817.00/3383a: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to the American Missions in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Salvador

On October 25, General Chamorro seized the fortress dominating Managua and informed the American Minister that it was his express purpose to drive the Liberals from the cabinet and restore the Conservative Party to the power which it enjoyed before the last election. He stated that he wished Solorzano to remain President and himself to be appointed Minister of War and to have complete control of all arms. The American Minister immediately informed him that any Government assuming power by force would not be recognized by the Government of the United States. Chamorro forced Solorzano to sign a joint document agreeing (1) that the coalition pacts should be broken and be considered as of no value henceforth; (2) that the Government be entirely Conservative; (3) that full amnesty be granted to all participants in his military operations; (4) that the Government pay Chamorro 10,000 cordobas for the expenses of his uprising besides paying the troops; (5) that Chamorro be made General in Chief of the Army. Chamorro thus gained complete control. The middle of November he sent 1200 men to Leon and stated that they would be held there until Vice President Sacasa who was then in hiding should resign and he intimated that if milder means could not produce Sacasa’s resignation sterner measures might be adopted toward relatives and friends of the Vice President. Sacasa escaped and is now in the United States.

Chamorro was elected Senator on January 3, and states his intention of being elected first designado on January 11, whereupon he will cause Solorzano to resign and through intimidation will keep Sacasa from returning to the country and he will thus be President.

The Legation in Managua has been instructed to inform Chamorro that the United States would not recognize any Government headed by him since such a government would be founded on a coup d’etat [Page 781] and hence is debarred of recognition under the General Treaty of Peace and Amity of 1923.2 The Nicaraguan Minister in Washington has also been definitely told that Chamorro will not be recognized if he assumes the presidency and it is hoped that this categoric statement made both here and in Managua may prove effective in preventing his taking this step. The Department feels that the signatories of the 1923 Treaty should make clear to Chamorro their position in the matter and it hopes that the Government to which you are accredited will instruct its representative in Managua by telegraph to tell Chamorro immediately that he will not be recognized by it should he assume the presidency during the present presidential term of office. This statement should be made before January 11, and should also be made public. The Legation at Managua reports on January 5,3 that Chamorro maintains that he can obtain recognition from the other Central American States.

  1. See Conference on Central American Affairs, Washington, December 4, 1922–February 7, 1923 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1923), p. 287.
  2. Telegram not printed.