 480 counterpart to finance agrarian reform, and (3) expand urban housing program. a) These are complex items and we have had them staffed by State and AID. The staffing memos were very good and complete. (I have them on file.) They showed that to increase a permanent sugar quota will require legislation and this is almost surely impossible to achieve before the Sugar Act revision scheduled for 1971. In any case, economic analyses indicate that we should not encourage over-dependence on sugar, which would result if we increased the permanent sugar quota. The recommendation which we think is acceptable is that our policy provide a large enough market to ensure economic and political stability but reduce over-dependence on one product and encourage agricultural and industrial diversification. We would aim at 600,000 ton per year level rather than the requested 700,000 tons. On the other items, new PL 480 agreements will schedule counterparts for agricultural development. AID will study a modest increase in housing levels; the levels proposed by the government are clearly unrealistic because they could not be managed under the government budget, would overtax the capacity of the construction industry, and would constitute an extreme imbalance in the use of investment resources. This policy appears to us to be right.
b) That we consider be coming equity members of the proposed Caribbean Development Bank. b) The Bank has not yet been formed. Legislation would be required for us to become members and is unlikely to be approved. We have accomplished essentially the same objective by authorizing resources to be loaned to the Bank for relending.
Ecuador That you send a note to Ecuadoran President re fisheries problem. This has been overtaken by the four-power fisheries conference which began July 31 in Buenos Aires, and will resume in January. The Governor is aware of this.
El Salvador a) Give special support to Common Market to solve population and refugee problems. a) This now underway through OAS; IG has long-term plans under study.
b) Persuade Reynaldo Garcia to run for President in next election. b) Not recommended; no action to be taken.
c) Extend financial assistance to President’s political party. c) Not recommended; no action to be taken.
d) Aid Radio Nacional. d) Not recommended; no action to be taken.
e) Support Common Market. e) IG has long-term plans under study.
Haiti That we consider renewing aid to Haiti, and revising our policy toward Duvalier. We have asked for a NSC study on Haitian policy. It is scheduled for the Review Group on December 18.
Honduras Study the feasibility of a Pan American Highway link with Tegucigalpa Present circumstances prevent any further action on this recommendation. Honduras has closed the Pan American Highway in the aftermath of the Honduras-El Salvador dispute. The OAS is negotiating reopening of transportation. When things normalize the U.S. and the Central American Development Bank will consider whether the highway link should be extended.
Jamaica a) Review Treasury proposal to change tax base of US aluminum companies which call for refund from Jamaican Government. a) My action memo of 8/30 recommended referral to IG. You did not take action on that memo. I have just requested information from State.
b) Respond to Jamaican requests for internal security equipment, Cessna aircraft and helicopters. b) Same action as (a) above.
Nicaragua a) Amend Bryan-Chamoro Treaty to provide that U.S. will reimburse Nicaragua and Costa Rica for unamortized expenditures made for improvements, should U.S. exercise its treaty rights to build a canal. a) Being handled by State in connection with overall approach on the Panama Canal problem. Recommendations for amendment will probably be made following Congressional soundings.
b) Convince General Somoza to relinquish power, permit a coalition transitional government to succeed him, followed by full free elections. b) You accepted my recommendation of 8/30 that no action was practicable on this matter since it would be the kind of political intervention we did not want to encourage. No further action at this time.
Panama a) Transfer some of Canal Zone land to Panama for Free Port area. a) This part of treaty package will probably be taken up when negotiations resumed; study underway to determine if it should be done separately or if negotiations further delayed.
b) Help Panama complete Darien Gap highway. b) This part of recommendations being made for Colombian construction of highway.
c) Allow Panama to have commercial use of dry-docks in Panama Zone. c) Referred to State.
Trinidad Assist in building specially designed ships for inter-island passengers and freight. Referred to State for handling.
Uruguay That we speed up current loan negotiations to provide Uruguayan President Pacheco assistance for his public investment budget. State and AID were requested to take appropriate action. They have done so with a combination of aid measures which should increase the public investment budget by some 7%.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 798, Country Files, Latin America, Latin America General, Volume 3, November 1969–May 1970. Confidential. Sent for information. Kissinger wrote on the first page, “Pete—Can we show this to Rockefeller?” Also written, in an unknown hand, was “OBE.” Nixon dispatched Rockefeller to Latin America confer with leaders in the region.
  2. Vaky summarized the list of recommendations on individual countries made by Governor Rockefeller after his Latin American visit.