182. Telegram 3129 From the Embassy in Costa Rica to the Department of State1 2

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  • Costa Rica-USSR Relations

1. FonMin Facio called me to FonOff this morning (December 9) to discuss several matters. Among them the establishment of Soviet Embassy in Costa Rica.

2. Facio seemed embarrassed to start the conversation and then explained that he and the President did not see eye-to-eye on this subject. He thought that I ought to be kept abreast of the facts. The President wanted me to know that the Russian Embassy will be established in the near future in San Jose, and that no more than six Russians of any variety will be permitted in the nation at one time. The Soviets did not like this limitation and complained that they did not limit Costa Rica, but Facio said that this limit would stand.

3. The Soviets promised they would take the [Page 2] surplus Costa Rican coffee next year. The tractor and machinery deal was felt necessary to show an interest in inter-trade, although he (Facio) was not so sure that this was smart and did not know how it would come out. Some were trying to interpret that it was not a foreign loan (which would require approval by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly) but rather just buying on time payment. There were differences of opinion in this regard. Facio seemed to be of the opinion that it was a foreign loan. He did not point out that his opinion would prevail.

4. Throughout the entire discussion, Facio exhibited nervousness for the first time on any subject we had ever discussed and a tenseness which I had never noticed before. He felt quite relieved when the subject was changed by me.

5. Facio suggested that we might exchange intelligence on the Russians if it was agreeable to me. He realized that our intelligence would be a lot better than theirs, but GOCR may be able to be helpful. It was a matter that he and I would try to work out. He thought U.S. was apprehensive about the Soviet presence. I told him we could not be otherwise.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL COSTA RICA–USSR. Confidential. It was repeated to Guatemala City, Managua, Moscow, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, and USCINCSO.
  2. Foreign Minister Facio contacted the Embassy to discuss Costa Rica’s plans to permit the Soviet Union to open an embassy in San José. Ambassador Ploeser described Facio as embarrassed about the decision and suggested exchanging intelligence on the Russians with the Embassy.