The Assistant Secretary of State (Braden) to the Ambassador in Costa Rica (Johnson)


Dear Hallett: I have been interested in your despatches nos. 1767, 1797 and 1864 of April 1, 8 and 26 respectively, your personal letters of April 24 and May 931 to Murray Wise32 and other reports from the Embassy relative to the current political situation in Costa Rica. As you have pointed out and as has been seen from the remarks recently made by Ambassador Gutiérrez to me and to other officers of the Department, there has been a tendency both among Administration and Opposition leaders to misinterpret the attitude of the Embassy and the Department toward present Costa Rican political issues.

I have told Ambassador Gutiérrez with respect to Costa Rican politics that this Government would definitely maintain its policy of non-participation in the internal affairs of the other American republics. I gave him specific instances of my own endeavors and actions to prevent United States intervention in the political affairs of Cuba and Argentina during recent campaigns in those countries and let it be known that this represented the policy of the United States Government and that Costa Rica would be no exception to our policy not to interfere in what are purely internal affairs of another republic.

As you know, I was also visited by Otilio Ulate33 and Rafael Calderón Guardia. I was most emphatic in telling them that while this Government would not participate in any way in the internal affairs of Costa Rica I hoped that the responsible citizens of that [Page 697] country would during the coming political campaign endeavor to maintain the traditional peaceful political record of Costa Rica and that they would do everything possible to insure democratic procedures and to avoid any use of arms. I expressed the hope that the candidate elected to the presidency in 1948 would represent the free choice of the people.

I sincerely hope that the situation which now obtains in Costa Rica will soon give way to an era where individualized politics with accompanying emotional upheavals will be replaced by party politics and reason. In the meantime we must remain neutral and impartial and every act of ours must indicate to observers that we are definitely committed to a policy of non-interference in Costa Rican political matters. I think the Administration and the Opposition are now quite well and correctly informed of our attitude and know of our special feeling of friendship toward honest and democratic governments.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

With warm personal regards,

Sincerely yours,

Spruille Braden
  1. None printed.
  2. Area Specialist, Division of Caribbean and Central American Affairs.
  3. Costa Rican newspaperman.