GENERAL- CARIBBEAN POLITICAL AFFAIRS - SPECIFIC- ATTITUDE OF VENEZUELA TOWARD G

Created: 6/28/1954

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m HBIGRKAL REVIEW PROGRAM

gentral

Car ibbeati- Folitical

afic-t'^ttitude of Vane

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REP!r iT ^fiutofJune4

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iS: transmitted herewith'a.oonVorsation on the above

>wereiasked;to meet with Sr. Pedro-,

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my personal opinion the conversation boils downarning toUnited Statoa either to use its good offices to" foroo FIOUERES to cease

his hostile attitude toward Venezuela and:to rid hlo country of allconspiring against the Venezuelan regime, or to faoo tho proopocts of an eventual war between Venezuela and Costa Rica. ESTRADA, againy opinion, was endeavoring to make the point that Venezuela Is the dan in ant country in the Caribbean area and that it has as much right to be concerned about anti-Venezuelan activities in Costa Rica as the United States has to be concerned about. activities in Guatemala, and that if Venezuela's position is not given due consideration by tho United States and other Interested countries Venezuela will have no recourse but to resort to independent and unilateral action.

believe it wouldrave ads take on our part to write offagainst Costc Rica as so ouch idle boasting. oolwould prefer to see the situation at Costa Rica clearedtho necessity of armed intervention, we should not discountof direct military action by Venezuela in the event nomade in that direction and she should feel her socurity menaced byalliance. m sure that ESTRADA raurt now feelhave'had fair warning of Venezuela's attitude and probable intentions.

4* At hisopy of tbe attached nemorandun has bean nude available to the Chargo d'affaires v. ho is reporting diroctly on tho oat tor to the

CLASSIFICATION

Sedret

RyyAT/PiSucc-ss

Department. The Charge has read the attached raenorandum andthat it accurately and fully covers the interview which we had with

rfcmorandua of Convaraation withA.DA

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Distribution

-opier of stt.jJuAtesialattt.

iG'OiwCJDUl' OFLaCZi His office in national Security Building THE: oon to.strada

T: Venezuelan Feeling tov.arc GuatOinala and Costa i'-ica

in our conversation today,foasistraea) was on Costa Rica, rather than on Gnutella, although .vstrada has always made it clear that Venezuela considers Costa itica (specifically the tie-in between Figueras and aetancourt) as tha burning issue, he was Loday nore positive and more belligerent on the subject than on any previous occasion.

It is quite obvious that Istrada is inpatient with the official United States attitude toward Costa Rica, as he sees it. lie recognizes the fact that Figusras andcaonsiderable amount of good-Brill in the United States, both official and unofficial, and he feeis this is cu? largely to an unwillingness or reluctance uponrt of theirtrtSnt to see Figueres in his true light. Firuere lisves lip-service to democracy and to Anti-Communism and thus oanafifis toinith United States policy. On the other hand, through his wsbascador, he assures the ouateiaaian Foreign Minister, that lie should not consider thecati brand of "anti-Copi'mnisrs" as directed iny against Guateosla or its .elicits, "oreover,oiiU so far ar, Vonszviela is concerned. Fibres secretly connives with the "coaaunist" Jetancourt to overthrow the present Vens-uuelancb, in -strada's words, "is the best friend the L'nitsdas inj9rica.n ith theorialend QQEiplfit* concurrence of Jlgueresj is usingca as

a buss or operationsevolutionaryal-iit theJi^-snsss arsr.nv assembled, and an invasionaparad at Costa Sice which, at the appointed hour, will Hove against Venezuela. Estrada said he is not worried thataoveavenfc will be succsstf^* 'what does worry hisi is that the State Dagertiaant is blind to Tjhat is going en and Remitsicomesac-ed action onit as his efonsoethlp of the calleting of consul tat icn ofinirhaM to studyobien of connunicsinndeking itor Venezuela it calf to ipxtleigvt* inall. He then predicted that

c nan ofoJill neciiate batwetn the

interested governments to bringeaceful and satisfactory solution. Tha very thought of this seems more than Estrada can stotsach.

3* -Estrada Indicated that he is not in the least worried over the Uncgnores alliance froa the military sense. Venezuela is ready tc counter, end completely caash any hostile acre froa that BjMrtlfi The moment an invasion craft loaves Costa Kican watore en route to Venezuela twelve Canberras will take off for San Jose and hill completely obliterate that capital, he said. The NU5VA SSPAITA, the new Venezuelan destroyer, willroops oncan shorn* and that will be the end of Figueres. Venezuela, he Indicated, will not follow the boastful but inoffective precedent set by SOMOZA of writing threatening notes, issuingPapers, and breaking The Venezuelan answer, he said, will be war regardless of the consequences it aay have on the structure of the Organization of -- tates.

Irtrada said that Venezuelan grievances have not been discussed directly with Figueres but that hewhat they arc and aust realize what the consciences will be to Ma and his regine if he persists in following his present course. Re cluarly indicated that he felt that only action by the United States can forestall serious trouble. Figueres counts heavily on United States good-will end apparently with reason, he said. Ihe United Fruit agreement with Figueres, according to istrada, could not have been more poorly tiasd since it strengthened Figueres* hand at hone, and, what is worse, he has been informed that the United Fruit Co:*jany's action was takenesult of strong pressure on the part of the United States government, ^nd yet, Estrada said, Figueres through his Aabassador at ranaaa Cityaa days ago urged Uscon to step up his demands against the United States assuring hla he could count on Costa hie an support, -rtrada said he had justelajraasaa iapartinj; this information.

another indication of the aid Figueres is givingsaid that ha hadhotostat copy of Juan jOSCF'ewhen heCH) recently ^aisod through Panaris on route tojoaaport had boon issued to him by the Costa Hican govtalso indicated thatango al'o csna and went at will

in Costaea.

wasather Venezuela'; attitude to-ardc^ngc if Figucree uero to deport .ictancourt and hisCoats Mca and otherwiseto^ to thelottingno sua la froa Costa Hican territory. He said of course it could oaks

a diff :rence but added that such action on ths part of Figueres was nost -jillkoly due to the closeness of tha ties tetseen Figueres and ^tancourt.

