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

No. 941

Sir: Supplementing my despatches Nos. 927 and 934 of October 8 and October 14, 1932, with respect to cooperation between the two political parties in Nicaragua to maintain peace and order in the country following the next elections, I have the honor to report that conversations between representatives of the National Boards of the two parties have taken place and, according to information supplied by Dr. Sacasa, the Liberal Presidential candidate, the respective Boards are now considering a draft agreement covering steps to be taken toward the pacification of the northern area.

Dr. Sacasa showed me the draft agreement which contained principally the following points:

The parties will unite in an effort to solve the problem of pacification.
This problem is declared to be the principal task confronting the Nicaraguan Government.
Pacific and conciliatory methods are to be preferred and an effort will be made to treat with Sandino along these lines, immediately.
If pacific methods fail the parties are to unite with the President elect in carrying out some other method.
The minority party pledges its unconditional support to the authorities elected in the coming elections.
The agreement is to be submitted to the Governing Boards of the two parties and to their respective Presidential candidates.

In conversation with Dr. Sacasa, I suggested the importance of insuring that concentration by the representatives of the parties on the problem of pacification alone would not lessen interest in the other topics to be discussed by the parties. He said he would bear this in mind and appeared to continue to recognize the importance of the entire conciliatory movement to the success of the Administration which comes into office on January 1, 1933.

In conversations with various political leaders recently, new information has become available to the Legation concerning the origin of the present conciliatory plan. On June 30, 1932, Emiliano Chamorro and Carlos Cuadra Pasos, representing the Conservative Party, and Juan Bautista Sacasa, Leonardo Arguello, Enoc Aguado, and Rodolfo Espinosa R., representing the Liberal Party, signed an agreement in Managua obligating themselves to use their influence as public officials or private citizens to bring about immediate minority representation in the new government and to assist in the maintenance of peace throughout the country. A copy and translation of this agreement, as published in La Prensa on October 9, 1932, are enclosed.

The movement thus initiated made little progress at the time. However, after the two parties had nominated their candidates, interest in the question of cooperation between the parties was revived and I had a number of conversations on the subject with the various leaders of the two political parties.

In one conversation with Dr. Carlos Cuadra Pasos, he brought out the circumstance that while both parties were sincerely desirous of reaching a pre-election agreement providing for cooperation between the parties, each group hesitated to take the initiative for fear that it would be interpreted by the public at large as indicating lack of confidence in the group’s chances at the elections in November. I then suggested that the parties endeavor to arrange that a third group, one not closely associated with either party, extend an invitation to the two parties simultaneously. Dr. Cuadra Pasos immediately communicated with the leaders of the Patriotic Group with the results reported in my two previous despatches.

The movement toward cooperation between the parties after 1932 continues to hold the public interest and there is continued optimism that it may result in a unification of the hitherto conflicting political [Page 840] interests in the country which will insure peace and order following the evacuation of the Marines at the end of this year.

Respectfully yours,

Matthew E. Hanna

Copy of Agreement Between Leaders of the Two Political Parties for Cooperation of the Parties

We the undersigned members of the two militant political parties, in attention to the tendencies evidently manifested in public opinion and to our own personal convictions, in the sentiment to remove the obstacles that have impeded the unity of our people, and of opening a new way to the democratic stability of the nation which will guarantee peace and the well-being of all Nicaraguans, through a system which permits in the government just and necessary cooperation by the minority parties, solemnly agree:

Each one of the undersigned, whatever should be the official position which he obtains during the approaching elections of Supreme Authorities, or as a simple citizen within his party, will endeavor, beginning January 1 next, through all effective means which may offer themselves or which may be suggested, to bring about immediate representation of minorities in the government of the Republic; and to endeavor likewise that this system be incorporated as soon as possible in our Constitution.
Moved by a highly patriotic sentiment, any one of the undersigned who may belong to the party which wins in the elections, whether as a public functionary or as a simple citizen, deriving inspiration from sentiments of national brotherhood, will endeavor to see that just and friendly treatment is accorded the members of the minority party in order that the conciliation which is pursued should be stable and fruitful.
In the same manner, the undersigned who may be placed in the minority as a result of the next elections will influence their fellow party members, who, through a spirit of opposition, do not desire to recognize the authority of the government elected to change that attitude to one of cooperation which will tend to preserve peace and strengthen the foundations of our nationality.

  • Rod. Espinosa R.
  • Emiliano Chamorro
  • Leonardo Argüello
  • Juan Bautista Sacasa
  • E. Aguado
  • Carlos Cuadra Pasos

(Don Adolfo Diaz did not sign this agreement on account of his absence).