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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, transmitted to congress, with the annual message of the president, December 4, 1876

Venezuela,   pp. 608-614 PDF (479.6 KB)

Page 610

is all that the unequaled North American Republic does, we have prepared
all that we best can offer to the consideration of the mercantile and industrial
 The army amounts to 5,494 men, double the force prescribed by law, but necessary
because of the menaces of Curaçoa. The two chief ports have been fortified,
l)roVided with artillery from the United States, and with North American
artillerists also.
 The message recommends that the army be reduced; that the coast should be
armed and garrisoned, and that a navy should be created by adding to the
small marIne force three monitors and six or eight warsteamers, This is recommended
as part of a general policy to make Venezuela a maritime power.
 At present it seems like a menace to Colombia, which has no navy. Funds
for ships may be had by reducing the army. This may safely be done, as civil
war in Venezuela is ended.
 I give the close in full:
 The Exposition with which the Great Republic, our model and mgis, celebrated
its first century of existence will be the incomparable demonstration of
republican vitality. I wish to be present at it; and would that the Presidents
of all the republics of the south might be present, so that it might be more
of a tribute to the civilization and the future of the New World ; a token
of brotherhood in the present, and the happy occasion to unite the Perpetual
views of a continental policy in America with honorable motives and firm
determinations. But, for this journey, although it is not necessary by the
constitution, I certainly desire your assent, with the idea that I shall
not make use of it unless at the time the tranquil regularity of the country
shall also authorize me. I offer prayers for the prudence of the legislative
body in its labors of
 The President has intended to visit the Exposition, and has made preparation
for the journey. But it is generally understood that public and domestic
reasons now concur to prevent him from leaving Venezuela.
 I have sent a newspaper copy of the message, and shall take an early opportunity
of sending a pamphlet edition.
 The tone and temper are excellent, and it seems to me the best among the
recent state papers of Venezuela.
 * * * * * * *
I have, &c.,
 P. S.—The special commissioner sent to Colombia has returned with
news very favorable to peace. April 14, 1876.
Very respectfully,
Translation of the portion of the President's message relating to reclamations.
 It is clear to you that I have been very hostile to the abusive foreign
reclamations, and you know that for that whirlpool which was devouring us
has been. substituted the practice of the incontrovertible principle that
there is no place for diplomatic action before exhausting the proceedings
provided by the legislation of the country, and reaching the case of notorious
injustice or refusal of justice; and so I hope you ' will find what I am
about to set forth to you worthy of attention. You will recollect your resolutions
by which you ordered the 13 per cent. to be distributed among the governments
which that of Venezuela had recognized as creditors by conventions which
had received the constitutional approval of Congress; that you ordered the
claims pending in the foreign office to be returned, (or renewed,) so that
those interested might establish their rights in the courts, as Venezuelans
do, according to our national legislation; and that you disapproved of the
agreements, which were made by the

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