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quinta-feira, 16 de novembro de 2017

EUA reconhecem a URSS em 1933 - This Day in History (NYT)


On Nov. 16, 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations. President Roosevelt sent a telegram to Soviet leader Maxim Litvinov, expressing hope that United States-Soviet relations would "forever remain normal and friendly.'' 
[Permito-me citar aqui a biografia de George Kennan por John Lewis Gaddis, pois ele foi um dos arquitetos desse reconhecimento de relações diplomáticas.]


Reads to Press Letters in Which He and Litvinoff Bind Nations.
Russia Also Agrees to Allow Americans Own Counsel if Brought to Trial
Russo-American Claims Will Be Adjusted Through Regular Diplomatic Channels.


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Washington, Nov. 17--Official relations between the United States and the Soviet were established at ten minutes before midnight yesterday. Or, to express it more simply, the United States recognized the U. S. S. R. at that hour after sixteen years and nine days of the Soviet Government's existence. The fact of the establishment of relations was announced this afternoon by President Roosevelt, but historically speaking the date was 11:50 P.M., Nov. 16.
The undertakings of the two governments were set forth in eleven letters and a memorandum exchanged between the President and Maxim Litvinoff, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, covering agreements and concessions completed in ten days of negotiation.
Subject to the approval of the Soviet Government, William C. Bullitt of Philadelphia, special assistant to the Secretary of State, was designated to be the first American Ambassador to the U. S. S. R.
The pact read to the press by Mr. Roosevelt at his press conference this afternoon, covers propaganda, freedom of worship, protection of nationals and debts and claims.
Anti-Propaganda Pledge
The United States receives the most complete pledge against Bolshevist propaganda that has ever been made by the Soviet Government, and includes "organizations in receipt of any financial assistance from it" as well as persons or organizations under the jurisdiction or control of the government. Complete freedom of worship is assured Americans, as well as assurance against discrimination because of "ecclesiastical status."
To Americans is accorded "the right to be represented by counsel of their choice" if brought to trial in the U. S. S. R., which represented perhaps the most definite concession that M. Litvinoff made. The President made reciprocal pledges except regarding religion, which the Soviet did not desire.
Debts and claims were left to be thrashed out later for "a final settlement of the claims and counterclaims" between the governments "and the claims of their nationals." Claims arising out of the military occupation of Siberia by American forces, or assistance to military forces in Siberia after 1917, were waived, but the Murmansk occupation was not mentioned.
One may surmise that the article relating to propaganda was drawn up after the most careful consideration by the Americans of the propaganda treaties or clauses between the Soviet and Latvia and the Soviet and Afghanistan, or both, but it goes further than either of these two, and might almost be termed a diplomatic victory of high order.
The question of religious freedom has great political importance and is treated with corresponding detail. Americans are allowed everything they can want in this respect, but it is worth noting that M. Litvinoff takes the opportunity of "slipping something over" in a quiet way by quoting the laws of the Soviet Union to show that many of the reports upon the restriction of religious liberty in that country have been exaggerated.
The American side, however, scores a tactical success in M. Litvinoff's admission that "no persons having ecclesiastical status" shall be refused visas to enter the U.S.S.R. on that account.
With regard to the protection of American nationals, President Roosevelt has succeeded in obtaining one sentence which will have a considerable reverberation and cause no small heartburning in Downing Street, London, namely:
"Americans shall have the right" (if brought to trial in the U. S. S. R.) to "be represented by counsel of their choice." That sounds like something rather different from the circumstances of the Metro-Vickers trial, not to mention the earlier Shakta trial in which three Germans were involved.
In the matter of debts and claims, the honors are more evenly divided than appears at first sight. The important phrase here is "preparatory to a final settlement of the claims and counter-claims between the two governments" in the first paragraph of M. Litvinoff's letter, which to a certain extent detracts from the apparent importance of the waiving of immediate claims by the Soviet.
M. Litvinoff stated that there would be no mixed claims commission to adjust various Russo-American claims. They will all be handled through regular diplomatic channels.
It is also within the bounds of possibility that some more far-reaching agreements, at least with regard to the private debts, may be arrived at shortly, although they do not form part of the documents published today.
It is not surprising that the Russians agreed to waive a claim against the effects of the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, because both in fact and intent it was far from damaging to Soviet interests. But here, too, what looks like any American victory is somewhat modified by the point that there is no reference to the American Expeditionary Force in Murmansk, which undoubtedly will provide the basis for a Soviet claim, according to the Alabama precedent.
Speaking by and large, it is probable that claims and counter-claims, so far as the two governments are concerned, and not impossibly the pre-revolution debts as well, will more or less cancel each other, whereas the American claims for money or property of American nationals seized by the Soviet will fall in another category.
President Reads Treaty
There must have been 200 newspaper men in the circular study of the Chief Executive when he made his historic announcement, and the way he did it gave an interesting illustration of the character of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his sense of drama--I hope the word "showmanship" is not "lese-majeste"--and his profound knowledge of psychology. Every one present was on tiptoe waiting for news about the result of the negotiations with M. Litvinoff.
