187. Telegram From the Ambassador in Costa Rica (Woodward) to the Department of State1

243. From Dreier. Now appears government forces may well end fighting tomorrow or Saturday, 22nd, as rebels are already apparently crossing into Nicaragua where they will presumably be interned. Once hostilities cease, I believe OAS committee should: [Page 603]

Establish mixed border commission made up of representatives both governments and presided over by OAS observers and staff to supervise border zone.
Seek to work out with both governments some form political settlement which will at least provide basis for peaceful coexistence Figueres and Somoza governments.
Return to Washington to prepare final report for COAS.

Regarding number 1 above, we now have under direct control of committee total 29 officers including 5 US (plus several aircraft crews and communications units working out of CINCARIB), 11 Mexican (including crews of two C–47s arrived today), 11 Ecuador (crew of one plane plus group officers), 1 Brazilian, 1 Paraguayan. Additional plane expected from Uruguay and additional officer from Brazil. This number men and aircraft being kept very busy in present intensive observation activity, but should be more than enough once hostilities cease. Execution border supervision will, however, require continued cooperation Defense Department and CINCARIB in terms personnel, transportation, and communication.

Since trouble between countries is essentially political and personal, as evidenced Somoza’s reaction to doubtful violation border by Costa Rican F–51 January 19, some continued political guidance and help for continuing military group appears desirable. Department should consider how this can best be provided. One possibility may well be in connection with the political arrangements referred to in number 2 above, since situation may well require from political standpoint alone continuing political representation here of OAS or other mediatory group.

Nature of possible political settlement remains unclear, in view reluctance of both Figueres and Somoza to place confidence in word of other. In Managua, January 19, Somoza indicated willingness agree to formula involving strengthening pact of amity of 1949 and might even sometime hence agree meet Figueres personally in presence another distinguished political personality from third country who would give his sanction to agreement. This so far not discussed here pending termination hostilities and creation of calmer atmosphere.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 718.00/1–2055. Official Use Only. Repeated to Managua.