171. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1
- Panama Visit
You asked Hamilton for a memo from State and NSC with recommendations on your trip. Warren has written a memo at Tab A,2 but permit me to summarize:
1. Should you go to Panama? In the light of your letters to and conversations with General Torrijos, State and NSC believe you should go.
2. When? Ambassador Lewis has just telephoned the Department and informed us that the Panamanians will welcome your visit at any time, but they would prefer early June. State and NSC agree that a June date is best.
3. How long? State and NSC believe that a 30-hour overnight would be most appropriate, and provide you time to exchange the Instruments of Ratification, meet with General Torrijos, lunch with the “Bogota Five” (Perez, Torrijos, Lopez Michelsen, Oduber and Carazo, and Manley), visit the Canal and listen to a briefing on Panama’s investment plan for the Canal area, and perhaps take a short trip the next morning to a small village outside Panama City.3
4. The Brooke Amendment. The Brooke Amendment does not affect your wanting to exchange the Instruments of Ratification in June. All the Brooke Amendment says is that the exchange “cannot become effective” until Congress passes implementing legislation or until March 31, 1979, whichever comes first.
1. Trip should be scheduled for early June.4
2. Trip should be 30 hours, overnight.5
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Box 41, Pastor, Country, Panama, 4/78. No classification marking. Sent for action. An unknown hand wrote “April 26, 1980” on the memorandum, and another unknown hand wrote “.”↩
- Not attached. A copy of Christopher’s April 25 memorandum to Jordan is in the Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Box 41, Pastor, Country, Panama, 4/78.↩
- Brzezinski wrote underneath the paragraph: “I personally favor a shorter visit—no overnight”.↩
- Carter did not indicate his approval or disapproval of the recommendation. Carter visited Panama June 16–17. See Documents 183 and 185.↩
- Carter did not indicate his approval or disapproval of the recommendation. See footnote 4 above.↩