287. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ecuador1

102602. Subject: Ongoing Political Crisis: Embassy Recommendations. Ref: Quito 2593.2

1. S—Entire Text

2. Department appreciates receiving your excellent analysis on current status of the executive-legislative confrontation.

3. We understand that since the sending of reftel there have been some positive developments including the planned recess of the extraordinary legislative session next week indicating the possibility of a compromise. The influence of responsible Ecuadoreans of stature such as those forming the Special Commission apparently is being felt.3

4. In this situation, the Embassy should continue its contacts for the purposes of (A) obtaining current information, and (B) reaffirming to Ecuadorean leaders the U.S. interest in the continuance and consolidation of Ecuadorean democracy. We should demonstrate our interest without appearing to intervene. We have no particular formula. That is up to the Ecuadoreans to work out. What we have is a basic mutual interest in the success of the democratic process. We believe it particularly important at this juncture that the Ambassador see individually Galo P. Plaza and the other members of the Special Commission to obtain their assessments.

4. We understand Ambassador Crespo will return from Quito Sunday. Next week Assistant Secretary Bowdler and DAS Eaton will have an opportunity to see him socially and ask him for his appraisal of the situation and express our deep interest in the continuation of demo [Page 826] cratic government in Ecuador. We will advise the Embassy of the results of these conversations.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800193-0767. Secret; Niact Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Guerra; cleared in ARA, ARA/AND and S/S; approved by Bowdler.
  2. In telegram 2593 from Quito, April 17, the Embassy summarized the crisis between the executive and legislative branches in Ecuador. A power struggle between Roldos and Bucaram, who had been elected president of the Legislative Assembly, had escalated until the Assembly called a special session “to interpret the constitution, consider its own constitutional amendments, try cabinet officials, and censure other government officials. Unless a mutually acceptable compromise can be reached prior to the termination of the special session, the stage likely will be set for a destabilizing and possibly disastrous showdown via a plebiscite.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800192-0079)
  3. The Special Commission consisted of former presidents Galo Plaza and Andres Cordova, former constituent assembly president Gonzalo Cordero, and Cardinal Archbishop Pablo Munoz.
  4. The conversation between Eaton and Crespo was summarized in telegram 105487 to Quito, April 22. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800199-0254)