Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Gordon S. Reid of the Division of Central America and Panama Affairs

Participants: Sr. Dr. Don Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa, Nicaraguan Ambassador.
Spruille Braden, Assistant Secretary of State.
Mr. Reid—CPA

Ambassador Sevilla Sacasa called on Mr. Braden today to acquaint him with the latest information of the political situation in Nicaragua.

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The Ambassador expressed to Mr. Braden at great length the desire of President Somoza to reach an agreement with the Opposition which would prevent any rumors of electoral malpractice and reminded Mr. Braden that Ambassador Warren had been asked to aid in this attempt at conciliation. He stated that despite the President’s most sincere efforts, his conciliatory hand had been refused by the Opposition and, in turn, General Chamorro had threatened revolution, the use of incendiary bombs and terror tactics leading to civil war.

Somoza wants no revolution and is attempting to assure free elections in Nicaragua and to turn over the presidency in an orderly manner, the Ambassador went on, yet he is faced with threats everywhere and may be called upon to use force to keep order. His opponents will then unjustly charge him with dictatorial practices. The Ambassador further stated that United States newsmen have been invited to be on the scene and he seemed to feel that representatives of the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune and Time Magazine would be present.6

Mr. Braden stated that a revolution would be looked upon by the whole hemisphere as a catastrophe and a breach of the democratic processes that have been built up on these two continents.

. . . . . . .

The Ambassador stated to the writer later that it was Somoza’s desire to keep Mr. Braden frankly and fully informed to offset the many rumors which they were certain would reach his ears from the Opposition.

  1. In telegram 41, February 1, 11 a.m., Ambassador Warren reported as follows: “Somoza has striven to please American representatives by issuing special press cards, instruction to telegraph and cable companies to facilitate transmission of their uncensored messages, and by offers of unrestricted transportation to any part of the republic.” (817.00/2–147)