Roberto A. Arango
Senate of Puerto Rico
Dear Majority Leader Arango,
I have received and read with interest your letter dated November 23, 2009 in which you requested a meeting with me during your upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. Your letter mentions the contact you had with the former Secretary of State of the United States of America two years ago after the death of one of Venezuela’s most distinguished diplomats and citizens, the late Vinicio Romero. According to your letter, the contact with the former Secretary of State was made because of media reports “allegedly” linking my government with funding of what you label as “radical” movements in Puerto Rico. You also refer to a recent Miami Herald news story that also made reference to the “alleged” investigation.
As many in Puerto Rico would attest, the late Vinicio Romero was a close friend and mentor who fostered a host of relationships with a variety of actors during his tenure as Consul General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in San Juan. These relations, as I am sure you know, are protected by international conventions. The respect he earned, and the variety of friends he left in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean, attests to that.
Regarding the “alleged” funding by my government of any political movements in Puerto Rico, this is just one more example of the decade-old efforts by some political actors and media outlets to discredit the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Extreme sectors of the Venezuelan opposition, along with extreme sectors of the Cuban American community in South Florida, have promoted this campaign which has gone as far as to call for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez Frias.
I must confess that the Miami Herald article you referred to surprised me since I, as the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Washington with jurisdiction over our Consulate in San Juan, was never approached about the concerns you seemingly had two years ago. I respect that. After all, it is the Department of State that would indeed have jurisdiction over this matter. Let me reassure you that we have also recently raised the issue with the Department of State. In addition, I have also searched and found on the internet some of your statements about our Consulate in San Juan. It seems as if you have already reached your own conclusions without speaking with Venezuela. I refer you to the following page where you clearly express your position: http://www.redbetances.com/
I am sure you will agree, Mr. Arango, that any representative of any government, with any sense of dignity and respect for the principle of national sovereignty, would not need to grant a meeting with you.
Given these circumstances, I respectfully suggest that any conversation to be had by your office about this issue should be raised directly with the Honorable Department of State of the United States of America.
I thank you for your letter and avail myself of this opportunity to express to you the assurance of my consideration.
Bernardo Alvarez Herrera