818.00/3–348: Telegram

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

confidential

67. Archbishop told me last evening arrangements concluded evacuate Ulate and party at 10 p. m. under his auspices with military protection. Said fearful irregular troops might attack Ulate in disobedience to orders and asked that I lend moral support by accompanying him. Having been assured arrangements concluded between, Costa Ricans without intervention this Embassy I agreed to be present as witness. Reference Embtel 66, March 2.

Then visited Foreign Minister1 explained my actions in matter emphasizing non-intervention in internal affairs my sole motive being render any possible assistance Costa Rican Government and Archbishop in their efforts avoid bloodshed.

Nine p. m. Foreign Minister called at my house requesting me urge Ulate take refuge Venezuelan Legation rather than be conducted to artillery barracks. I agreed convey message but declined any responsibility for Ulate’s decision which I said must be his own free will.

At 9:30 p. m. Archbishop, General René Picado, British and Colombian Ministers and I proceeded to Ulate’s hiding place. Archbishop entered alone, conveyed Foreign Minister’s proposal reported back unanimous decision Ulate and party accept protected escort to artillery. General Picado senior government representative present accepted. Evacuation completed with order dignity.

Midnight Archbishop summoned me urgently. Told me President had decreed immediate release Ulate continued detention his companions. Archbishop protested release Ulate alone and unarmed at night invited assassination asked twelve-hour delay. He desired me accompany him to President if necessary make face-to-face protest or to artillery to conduct Ulate to Archbishop’s palace should immediate release be insisted upon. In belief my presence as witness but not interventer might forestall bloodshed I agreed. At 1:30 a. m. President’s [Page 491] military aide reported Ulate tired and sleeping could remain in artillery undisturbed until this morning.

Sent Department as No. 67 and repeated unnumbered to CA Missions.

Davis
  1. Alvaro Bonilla Lara, Acting Foreign Minister.