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

No. 508

The Department transcribes below two paragraphs of a report dated at San José, Costa Rica, April 12, 1929, prepared by the Military Attaché, Major Fred T. Cruse, with respect to the activities of Sandino.

The Department will be pleased to receive from the Legation any comment it may desire to make with reference to the reports, mentioned in the second paragraph, by Escamilla, Plata, and Flores:

“The original Sandino situation, the one which might have kept the United States in trouble with Latin America for years, has ceased to exist. Sandino, as a Latin-American hero fighting the whole power of the United States as represented by the Marines, is finished. The jolt that did his heroic standing the most harm was the reports made by the commanders of Moncada’s three volunteer forces after their first campaign in Nueva Segovia.

[Page 563]

Of these three commanders Escamilla is a Mexican, Plata a Honduran, and Flores a Nicaraguan. All three, in separate reports, stated that the appalling destruction in the Segovias had been done, not by the Marines, but by Sandino and his men; that these outrages were senseless and unnecessary and clearly committed by the worst kind of bandits; and finally that since the Chipote fight in December 1927, Sandino and his men had not been fighting the marines at all, but simply harrying a lot of defenseless people of his own race. There is no doubt that all three commanders were genuinely shocked at the condition of the country which had been occupied by the Sandino element.”

[File copy not signed]