817.00/4995: Telegram

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

127. Diaz may state to Chamorro that he has notified the Department of State and the Legation of his message as you suggest in your 205, August 20, 9 a.m. In my opinion, he is not eligible under Article 104 of the Constitution of Nicaragua87 because he was de facto president and held the office during a part of the term preceding the next election. Unless the Constitution means this, it would have little effect because if one could hold the office during a part of the term, then resign and become a candidate, it would entirely nullify the intent of this provision. We refused to recognize him because he obtained the office in violation of the treaty. I think as a last resort I should be willing to notify Chamorro that the Department does not consider him eligible under the Constitution and, therefore, could not recognize him as president, should he be elected. For the present, however, it is probably sufficient for you to authorize Diaz to make the statement he requested.

  1. Translation of article 104 of the Nicaraguan Constitution reads: “No citizen who holds the office of President, either as the duly elected incumbent or accidentally, shall be eligible to the office of President or Vice President for the next term.”—Foreign Relations, 1912, pp. 997, 1005.