The Minister in Guatemala (Whitehouse) to the Secretary of State

No. 834

Sir: I have the honor to report that Mr. Leonidas Pacheco, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, arrived in Guatemala City on November 26th, and is to-day being received in official audience by the President of the Republic.

Mr. Pacheco came to call on me on Monday afternoon, and after the customary exchange of compliments, made the usual protestations about Costa Rican and his own personal friendship for the United States; said that he did not wish to do anything which would displease the United States and would keep me informed of his conversations with officials here. He then said that he had not come to [Page 340] denounce the Treaties of 1923; that his President had sent him up here on a mission of friendship to President Ubico and to discuss the possibility of changing Article 2 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship. He said he did not think that the doctrine of non-recognition had been of use. At this I expressed my surprise and suggested that Castro-Quesada’s revolt in Costa Rica might not have been so easily suppressed if Mr. Castro-Quesada had not clearly been banned from the Presidency by this Treaty. I then mentioned the Orellana coup here13 and said that while General Martínez seemed to have defied the Treaty there were other elements which figured in his particular case.

Mr. Pacheco did not seem to care about this turn of the conversation and went on to expose his ideas which seemed to be of the vaguest and were that for the doctrine of non-recognition could be substituted some plan of a more concrete form of help to existing constitutional governments, and he suggested as an example “the concentration of the various hundreds of émigrés on the Honduran border who are giving so much concern to the present Guatemalan Government”. I did not understand this last sentence and inquired if he was talking about Honduraneans who had been compelled to cross the border into Guatemala on account of present revolutionary events in Honduras. To this he returned a decided negative and said he was speaking about the political émigrés from Guatemala. I answered that I did not know that there was one on the Honduran border; that I did not believe the total number of persons who could claim such a description amounted to twenty; that there were a half dozen that we all knew about, such as Mr. Aguirre-Velásques, who was now living in Costa Rica, but so far as I was aware, none of them had been expelled from the country, and I knew, for example, that the ex-President, Baudilio Palma, had been given assurances that he could return to Guatemala whenever he wished to and would not be molested. This statement likewise did not seem to please Mr. Pacheco who remarked that he must have been misinformed in which I concurred.

I then asked him if he was going to stay sometime here as the Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs had mentioned to me that Mr. Pacheco was talking of sending for his wife and spending a month here. Mr. Pacheco told me that all depended upon the reception accorded to his ideas; that if they were favorably received he would be here sometime to come to an agreement, and if not, he would return almost at once to Costa Rica.

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Respectfully yours,

Sheldon Whitehouse