124.1718/113: Telegram

The Chargé in Nicaragua (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

13. Department’s 3, January 8, 6 p.m. The following is the full text of Foreign Office note No. 14, dated January 7th:

“I have the honor to transmit to Your Honor the following observations in behalf of the President of the Republic: It having come to his knowledge that the commander of the detachment of marines of the Legation guard has orders to withdraw from the country by the next boat and basing himself on the convenience [desirability?] of general [maintaining?] order for the Republic he states with the urgency which the situation requires: 1. That by the Government of the United States as well as by the Government of Nicaragua it has been considered undesirable to withdraw the American marines before having established in the country a national guard (constabulary) which the Government not only is obligated to create but greatly desires to fulfill as is [was?] stated by the President in his inaugural address of January 1st. 2. The immediate withdrawal of the American marines among other lamentable consequences would cause: (a) uneasiness (desconfianza) persists [to persist?] in all the public businesses and activities and the foreign capital invested in the country, for although the Government counts with the majority of the country there are always persons who might avail themselves of the withdrawal of the constabulary [Legation guard?] to disturb the peace; (b) the depression of the customs bonds and depreciation of the currency; (c) the obligation of the Government to create without delay a standing army in expectation of possible disturbances or alterations of public order, an organization which would divert for its maintenance considerable sums of money which could be better employed in the development of resources or in the upkeep of public administration; (d) the origination of the unfounded, but not less dangerous to the Government and to the country though being unfounded, idea that there has been loosening of the firm ties of friendship which so fortunately exist between both governments and countries and which is so inspired [evident?] in the higher [terms of?] a recent note of the latter Legation?] under your worthy charge to this Ministry of Foreign Relations [in which] Your Honor kindly said in the name of your Government that the withdrawal of the American marines would not be effected without its due substitution by the organized National Guard in the form already established as desirable and convenient in order to prevent possible political and economic disturbances in the Republic.

In view of these observations the President states, Your Honor, his definite desire that the detachment of American marines be not [Page 622] withdrawn until there shall have been established under the guidance of American instructors the efficient service of the National Guard which would be very difficult if not impossible to effect in the absence of the Legation guard and he very earnestly and urgently begs Your Honor to be so good as to transmit this request by cable to Your Honor’s enlightened and cultured Government which at all times has given evidences of its sincere and esteemed friendship for Nicaragua and in this gratifying and satisfactory belief he permits himself to hope that whatever may be the circumstances which have caused this decision to be taken [by your Government] the gravity and urgency of the reasons which he indicates will impel its friendly spirit to a reconsideration of the orders already given in behalf of peace, order, well-being and benefit of the country, which apart from giving the high appreciation which is due this invariable sentiment on the part of the United States will certainly repay it with the full[est measure?] of its good will.

Kindly anticipate [convey?] to Your Honor’s Government the gratitude of mine which I very particularly extend to Your Honor and accept the assurances of my most distinguished consideration. (Signed) Salvador Castrillo.”

I informed President Solorzano informally that his note would receive the most careful consideration. I also inquired whether there would be any objection to the publication of his note to which he replied that he would consult his Cabinet and inform me this evening.4

  1. Permission was granted (file No. 124.1718/111); the note was released to the press on January 17.