Ecuador


296. Airgram A–33 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, February 8, 1969.

This Country Analysis and Strategy Paper (CASP) argued that Ecuador could play a key role in United States-supported multilateral programs, in particular the Alliance for Progress, and hemispheric security programs. The major U.S. economic interests were fishing rights, and oil.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–1969, POL 1 ECUADOR–US. Confidential. The final version of the report was not found.


297. Telegram 626 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, February 12, 1969, 2230Z.

Ambassador Crowley reported the negative consequences of a reduction in U.S. Government assistance toward Ecuador.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–1969, POL 1 ECUADOR–US. Confidential. The Pelly Amendment to PL 90–629 of 1967, the Fisherman’s Protective Act (22 USC Sec. 2751 et seq.) stated that if a nation conducted its fishing operations in a manner that compromised effectiveness of international fishery conservation, Washington could embargo that nation’s products. The Kuchel Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1965, as amended (21 USC Sec. 2100 et seq.) gave the President discretionary authority to cut off all assistance to any country which seized a U.S. flag vessel on the high seas.


298. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the Senior Military Assistant (Haig), March 7, 1969.

National Security Council staff member Nachmanoff reported that because Ecuador and Peru seized U.S. fishing vessels, they could not receive U.S. military aid. He noted that the Department of State was considering lifting the suspension of military sales if Ecuador participated in a four-power conference on the fisheries problem.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. 1, 1969–1970. Confidential. Haig wrote on the memorandum, “Arnie HAK[Kissinger] has seen—he doesn’t feel this should be used to pressure Peruvians. Al”


300. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 3, 1969.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported that Governor Rockefeller relayed a request from President Velasco for economic assistance. Rockefeller stated that Ecuador was in bad economic shape, and noted Velasco’s strong measures against Communist and subversive elements. He recommended the U.S. Government consider debt reduction, increased PL 480 assistance, and loans.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970. Confidential. Sent for action. Kissinger approved the recommendation. Attached but not published are Tabs A and B. Tab A is a December 11 memorandum from Watts to Eliot;Tab B is a November 13 letter from Rockefeller to Kissinger, with an attached message from Velasco to Rockefeller dated October 29. The Woods plan for debt reduction is discussed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume IV, Foreign Assistance, International Development, Trade Policies, 1969–1972, Document 12. The report by the Department of State, dated January 16, is Tab D in the source note to Document 301.


301. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff, to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, February 9, 1970.

After describing Ecuador’s fiscal problems, National Security Council staff member Vaky suggested President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger ask the Department of State to write up a specific description of the assistance it would be prepared to provide, and to write continuing status reports on Ecuador.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970. Confidential. Sent for action. Neither approved nor disapprove was checked. Although Kissinger signed the letter to Rockefeller, he wrote on the front of the memorandum, “I think we better forget this.” Attached but not published are Tabs A, B, C, and D. Tab A, undated, is a letter Governor Rockefeller; Tab B is a December 11, 1969, memorandum from Watts to Eliot; Tab C is a December 3, 1969 memorandum from Vaky to Kissinger; Tab D is a January 16 memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger. Rockefeller’s letter to Kissinger, November 13, 1969, is referenced in the source note to Document 300.


302. Telegram 2773 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, June 23, 1970, 0045Z.

President Velasco Ibarra assumed “supreme power” on the morning of June 21. Velasco’s main motive was to preserve his fiscal reforms, which he thought were threatened. The crackdown also served the purpose of quelling student and leftist dissenters.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Lima, Santiago, Guayaquil, USCINCSO, and Bogotá for information. Section 2 of the telegram was not found.


303. Intelligence Note RARN–27, Washington, July 9, 1970.

After Velasco’s assertion of a supreme mandate, the authors of this note predicted he would institute substantial fiscal and social reforms.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 ECUADOR. Confidential. Drafted by Sonandres and approved by Summ.


304. Airgram A–268 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, November 20, 1970.

Since President Velasco’s assumption of supreme power on June 22, he had made changes in military personnel so they would have more to gain by keeping him in power than deposing him.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 ECUADOR. Confidential. Drafted on November 18 by Shumate; cleared by Breidenbach, Blaikie, Morgan, and the Ambassador; and approved by Chaplin. Repeated to the Consulate in Guayaquil and USCINCO/POLAD.


