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

No. 918

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram number 399 of July 36 giving the initial reaction to the Department’s reported announcement the previous day of a policy of non-intervention in Nicaragua’s electoral problem. There are enclosed copies of the press reports as well as of subsequent editorial comment in La Prensa (Conservative), La Nueva Prensa (freelance) and Novedades (Official).

As would have been expected, the report was greeted with dismay in opposition circles and with jubilation by the President. In both cases it was news only in the sense of confirming the fears of the former and in allaying those of the latter over the possibilities of a last minute change of U.S. policy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The official newspapers, Novedades and El Liberal Nationalista, hail the Department’s decision as confirmation of its non-intervention policy, repeat criticisms of the lack of patriotism displayed by the “Chamorristas” and “Libero-Chamorristas” in attempting to effect outside intervention and reiterate the President’s promises of free elections.

As pointed out in La Prensa failure of the mission to Washington has, by destroying the prevalent and enervating hope of outside assistance, brought home the necessity for self-reliance in solving the Nicaraguan electoral problem. It has, at least for the time being, played into Somoza’s hands by confirming to himself and to the Nicaraguan people that he will enjoy complete control of the country and electoral machinery without the fear of outside intervention. Realization of this will probably tend to further strengthen Somoza’s control by emphasizing the futility of opposition and suggesting the desirability of compromise on Somoza’s terms. This applies particularly to the interior where the inhabitants have for long been intimidated by the repressive and uncontested rule of the Guardia Nacional.

Respectfully yours,

Fletcher Warren
  1. Not printed.