817.00/8292: Telegram

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

89. My 88 September 28, 3 p.m. Substance of Somoza’s remarks as follows:

He is aware that plot has been hatched against him by those close to President which he thinks is to assassinate him. The President is ignorant of plot but will resist it when known to him. From now on he is not going to leave Campo de Marte and will take his orders by telephone from the President. (I asked “might it not constitute rebellion if he sends for you and you do not go?” He replied “If the President will say to you that he will guarantee my life in case I go then I will go.”) He is convoking the senior officers of the Guardia [Page 876] today to tell them to be on the alert for trouble. He has complete confidence in all departmental commanders and counts on the loyalty of 90 per cent of the Guardia. Word has come to him that his resignation will be requested. “If they want it they can have it tomorrow but I shall not be responsible for what will happen and if they think that I am a dog to be thrown to the tigers they are mistaken.” He has an understanding with Chamorro on whom he relies because each can be of material value to the other and with Moncada whom he does not trust. He will take no disloyal action against the President but on the other hand the President must not allow any disloyal action to be taken against him (Somoza). He is not afraid: he is afraid of being afraid in which case he cannot answer for his actions. He has told governing officials that if attempt is made to assassinate him the result will be worse than February 21st, 1934,81 with many more killed. No truth in report that he is circulating petition requesting to support his candidacy. (See my telegram 80.82)

Except for saying that I had heard rumors regarding unrest I did not divulge information recently received.

  1. Refers to assassination of Sandino; see telegram No. 57, February 22, 1934, 5 a.m., from the Minister in Nicaragua, Foreign Relations, 1934, vol. v, p. 529.
  2. September 26, 6 p.m., p. 871.