432. Telegram 1757 From the Embassy in Jamaica to the Department of State1

1757. Subj: Secretary’s Visit—LA—Secretary’s Meeting with the Prime Minister. Ref: State 90066.

The following is an uncleared memo on the conversation which took place at 1120, May 28, 1973, at Jamaica House, Kingston, Jamaica. Participants were the Honorable Michael N. Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica; Senator the Honorable Dudley Thompson, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office; Sir Egerton Richardson, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and the former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States; Mr. Vincent H. McFarlane, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs; the Honorable William P. Rogers, Secretary of State; the Honorable Jack B. Kubisch, the Assistant Secretary Designate for Inter-American Affairs; Mr. Richard Pederson, Counselor of the Dept of State; Ambassador De Roulet; George B. Roberts, Jr., DCM, Kingston.

1. After the photographers left, the Secretary told the Prime Minister how pleased he was to be in Jamaica because Jamaica and the U.S. were such special friends. The Secretary said that the U.S. realized that Jamaica was very different from Latin America, but he said that he was pleased to see that Jamaica was playing an important role in the OAS. The Prime Minister said that he was glad that the U.S. was aware of Jamaica’s OAS activity. He said that previously Jamaica’s external ties had all been towards the UK.

2. The Prime Minister said that he had two questions to ask the Secretary. He asked whether the U.S. was taking a new look at the Western Hemisphere, and he asked what was the U.S. attitude toward the OAS. The Secretary said that the U.S. was trying to shift away from a paternalistic approach to its hemispheric neighbors. He said that the U.S. wanted to move away from being held responsible and from being blamed for all hemispheric problems. The Secretary said that we felt that nations had to be responsible for themselves. He said that this would not mean that we were not interested but simply that we had noticed our neighbors’ complaints about interference. He said that a good [Page 1110] indication of our continuing interest in the hemisphere was the fact that we had contributed $600 million in aid in 1971 and were planning one billion dollars in 1973. The Secretary said that the U.S. was taking into account the hemisphere’s new nationalism but that we were still definitely interested in hemispheric affairs.

3. The Secretary said that the response had been very good to the new U.S. approach. He said that this was so even though there was still some reluctance among Latin American countries to being treated as a real equal. He mentioned the Latin complaints about “sensitivity.” And he said that he had told the Latin officials to whom he had spoken that they had to expect to be treated in the same manner as the U.S. treats other friendly but sovereign nations. The Secretary said that he had heard much about ideological pluralism during his trip but he did not know what this term meant. He said that many countries which had formerly been opposed to the U.S. were now being extremely careful about what they said about us in public. He mentioned Romania, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China in this context. The Secretary said that friendly Latin governments should be at least as careful about what they said publicly about the U.S.

4. The Secretary said that the U.S. opposed expropriation because it discouraged investment. He said that the U.S. recognized a country’s right to take over property within its boundaries with adequate compensation, but that the U.S. did not recommend such action because of the depressing effect it had on investment flows. The Prime Minister commented that Jamaica was committed to non-expropriation. He asked, however, what was meant by compensation. The Secretary said that, in our view, nations had a right to take foreign owned property much as they had the right of eminent domain with respect to their citizens. He pointed out, however, that the manner in which this right was exercised had an important effect on the investment climate in the countries concerned. He said, for example, that foreign investors had great faith in Mexico because when the Mexicans made rules they stuck to them. He also commented favorably on Indonesia, which had been saddled with crippling debts by Sukarno’s government yet had still agreed to honor them. The Secretary said that as a result, Indonesia was now getting a considerable amount of foreign investment even though some of their debts had had to be rescheduled.

5. The Prime Minister asked what the U.S. view was on the question of creating an organization parallel to the OAS but without the U.S., or of reforming the OAS. The Secretary said that, in general, we favored the latter view. He said that the OAS needed restructuring and should be enlarged. He said that the U.S. would particularly like to see Canada become a member. The Prime Minister said that Jamaica opposed Article 8 of the OAS Charter which excluded countries which [Page 1111] had disputes with member countries. The Prime Minister pointed out that Article 8 served not only to exclude Guyana from the OAS but also served to prevent Belize (British Hondura) from gaining independence. The Secretary said that we would agree to a change in Article 8 if others would agree. He said that we did not want to lead. The Prime Minister asked, “but you would support us quietly?” The Secretary answered, “Yes.”

