817.01/9–2047: Telegram

The Ambassador in Costa Rica (Donnelly) to the Secretary of State


465. Embtel 463, September 20, 4 p.m.78 President Picado received Mariano Argüello last night and again this morning. Argüello gave President letters from Román y Reyes and from Somoza both requesting Costa Rica’s immediate recognition current Nicaraguan regime. Somoza reminded Picado of his friendship toward him and his noninterference Costa Rican affairs as evidenced by his refusal aid opposition during Picado’s presidential 1943 campaign … Foreign Minister this morning told me Picado, while greatly disturbed and resentful of Argüello’s remarks, told him last night and [Page 873] again this morning when Argüello called on Picado ostensibly to say good-by that his government would continue to be guided by principle of consultation among the American Republics and that it would accept the position of the majority of the countries. Nevertheless the Acting Foreign Minister called me to the Foreign Office late today to tell me that his government was alarmed over possibility of trouble for Costa Rica as result of failure Argüello mission to Costa Rica …

Minister went on to say that a protracted delay in solving Nicaraguan problem would result in increasing Costa Rican domestic tension and while Costa Rica desired to continue to adhere to consultative principle the situation here is critical and that he felt an immediate solution was imperative. With this in mind, he requested our views as to possibility of solution through Somoza leaving Nicaragua for Philadelphia and then American Republics recognizing the Román y Reyes regime. I told him that in my opinion such a solution would not provide for a restoration of democratic principles in Nicaragua. He then suggested an alternate plan which he asked that I send to Washington as my idea and not as his, namely, that Somoza leave for the United States and not return to Nicaragua; formation of a coalition Cabinet with Román y Reyes as President and the new government to determine whether general elections would be held and when.

I asked him if his government had received any assurances that such a plan would be workable and he replied that his government was confident that it could be realized. He said he knew that Honduras would endorse this or any other plan acceptable to our Government. I asked the Minister if Argüello had suggested this or any other solution and he said he had not (I question his sincerity). He requested our views as to either of these two proposals or as to any other solution we would find acceptable, stressing once again his government’s grave concern over the turn of events and the need for a prompt solution in order to prevent trouble here.

I told him I would convey the substance of our conversation to my Government and said that I assumed his government would be willing to take the lead in consulting with the other American Republics as to any solution which might be found. He assured me that his government would be disposed to do so.

As Department knows, pressure from Nicaragua is of fundamental concern to Costa Rica. Last night Minister told me very definitely that President was determined to adhere to consultative procedure and to abide by majority view. This afternoon he and the President had weakened to a point where they were looking for an immediate out without antagonizing either, on one hand Somoza or on the other the US and domestic public opinion. He repeated several times that no solution was practicable unless it were on terms acceptable to the U.S.

[Page 874]

In the balance there are on one side Somoza and on the other the US and domestic public opinion: … While I realize that efforts are being made to draw me in as an intermediary, efforts for which I do not plan to fall, I feel that I must warn the Department that, unless some formula is promptly found, Costa Rica may very easily recognize Román y Reyes.

I request the Department’s telegraphic views of the formulae suggested by the Acting Foreign Minister or a statement of what we consider to be the minimum requirements for recognition of some Nicaraguan regime.

Repeated to Managua.

  1. Not printed.