817.00/4543: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Nicaragua (Eberhardt)


35. Legation’s number 31, February 7, 4 p.m. The following message has been telegraphed to Admiral Latimer by the Navy Department:

“Minister Eberhardt reports heavy engagement at Chinandega which has resulted in interruption of railway and telegraph communication between Corinto and Managua. The Nicaraguan Minister at Washington has intimated that the Government of the United States should aid in this emergency, at least to the extent of reopening these lines of communication. The Department has informed the Nicaraguan Minister that the Government of Nicaragua is exclusively responsible for maintaining order and uninterrupted communication and that the Diaz Government cannot expect the forces of the United States to participate in aggressive measures against the Nicaraguan revolutionists. The Department has assumed that you have taken every necessary precaution to see that the American forces do not become involved in any direct action against the revolutionists.”

The Department has deemed it extremely important that you impress upon President Diaz the fact that the American forces in Nicaragua will not under any circumstances be drawn into the position of engaging with Government troops against the revolutionary forces. The maintenance of order outside the neutral zones already established is the special and exclusive responsibility of the Government of Nicaragua. Should the revolutionists definitely occupy and hold Chinandega, or any other position along the line of communication between Managua and Corinto, the American forces will not be used to dislodge them. Nevertheless, the Government of the United States will notify them that they will be expected to protect American lives and property at any place under their control and will be expected to maintain uninterrupted communication so far as the maintenance and supply of American forces in Managua is concerned.