The Ambassador in Nicaragua ( Whelan ) to the Department of State


159. Nicaraguan note1 to Costa Rica will be delivered there today. We obtained copy yesternoon have despatched it unaccompanied pouch via Panama should arrive Department tomorrow.

While courteous note accuses Costa Rica breaking agreement in accord article 3 Council OAS resolution December 24, 19482 and pact of friendship between Nicaragua and Costa Rica signed Washington February 21, 1949.3

Cites former friendship but quotes lengthy proof activities Caribbean legion against not only Nicaragua but other countries and against hemisphere solidarity opposing spread communism. Many pages devoted proof that plan to assassinate Somoza originated Costa Rica with knowledge Figueres and active aid several Costa Rican Government officials.

Nicaragua solicits as future guarantee expulsion for four years Betancourt, Juan Bosch and 19 others, discharge from service Vice Minister Security Colonel Pacheco, Director Civil Guard Colonel Herrera Pinto, Secretary Comandancia General Colonel Quiroz, chief detectives Cambronero and Major Vicente of civil guard, investigation customs officers who allowed entry arms by air and sea, surveillance other Nicaraguan exiles in Costa Rica, prevention entry into Costa Rica certain Nicaraguans.

Cites culpability of Figueres but abstains from formal consideration his guilt because he is President “brotherly Costa Rican people”.

Expresses desire settle dispute by direct diplomatic negotiations but makes plain plotting violated Costa Rican 1948 promises to council OAS.

Nicaragua guarantees strict adherence its international commitments and 1949 pact friendship with Costa Rica.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister privately told us he expected Costa Rica to reject note ask investigation OAS but since Costa Rica’s action plainly contrary OAS recommendations 1948 Nicaragua has nothing to fear from new OAS investigation.

Copy Nicaraguan note sent Embassy San Jose special courier this morning.

  1. This note of May 15 was the first official representation by the Government of Nicaragua to Costa Rica with respect to the attempt on President Somoza’s life. No copy of it was found in Department of State files.
  2. The text of the OAS resolution is printed in Department of State Bulletin, June 5, 1949, p. 711 as part of an article by W. Tapley Bennett, Jr. entitled “The Costa Rica–Nicaragua Incident: Effective International Action in Keeping the Peace.”
  3. The full text of the Pact is printed in Annals of the Organization of American States, 1949, p. 204. For documentation on events leading up to the signing, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. ix, pp. 488 ff.