178. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

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  • The USSR and Costa Rican President Figueres

You wrote on your copy of the CIA report on Soviet influence on Latin America: “what happened to to the question of Soviet funds passed to Costa Rican President Figueres?” I asked CIA for a report. The attached memo is their reply.

The reply indicates that they have been gathering information on Figueres’ activities and dealings with the Soviets, that an extensive propaganda campaign was initiated to embarrass the Soviets and Figueres, and that it is currently underway.

The decision reached by CIA and State was that the information would not be surfaced directly to Figueres until a later “propitious moment.” We would hold our information as a trump card, and at the proper moment the USG official would go directly to Figueres and tell him we were aware of the acceptance of Soviet funds.

My understanding was that at the time we did not want to blow the source of our information on the Soviet connection with Figueres, and that we needed to gain more information. This was the main purpose of the decision to wait before confronting Figueres. I do not know how a decision would be reached as to when a propitious moment has arrived. I wonder if it has not arrived already since he continues to go down the path with those activities.


That you put this item on the agenda for the next 40 Committee meeting.

  1. Source: National Security Council Files, Country Files, Costa Rica, 15 Sept 70–5 Mar 71. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. A copy was sent to Frank Chapin. The memorandum is a “non-log” item. There is no indication of approval or disapproval of the recommendation. Attached is a September 10 memorandum from Broe to Vaky, which included a memorandum detailing the information summarized in Vaky’s September 15 memorandum to Kissinger.
  2. Vaky forwarded Kissinger an update on President José Figueres’ dealings with the Soviets. He indicated that the CIA and the Department of State had decided to collect information to use as a trump card against Figueres at the proper moment. Vaky recommended that the issue be placed on the agenda for the next 40 Committee meeting.