818.00/617: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua (Jefferson) to the Acting Secretary of State

Department’s May 12, 6 p.m. President Chamorro emphatically denied that he or his Government have given military assistance to Costa Rican exiles and that he has repeatedly told their friends that they need not count on receiving assistance from him and that if they undertook to return to Costa Rica and begin operations against Tinoco it would be their responsibility and not his.

The above in effect was corroborated by General Viquez who is a very reliable man and a trusty friend of Chamorro and it was he [Page 819] who confidentially gave me such information as he could obtain concerning the movements of the exiles.

Chamorro willingly consented to give guarantees to prevent the departure of armed forces to Costa Rica. He explained the great importance of his having an extra force of 150 men. I have approved of the sending of the extra force and immediately they will be sent to police the frontier. If by chance the exiles are thrown back into Nicaragua they will be disarmed, concentrated, and sent out of the country.

As regards guarantees Chamorro asked what guarantees if any could be relied on from such men as Tinoco and Irias who have surrounded themselves with the worst military element of Nicaragua and who now have their spies and recruiting agents in Nicaragua.

I shall insist upon the strict neutrality of this Government. The Department should warn the agent of the Tinoco government that no attempt should be made to invade Nicaragua and that it should put a stop to the work of its agents and spies here.

Telegraphic communication between here and Costa Rica is still interrupted and but little news is coming through. Last reports indicate that the exiles are endeavoring to advance to insurgent army Canas but are meeting with serious difficulties on account of bad weather and many obstacles put in their way by the Tinoco forces. Seemingly, unless the exiles are supported more strongly by the coming of Costa Ricans to their aid, they will fail.