814.00/594: Telegram

The Chargé in Guatemala (Curtis) to the Secretary of State


61. Unquestionably the present Government, headed by former officers of Estrada Cabrera, is a purely military one. Orellana, nevertheless, seems to be a man of high character. …

I suggest for the Department’s consideration, that the United States offer to grant recognition provided it receives in advance satisfactory assurances that (1) all members of the Assembly and late Government be granted complete political amnesty including immunity from criminal prosecution; (2) the Army be converted into police and reduced to not more than 10,000 men; (3) all artillery be destroyed and the forts about the city be dismantled; and (4) Guatemala engage an American financial agent, who shall have wide powers. The Army varies greatly in strength. It now fluctuates between twenty and thirty thousand men.

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The government would be greatly benefited by the disfranchisement of the illiterate. However, there are many objections to demanding this.

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