305. Memorandum From Ashley Hewitt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, January 18, 1971.

National Security Council staff member Hewitt conveyed to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger that President Nixon had tasked Secretary of State Rogers with lodging a strong protest with the Ecuadorian Ambassador; suspending Foreign Military Sales (FMS) sales for a year; and considering invoking the Kuchel and Pelley Amendments.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, HAK Office Files, Box 148, Agency and Congressional Files, State/WH Relationship, Vol. 4. Secret. Sent for information. Haig initialed the memorandum and wrote at the top, “File State/WH relationship.” On January 19, Hewitt reported to Kissinger that Ambassador Burns emphasized that measures adversely affecting the Ecuadorian military would hurt U.S. interests and diminish Washington’s influence over the long term. Hewitt, however, thought that the FMS suspension would not have a significant effect on U.S. relations with Ecuador. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970)


306. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, February 9, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger urged President Nixon to come up with a practical, early settlement of the fisheries dispute. Kissinger also requested that Nixon elicit a report outlining U.S. negotiating strategy from the Secretaries of State and Defense.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. 1, 1969–1970. Secret. Sent for action. Haig approved for the President on February 10. Attached but not published at Tab A is a January 28 memorandum from Packard to Nixon. Kissinger’s tasking of the Secretaries of Defense and State, dated February 10, to produce a negotiating strategy is Foreign Relations 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1972, Document 387. In telegram 637 from Quito, February 9, Burns told Meyer it was important to resolve the fishing dispute to protect U.S. oil interests in Ecuador, and to strengthen the position in the OAS and the Law of the Sea negotiations. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–4, ECUADOR–US).


307. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, April 8, 1971.

National Security Council staff member Nachmanoff informed President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger of the Department of State’s inaction in negotiating a settlement of the fisheries dispute as Kissinger had requested. Nachmanoff recommended that Kissinger call Under Secretary of State Irwin to ask for a paper on the issue.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970. Secret; Limdis. Sent for action. A handwritten notation indicated that it was sent through Haig. Haig initialed the memorandum. A copy was sent to Colonel Kennedy. On April 12, Kissinger wrote in the “approve” option, “No—send memo.” Tab A is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1976, Document 387.


308. Telegram 1670 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, April 16, 1971, 2327Z.

Ambassador Burns reviewed recent developments in Ecuadorian politics, and concluded they would have minimal effect on relations with the United States. Burns thought is possible one or more of the political groups might create a “foreign diversion” by whipping up anti-United States sentiment to achieve short-term gains.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL ECUADOR. Confidential. It was repeated to USCINCSO/POLAD and AmConsul Guayaquil.


309. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, June 11, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger informed President Nixon that in an attempt to resume Foreign Military Sales (FMS) shipments, and facilitate an agreement to reach a solution on the fisheries dispute, President Velasco halted seizures of U.S. fishing vessels in Ecuadorian waters through September 30.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. I, 1969–1970. Secret; Exdis. Sent for information. Nixon circled the word “State” at the beginning of the last paragraph and wrote “good” in the margin. A June 4 covering memorandum from Nachmanoff to Kissinger indicated that copies of the memorandum were sent to Haig, Wright, Negroponte, and Clift.


310. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, June 24, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger informed President Nixon that releasing an AID loan to Ecuador might lead to a reciprocal gesture which would indicate its sincerity in working out an agreement to the fishing dispute. If Ecuador responded positively, Kissinger thought the Administration should inform Congress that it would lift the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) suspension.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Latin America, Ecuador, Vol. 1, 1969–1970. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation indicates the President saw it. Haig initialed for Kissinger. Kissinger wrote at the top, “What’s the point of sending this to Pres[ident?]” Nixon wrote at the bottom,“Connally is to call the signals on this.” Tab A, dated June 22, is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1972, Document 399. Tab B is published as Document 309. In telegram 2482 from Quito, June 15, Burns stated, “I strongly urge that we move with the greatest possible speed to implement our package [U.S. releasing AID loans in exchange for a positive Ecuadorian démarche] with the Ecuadorians.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–4 ECUADOR–US)


311. Telegram 2769 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, July 6, 1971, 2255Z.

Ambassador Burns discussed the progress on the impasse over fishing. He argued that lifting the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) ban on Ecuador could lead to four-party talks among Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and the United States, to resolve the fishing dispute.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–4 ECUADOR–US. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was repeated to Lima. Telegram 2482 from Quito, June 15, is referenced in the source note to Document 310. NSSM 125 is in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1972, Document 390.


