64. Telegram 26443 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Mexico1

26443. Subj: Secretary Rabasa’s Call on Secretary Kissinger—February 2, 1974.

1. Rabasa met privately with Secretary Kissinger for a few minutes prior to being joined by Ambassador de Olloqui, Assistant Secretary Kissinger [ Kubisch ], and Country Director Torrey. After which Rabasa brought up six topics; the Secretary initiated discussion on narcotics control.

2. Charter. As a result of the private conversation between the two Secretaries, Secretary Kissinger asked Kubisch to instruct the USDel at the Geneva UNCTAD meeting to establish and maintain a close working relationship with the Mexican delegation and otherwise to be as cooperative as possible consistent with our own interests.

3. IATTC Tuna Allocation. Rabasa said the tuna quota was no longer an issue inasmuch as he had been informed that agreement was reached giving Mexico the 20,000 guarantee it has requested.

4. LOS. Rabasa went to some length to praise Ambassador Stevenson, saying that he was the best man for the U.S. as regards LOS negotiations. He said that discussions between Stevenson and Castaneda were progressing in a fair and honest fashion and that Mexico would be going to the Caracas LOS Conference with almost the same position as the U.S., adding “of course we can’t say that publicly.”

5. Bracero Program. As expected, Rabasa raised the illegal immigrant problem commenting that GOM consuls are now occupying facilities at three INS installations and that if there are more such places, the GOM would also like to station personnel there. He said that a quota of 300,000 workers was needed under a new Bracero program and mentioned that the U.S. Congress is against this proposal because of the influence of U.S. labor leaders, particularly George Meany. The Secretary expressed the opinion that Meany would not agree to a new Bracero [Page 214] program but said that he would personally speak to Meany before he goes to Mexico for the MFM. The Secretary at no time during these discussions offered any encouragement that a Bracero program was a possibility.

6. Petroleum. Rabasa mentioned the difficulty experienced by AeroMexico in getting fuel in Detroit but admitted that this is not now a problem. He said that the bilateral Civil Air Agreement will soon be renegotiated and commented that if Mexico acquires increased routes or flights it will require more fuel. The Secretary responded by agreeing that “obviously if you get more routes, you will need more fuel.” The FEO statement published in the Federal Register January 23 relating to licensing and export allocation of certain petroleum products was discussed briefly by Kubisch. Rabasa admitted that he was looking for a reaffirmation that the FEO regulation is a statement of U.S. policy with regard to exports of petroleum products to Mexico.

7. Rabasa brought up the salinity issue by saying that the Coachella Canal must be relined by June 30 in order for the U.S. to comply with the agreement and that in the meantime Mexico was wasting unusable saline water. He was corrected in his interpretation of the agreement on being informed that the agreement can be implemented as soon as the Congress authorizes the funds for the necessary public works. In Rabasa’s presence, the Secretary issued instructions that everything possible be done to see that the required legislation passes Congress before June 30. (FYI—the legislation will be submitted to Congress this week.)

8. The Secretary raised the question of the need for greater cooperation from the GOM in the area of narcotics control. Pointing out that over fifty percent of the heroin being seized in the U.S. is of Mexican origin. Kubisch and Rabasa continued discussion of the narcotics situation after the party left the Secretary’s office. The general thrust was that Ojeda Paullada’s cooperation with us is excellent and very much appreciated but that greater efforts must be made, especially with respect to heroin control. Kubisch said that the USG is prepared to give Mexico more assistance for an accelerated anti-narcotics program and that we would like to know from the GOM precisely how we might be more helpful. Rabasa replied that he would mention to Ojeda Paullada that more should be done, adding that any program in Mexico must be under Mexican jurisdiction, not that of the U.S.

  1. Summary: The Department reported on a February 2 meeting between Kissinger and Rabasa in which Rabasa raised various bilateral and multilateral issues and in which Kissinger expressed U.S. concern about the narcotics problem.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Country Files, Box 788, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. IV, 1973. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Torrey. Cleared by Kubisch and Luers, and approved by Eagleburger. All brackets are in the original except “[ Kubisch ]”, added for clarity. In anticipation of this meeting with Rabasa, Kubisch transmitted to Kissinger talking points and a briefing paper on the narcotics problem under cover of a January 23 memorandum. (Ibid., RG 59, ARA/MEX Files, Lot 77D57, SOC 11–5 Narcotics, 1973)