125. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Conversation with Costa Rican Foreign Minister Facio


  • William D. Rogers, Assistant Secretary, ARA
  • Costa Rican Foreign Minister Facio

I talked with Foreign Minister Facio on the airplane on Wednesday between Quito and Panama.

1. He raised the Vesco issue. He said that he wanted particularly to get word to the Washington Post in response to the Post’s criticism of the Costa Rican courts as inefficient and corrupt. I asked that he send me a personal letter with the information in it and we would consider how [Page 379] that might best be introduced to the Washington Post. He originally thought that he himself should write such a letter and I thought that not the best way to do it. Perhaps our Chargé, or someone in Washington, could comment directly to the Post.

2. He emphasized that his law firm was no longer involved in the Vesco matter, and that he himself was no longer involved in any way with his law firm.

3. He strongly implied that we should take another crack at the extradition. He said that the matter was entirely up to the courts. If the courts granted the writ, there would be no possibility that Oduber would refuse to carry out the extradition on political grounds. He said that the government would be relieved if the matter were put back into the judicial process.

4. He discussed the MFM. He said that he was certain to take a great deal of blame for his inability to count, but that the real reason was that several countries which were committed to him had not followed through. He had no notion where to go next on the Cuban issue, but had arrived at the point where he recognized that the world had not come to an end. There was no suggestion of criticism of our position.

  1. Summary: During a flight between Quito and Panama, Rogers and Facio discussed the Vesco extradition case and the meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers that had just concluded.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P830033–1221. Confidential. Drafted by Rogers. During the November 8–12 OAS Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs at Quito, a resolution to lift diplomatic sanctions on Cuba failed to win the two-thirds majority necessary for adoption. In a November 18 letter to Rogers, mistakenly dated September 18, Facio objected to a Washington Post article critical of the Costa Rican courts and noted the deficiencies of the U.S. request for Vesco’s extradition. (Ibid., P820146–1135) In a November 25 letter to Lazar, Lane stated that it would be inappropriate for any U.S. official to carry a Costa Rican complaint to the Washington Post, noted that many observers believed that Facio was still connected to Vesco, and pointed out the danger of launching a second extradition attempt that might also fail as a result of the obstacles imposed by Costa Rica’s extradition law. (Ibid., ARA/CEN/CR Files: Lot 76D290, Chron—Letters, Correspondence from Embassy, 1974)