281. Evening Report From the Acting Secretary of State (Christopher) to President Carter1

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Ecuador.]

Ecuador. The plot to overturn the July 16 election has been thwarted for the moment. On Friday, Ambassador Gonzalez gave President Poveda your message of support for return to democratic government.2 The electoral board asserted the same evening that there had been widespread fraud, but the military government announced the following day that the fraud had not been serious enough to invalidate the election. The run-off election between the top two vote-getters will be held as planned.3

  1. Source: Carter Library, Carter Presidential Papers, Staff Offices, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Evening Reports (State), 9/78. Secret. Carter and Mondale initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. See Document 280.
  3. In telegram 6768 from Quito, September 25, the Embassy reported that the GOE announced on September 23 “that it would name a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) and continue with the retorno process,” holding legislative elections at the same time as the second round of the presidential election, and upholding the validity of the first round of the presidential election. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780392-0412) In telegram 6774 from Quito, September 25, the Embassy reported that an Ecuadoran official told the Embassy “that US ‘pressures or whatever you wish to call it’ were responsible for the GOE’s apparent last minute change of heart regarding the electoral process,” but that the US should “leave well enough alone and not attempt to publicize our intervention.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780392-0386)