839.00/2796: Telegram

The Commissioner in the Dominican Republic (Welles) to the Secretary of State

9. My telegram of February 4, 10 a.m. Señor Peynado’s friends have persuaded him for the time being from insisting upon the immediate acceptance of his resignation as candidate for the national assembly of the Coalition Party, the knowledge of his resignation is, however, general and defections from the party’s ranks are widespread. Señor Enrique Jimenez, president of the former Liberal Party, of the members of which the coalition is largely composed, has resigned from the Coalition Party and all of his friends will follow him. Whether or not an agreement is reached between the leaders of the coalition and the candidates of the alliance, the Alliance Party will now undoubtedly receive the support of majority of the better elements in the Coalition Party as stated in my telegram above referred to.

Señor Peynado and Señor Brache yesterday requested me to exert my influence to force General Vasquez to resign his candidacy in order that a national candidate satisfactory to both parties might be elected. I advised them that I would not. I called to their attention article 1 of the Plan of Evacuation which constitutes the agreement on the part of the United States to enable the Dominican people to elect freely their future constitutional government, and stated that since General Vasquez was the legally nominated candidate of one of the parties, I should assure myself that he was given equal rights with the candidate of any other party to prove by means of the national election whether or not his candidacy had the support of the majority of the voters. In reply to a further inquiry in accordance with [my?] position before my departure for Washington, I stated that the mere fact that one of the two parties did not vote in the elections would not be considered proof that the party which did go to the polls did not represent the will of the people, nor that the candidates which might be so elected were not elected in accordance with the Constitution. Finally in response to a plea that the date of the elections be once more postponed in order that Señor Peynado’s friends might be given an opportunity to obtain additional funds for the campaign, I stated that the date of the elections had been set with the consent of both parties, and that the elections without change positively take place on that day.

Every attempt will now be made by certain elements in the coalition to obstruct the electoral procedure and to protest against [Page 622] the result of the elections, should the Alliance Party be the only party to go to the polls. After conversation with all the leaders of the former party, however, I am convinced that the saner element will cooperate with a government headed by General Vasquez, should Señor Peynado persist in his resignation, and that only a few for purely political ends will insist upon obstruction.