Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
Managua, Nicaragua , December 9, 1893 .
(Received January 3, 1894.)
Sir: I beg to advise you that hostilities have begun on the frontier between Honduras and Nicaragua. A picket of Honduranean soldiers is said to have invaded the village of Santa Maria in this Republic. This has brought forth the following manifest from President Zelaya to the National Constituent Assembly:
In moments of difficult transition for Nicaragua, and when the Government born of the revolution of July was using all its efforts to heal the wounds of the country and to give powerful impulse to the national progress, a grave difficulty has arisen with the Government of Honduras, as you will be able to see by the documents which I send herewith.
General Domingo Vasquez, President of that Republic, jealous of the asylum granted by us to the Honduranean refugees, or perhaps badly informed in regard to our frank and respectful policy, has provoked us to a war without consulting [Page 444] justice, convenience, international practices, nor even the stipulations of the treaty of peace and friendship between Nicaragua and Honduras.
Perhaps we shall shed blood on Central American soil on account of the hatred of a chief inimical to Nicaragua, and little interested in the honor of his people; and although friendly Governments have interposed their generous mediation to avoid that conflict, I believe it my duty, in order to take proper measures in the direction of such a grave affair, to consult expressly the national will, whose faithful interpreters you are in your character of representatives of the Nicaraguan people, and jealous defenders of its honor and its sovereign rights.
J. Santos Zelaya.
The Congress, upon receipt of this, issued the following decree:
Let the executive power be authorized to employ all means leading to the safeguard of the national honor, security, and integrity, which are menaced by the present head of the Government of Honduras, and, in the regrettable case of not being able to reach a pacific and decorous solution, to accept or declare war.
I understand that hostilities are continuing on the frontier, but have no reliable data so far.
I beg to remain, etc.,