The Ambassador in Panama (Warren) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:55 p.m.]
2. Reference my 770, December 31, 4 p.m.27 and previous telegrams regarding the Panamanian political situation. The Panamanian political crisis which developed on Thursday December 28 continues [Page 1240] serious. When ten deputies to the National Assembly publicly alleged Thursday December 28 that they would name a new First Designate and consequently a new President, and when it became subsequently apparent that De La Guardia,28 after Deputy Barletta’s switch to the opposition, no longer clearly controlled the Assembly, the most serious political crisis since De La Guardia’s advent to power in October 1941 developed. He has suspended the constitution of 1941 and has dissolved the Assembly. He has promised a constitutional convention in June 1945 and declares that he will resign then if the convention asks him to. He continues to maintain that the opposition to his regime is Arnulfisty29 in character led by Arnulfo’s half brother, Dr. Harmodio Arias, of the Panama American.
The opposition to De La Guardia, which originally consisted of the youth movement groups, Dr. Harmodio Arias and the Arnulfistas, has, however, increased because of the President’s action in dissolving of the Assembly and in suspending the constitution. This opposition now includes a number of persons formerly close to De La Guardia and it is generally believed that, despite his announcement yesterday morning of a Cabinet representative of the seven orthodox political parties that have been supporting him in the past, a final solution of the crisis is not yet in sight.
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