314.0022/1: Telegram

The Chargé in Guatemala (McCafferty) to the Secretary of State


96. Legation’s 95, December 12, 3 p.m. This afternoon, when General Jorge Ubico arrived from his plantation, he found that his house was surrounded by about eighty soldiers and police, so he came to the American Legation and requested protection and asylum. I thereupon took up the matter with Baudilio Palma and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and reminded them of their promise to me that [Page 173] persons who conducted themselves properly would not be molested. After my representations all the soldiers and police were removed except two. I was assured that General Ubico would have full protection but considering that Herlindo Solorzano, his bitter enemy, is in control I doubt very seriously whether this assurance can be actually carried out. I am convinced that General Ubico’s life is in grave danger. Many prominent Americans with whom I have discussed the matter are of the same opinion. Furthermore, if General Ubico were to be assassinated, it is certain that a revolution would follow. Therefore, with a view to avoiding bloodshed and disorder I am permitting General Ubico to have asylum in the American Legation while danger exists, unless I am instructed otherwise.