710.11/12–1245: Telegram

The Ambassador in Ecuador (Scotten) to the Secretary of State

874. Reference my 863 [864], December 8, 4 p.m.49 The Ecuadoran reply50 to the Uruguayan proposal which I have just received attempts in a lengthy and somewhat involved discussion to differentiate between common action which might be taken in a case of non-fulfillment of international obligations and action in the case of a violation of the rights of man. For instance paragraph 7 states, “The common action that the American Republics might deem it appropriate to take in reprisal for the non-fulfillment of international obligations would in no way violate the principle of non-intervention. It would be the application of processes contemplated in the inter-American instruments and would mean the exercise of a collective right vis-à-vis decisions taken in exercise of a national autonomy.”

[Page 207]

Paragraph 8 however states, “In the opinion of the Govt of Ecuador the proposed multilateral intervention in defense of the elementary rights of man repeatedly violated by a Govt of force in one of the American Republics would need to be carefully analyzed in all its aspects and consequences to reconcile it with the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of each state.”

The essence of the reply appears in the last paragraph which states, “consequently the Govt of Ecuador while recognizing the noble idealism of the initiative of the Govt of Your Excellency considers that the realities of international politics prevent it from accepting a relaxation of the basic principle of non-intervention, and for the reasons set forth above declines the proposal to revise it, reiterating its decision to cooperate in the defense of the peace and security of the Western Hemisphere by means of the continual strengthening of the inter-American system”.

Copy and translation being forwarded by airmail pouch.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Letter dated December 10, 1945, Informe del Ministro de Reladones Exteriores, a la Nacion, Agosto 1944–Julio 1946 (Quito), p. 48.