Remarks of Welcome to President Rafael Caldera of Venezuela
Mr. President, Mrs. Caldera, all of our distinguished guests:
Mr. President, it is a very great honor and a personal privilege for me to welcome you and the members of your party to our country on this state visit.
And in welcoming you, we think of many things. We remember the fact that we have one of the longest relationships of peace and friendship with your country as with any country in the world. Just 2 days ago marked the commemoration of the 134th year of the coming into force of the treaty of peace and friendship and commerce and navigation between your country and ours.
We think also in commercial terms, because we in America, particularly our business people, recall the fact that Venezuela is our major trading partner in all of the Americas.
But we think in terms that are more important than these rather official and commercial terms. We think in terms of your inaugural, when you said that the great objectives of your administration would be peace, human understanding, liberty, and justice. That is what we believe in. It is what we want for our country as you want it for your country. It is what we want for the Americas; it is what both of us want for the world.
Finally, Mr. President, I am very pleased to welcome you here as a personal friend as well as an official friend. I recall our visits and our talks in 1958 in your country and in 1959 in Washington, and I know that that personal relationship will contribute to good understanding, solution of the problems, to the extent they do exist, and they are very few, between our countries.
We welcome you very warmly, and we wish you a happy stay in the United States of America.
Note: The President spoke at 11:09 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, where President Caldera was given a formal welcome with full military honors.
See also Item 173.
President Caldera spoke in Spanish and then repeated his remarks in English as follows:
Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon:
Mrs. Caldera and I are really honored with this kind invitation. We know that you represent sent, in this moment to Venezuela, the will of all the people of the United States. My wife and I should be very happy if we could represent, really, here, the proper image of a friendly Venezuela, a country who loves peace and understanding and solidarity between men.
We think that it is easy for us, fellow countrymen of Simon Bolivar, to understand and to be understood by you, fellow countrymen of Washington and Lincoln. The only condition is to speak a common language based on freedom, justice, and equality among men and among people.
We are very happy here, Mr. President. We know that you wish us to search for a new way to the hemispheric relations. May I assure you that all Latin Americans want to live in peace and to achieve that development and to prosper.
We are trying to do our part. We love frankness and sincere friendship. Only we aspire that our voice be heard and accepted as the voice of people of good will.
Mr. President, we are really very honored, and we thank you and Mrs. Nixon very much for your kind reception.
Richard Nixon, Remarks of Welcome to President Rafael Caldera of Venezuela Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/239807