The Ambassador in Nicaragua (Warren) to the Secretary of State

No. 674

Sir: I have the honor … now to submit a summary review of the present situation.

This morning the Republic, judging by responsible reports, is calm. The Presidential campaign2 is well under way. The country is immersed in that campaign as only a Central American republic can be. …

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President Somoza. General Somoza has been forced by the combined efforts of the old-line Conservatives and Independent Liberals to renounce his candidacy for the next Presidential term. Likewise, he has been forced to go through the form of restoring freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. The opposition is determined that there are two more concessions that he shall make. First, he shall withdraw completely from the Guardia Nacional.3 The opposition feels that so long as he holds an important position in the Guardia, Somoza influence will continue in Nicaragua regardless of who is the President. Renouncement of his intention to remain in the Guardia is the next trench the opposition hopes to take. Secondly, he shall grant supervised elections. The opposition means by “supervised elections” elections carried out under the eyes or direction of friendly American Governments—the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, and perhaps other countries have been suggested [Page 1069] as suitable supervisers. It can be taken for a certainty that the President will concede no more than he is forced to. If the opposition is strong enough, he will renounce his Guardia position. If he is compelled, he will, as a last concession, grant supervised elections.4

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United States. The position of the United States remains today a factor which every thinking Nicaraguan has in mind. Somoza wants to show that his administration has the support of the United States. Despite anything to the contrary, he will continue to try to convince the Nicaraguan people that his Government stands well with the United States. The old-line Conservatives understand the position of the United States Government and take at face value the statements made by the President, the Secretary of State, and Mr. Braden.5 Despite this, they look at every incident from the viewpoint of its possible effect on the local political situation. The Independent Liberals want to feel that they have the moral support of the United States in the present campaign. They believe what we say with regard to our interest in democratic government, but they are always afraid that we won’t remember that democratic government in Nicaragua means the triumph of the Independent Liberal-Conservative opposition to General Somoza.

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Respectfully yours,

Fletcher Warren
  1. The Presidential election was scheduled for February 2, 1947.
  2. A non-partisan constabulary, organized and trained by American officers at the request of Nicaragua, in accordance with a 1927 agreement; for press release issued by the Department of State, January 2, 1933, disclaiming further responsibility regarding the Guardia Nacional following the evacuation of Nicaragua by the United States Marines, see Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. v, p. 848.
  3. Guarantees of free and supervised elections were demanded in separate notes addressed to President Somoza on April 7 by the Conservative and Independent Liberal Parties; a copy of the demand by the Directorate of the Conservative Party for the cooperation of the “United States, Uruguay, Guatemala and other American countries” in effecting free elections, was transmitted to the Department in despatch 727, April 12, 1946, from Managua, not printed.
  4. Spruille Braden, Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs.