817.1051/913: Telegram

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

28. My 24, April 21, 4 p.m. General Somoza informed me this evening that court-martial today (presided over by Colonel Reyes and having three Conservative officers as members out of a total of seven) sentenced Lieutenant Cuadra to be shot; that he has approved verdict and has sent it to the President, now at Momotombo, for final decision. (Somoza admitted that Cuadra is an epileptic but said that as he was involved in the Castillo plot and pardoned on condition of future good behavior severity now is necessary in order to maintain discipline. Somoza said that he has written confession from Cuadra confessing attempted rebellion).

Somoza confirms information which I have received from other sources (including Minister for Foreign Affairs) that this abortive insurrection is similar to Castillo and Lopez plots, indicating that Alosto element in Guardia is responsible; he added that reduction of wages of privates from 12 to 10 cordobas per month is alleged by some as reason for outbreak but that Cuadra was responsible for inciting the troops. He said that 20 men are imprisoned in connection with plot and that 3 non-commissioned officers will be court-martialed tomorrow.

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Somoza said that if President should weaken as in Castillo and Lopez cases, “I throw up my hands”. I shall telegraph President’s comments on the situation on my return from Momotombo where we are visiting him Wednesday.