713.1311/190: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua (Lane) to the Acting Secretary of State

2. Chargé d’Affaires of Honduras informed me confidentially this morning that he had been instructed by his Government to ascertain the point of view of Nicaraguan Government regarding Costa Rican denunciation of Central American treaty of 1923 and also to obtain the opinion of this Legation. Dr. Gomez Osorio added that he had conferred with President Sacasa and that both had the following impression:

As under article 18 of treaty denunciations would not appear possible until January 1, 1934, no denunciation can take effect until one year after that date (January 1, 1935).
Treaty is thereby violated by Costa Rican action but is not broken. I told Chargé d’Affaires that the interpretation of the terms of a treaty is outside of the province of this Legation.

Prior to Chargé’s call I had made appointment to see President Sacasa on another matter at noon. He referred to having received telegram from Mrs. Sacasa, who flew to Tegucigalpa on Friday at the invitation of President of Honduras, stating that she had just received an invitation to visit San Salvador on her return trip and proposed to do so. The President said that her telegram did not indicate whether invitation had been extended by President Martínez but that in any case visit would be purely private and should not be given any further significance. He said he did not propose to recognize the present government of El Salvador. (He said he had no official notification that Costa Rica had recognized General Martínez government.) He stated he considers that treaty is an assurance against revolutions and particularly against military coups d’etat and as such should be kept in force, perhaps with such modifications as would enable all Central American countries to adhere in harmony with their respective constitutional provisions. He added that he is certain Guatemala and Honduras will act with Nicaragua in supporting treaty. He expressed his regret that all Central American governments had not acted in identical manner, concerted action among them being in his opinion essential to their good relations with one another. The President’s statement regarding Nicaraguan attitude was voluntary on his part, I not wishing, in the absence of instructions to the contrary, to have him infer from any question on my part that we expected Nicaragua to adopt any attitude different from that which has been maintained here. I did not mention to the President my visit from Honduran Chargé d’Affaires.

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Foregoing repeated to other missions in Central America.

With respect to reports regarding friction between Nicaragua and Honduras, Chargé told me he had given statement this morning to Associated Press that such reports are unfounded. The President likewise said that one reason for Mrs. Sacasa’s trip to Honduras was to give evidence of good relations existing. As Sandino’s so-called representative Dr. Zepeda has told me of possibility of armed conflict between the two countries it is possible that such a condition may be a pretext for his having requested 20,000 rounds of ammunition from the Government (General Somoza told me that he had learned confidentially that Sandino5 would refuse to turn over any arms to Government on February 2, 1934).

Foregoing paragraph repeated to Tegucigalpa.

  1. See pp. 526 ff.