661. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2

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  • Visits by Western Hemisphere Chiefs of State

In approving the 1970 schedule of State visits you did not approve any visit by Western Hemisphere Chiefs of State. Secretary Rogers has sent you the memo at Tab A recommending that you include some of the Western Hemisphere leaders which State had recommended.

I concur that it would be advisable to revise the schedule to include Western Hemisphere chiefs of State. Failure to do so could adversely affect our efforts to create a new relationship with the area:

  • —The absence of visitors from the hemisphere cannot help but be very conspicuous, all the more so because it is the only region of the world not represented in the schedule as it currently stands.
  • —This fact will also appear to many as inconsistent with the theme of “special relationship” and “partnership” which we have sought to establish.
  • —Speculation as to what it means cannot be avoided, and the most likely interpretation is that you have lost interest or soured on the region.
  • —Latin Americans are so concerned as to whether your October 31 policy line can be fully implemented that they are hyper-sensitive to clues or imagined clues to your intentions. Not receiving any visitors from the region will be seen by them as rejection, and as belying the concepts in your speech.
  • —If not interpreted as a souring of relations with the region, it may stir speculation that there must be some other reason for this action, such as a plan to make a trip of your own to the region. The result could be press speculation, confusion and misunderstandings.
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I recommend that you invite Caldera of Venezuela and Pacheco of Uruguay.

Venezuela is very concerned about our oil policy, and an invitation to Caldera will go a long way to strengthen our ties for what is bound to be a difficult period ahead in our trade relations. Our interest in urging Venezuela to resolve peacefully its border dispute with Guyana, which is a growing irritant between them would also be served.

President Pacheco has done a first rate job in Uruguay and has been courageous in mounting needed and effective economic and social programs. He was also courageous in insisting on receiving Governor Rockefeller despite serious internal security problems this decision gave him. An invitation by you would give public recognition to his courageous leadership and encourage him to continue it.

State has recommended a visit by Prime Minister Burnham of Guyana if Caldera of Venezuela is invited. The reason would be to appear impartial in the border dispute between the two and to try to promote a solution with Burnham as well. If you wished to demonstrate the “special relationship” dramatically and have three visitors from the hemisphere, you may wish to add Burnham to the list.


1. That you revise the schedule of state visits for 1970 to include Caldera (Venezuela) in the first half and Pacheco (Uruguay) in the second half.

2. That, if you are willing to have three visits from the hemisphere because of the “special relationship” theme, you add Burnham (Guyana) to the list.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 943, VIP Visits, Venezuela, Visit of President Caldera 3–4 June 1970. Confidential. Sent for action. Drafted by Vaky on January 23. Published from a copy that bears Kissinger’s stamped initials with an indication that he signed the original. Attached but not published at Tab A is a January 20 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon. Neither recommendation was checked, but in a February 3 memorandum from Chapin to Kissinger, Chapin confirmed that the President agreed to Caldera’s visit in the first half of the year. (Ibid.)
  2. Kissinger outlined the arguments for inviting Western Hemisphere Chiefs of State, including President Caldera, to Washington during the first half of 1970.