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HAITI UNATTRACTED BY MEXICAN/VENEZUELAN PROPOSAL FOR NEW LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION (SELA)

March 3, 1975, 6:25 p.m.

1. FOREIGN SECRETARY BRUTUS HAS INFORMED ME THAT MEXICAN REPRESENTATIVE (PRESUMABLY FLORES DE LA PENA) RECENTLY VISITED PORT-AU-PRINCE TO STIMULATE GOH INTEREST IN PROPOSED SISTEMA ECONOMICA LATIN-AMERICANA (SELA). 2. BRUTUS WANTED ME TO KNOW THAT HAIT WOULD HAVE NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH ANY LA GROUPING WHICH SOUGHT TO EXCLUDE US FROM MEMBER- SHIP. HE BELIEVED THAT CONFRONTATION TACTICS INHERENT IN SELA WERE MOST UNREALISTIC AND WOULD BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. HAITI HAD LONG RECOGNIZED, HE SAID, THAT ITS INTERESTS AND THOSE OF MANY LA STATES WERE NOT RPT NOT CONGRUENT. SHE HAD NO INTENTION OF BEING MADE A CATSPAW FOR THOSE LA COUNTRIES WHICH FROM TIME TO TIME AIMED TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP ROLE, OFTEN TO SATISFY DOMESTIC LIMITED OFFICIAL USE LIMITED OFFICIAL USE PAGE 02 PORT A 00489 031849Z POLITICAL PRESSURES. BRUTUS CONCLUDED THAT, FOR HAITI, A CONTRUCTIVE AND RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE U.S. REMAINED OF CARDINAL IMPORTANCE, AND SHE WOULD EXAMINE ALL LA INITIATIVES FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE. 3. I EXPRESSED BY GREAT APPRICIATION TO THE FOREIGN SECRETARY FOR HAVING PROVIDED US WITH THIS WELCOME CLARIFICATION OF HAITI'S POLICY. 4. COMMENT: SINCE BRUTUS SPOKE AFTER HAVING DISCUSSED SELA PROBE WITH PRESIDENT DUVALIER, HIS VIEWS MAY BE CONSIDERED AUTHORITITIVE. THE SECRETARY'S CONDEMNATION OF CONFRONTATION TACTICS IN HOUSTON SPEECH STRUCK PARTICULAR ECHO HERE (SEPTEL). ISHAM LIMITED OFFICIAL USE NNN