President Diaz to the American Minister (Eberhardt)83


Mr. Minister: I have read with satisfaction the letter of the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, which was delivered to me by Your Excellency a few days ago in reply to the one which I addressed to him about matters of great interest to Nicaragua.85 I wish to refer to that part of this important document where President Coolidge tells me to make to you any pertinent suggestions regarding the best way of supervising the election of high officials which shall take place in this Republic in October 1928, and which forms an essential part of the plan adopted for the pacification and political reconstruction of Nicaragua.

Since General McCoy, the expert selected by President Coolidge to plan, direct and carry out the work of supervision, will arrive shortly it seems to me advisable to defer until he has formed his impressions in the country the discussion of the most important points and the outlining of plans to be followed to obtain greater efficiency in the work and to satisfy better the two political parties directly interested.

For the present I wish especially to call your attention to the desirability of effecting all necessary acts and measures in order that upon this act of supervision, that is, upon a free and fair election, there may be built up tomorrow on a permanent basis the general policy of the Government which formerly produced such happy results for Nicaragua when it was carried out with the friendly cooperation of [Page 357]the Government of the United States; that is to say, matters must be arranged in such a manner that whatever the result of the election may be, the man or party that wins must be bound by solemn pledges to follow a social and economic policy along the lines indicated by this cooperation of the Government of the United States which is regarded as a guarantee for the future of the people of Nicaragua. Without this, this very act, so helpful to the development of democracy, might endanger the maintenance of peace, because the new Government, with an inclination to destroy what has been done up to now and to separate itself from the influence of the United States, might seek the cooperation of other foreign elements which would be a menace for the future and a source of uneasiness.

With this accomplished, it is easy to discover ways by which General McCoy may obtain complete success in his work of supervision with which President Coolidge has entrusted him, and I assure you that from now on he will have at all times the willing and determined cooperation of the Government over which I preside.

Among those measures designated to maintain the system of cooperation which has been adopted in agreement with the American Government, is the continuance of the Guardia Nacional in the form in which it is now functioning under the direction and command of American officers under the supreme command of a high officer of the American Army, Gen. Elias E. Beadle. This guardia in time will become a disciplined and intelligent l)ody, adapted to all military duties and supporting the Constitution and the national institutions; but until it reaches a state of complete efficiency the peace of the Republic must be assured against any subversive attempts or other resistance. In my opinion, this should be attained by leaving a small body of American marines during the next Presidential term as a Legation guard as was done formerly. The happy results which we might obtain by the presence in the Capital of a small body of marines are indicated by the results already obtained in the 13 years of peace which Nicaragua enjoyed and which arose from the respect derived by the constitutional governments from the indirect assistance of this body of marines.

We have also seen how upon the withdrawal of these marines peace came to an end and the Republic was thrown into a state of terrible agitation and became involved in one of our most bloody and destructive civil wars.

I have set forth briefly these suggestions regarding the three points which I consider essential for the strengthening of the peace and a political regeneration, because I know that Your Excellency with your knowledge of the country, of its men, of its resources and of its difficulties, will be able to understand the question clearly and to explain [Page 358]it in a more detailed manner to President Coolidge and to the Department of State when you undertake your projected journey.

I extend my thanks at this time to Your Excellency for your efforts along the lines indicated, and I avail myself [etc.]

Adolfo Diaz
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Minister as an enclosure to his despatch No. 468, Sept. 3, 1927; received September 19.
  2. File translation revised.
  3. Ante, pp. 353 and 350.