• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: A letter from President Jimmy Carter of the United States appears to have ended an incident which last week caused Venezuela to recall its ambassador from Washington.

  • Description

    SV Venezuelan government spokesman Dr. Luis Salcedo Bastardo reading aloud in Spanish letter from President Jimmy Carter of the United States.

    SV Portrait of Simon Bolivar (MUTE)

    SV Dr. Salcedo Bastardo reading aloud President Carlos Andres Perez' reply.


    The time at which Senor Perez was alleged to have accepted CIA money was in the early 1960s when the government of President Romulo Betancourt was under pressure from left-wing Castroite guerrillas. The New York Times report also alleged that former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt received funds from the CIA. He has heatedly denied the allegations and asked President Carter to investigate the charge.

    Initials VS 15.10

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: A letter from President Jimmy Carter of the United States appears to have ended an incident which last week caused Venezuela to recall its ambassador from Washington. The Venezuelan government took the move after a report in the New York Times that President Carlos Andres Perez received money from the United States Central Intelligence Agency -- CIA -- while he was Interior Minister. The report said that Senor Perez along with former President Eduardo Frei of Chile and Luis Echeverria of Mexico accepted the CIA money to help fight left-wingers. All three men denied the charges and Senor Perez described the CIA as a criminal organisation which tries to corrupt governments or ruin their reputation by hinting at association with the agency. All political parties in Venezuela have supported Senor Perez and on Thursday (24 February) government spokesman Dr. Luis Salcedo Bastardo read President Carter's letter to President Perez about the incident from his office in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

    SYNOPSIS: President Carter's letter read 'You, Senor president, are an independent and vigorous defender of the interests of Venezuela, Latin American, and the third world, and one of the most respected and strongest leaders in the world today. That you were elected freely and that you govern an open society, has a lot to do with our respect for you and your government. I hope and trust that these malicious reports, which I ought not to dignify nor comment on directly, will not cast a shadow on the important future we share. Sincerely, Jimmy Carter.

    The Venezuelan government spokesman than read President Perez' reply.

    Neither my country nor I personally could have expected an answer other than this -- frank and cordial. And at the same time your words have reduced the authors of this worthless falsehood to the level of their wicked lie.

    Venezuela and the United States share the same democratic values in life and politics. This is a powerful common ground and more important than all material and purely economic considerations.

    As you know, Venezuela is seeking fundamental changes in its national life and its perspective on universal problems. The United States through its strength, its ideals and its democratic values can be of inestimable value through its dialogues with Latin America and the third world in general. Sincerely Carlos Andres Perez.

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