The Minister in Honduras ( Lay ) to the Secretary of State

No. 467

Sir: I have the honor to report that since sending my despatches No. 412 and 443 of March 2 and April 4, respectively,1 regarding the nomination of the Liberal and Nationalist candidates for President in the coming elections, there have been a few important developments in the political situation. Nearly every member of the President’s cabinet has indicated by some action that he will lend his support to the Zuñiga HueteParedes ticket and some of them command a substantial number of votes from the more conservative liberal element. One prominent Liberal, however, who has so far refused to join the Huete ranks is Díaz Chávez, the Vice President, who has a strong conservative following and it is predicted that he may still launch his candidacy within the next two weeks. If he should run, the Liberal vote will be widely split as Díaz Chávez would not only poll a large vote among conservative Liberals but also could count upon Nationalists who do not favor General Carías. This split in the Liberal ranks was expected by Carías but now that Zuñiga Huete appears to be the sole Liberal candidate and is the most difficult opponent to defeat in a regular election, and the only one from whom the Nationalists fear a coup d’état, their former confidence in success has subsided and they are redoubling their efforts to strengthen their appeal to the electorate.…

In spite of Huete’s added support from the conservative wing of the Liberal party and the effective campaign he is conducting, he undoubtedly cannot poll as large a vote as General Carías in a free election. Many Nationalists and even Liberals and foreign merchants contend that before election day, possibly in August or September, when Huete realizes that he cannot rely on a victory at the polls, he will arrange a coup d’état and install a figurehead as President who [Page 710] will conduct the elections to insure a victory for Huete. On the other hand those who have no confidence in the effectiveness of the President’s efforts to insure an honest election, feel that Zuñiga Huete will take his chances at the polls to be elected through corrupt practices which the President cannot prevent and that the Nationalists will protest with force and start an uprising.

I will withhold my opinion on these predictions until there are clearer indications that either of them are likely to materialize.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Respectfully yours,

Julius G. Lay
  1. Not printed.