7- ns asked whether President Pores Jiirenez shares his own strong feelings on the Subject of Figueres and Costa Rica and he indicated that Perez Jimenez must feel the way he doesheood Venezueian." He quickly added that President Pares Ji:aenez would be informed of this as well as otherwith us and that he (Estrada) knew that tha sentiaents expressed would be mantly approved.

G. Estrada eald that econosieally, politically and naterislly Venezuela is the aoat powerful country in the Caribbean area and its feelings on events and developnents in this area Bust be taken into consideration.

could bo safely concluded from Estrada's statementsVenezuela's ccnmitments or participation in themovement nay be, Guatemala is of but secondaryin Venezuela's strategic thinking and planning. Guatemalaa means to an end and the end clearly is the downfall ofthe destruction of the militant Venezuela exile aoveaent in

Another conclusion that could is that Venezuela is jealous of the friendly attitude of the United States towards Figueres and what it apparently feelsomplete Indifference to the hurt fahich it thus inflicts on its good and powerful ally, Venezuela. The Figueres brand ofn Estrada's opinion is nore dangerous than Guatemala's, for the letter's is open and recognissd by all while the former's is of an insidious nature, cloakedalse mantle of democracy and entl-coanunisa.

-strada appeared more cheerful with respect to militaryin Guatemala but again warned that an *rbenz victory would be

and could Mil effect the stability of many countries Jji this

hemisphere (but not Venezuela's). He eaidl "Ark ay words. If the revolution should fail it will not be aore thanays before another DOtntar/ in thU hecir;hore rill succuab to coawunlst forces."

ne acre at -strada'retter was deliveredfroa Cesarenezuelan aabassador to tho "Initedlatter hadiquet ia approximately one and one-halfsnd had been carried tootorcycle. It wassealed envelcpis adurossec directly to -stride. d the

to himself and then remarked that.wT-jaasador was worried by

a groiJing tr*nd in iviarican public opinion in favor of Guatemala, .ipper-iiitly this feeling of the Aabassador was et least .artiallyy'..Jlliao Uuley, ex-l'.S. -embassador to Jrazil, who, according to the* -vJbassador't letter, has bean actively rupporting CaSTDZfJ arnes.oncern, Uctrzdse statedoral rather

than specific terms and presumably nag basedeviewditorial comment. Sstrada commented that if tins were true lt was even more important than ever that the rebels triumph as quidiy as possible.

13. Estrada said he hadeportommunist plan to blow up the Venezuelan oil fields in retaliation against the United States for its aggresion against Guatemala,raveler, whom Gstrada did not identify by name, arrived in Caracas apparently from iiexieo on Ke said it was urgent that he be put in touch with the President. He was referred to SM andritten statement. to this statement the traveler reported havingonversation which took, place at the Hotel Colonialonterey, Mexico, about ten days ago (about. The conversation wasithuanian and another man,exican, lhe conversation ras in German. The =en spokelan to sabotage Venezuelan oil fields. The traveler reported he later ascertained that Vicente lO'EARTX) Toledano was staying at the Hotel Colonial at the tima.

traaa said that if he had his way he would substitute the term "public relations" for "diplomacy." "Public relations basedtrong sense of patriotics the way he put it. He said he had no patience with the slot; moving, paper passing diplomacy as practiced By the Foreign Office. Tihen he saw something that needed to be done he attacked the problem and got it over with. It upsets bin vary much, he confided, to telephone the foreign Minister at. and find that he has not yet shown up at his office. Ke indicated by appropriate gestures that the Foreign Minister had beenouple of "shots" lately. Re also indicated that the Foreign :Unister had better bestir himself for there "are going to be some cabinet changes in the near future." These gratuitous co-nents concerning the Foreign Minister are of interest. Theyleavage between Estrada and Otancz and something bordering on contempt on the part of Jstrada for the ray Otsnez conducts his office. In certain aspects of foreign policy (the Guatemalan affair, for example) it uould appear that -istrada, rather, than Otanez, has the confidence of President Perez Jimenez, and is,ense, calling the turns. The fact that rtmbassadO!rites to him directly is in itself an indication of the extenttrada's intrusion into the foreign policy field. It could verybe that Otanez is completely in the dark as to the Venezuelanomplicity in tha Guatemalan revolutionary ir.ove-iSnt. At any rate, there can be little doubt thats one of then in the ^overniiiwnt (fron tM jpoint of vievi of influencethe president) and his activities greatly exceed those uhicr one norrially associatesthe office he Eonevsr, While he ishi'jh" today thin does not mean that the situation could not

adical change overnight, as for example, if the Guatemalan affair should backfire to the embarrassment of the Venezuelan

15. Estrada said that he felt he could talk frankly with us, and "lay his card3 on the table" without running the risk of being misinterpreted, because in addition toood Venezuelan he isood and sincere friend of the United States. Such frankhe insinuated, would not be possible within the confines of strict protocol.

Secret

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