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

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  • Report on Development of Southern Venezuela (CODESUR)

You will recall that when President Caldera of Venezuela visited you in June of 1970, he discussed Venezuelan hopes for developing the southern part of Venezuela and establishing a navigable waterway between the Orinoco and the Amazon Rivers and on to the River Plate. You expressed your interest in the project and, following the meeting, I directed State and AID to develop an approach for US participation in and cooperative support to the Venezuelan Government’s development plan for southern Venezuela “CODESUR”.

Attached for your information at Tab A is a report prepared by the State Department on the project. As a result of extensive conversations with Venezuelan officials, State has developed an illustrative program for US support in the implementation of the CODESUR project. The project, a very large-scale one, is still in the early planning stages and the Venezuelan Government has not yet made any explicit requests for US assistance. State’s illustrative program envisages US assistance in:

  • —the convocation of a joint US/Venezuelan Seminar on the CODESUR project;
  • —establishing a technological division in the CODESUR Executive Secretariat as a convenient channel for obtaining US technical experts;
  • —financing of feasibility surveys;
  • —mapping and photo interpretation of the area;
  • —financing of equipment and development goods;
  • —providing access to needed US defense surplus equipment;
  • —various types of technical assistance.
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Secretary Rogers believes State’s illustrative program is responsive to President Caldera’s project and to your wishes to be helpful in its implementation. Accordingly, he has instructed our Ambassador to enter into conversations with the Venezuelans on possible US help for the CODESUR project along the lines of the illustrative program.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 796, Country Files, Latin America, Venezuela, Vol. 1, 1969–1971. Confidential. Sent for information. Attached but not published at Tab A is a February 23 memorandum from Rogers to the President.
  2. After summarizing a Department of State memorandum on U.S. efforts to aid Venezuela in developing its southern region, Kissinger informed President Nixon that Secretary State Rogers had instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela to enter into conversations with the Venezuelans to implement the U.S. blueprint in this area.