The Ambassador in Nicaragua ( Warren ) to the Secretary of State
Sir: I have the honor to report that the now generally conceded failure of Dr. Enoc Aguado’s trip to Washington has led to increased anti-American feeling in opposition circles and to a marked sense of relief in Government quarters.
As reported in the Embassy’s despatch no. 1412 of February 15, 1947,18 the Embassy’s frequent reiteration to Dr. Aguado and other opposition leaders of the United States’ non-intervention policy had [Page 847] apparently dispelled their previous hopes of unilateral United States action on their behalf. However, whether through a willful policy of deceit on the part of opposition leaders, or whether through a genuine hope of a sudden reversal in United States policy, Aguado’s trip and subsequent conversations in Washington was allowed to lead to a growing hope amongst the rank and file that the United States Government might refuse to recognize the Argüello regime after all. When these hopes were dashed by the designation of a special American emissary to the inauguration, speculation centered around the possibility that the United States might accord only conditional recognition, based on the condition that General Somoza relinquish his position as Jefe-Director of the Guardia Nacional. Most recently even this hope has faded and it is now generally acknowledged that Aguado failed completely in obtaining United States aid. With this realization has come a marked increase in the already present anti-American feeling in Opposition ranks and a tendency to accuse the United States of hypocrisy, selfishness and insincerity. Typical Opposition feeling is displayed in the enclosed translation19 of an editorial which recently appeared on the front page of the Conservative El Heraldo.
While the opposition has thus come to condemn the United States for the failure of Aguado’s trip, the Government has loudly applauded the United States’ steadfast refusal to intervene in Nicaraguan affairs. Although at first a certain nervousness was displayed lest Dr. Aguado discredit the Government and perhaps even secure outside assistance, confidence returned with the announcement that the United States would be represented at the inauguration on May 1. Current Government attitude was summarized by President Somoza in his last press interview, copies of which are enclosed,19 in which he comments extensively on Dr. Aguado’s trip. In answer to certain statements allegedly made by Aguado in the United States and in reply to local Opposition speculation growing from the trip, President Somoza bluntly and emphatically made the following points:
- He never had pictures of Hitler and Mussolini in his office, as Dr. Aguado has reportedly asserted in the United States.
- His relations with the notorious Nazi, Wilhelm von Brayman, were exclusively of a commercial nature.
- He has fulfilled his promises of not seeking reelection and of giving free elections “to the extent humanly possible”.
- “With respect to (retiring from) the Command of the Army, I have never made any promise to anybody nor to the Department of State, for I could not make such a promise as long as I was not asked, and the Department of State has been very far from asking such a [Page 848] question, conduct which truly brings honor to that Government, not asking of me what is a matter only for the future government of Dr. Argüello”.
- “If (the United States) refused to intervene in the most important question of electing a President, how much less would it be disposed to intervene in the appointment of an official, which, as I have said before, is a matter for the President of the Republic”.
- Dr. Aguado has gotten nowhere in the United States and “I hope that this defeat will teach Dr. Aguado a lesson and that he will return to this country with more disposition to work for the prestige and advancement of his native country”.