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


357. Since the municipal elections and especially since Chamorro’s return, the efforts of the Chamorro Conservatives to obstruct the efforts of the Department to place the two parties on an equal basis for the 1928 elections have become more and more active. Gutierrez Navas, a prominent supporter of Chamorro, has published articles showing the unconstitutionality of appointing foreigners to government positions. Also, the Conservative directorate in a letter to me [Page 384] approving the establishment of the guardia for a period of 12 years pointed out that it had constitutional objections to certain features of the agreement.7 Chamorrista members of Congress have been repeatedly quoted by the press as stating that they would oppose anything proposed by the Government of the United States.

Yesterday the press stated that President Diaz proposed to make a trip to the United States in the interest of the Conservative Party and that he would place the Executive power in the hands of a designado elected by Congress. The Foreign Minister admitted to me that this had been discussed, and that it had been urged by Chamorro who said that he had been led to believe from conversations which he had had with persons in the Department that it would be helpful to the party. The object of the proposed action is clear. President Diaz has been fair and moderate in his treatment of the Liberals and has cooperated loyally with the Legation. The Chamorristas need a man who will not be hampered by existing understandings with the Legation and who will pursue a totally different policy. Moreover, President Diaz is the principal obstacle in the way of Chamorro’s nominating a person of his own choice for the Presidency. Since his present position is not an agreeable one, Diaz might be inclined to resign.

In a very informal manner I have already made it clear that I felt that the resignation of President Diaz would be very unfortunate, but that it would be helpful were I authorized to convey to the President a note to the President from the Department. Since the appointment of a Chamorrista Conservative would alarm the Liberals greatly and might cause the party as a whole to lose faith in the execution of the Stimson agreement,8 the presence of Diaz in the Presidency is an essential feature of the entire arrangement to assure free elections. Our task would be made infinitely more difficult if not impossible of satisfactory fulfillment thereby.

  1. See post, pp. 433 ff.
  2. See letter to General Moncada, May 11, p. 345.