818.00/3–1348: Telegram

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


86. Notified by PRA representation by radio phone March 12 of seizure 3 PRA tractors by unidentified group to form road block; communicated Foreign Minister informally desirability ascertain facts and obtain return tractors (reEmbtel 85, March 12, 4 p. m.1). Mobile unit departed about mid-day and late afternoon engaged with Opposition elements under José Figueres. Final outcome unknown but several government wounded in local hospital. Papers radio feature account firing by Figueres on US Government jeeps improperly identified as this Embassy’s actually in use by Geodetic Survey on mapping plan and driven by two Costa Ricans. Three TACA planes with two American pilots immobilized at San Isidro del General Field. Conflicting stories regarding possesion of field by Government or Opposition, latter more probable. Pilots reported safe. Government forces apparently have not reached Millsville Camp since PRA representative at 9:30 a. m. today informed me by radio all quiet there.

ReDeptel 52, March 12 while fully considered do not believe useful communicate President this point. Department’s position made known by me informally to elements both sides conflict and on several occasions to Foreign Minister. View continued effort to put down Figueres rising, approach to Government now felt possibly not productive.

Apparently thus far position taken Figueres’ actions not in accord orders of Opposition directors and therefore negotiations for settlement disputed elections continue. Vanguardia active in issuing provocative [Page 494] announcements radio calling all members immediate support of government.

Sent Department 86, March 13, Noon; repeated CA Ministers.

  1. Not printed.