239. Memorandum From Robert Pastor of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • My Trip to the Dominican Republic

The two-day trip to the Dominican Republic was extremely valuable for three reasons: First, it gave me an opportunity to speak to the new leaders of the Dominican Republic and to get a flavor of the atmosphere on the eve of an important change in regime; second, it gave me a very good opportunity to speak to Andy Young and Secretary Vance about a wide range of issues;2 and third, it gave me an opportunity to speak with ex-President Oduber of Costa Rica, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Consalvi, General Torrijos, and the leader of Peru’s major political party. I am writing the memcons at this time, but don’t expect to complete them until next week. And I thought it would be useful to give the President a feel for the inauguration before that and so I have drafted a memorandum for you to send to him.3

On the return plane trip, Pete Vaky and I had a wonderful and long opportunity to speak to Secretary Vance about Argentina, Nicaragua, Central America and the Dominican Republic. On the Dominican Republic, the Secretary is very concerned about the economic situation there, and believes we have a very important obligation to help them through their problems in the next couple of years.4 On Central America, he agreed that the situation warranted our close attention, and welcomed the Nicaraguan study as an opportunity to try to come to grips with the problem of succession in Nicaragua. On Argentina, all of us seemed to share the same basic approach. Vaky will be going there in early September, and before then, we hope to have decisions on the various issues which I noted to you in my recent memo. We also spoke about the Common Fund, and the Secretary’s strong support for a positive posture in the North-South negotiations was very clear. [Page 557] It is assuring to know that he continues to push hard for good positions on North-South issues in spite of more conservative economic advice.

All in all, my time spent in these conversations made the trip extremely worthwhile. As an aside, I would recommend that you spend some time with Andy talking about African issues. While your approaches and emphases may differ, I believe both of you, as well as our policy, would very much benefit from a long conversation on the subject.


That you send the memorandum attached at Tab I to the President.5

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 19, Folder: Dominican Republic, 8/78–11/80. Sent for action. Brzezinski wrote at the top of the page, “OBE though good memo.”
  2. Vance, Pastor, and Young were in the Dominican Republic on August 16 to attend Guzman’s inauguration.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. The Dominican Republic received $48.41 million in economic aid from the United States in FY 1979, an increase from $6.13 million in FY 1978. (USAID Greenbook)
  5. There is no indication of approval or disapproval of the recommendation. See footnote 1 above.