817.00/11–2945: Telegram

The Ambassador in Nicaragua (Warren) to the Secretary of State

761. Señor Aguirre telephoned me at Las Piedracitas at 8 a.m. to say that he would be glad to take me in his car to see the President at [Page 1226] the dam on his farm San Juan. He stated Somoza could see me at 9 a.m. or later. Aguirre and I arrived at the dam about 9:30 a.m., I talked with Somoza until about 11:40. We discussed the political situation and our conversations from August 10 up to date. It is not possible to relate our conversation chronologically. I attempt, however, to set forth the main points brought up.

I took with me the same information which I had shown to Arguello60 yesterday afternoon (see my 759 of November 2862). I also had the papers which I now list:

Memorandum of conversation dated August 10, 1945, which was transmitted to Mr. Rockefeller under cover of my letter of August 14. I called particular attention to the last sentence in numbered paragraph 3.61
Three sentences from Mr. Rockefeller’s letter to me dated August 23, 1945,62 which I had handed to President shortly after hearing from Mr. Rockefeller.
A paraphrase of Department’s telegram 337 of September 4.
Third paragraph of Department’s telegram No. 471 of August 29. (I did not leave Somoza a copy.)
Paraphrase of first two sentences of Department’s telegram No. 450 of November 23 which I left with President.
A copy of Mr. Briggs’ speech at University of Pennsylvania63 marked with the quotation from telegram 450 just mentioned. I left copy of speech with President.
Copy of Secretary’s statement regarding Uruguay initiative.64
Clipping from this mornings Flecha containing article in Spanish on Mr. Byrnes’ statement.

The President read the papers in order given. When he got through reading marked portions of Mr. Briggs’ speech he inquired what it all meant. I responded, “Mr. President, my instructions were to bring out the marked portions. I have done so and thus have complied with my instructions. If you want to know now what I personally think, I shall be glad to tell you”. He indicated that he wanted me to speak personally and as freely as I could.

I then said, “Mr. President, in my opinion they are telling you that (pointing to Mr. Briggs’ speech) this means you. Your Government is considered to be that of a dictator and the Department is trying to indicate to you its position”.

President then wanted to know why Department did not let him know in so many words just what it wanted him to do. I attempted [Page 1227] to explain that since August 10, this year, I had been trying to let him know what his position is with respect to U.S. He answered, in effect, “As a friend, I deserve better treatment from State Department. It should tell me exactly, and I have invited it to tell me exactly, what it wants”. I indicated that I thought he now knows his exact position.

Somoza next stated that when he saw me 2 weeks ago he had tried to make it clear that he intended ultimately to get out of the race. (See paragraph 5 my 703, November 15.) I told him that I had gone away with the firm impression that he intended to push his candidacy and that I had so reported to Department. He did not deny what I said but emphasized that he intended finally to withdraw his candidacy (my telegram 703 sent immediately after the conversation still stands at [as] the record).

At this point Somoza indicated that he was prepared to write the renunciation of his candidacy. He then wrote in pencil the statement contained in telegram No. 760 of today.65

He said that I was to express his hope to the Department that the “consulta” requested by Constituent Assembly of Panama66 could be held up for 30 days. By that time he promised to renounce his candidacy. He wants 30 days in order to arrange matters and to show he is not yielding to pressure.

Somoza then stated that Estado de Sitio is being lifted today. He promised that political prisoners will be gradually released, saying there are only five at moment.

In reply to my query he stated that newspapers will be allowed to reappear. He said specifically that La Noticia would be included and that new papers could be authorized in accordance with the laws of Nicaragua.

During the conversation I did not fail to point out to the President the serious position in which I think he finds himself as a result of the action of the Assembly in Panama City. I told him I did not see how the American Government could avoid agreeing to the “consulta”. He indicated that he thought the U. S. Government would have to agree to it. The President was bitter, not to say vitriolic, toward Panama. He says that he is going to let those renegades (he used another word) know what he thinks about them.

I don’t see how, speaking on my own responsibility, I could have made clearer my ideas of Somoza’s position. Just before leaving I reminded that [him] that I had fulfilled my instructions when I called to his attention Mr. Briggs’ speech with certain paragraphs particularly [Page 1228] marked; that all beyond that had been the personal expression of a friend trying to help him realize his present position. He said he understood.

Discussion was carried on in friendliest spirit and President’s goodbye was as cordial as ever.

Although I am not particularly impressed by it, I trust the Department will give me something to say in response to the President’s statement. At the moment I am inclined to consider statement mere temporization.

  1. Mariano Argüello Vargas, Nicaraguan Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Ante, p. 1214.
  4. Not printed.
  5. See footnote 52, p. 1223.
  6. For text of statement released to the press on November 27, see Department of State Bulletin, December 2, 1945, p. 892. For documentation on the Uruguayan initiative, see pp. 185 ff.
  7. Supra.
  8. The Constituent Assembly of Panama, as the result of a visit by seven Nicaraguan political refugees, adopted a resolution on November 27 urging President Enrique A. Jiménez to initiate consultations with the other American Republics for the immediate breaking off of relations with the governments of Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.