237. Telegram from the Embassy in the Dominican Republic to the Department of State1

4094. Subject: Letter to President Carter From President-Elect Guzman.

1. Following is informal Embassy translation of letter to President Carter from President-elect Antonio Guzman, dated July 14 and delivered by hand to Embassy July 24. Proposed reply follows septel:


Dear President Carter:

Following the official acknowledgement by the central electoral board of our triumph in the past elections, I am very pleased to take this opportunity to express to you, once again, my thanks for the noble interest which you have demonstrated for the survival of democracy and well-being of my country and my people.

On this occasion, permit me to reiterate my wish that you honor us with your presence in the ceremonies of the turnover of government, which will be held next August 16, and which will have great significance for representative democracy in the Dominican nation and in Latin America.

As President of the Dominican Republic, I intend, as fundamental goals of the government which I will preside, to strengthen democratic institutionalization and to achieve a harmonious economic development which benefits Dominicans at every social level. In this latter matter, we propose to re-orient public investment towards education, health, energy and agriculture. These last two fields are of vital importance since our country is eminently agricultural and we are aware of the seriousness of the energy problem in any development program, whether short, medium, or long term.

I wish to share with you my concern for the economic situation in which the present government will leave the country, which has become aggravated in the past days with unplanned measures of salary increases, suppression of taxes which considerably reduce the public income, initiation of construction of projects of considerable cost and other steps which greatly bind my administration.

In addition to this worrisome economic panorama, I should mention the crises in our sugar industry, the decapitalization of our state [Page 554] bank, the Banco de Reservas of the Dominican Republic, the general contraction of industrial and commercial activity, and other problems which we will have to face and which we are sure we will be able to overcome through planned and coherent actions utilizing available resources.

Facing this situation, I have considered it timely to undertake a diagnostic study of the present state of the national economy. This study is being prepared by distinguished national economists, and it would be of great interest to count on the cooperation of economists from friendly countries such as the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, England and Brazil. In this respect, we hope we can count on your valuable cooperation and that of international institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.2

As President-elect, I have the firm objective that my regime be marked by the principles of a free society where social justice may be achieved. I will be very pleased to collaborate closely with your government and yourself, within the framework of a Western Hemisphere formed by countries which struggle to achieve a world where human rights are fully observed.

Permit me, Mr. President, to convey to you the sentiments of my highest consideration and esteem, I am

Sincerely yours,

S. Antonio Guzman

President-elect of the Dominican Republic


2. Text of letter being pouched.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders, Box 5, Folder: Dominican Republic: President Antonio Guzman, 5/78–6/80. Limited Official Use; Immediate.
  2. In a July 31 memorandum to Vance, Vaky and Cooper recommended that the Department of State contact World Bank President Robert McNamara and inform him of Guzman’s request for a study of the Dominican economy and ask if the World Bank could send a team to the Dominican Republic. Vance approved the recommendation on August 4. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P780125–0356) In telegram 198898 to Santo Domingo, August 7, the Department summarized the views of the IMF and World Bank on the economic prospects of the Dominican Republic. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780323–0988)