Memorandum of Conversation: FM Adrien Raymond (Haiti); US-Haiti relations and US assistance; October 4, 1972; 9:30 am; 35A Waldorf
1. Participants: Haiti: FM Raymond, ConGen Lafontant; US: The Secretary, Mr. Poole (reporting officer), Mr. Toumayan (interpreter).
2. Summary: In bilateral conversation with the Secretary, Haitian FM Raymond spoke of good relations between Haiti and U.S. and Haiti’s reshaped image in its international relations. He raised a few points with respect to pending U.S. economic and military assistance. The Secretary reciprocated the Minister’s desire for friendly relations, stated we would follow up on his points re U.S. assistance and remarked that it seemed advisable to begin slowly on military assistance.
3. FM Raymond opened conversation by thanking the Secretary for receiving him and for the exchange of views they had in Washington during visit of [Page 2] Haitian Mission in March. He said President Jean-Claude Duvalier appreciated comprehension which President Nixon and the Secretary had of haiti. The Secretary replied that we too wished to maintain good relations and expressed pleasure at progress being made in Haiti. Raymond remarked on Haiti’s reshaped image in its international relations, referring to re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, Ecuador and Costa Rica, as well as economic “integration” with DR with which it now maintains very good relations.
4. Having had full discussion in March, Raymond said he wished to raise only a few points, first of which was Haiti’s request to AID for $2.5 million loan for road maintenance, which he hoped would receive support. ARA area adviser commented that this request was under active consideration, and the Secretary asked to be informed if there were any problems. Raymond also mentioned a few small assistance projects, such as one in animal husbandry, which he said were going well. (He made no request with respect to these projects.)
5. Raymond then raised matter of Haiti’s request for military assistance to meet modest requirements” particularly for Navy and Air Force, referring specifically to problem of naval and air communications. He said U.S. military team that had visited Haiti in July to discuss this request had done so with comprehension. Area adviser explained that report of military team was under study, including question of increasing coastal patrol capability, but that there was problem with respect to aircraft. Raymond believed report was favorable and commented that Haiti, unlike many other LA countries is not now receiving direct military assistance from U.S. The Secretary thought it was better to begin slowly rather than with a splash.
6. In closing, Raymond reiterated Haiti’s desire for good relations with U.S. and his appreciation for present U.S. administration’s comprehension of Haiti’s problems and willingness to assist, in contrast to previous administration. He said President Duvalier personally [Page 3] supports President Nixon’s candidacy, and ConGen Lafontant added that Former President Francois Duvalier had always stressed that Haiti was better off with a republican administration in the U.S.