Mr. Roosevelt smiled pleasantly at the crowd, cast an affectionate eye round the walls at his splendid collection of colored prints of old New England scenes and stated in a conventional tone that he had gratifying news from the iron and steel industry about the working of their NRA code. This he thought was important news, and it seemed, too, that there were encouraging reports along the same line from the textile industry.
It was a genuine "coup de theatre," and there was something like a gasp of suspense from his hearers.
Reporters are supposed to be toughened by their profession against surprises but, speaking personally at least, there was one of them who was startled. And the President knew it and got th full flavor of that moment of thrill.
Then quietly and calmly he proceeded to read the preamble to what is tantamount to an American-Soviet treaty.
The preamble consists of a letter from the President to the Commissar stating:
"I am very happy to inform you that as a result of our conversations, the Government of the United States has decided to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and to exchange Ambassadors.
"I trust that the relations now established between our peoples may forever remain normal and friendly, and that our nations henceforth may cooperate for their mutual benefit and for the preservation of the peace of the world."
Formal recognition was followed immediately by the designation of Mr. Bullitt as Ambassador to Russia. Hard on the heels of this announcement came publication by the State Department of the correspondence terminating the tenuous hold of representatives of the old Kerensky regime on the Russian diplomatic and consular service in this country.
No Russian Ambassador to the United States has been designated, but it is taken for granted that an announcement will be made in the very near future.
At the National Press Club this evening, while President Roosevelt was speeding toward Warm Springs, Ga., for a Thanksgiving holiday, M. Litvinoff in a brief speech and in reply to questions reviewed the negotiations for the benefit of Washington newspaper correspondents.
It is worth noting that the final phrase in the President's letter is "for the preservation of the peace of the world."
That is no formal insertion. Indeed there is hardly a word or line in the whole exchange of letters which does not merit the most careful scrutiny and attention.
M. Litvinoff replied in almost the same phrasing, and he, too, stressed the preservation of world peace which, as I cabled from Moscow, was the keynote of the first official Soviet reaction to the news of the President's message to Kalinin.
The letters cover four points of vital moment and are listed, one may presume, in the order of their importance. I venture that presumption because if ever there has been a conference in world history, and historically this conference may be found to rank among the most decisive, which really did "proceed according to plan," at least according to President Roosevelt's plan, it is this one.
You can hardly call it "an open covenant openly arrived at," that is to say, not so far as the last three words are concerned, but as a piece of "State planning," to employ the phrase familiar in Moscow and not unknown in Washington, it stands unique in post-war international events.
Put briefly, the points are propaganda, freedom of worship, protection of nationals and the question of debts and claims.
Right here there is to be noticed a most interesting point. As to propaganda, M. Litvinoff's letter comes first, expressing what the Soviet undertakes in this matter. The President's letter follows, recording, registering, and approving the said undertaking.
In the case of protection of nations, M. Litvinoff announces that certain steps shall be taken and the President assents, after which M. Litvinoff adds a short note of explanation upon the somewhat obscure question of economic espionage, which he clarifies. Once more M. Litvinoff leads in the matter of debts and claims and the President takes note of and records what he says.
To discuss the four points in detail, the propaganda letter of the Commissar contains four articles which admirably illustrate upon what a fair and reciprocal footing these negotiations have been conducted. Because, although all four articles are apparently undertakings by the Soviet, the first two are specifically things in which the United States is interested, whereas the two latter are things in which the Soviet is interested.
President Accepts Terms
The fourth article is reminiscent of a clause in the Franco-Soviet non-aggression pact which referred primarily to "White Russian," or Nationalist Georgian and Ukrainian anti- Bolshevist organization.
The President's reply recapitulates the four articles, but adds significantly "it will be the fixed policy of the Executive of the United States within the limits of the powers conferred by the Constitution and laws of the United States to adhere reciprocally to the engagements above expressed."
The agreement was described in informed circles as including every concession the Soviet government has ever made singly to any other country. The significant thing is that in this case the concessions are lumped into one vastly important international document--and were made prior to recognition.
To sum up, it would seem to me, with a certain knowledge of both countries, that this is one of the best and fairest international agreements I have ever read because it has a solid basis of mutual understanding and respect.
If one wants to estimate the "horse trade," I should say M. Litvinoff has got perhaps a shade the worst of it, but on the other hand, to vary the metaphor, M. Litvinoff is taking home a pretty fat turkey for Thanksgiving.
And don't forget that there is no mention of future credits and business in these documents, save rather vague allusions to consular conventions, and so forth. It is absurd to suppose that such subjects have not been discussed and may lead to great mutual benefits.
There are other points of international and political interest which have perhaps been covered. The negotiations have taken ten days, and, without being oversanguine, it may happen that, in view of the gravity of the issues involved in this moment of international confusion, general perplexity and danger, too, some future historian will term them "ten days that steadied the world."

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