File No. 763.72/3971
The Guatemalan Minister ( Méndez ) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary of State: In a letter dated the 10th of this month of April and received by me to-day, the President of Guatemala tells me:
In consequence of the declaration of war on the Imperial German Government by the United States of America, my Government, ever true to its long standing friendship with the American Government and people, among the series of measures it will order in evidence of the fact that it will face every responsibility attending its identifying itself with the principles proclaimed by the Washington Government, has decreed, as a preliminary and in order to guard the country against any attempt from abroad, a suspension of the guarantees in the border departments, in keeping with paragraph 18, Article 77 of the Constitution. Thus will an effective watch be kept over every element who would disturb the peace and who will be prevented from crossing into the neighboring countries with preconceived purposes. On the other hand, standing firmly and consistently with the American nation, as you well know and as the inclosed memorandum the original of which was delivered to the most excellent the Minister of the United States further evidences, I only trust that upon receipt of this communication you will lay before the Department of State my intentions as set forth in the said memorandum, which are incorruptible and sincere, to which end I hope that the American Government will be pleased to offer to me all suggestions that it may deem suitable in the matter.
In compliance with the letter of the President of Guatemala, I have the honor to enclose a copy of the memorandum therein referred to, and beg the Secretary of State to be so good as to give me the [Page 258] requisite indications to have the action of the Government of my country continue to demonstrate by practical acts that it has identified itself with the principles which the enlightened American Government has proclaimed for the good of mankind and with the applause of the world’s conscience.
To that end, I take pleasure in placing myself entirely at your excellency’s disposal to report to the President and Government of Guatemala all that may contribute to continuing in Guatemala the realization of the expression of the fervent wish by which the country is animated to adhere to and uphold the lofty and noble attitude of the American Government.
I avail myself [etc.]