President Roosevelt to the President of Nicaragua (Somoza)

My Dear Mr. President: It was a great pleasure to receive from the hands of your distinguished Foreign Minister, Dr. Mariano Argüello, your two good letters of February 26 and February 2815 in which you describe certain problems with which your Government is currently faced. First of all, let me express to you my appreciation of the opportunity which you have afforded me and the officials of my Government directly concerned to talk over these matters with so competent and understanding a person as Dr. Argüello. His mission has, in my opinion, been highly successful.

The two principal matters dealt with in your letters are as follows:

The importation of necessary materials and equipment for the Nicaraguan gold mines; and
The construction of a highway joining the Pacific and Atlantic sections of Nicaragua.

I am happy to say that both of these problems appear to have been satisfactorily disposed of.

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With reference to the first of them, it has been agreed by the War Production Board that the Nicaraguan gold mining industry will continue to receive sufficient equipment and materials, so far as these are available in the United States, to continue operations at normal levels. This decision reflects the importance of this industry to the Nicaraguan economy and the desire of the Government of the United States to cooperate to the fullest degree possible in the maintenance of that economy.

With regard to the road question, the Acting Secretary of State has just had the pleasure of signing with Dr. Argüello an exchange of notes16 in accordance with which my Government will, at its expense, construct a paved road from San Benito to Rama, and will survey the route for a road from Rama to El Bluff in order that your Government may be in a position to reach a decision as to the feasibility and desirability of its undertaking the construction of such a road. This exchange of notes envisages a practical and complete solution of the problem which we discussed in May of 1939 and which has since been the subject of careful consideration by the appropriate authorities of my Government. With the completion of the Rama-San Benito road, I am confident you will agree with me that we may both feel that our efforts have been successful and that an objective which we have both long viewed as being to the very great advantage both of Nicaragua and of the United States, and of great interest from the point of view of hemisphere defense, has been attained in a completely satisfactory manner.

I have also been informed that through an exchange of notes the necessary details for the cooperative completion of the Inter-American Highway through Nicaragua have been agreed to. I believe that the work on these two highway projects will be of the greatest value in promoting the economic well-being of Nicaragua and that upon their completion new sources of wealth and commerce will be opened up to the active enterprise of the industrious and forwardlooking people of your country.

It gives me pleasure also at this time very particularly to express my appreciation to you and to your fellow citizens for the wholehearted cooperation and the enthusiastic support which you have unstintedly afforded to the people and to the Government of the United States in the struggle in which we are engaged side by side.

With assurances [etc.]

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. Letter of February 26 not printed.
  2. Notes exchanged were dated April 8 and 18; see infra.