335. Letter From President Carter to Venezuelan President Perez1

Dear Mr. President:

I deeply appreciate the warmth and hospitality shown to Rosalynn during her visit to Caracas,2 particularly the extensive personal efforts you made, which contributed greatly to the visit’s success. The propos [Page 952] als and initiatives which arose during your wide-ranging, substantive talks with Rosalynn will provide an excellent basis for our discussions during your State Visit to Washington. I also want to thank you for your gracious letter of June 21.3

Your belief in the dignity of the individual and your support for human rights are well-known and long-held; I was heartened to hear you reaffirm them. I am glad we agree on the wisdom of increasing the funding and autonomy of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. I like your proposal for a separate Joint Communique on Human Rights, which mentions our support for the Costa Rican initiative to establish a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.4

Clearly, energy will be another of the main topics of our talks. My advisors and I will be prepared to explore possibilities of cooperation on energy research and development and to examine at length the many issues in this area of mutual concern. Your visit offers the opportunity for our two governments to seek ways to consult informally but frequently on these issues and others.

We may wish to explore further several points you made to Rosalynn. Your proposal for an economic assistance program for the Caribbean involving our two Governments and several others is extremely interesting.5 We believe that consultation and coordination among donors, working with the Caribbean Development Bank as well as other international financial institutions, should be carefully and thoroughly explored. Such a coordinated approach could make our assistance far more effective, while also fostering cooperation and economic integration in the area.

I am also eager to discuss your excellent suggestions for closer collaboration on terrorist activities, settling territorial problems, reducing arms expenditures and tension in the Andes, and limiting the spread of nuclear explosives capabilities.

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I hope that these and other topics of discussion and possible collaboration—such as a new Canal Treaty, and our respective relations with Africa and the Middle East—might be included usefully in a second, broader communique. We have sent you separately a draft proposal for your comment.6

Your State Visit provides us, as two friends who share so many common goals and ideals, with an historic moment to collaborate in the many vital areas of global, regional and bilateral affairs.

Rosalynn and I hope that you and Mrs. Perez will find your visit to this country a useful and enjoyable one, and that you will leave the United States with the feelings of warmth and friendship toward our country which Rosalynn brought back upon her return from Venezuela.


Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 21, Venezuela: President Carlos Andres Perez, 2/77-5/78. No classification marking. In telegram 148784, June 25, the Department transmitted the letter to the Embassy in Venezuela. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770228-0402)
  2. See Document 333, footnote 2.
  3. Not found.
  4. In telegram 5133 from Caracas, May 23, the Embassy communicated the Venezuelan proposal for a joint communiqué. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770183-1188) In telegram 126851 to Caracas, June 2, the Department transmitted a “first draft for consideration of post and then Venezuelan Government” of a “proposed joint communiqué on human rights” to be made by Carter and Perez on the occasion of Perez’s state visit. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770196-0772) For the Costa Rican initiative, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XXXIV, Energy Diplomacy and Global Issues, Document 323, and vol. XXXIII, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy; United Nations, Documents 344 and 347.
  5. In telegram 5903 from Caracas, June 13, the Embassy reported that Perez “suggested that Venezuela, the US, Canada, Mexico and Colombia meet urgently to exchange ideas and devise a joint economic development assistance program for the Caribbean.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770210-0765)
  6. In telegram 143414 to Caracas, June 20, the Department transmitted a “draft of joint communiqué on topics other than human rights for Embassy review and tabling with GOV.” The communiqué discussed nuclear nonproliferation, conventional arms limitation, the North-South dialogue and international economic cooperation, oil and energy resources, international corporations, terrorism, the environment, technology transfer, and other topics. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770220-0453)