822.001 Plaza, Galo/9–348

The Ambassador in Ecuador (Simmons) to the Secretary of State

No. 710

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch no. 709 of today’s date,1 transmitting the Spanish text of Galo Plaza’s presidential message on the occasion of his inauguration on August 31, and also containing [Page 587] comments on all sections of that message with the exception of that section dealing with foreign relations.

I now beg to transmit my comments on that section of the message dealing with foreign relations:

Concerning this important subject, the presidential message began with a promise to cultivate jealously the friendship which binds Ecuador with other nations, particularly with its neighbors.

He spoke of a renewed international conscience which now governs international affairs, promising Ecuador’s support for all international institutions based upon justice and right, citing in particular the necessity for closer economic relations among Gran Colombian countries, as a means of further strengthening the entire inter-American system, praising the work of the recent Bogotá Conference as a step towards a greater communication of nations under the aegis of the United Nations.

He made particular reference to the juridical equality of all nations based on mutual respect and on individual sovereignty, and upon the doctrine of nonintervention in the domestic affairs of other nations. In this connection he also mentioned the need for organized and basic solidarity against aggression and the scrupulous execution of and respect for existing international pacts. He promised a strengthening of the close relations existing among Latin American countries, mentioning in this regard, with particular opportuneness, the maintenance and cultivation of the cordial relations existing between Ecuador and the United States. The latter was the only foreign country mentioned expressly by name in his speech. He continued, however, by setting forth the obvious fact that the Hispano-American nations are joined by indestructible bonds, based upon their spirit and race, which should be strengthened and broadened. He said, however, that the latter nations and the United States should achieve, in the economic field, and for the mutual advantage of their peoples, a stronger continental union which should guarantee the rule of law and justice and the collective defense against possible aggressions.

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In regard to the President’s observations on foreign affairs, his reference to the need for friendship among the Hispano-American States, coupled with his particular stress in [on] relations with the United States, has aroused considerable interest in diplomatic and other circles here, and has been the subject of much comment. My interpretation of his observations, in which many of my friends here share, is that Galo Plaza intended to give a clear indication of a shift in the trend of future Ecuadoran foreign policy. The strong emphasis given by the former Foreign Minister, Dr. Antonio Parra Velasco, to regional [Page 588] and general Latin American solidarity does not meet with the full approval of Galo Plaza, according to conversations which I have had with him. It is clear to me that, in his message he intended to convey the idea, in a delicate way, that, while he still approved of Latin American solidarity, he did not wish this to cause any lessening of the greater importance which he now intends to give to friendly relations with the United States. This idea seems to me inherent in the words which he expressed, although in saying these things he was careful not to give offense to the followers of the Parra doctrine, which is generally considered as implying a certain degree of unfriendliness towards the United States.

Knowing as I do the strong and friendly feelings which Galo Plaza has towards the United States, it will be interesting to watch the development and implementation of this feeling in the future attitudes and acts of the new government.

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Respectfully yours,

John F. Simmons
  1. Not printed.