Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs ( Holland )1



  • Nicaragua-Costa Rica Situation
  • Participants: American Ambassador Thomas E. Whelan—Managua, Nicaragua
  • Assistant Secretary Henry F. Holland

Mr. Holland telephoned Ambassador Whelan and said he was calling at the Secretary’s request. The Secretary asked that Whelan transmit a personal message from him to President Somoza. The message is that a continuation of the present state of tension between Nicaragua and Costa Rica will create and is creating serious problems for the Secretary and for this Government both in our domestic political picture here and in our international sphere, particularly in the UN; that the Secretary would be grateful if our good friend, and we know he is our good friend, President Somoza would take those steps that will be effective to bring about a rapid dissipation of this tension that exists between those two countries, confident that in taking those steps he can count on our collaboration and our support. Mr. Holland said that the Secretary would be grateful if Whelan would go and convey this personal message to President Somoza and give us a ring here transmitting whatever it is President Somoza wants to report back.

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Ambassador Whelan asked if Mr. Holland has seen his telegram No. 19 which he said was “the ball game”.2 Mr. Holland said that he was familiar with the telegram but felt that, nevertheless, in view of the fact that the Secretary would like this personal message transmitted, it would probably be sound if Whelan would see President Somoza and express those views to him and transmit to us what he says. Whelan said that he was to see the President about seven o’clock but would try to see him right away and would telephone Mr. Holland right back if he could.

Mr. Holland said in an effort to put this thing in shape where we could dispel this tension he had done some more talking with our Embassy in Costa Rica and if President Somoza will repeat the request made in his earlier note to Costa Rica that the two Foreign Ministers meet to discuss a solution of this thing he was sure that Somoza’s proposal would immediately be accepted.

  1. Drafted by Mabel Karydakis of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
  2. Telegram 19 from Managua, dated July 27, 1954, stated that the departure from Costa Rica of most of the individuals believed to have been involved in the assassination plot had somewhat placated President Somoza. However, the Costa Rican announcement that these individuals left the country voluntarily caused him to insist that the Government of Costa Rica submit to Nicaragua a written communication certifying that all the persons named in his May 15 note had been deported. Only then would Somoza authorize his Foreign Minister to meet with his Costa Rican counterpart to normalize relations between the two countries. (617.18/7–2754)