189. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Embassy in Costa Rica1

237. ReDeptel 229 to San Jose,2 187 to Managua. Department concerned lest certain elements in OAS urge pressing OAS investigation to decision fixing guilt in manner which will cause permanent split in organization which up to now has vastly enhanced it prestige and served notice on all who might henceforth contemplate intervention. This peacemaking action can raise OAS to levels effectiveness and importance never heretofore achieved.

Department feels early progress toward reconciliation will effectively deter continued investigation and factfindings which if carried far enough can destroy all possibility reconciliation. Department therefore proposes prompt overtures to be undertaken pursuant coordinated plan.

Somoza has indicated willingness effect reconciliation (Managua telegram 215,3 repeated San Jose 51). Prospects success much enhanced if Figueres makes initial overture. Successful outcome his recent difficulties enables him make generous overture without loss prestige. Reconciliation obviously vastly preferable to enemy whose hatred aggravated by humiliation OAS action and whose armed strength greatly superior Figueres’.

Unless Embassy perceives objection recommend as first step Woodward propose Figueres plan under which by prior accord all parties (1) Figueres to publish statesmanlike offer meet Somoza and terminate all personal differences which might prejudice close ties between friendly peoples, (2) Somoza to accept in equally generous [Page 606] terms, (3) to arrange that two Presidents meet at some neutral place, for example, Mexico City but not Washington, for reconciliation and agreement to establish through OAS conciliation commission to which any subsequent differences would be referred. If it would enhance acceptability proposal, meeting could perhaps coincide with established itinerary for V.P. Nixon’s visit to city selected.

Emphasize suggestion is initial overture and subject later approval Somoza and government which would be host at meeting. We obviously agreeable any change enhancing probabilities success. Emphasize US motivated solely by desire preserve and enhance effectiveness OAS avoiding grave dangers inherent in its current brilliant demonstration ability maintain peace hemisphere. Emphasize reference possible alternatives to reconciliation not be interpreted US prejudging issues now under OAS investigation.

Suggest discussion above with Dreier if possible.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 718.00/1–1655. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Holland. Repeated to Managua.
  2. See footnote 2, supra.
  3. Not printed. (Ibid., 717.00/1–2555)