285. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

4058. Subject: The Secretary’s Meeting With Foreign Minister Pareja

1. (C–Entire Text)

2. Summary: The Secretary’s UNGA bilateral with Ecuadorian FonMin Pareja focused principally on Nicaraguan relief and reconstruction and the political situation in Central America. End summary.

3. The Secretary met with Foreign Minister Pareja on September 24. Also attending were Ecuadorian UN PermRep Albornoz and ARA Deputy Asst. Secretary Eaton. The Secretary expressed appreciation to Minister Pareja for his hospitality in Quito during the Presidential Inauguration and for having arranged for him to meet with members of the Andean Group to discuss the situation in Nicaragua and Central America.2 The Foreign Minister said he thought the meeting would be [Page 822] useful in the future. The Secretary briefed Pareja on U.S. efforts for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Nicaragua and informed him that President Carter was meeting that day with Nicaraguan junta members in Washington. He himself would be meeting with them in New York.3 He said it was extremely important to befriend the new regime and not allow more radical sectors to gain an advantage in the country. Minister Pareja expressed optimism over the political situation. The Secretary agreed but said it was necessary for democratic countries to remain engaged and not yield the field to others.

4. Pareja asked what other nations in the area were doing. Vance said that Peru had a broadly based program and could have an impact. Mexico was providing humanitarian aid. Venezuela was offering aid including help to Nicaragua’s shattered industrial sector. Panama was helping the Nicaraguan police so that law and order could be restored. Costa Rica had given some aid. The Secretary said enough was not yet being done, but an effort was under way. The Foreign Minister said Ecuador had been able to offer limited assistance, but it had been able to offer some technical assistance in the form of sending engineers and would continue to do so.

5. In response to the Foreign Minister’s expression of interest in the rest of Central America, the Secretary said that he had sent Assistant Secretary Bowdler, who had experience in the area, to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The visit resulted in recommendations on steps to take to help move those countries toward needed social and democratic reforms. These included tentative programs which outline the actions which we expect and which we are prepared to support.4 Minister Pareja expressed concern for the situation in El Salvador. The Secretary said we shared this concern. We most hopeful of reform in Honduras and then El Salvador; progress was least likely in Guatemala.

6. The Secretary asked about the economic and technology mission that had been proposed during Roldos’ visit to the U.S. The Foreign Minister confirmed such a mission was planned but did not go into detail.5

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7. Text of this message has been cleared by ARA DAS Eaton. USUN suggests cable distribution to AmEmbassies Managua and Quito.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790448-0222. Confidential; Exdis.
  2. Roldos was inaugurated and power was transferred to the civilian government on August 10. Rosalynn Carter and Vance headed the U.S. delegation at the inauguration. A record of the August 10 bilateral meeting between Vance and Pareja has not been found. For the August 11 meeting between Vance and members of the Andean Pact, see Document 47.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XV, Central America, Document 308.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XV, Central America, Document 381.
  5. For the Ecuadoran technical and economic commission to the U.S., see footnote 4, Document 284. In telegram 7507 from Quito, October 30, the Embassy reported that Roldos then believed that “more time was necessary before the GOE could send the mission.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790497-1034)