817.00/7958: Telegram

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

78. Department’s 15, February 26, 5 p.m. I fully appreciate Department’s point of view and am fully sympathetic with the Department’s broader aim. If I may seem to have over-emphasized my own view it is because I wished the Department fully to realize the gravity of the situation. I shall now endeavor to accomplish in personal conversations what I had hoped might have been done in a public statement.

Not with a view to persuading the Department to change its attitude but in order that the Department may fully understand the situation, I submit the following:

I had not meant to indicate to the Department that the rumor is current that we favor Somoza for the Presidency. Such a rumor has [Page 542] not reached me and I do not find any record of having so informed the Department. The feeling exists, however, that we favor the Guardia as contrasted with the Government, such feeling being chiefly of the following:

(a)
Our creation of the Guardia.
([b])
My having seen a great deal of Somoza (it is not recalled that I have seen the President many more times nor is it generally known that I have acquainted him with every meeting I have had with Somoza).
(c)
Silence as to our policy.
(d)
Feeling in the United States against Sandino. (e) Moncada’s having lunched with me on February 21.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs said to me this morning that it is not merely a matter of convincing Somoza but of convincing the whole Guardia which, according to him, is responsible for the circulation of the rumor that I am the intellectual author of the killing of Sandino. He said that the Guardia is convinced that I—and hence the United States Government—favors the Guardia as against the Government.

While I have no worthy evidence on the following point, it is possible that the view expressed in the Department’s instruction No. 7, of December 28, 1933,56 may have come to the knowledge of the Guardia: “It is the Department’s opinion, nevertheless, that the continued maintenance of a Guardia Nacional organized substantially as at present is important to the future peace and welfare of Nicaragua.” (As will be inferred from my letter to Wilson of February 3, I do not entirely share the Department’s view and consequently have not availed myself of the authority contained in the last paragraph of the instruction under reference.)

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

The Mexican Minister, who returned yesterday, said that the feeling in Salvador is strong against us because of my alleged complicity in the killing and added that the same sentiment exists throughout Central America.

Lane