312. National Security Decision Memorandum 147, Washington, January 4, 1972.

President Nixon approved submission to Congress of an amendment to the Fishermen’s Protective Act and issued instructions for further negotiations with the Ecuadorian Government.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, NSDMs, Nos. 145–264. Secret. The December 24, 1971 memorandum is referenced in the source note to Document 418 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1972. A note, January 6, addressed by McIntyre apparently to De Palma, which was attached to another copy of this NSDM, reads, “Sam: Meyer, Stevenson and McKernan feel the emphasis placed on Ecuador’s straits position is wrong and are trying to get greater negotiating flexibility from the White House.” (Department of State Files, OES/OLP/OCEANS Files: Lot 90 D 180, Box 3, POL 33.14(c), CEP talks on fisheries)


313. Airgram From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, April 10, 1972.

This section of the Country Analysis and Strategy Paper (CASP) assessed U.S.-Ecuadorian relations since General Rodríguez led a military take-over of the Ecuadorian Government on February 16. The main interests of the United States in Ecuador were to maintain access to oil and gas reserves and to avoid acrimonious relations with Ecuador in order to prevent it from establishing ties to countries hostile to the United States. A key component of maintaining harmonious relations with Ecuador was a resolution of the fishing dispute.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 ECUADOR–US. Secret. Background information on Rodríguez’s takeover is in telegrams 680 and 1462 from Quito, February 18 and April 13, respectively; ibid., POL 15 ECUADOR.


314. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 18, 1972.

Executive Secretary Eliot outlined the Department of State’s strategy to get Ecuador to compromise on its 200-mile territorial sea limit. The Department of State would release development assistance loans which had been held under review, and begin “quiet, informal” talks.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 784, Country Files, Ecuador, Vol. 1, 1969–1970. Confidential. RH Miller signed for Eliot above Eliot’s typeset signature. Attached but not published is a May 22 covering memorandum to Kissinger, in which Hewitt stated, “Essentially the strategy is to use the fisheries agreement recently concluded with Brazil as a lever to pry Ecuador loose from its hardline position on 200-mile territorial limits while at the same time dangling a carrot in terms of potential economic development and military assistance.”


315. Telegram 2819 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, July 15, 1972, 1310Z.

The Embassy informed the Department of State of the progress in the two most important and sensitive aspects of U.S.–Ecuadorian relations: fisheries, and oil. The Embassy also informed the Department of State about internal unrest in Ecuador.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL ECUADOR. Confidential. It was repeated for information to AMCONSUL Guayaquil and USCINCO for POLAD.


316. Memorandum From the Acting Secretary of State (Irwin) to President Nixon, Washington, August 29, 1972.

Under Secretary of State Irwin suggested that the U.S. Government lift the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) ban. In addition, he advocated notifying Ecuador of the names and other pertinent information of all U.S. flag vessels likely to fish in waters off Ecuador for the remainder of the year, and pay the nation a flat sum of money. In return, Ecuador would issue licenses for U.S. vessels to fish off the coast of Ecuador.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–4 ECUADOR–US. Confidential. Written at the bottom was, “No Drafting Information.” On September 16, Eliot sent a memorandum to Kissinger that the initiative with Ecuador would collapse unless the U.S. government lifted the FMS suspension to advance the negotiations. (Ibid.) Nixon signed a Presidential Determination on October 27 which waived the FMS suspension, and indicated the U.S. government was willing to enter into interim bilateral fisheries arrangements, see Documents 318 and 319.


317. Airgram 187 From the Embassy in Ecuador to the Department of State, October 13, 1972.

Aside from correcting the fiscal problems by the Velasco Government, the Embassy concluded that the military regime had accomplished little in its first eight months. Petroleum legislation had made it more difficult for international companies to operate in the country.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL ECUADOR. Confidential. It was drafted on October 11 by Burns and Mason; cleared by the DCM, POL/H, ECON, and DATT in draft form. Stamped notations on the Airgram indicates that it was received at the Department of State on October 20 at 3:35 pm, 1972 and at the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs on October 25, 1972.


318. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, October 24, 1972.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger recommended a scenario for reaching an agreement with Ecuador regarding the seizures of U.S. fishing boats.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–237, NSDM files, NSDM 194. Confidential. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it. Nixon approved both recommendations. Attached but not published is Tab I, dated October 27. Tab II, which authorized the resumption of military sales to Ecuador and approved bilateral negotiations is Document 319. Attached but not published are Tabs A, B, and C. Tab A is an August 29 memorandum from Irwin to Nixon; Tab B is a September 15 memorandum from Laird to Nixon; and Tab C is a September 22 memorandum from OMB to the President.


319. National Security Decision Memorandum 194, Washington, October 27, 1972.

President Nixon permitted military sales and credits and guarantees for Ecuador. The lifting of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) ban was conditioned on an oral understanding that there will be no further seizures of U.S. fishing boats.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–4 ECUADOR–US. Confidential. A copy was sent to DCI Helms. Acting Secretary of State Irwin’s August 29 memorandum is Document 316.