The Costa Rican Agent (Lara) to the Acting Secretary of State3

Excellency: While conscious of the anomalous situation in which I am placed as representing at this Capital the interests of a Government which has not been officially recognized by the Government of Your Excellency, I take the liberty of placing before Your Excellency the sub-joined statements in the hope that this official presentation of facts will merit Your Excellency’s attention.

During the whole time since Don Federico Tinoco has occupied the Presidency of the Republic of Costa Rica, and during which time the great majority of the people of that country have given constant evidence of their approval of his administration of their internal affairs—a small group of his political enemies have maintained an asylum in Nicaragua, and from there, with what I have reason to believe has been at times the open encouragement of some Nicaraguan authorities, have continually intrigued and conspired against the existing Government of Costa Rica and have endeavored to disseminate false and misleading information in regard to the Costa Rican [Page 807] Government. This information through different channels, I am lead to believe, has reached even the Department over which Your Excellency presides, and in addition, it has been given publicity in the press through an agency of which I am ignorant, and all to the evident damage and prejudice of the Government of Costa Rica.

That the efforts of this group of hostile expatriates to whom I have referred, should find an echo in the mind of the few malcontents who still remain upon Costa Rican soil, and that these efforts should secure material and financial support from among the German element in Costa Rica, which has never fogiven the attitude of President Tinoco and his Government in respect to the war, is altogether natural. But I cannot repress my astonishment that they should also have found encouragement from any official representative of the United States.

This, however, is unhappily the fact. And I have indisputable evidence that Mr. Johnson, until recently in charge of the American Legation at San José, and Mr. Chase, the American Consul at the same Post, have given evidences of an attitude unsympathetic, if not unfriendly, to the Administration of President Tinoco, with whose enemies they have established and maintained the most intimate of relations.

Following the withdrawal of Mr. Johnson from his Post at San José, the Costa Rican Government had hoped that Mr. Chase, the Consul charged with the administration of American interests in my country, would mitigate the attitude which he had therefore assumed. But I am sorry to be compelled to say to Your Excellency that Mr. Chase, as is well known, has frequently attempted an unjustificable interference in the interior affairs of the country to which he is credited, and that many of his activities are employed, according to reliable information in the possession of the Costa Rican Government, in the spreading of false representations and accusations against the Tinoco Administration, such, for instance, as imputing to the Government of Costa Rica an intention of promoting an invasion of the territory of Nicaragua with the hope of putting into power in that country, Julian Irias, and of thus renewing in Nicaragua the dominance of former President Zelaya. In consequence of the rumors thus given fresh impetus through the activities of Mr. Chase, the American newspapers have recently published sensational stories regarding an impending breach of the peace in Central America—all of which are without foundation and in their inception, as my Government has ample reason to believe, founded upon a breach of duty by the American Consular representative.

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The Government of Costa Rica is fully persuaded that these intrigues are not countenanced by the Government of the United States; but I am instructed most categorically to deny that neither President Tinoco nor any member of his Administration has ever for a moment contemplated any invasion of the territory of Nicaragua or any interference in the internal affairs of the country. On the contrary, the existing Government of Costa Rica has found itself compelled sometimes to safeguard its territory and its people as against the efforts of the revolutionary junta domiciled in Nicaragua because the Government of Nicaragua encourages or permits a band of border ruffians under the leadership of chronic revolutionists and polital outcasts from Costa Rica, to make use of neighboring territory for the purpose of fomenting hostile designs against the Government which has maintained itself in peace in Costa Rica in spite of all obstacles and through the united loyalty of the people of that Republic. I will be more specific that Your Excellency may know who these leaders are by name and character. They are Manuel Castro Quesada; General Jeffries, an American citizen, very well known in Costa Rica as a revolutionist and common disturber of the public peace; General Chao, a Mexican who belongs to the Villa gang, and Jorge Volio, the leader of the Germanophiles of Costa Rica.

In bringing these facts to the attention of Your Excellency, my Government instructs me to express the hope that if the Government of the United States cannot see its way to the extension of formal recognition to the existing Government in Costa Rica, it may at least exercise its good offices and its admonitions upon those whose actions tend to rupture the existing peaceable status in Central America and to give just consideration to the attitude assumed by Mr. Chase toward the internal affairs of Costa Rica as hereinbefore presented to your Excellency.

I take [etc.]

Carlos Lara
  1. Text received in English.