818.00/3–2148: Telegram

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

secret

105. Conformity Department’s instruction contained Deptel 64, March 191 I called on President last evening at artillery barracks where he is residing during present emergency. I conveyed sense of Department’s instruction to which he replied that he personally has only one desire which is to complete term of office and then to abandon politics entirely. He expressed confidence in governments military position but volunteered few details. Said believed political compromise still possible.… Added that any of the numerous names mentioned for President Designate would be entirely acceptable to him and felt the same true for Paco Calderon2 although he had not discussed matter recently or even seen Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon.

Despite repeated attempts I failed to elicit any suggestion he would take any initiative to bring about peaceful settlement. Confined himself to statement only deputies could reach accord acceptable to Congress.

President then said he would be grateful if I could find some means of facilitating a settlement to which I replied that should that be possible I would do anything I could but felt the matter essentially one for Costa Rica and Costa Ricans.

Re Guatemalan participation said government convinced arms had been furnished Figueres but no evidence showing whether Arevalo himself involved. Said Guatemala had sent reply which was not satisfactory consisting only of denial of all facts. Had not further discussed matter with Foreign Minister whose only instruction had been to raise a hullabaloo which he felt might be effective in frightening Guatemala into not permitting further dispatch of arms. Said that Nicaraguans are serving in Costa Rican ranks just as Guatemalans and others in Figueres forces and in parting added that in all frankness wished to say if he could obtain planes from Nicaragua he would do so but so far had met with refusal. I found him obviously tired and showing deep strain though he appeared optimistic regarding military outcome.… He asked that I convey to Department message that he hoped Department would impress upon Arevalo desirability [Page 499] avoidance further interference in Costa Rican affairs. I said I would do so.

Davis
  1. Not printed; Acting Secretary Thorp authorized Ambassador Davis to call on President Picado and to state that in conformity with well known United States policy he did not wish to intervene in any way in Costa Rican political affairs, and had no specific solution to offer, but was merely expressing hope that a solution of the political situation might be reached at the earliest possible date.
  2. Col. Francisco (Paco) Calderon Guardia, brother and campaign manager of Angel Calderon Guardia, presidential candidate.