The President of Nicaragua (Sacasa) to the Secretary of State68



The National Guard was established in this country, as the only military and police force of the Republic and organized with field and company officers of the regular forces of the United States for the purpose of contributing to the maintenance of peace, and in conformity with the Agreement concluded on December 22, 1927, between the Government of Nicaragua and that of the United States.69

On November 5, 1932, the day before that of the presidential election of that year, the candidates for President and Vice President of the Republic of the two parties between which public opinion is divided—the Conservative and the Liberal—signed an agreement70 under the auspices of the United States Minister at Managua, Mr. Matthew E. Hanna, whereby both parties agreed that the National Guard would continue to function until December 31, 1936, as the sole military and police force of the Republic, with a non-partizan character, charged with assuring the rights of the nation, the observance of the law, the maintenance of public order and with guaranteeing the functions of the authorities.

Both the said agreement and the replacement of the American field and company officers by Nicaraguan field and company officers formed a part of the plan approved by the Government of the United States and that of Nicaragua. Together with the written objections to the plan of organization of the new command of the National Guard, which I duly presented, I accepted it, as candidate and in [Page 826] the event of governing the Republic, being convinced of the keen interest and the good will of the United States for the conservation of peace in Nicaragua.

During the American intervention, the National Guard subordinated itself to the control and command of the President of the Republic, in accordance with the provisions in Article 109 of the Constitution.71

On January 1, 1933, coincidentally with the inauguration of the present Government and with the evacuation of the national territory by the American Marines,72 the National Guard was placed under the command of Nicaraguan field and company officers, with General Anastasio Somoza as Director in Chief, which officers had been appointed previously, so that they might be trained.

Ever since the Director in Chief of the National Guard, General Somoza, began his work in favor of his candidacy, he has been usurping the functions which belong to me, as Commander in Chief of the Army, disregarding orders emanating from my authority. The sedition which occurred day before yesterday at Bluefields, with appearances of a popular rising, was fomented by the National Guard, for the purpose of deposing, as they did in fact, the governmental authorities of that region, replacing them with persons favoring the candidacy of their chief, General Somoza; and they are already following the same procedure in other sections of the Republic, as this is the announced plan which the National Guard would put into practice, with the object of establishing a military government or one subject to the pressure of militarism, in contempt of legitimate authority which the National Guard swore to defend.

At any moment blood will probably be shed, anarchy will reign in the country and latent communism, favored by those events, will find a favorable field in which to develop with all facility, imperilling not only this Nation but the others of Central America.

As the institutions and society, seriously threatened, have been left to my authority without sufficient military support to defend them; and as I am certain of the interest which the peace of Nicaragua inspires in the enlightened Government of the United States, I do not hesitate to request of it a joint action of friendly cooperation with the governments indicated in the note at the foot of this document, in order to settle the great conflict in question, in the most appropriate and effective way, for the purpose of avoiding the evils which might be suffered in the near future by this nation which has both given and received so many proofs of friendship as regards the American [Page 827] Government and people, which cannot but count in advance on the appreciation and gratitude of the Nicaraguan Government and people.

Juan B. Sacasa

Note: A similar communication has been addressed to the Governments of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

  1. Handed to the Secretary of State by the Nicaraguan Chargé, June 1. See memorandum of June 1, by the Secretary of State, p. 830.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1927, vol. iii, p. 434.
  3. Ibid., 1932, vol. v, p. 887.
  4. Nicaragua, Constitucidn Politico, de la Republica de Nicaragua (Managua, Imprenta Nacional, 1930), p. 29.
  5. See Foreign Relations, 1932, vol. v, pp. 852 ff.