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Items of Interest
Diplomacy has triumphed in the Venezuelan affair. Last Friday evening towards midnight. Ambassador Bowen, representing Venezuela, signed identical protocols with Sir Michael Herbert, representing England, Signor Mayor des Planches, representing Italy, and Baron Sternburg, representing Germany. The protocols provide for the immediate raising of the blockade; for the cash payment to England and Italy of $27,500 each and to Germany of $340,000 in five monthly instalments; for the return of all captured Venezuelan vessels; for the reference to The Hague Tribunal of the question of preferential treatment in the matter of the settlement of the full claims as against the claimants taking no part in the blockade; for the application of thirty per cent of the customs receipts of La Guayra and Porto Cabello to the payment of claims; for the creation of mixed separate tribunals—one English representative and one Venezuelan, one Italian and one Venezuelan, one German and one Venezuelan—for adjudicating the claims of each Government, President Roosevelt to be umpire in case of disagreement. The claims are divided into three classes; those of "honor," those of private citizens resulting from the Venezuelan civil wars, and those from banks and corporate institutions whose interests have been injured.
The blockade began officially December 20, although on December 9, the allied fleet entered the harbor of La Guayra, seized four Venezuelan vessels and sank three of them. On the same day the Bolivar was seized at Trinidad; the Zamara, a troopship, on the 10th, and the gunboat Restaurador on the 12th. Porto Cabello was shelled the 13th, Italy joined the allies in coercive movements on the 16th and on the 18th President Castro requested Mr. Bowen to arrange a settlement with the allies. On the 23rd the allies consented to arbitration.
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