177. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Holland) and the Costa Rican Ambassador (Facio), Washington, January 11, 19551


  • Costa Rican Situation

Amb. Facio informed Mr. Holland that the OAS had approved unanimously the resolution in answer to Costa Rica’s petition for military assistance.2

Mr. Holland asked if he had any further news of the situation in Costa Rica. Amb. Facio said he did not, that the troops are steadily going that way. He said Col. Herrera reported that fighting is going on right now in the area of Villa Quesada. Mr. Holland remarked that that was significant because no work would be done on any airstrip. Amb. Facio said he did not know whether that was so.

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Amb. Facio said that they hope now that all the countries are free to help and preserve inter-American unity. Mr. Holland said he thought they would and action in sending a commission to investigate the situation was a big step in that direction. Amb. Facio said it was a case of not wanting it to be too little and too late. He said he just wanted the U.S. to do something, just fly over, authorize something in accordance with the treaty. He said it would gain the nation’s respect for the U.S.

Mr. Holland asked if, in view of the Council’s action, he still wanted to leave formally with us the request he had left. Amb. Facio said he did. Mr. Holland said in that case he would meet with the people here who have responsibility for making the decision. Amb. Facio said it would be a life-saving measure and maintains his request and that not only Costa Rica but the whole world will thank us. Mr. Holland told the Ambassador that what he was asking for was armed intervention by the U.S. and that was different from just flying over the country. Amb. Facio said that our flying over the country would stop everything immediately.

Mr. Holland asked the Ambassador if the request had been publicized. Amb. Facio said it had not, that the only persons who knew about it were Mr. Holland and himself. Mr. Holland asked if it had been given to the press in Costa Rica, and Amb. Facio replied that it had not. He said he had been requested by the Foreign Minister to submit this request.

Mr. Holland said he would press for a decision here and would get back in touch with the Ambassador. In the meantime Mr. Holland cautioned the Ambassador that he should be very reticent about it.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 718.00/1–1155. Confidential. Drafted by Karydakis.
  2. On January 11 the Council of the Organization of American States, acting provisionally as an Organ of Consultation, appointed a committee to investigate the situation in Costa Rica. The following day the Council adopted a resolution requesting the American governments to provide the investigating committee with aircraft for observation flights over the affected region. See the enclosure to Document 179.