810.20 Defense/2–1645: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan)

125. Refer Department’s secret circular instructions August 1, 1944, January 10, 1945.51 It is agreed by the State, War, and Navy Departments that Military and Naval Staff conversations with Venezuela should start April 6.52 Please consult the Foreign Minister and cable Department whether that date is agreeable to the Venezuelan Government.

Conversations in Venezuela will be under the supervision of General Brett53 and Admiral Giffen.54 They will get in touch with you directly concerning details of the conversations. General Brett will provide you with a program outlining the purpose of the conversations, and the topics to be discussed. On receipt of it please transmit the program to the Venezuelan authorities, unless you perceive objection in order that they may be prepared in advance.

It is emphasized that the forthcoming staff conversations are entirely exploratory in nature, will involve no commitments by either party, and will be confined to technical military and naval discussions, not to include political matters.


[According to the minutes of meetings transmitted by the Ambassador in Venezuela in his despatch 7326, May 16, 1945 (810.20 Defense/5–1645), the participants in the staff conversations agreed that the objective of Venezuelan military policy should be to secure vital internal installations and assist in the defense of the continent with forces susceptible to incorporation in a joint task force. They favored the organization of Venezuelan forces on United States tables of military organization and equipment. They discussed the existing Venezuelan strength on land and in the air and the desirable level of such strength in the light of manpower and financial resources avail able. They explored the subjects of storage and repair of equipment, communication and transportation facilities, resources of gas and oil, and harbor defenses.]

  1. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 105, and ante, p. 600, respectively.
  2. The date for beginning the staff conversations was later changed to April 15.
  3. Gen. George H. Brett, Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command.
  4. Vice Adm. Robert C. Giffen, Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier.