90. Editorial Note

In telegram 224586 to San José, September 5, 1978, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance informed U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Marvin Weissman that “we support Carazo’s idea for a mediation process between Somoza and the legitimate opposition to reach agreement on a formula for transferring power.” Vance instructed Weissman to tell Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo that the United States would “support such a step and, if the mediation effort achieves support among the Central American Presidents, would recommend that Somoza accept it.” Vance also cautioned Weissman that “this clearly cannot be a U.S. orchestrated step” and that, therefore, he would have to “walk a fine line” in his discussion with Carazo. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840137–1824)

In telegram 3765 from San José, September 6, the Embassy reported that Carazo had agreed with the substance of the démarche and would proceed with discussions about a mediation with Honduran President Policarpo Paz Garcia, Salvadoran President Carlos Humberto Romero, and Guatemalan President Romeo Lucas Garcia. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840139–2549) In telegram 226426 to Managua, September 7, the Department instructed U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Mauricio Solaun to inform Somoza that “Carazo informed us of his efforts to develop a mediation role for his Central American colleagues in regard to the Nicaragua situation on the basis of their concern over the security of the region,” and that the United States welcomed such an initiative. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor Files, Country Files, Box 38, Nicaragua Cables: 9/1–10/78) Solaun reported in telegram 4197 from Managua, September 7, that he had informed Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza that morning that the United States “welcomed Carazo’s initiative” and that “an outsider to this local conflict could assist polarized parties to seek a peaceful, democratic solution.” Somoza responded that it was “impossible that a man like Carazo, who is not my friend,” could mediate and that Carazo should simply “kick out” the Sandinista National Liberation Front from Costa Rica. Somoza also asked Solaun to “tell Washington” that: “1) he wanted a definition, specifically for the opposition, of what is meant by ‛peaceful democratic change,’” and that “when it became clear that this did not mean his overthrow, ‛the opposition will change its tune;’ 2) that the situation is under control here; 3) that he hoped that the US would abstain in the OAS as a trade-off for Nicaragua’s earlier vote on the Dominican Republic,” which referred to the 1965 intervention. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780365–0237) For more information about the pending Organization of American States action regarding [Page 246] Nicaragua, see Document 98. Pastor discussed Carazo’s mediation effort in Document 93.