6. The Secretary said that Cuba had announced time and again that it did not want to be in the OAS. The Prime Minister said, however, that countries often changed their policies. He said that there had been many political volte faces in recent times. The Secretary said that this was true but that such policy shifts had always been preceded by some private indication that the change was on its way. He said, for example, that the Chinese had indicated privately to us that they wanted to be in the UN. The Prime Minister said that Cuba had told Jamaica that they would join the OAS but it would have to be an OAS without the U.S. The Prime Minister said that Jamaica did not agree with this condition and had so told the Cubans. The Secretary said that such a situation would be a recipe for continued confrontations between the restructured OAS and the U.S. The Prime Minister said that Jamaica agreed with this observation and repeated that he thought an OAS without the U.S. was a very bad idea.

7. The Prime Minister asked if the U.S. had any intention of relaxing its restrictions against Cuba. The Secretary observed that the U.S. record of improving relations with its former adversaries was very good. He pointed out, however, that Cuba was different. Cuban policy continued to be one of opposing the U.S. and subverting its neighbors. He said that Cuba was totally dependent on the Soviet Union. He said that he saw no sign of change in this situation. The Prime Minister asked whether, since détente was in the air, was there not a case for détente with Cuba? He said that Jamaica was totally committed to democracy and the rule of law. He said, however, that he thought there should be at least détente in simple matters like trade. The Secretary said that such a détente had to be based on mutuality. He said there was no sign whatsoever of a corresponding move by Cuba. The Secretary said that Cuba was like Albania. He observed that even during the recent hijacking negotiations, the Cubans specifically let us know through the Swiss that they were still completely hostile to us.

8. Sir Egerton asked how important we thought the Cuban-Soviet military alliance was. The Secretary said that we would want to see more than just words as an indication of a Cuban shift of attitude. He said that Castro had spread poverty to his people, had turned his country into a Russian base, and was continuing to subvert his neighbors. The Secretary pointed out that the U.S. had excellent relations [Page 1112] with the Yugoslavs and the Romanians and could now be said even to have good relations with the Soviets. Senator Thompson asked whether the Soviets might not be putting the Cubans up to their intransigent attitude. The Secretary said that this might be true but our experience with Eastern European governments indicated that when they did not go along with such a Russian policy they would follow the policy publicly but let us know privately of their true feelings. The Cubans have not done this. The Secretary observed that many LA nations had been spared serious security problems in recent years and thus were not aware of the threat Cuba could pose to their security. He said that countries in other parts of the world were much more cognizant of security considerations and were much more willing to support policies formed with security considerations in mind. The Secretary indicated that he was referring to the Cuban/Soviet alliance and the threat it posed to hemispheric security.

9. The Prime Minister asked about bauxite disposals from the U.S. stockpile. The Secretary said that we planned to consult with any foreign nation which would be affected by our stock pile disposal program and that we had no desire whatsoever to disrupt world markets to the disadvantage of producer countries. He said that we knew that our stockpile disposals were extremely important to many countries. He said that we wanted to dispose of a tonnage equalling approximately 33 percent of Jamaica’s annual bauxite production but that we planned to do this over a period of years so as not to disrupt the international bauxite market.

10. The Prime Minister asked whether there was any prospect of increasing the U.S. quota for Jamaican sugar. The Secretary said that he would not think there would be any increase as long as Jamaica was unable to fill its present quota. The Prime Minister said that it was a question of priorities and of which quota had to be filled first.

11. The Prime Minister asked if the discussion could be continued in private, and the meeting ended at 1200 noon.

De Roulet
  1. Summary: Rogers and Manley met and discussed bilateral relations and Western Hemisphere issues during the Secretary’s visit to Jamaica.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number]. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to all American Republic diplomatic posts in telegram 112155 from the Department, June 10, because the memorandum of conversation touched “succinctly on a number of topics which are important to hemisphere problems.” (Ibid., [no film number]) Telegram 90066 from the Department was not found.