817.00/5–2647: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Nicaragua

us urgent

108. In conversation with. Nicaraguan Chargé30 this afternoon Asst Sec Braden expressed Depts very serious concern regarding developments reported urtel 204 May 26. He pointed out that Argüello had taken office after elections which had been characterized in many quarters as questionable but which Somoza himself had declared to be free and honest, and less than a month later spectacle is reported of Somoza’s snatching power away from Pres whose candidacy he himself sponsored. Allegation Somoza took this action because he was “forced to take drastic measures to protect his life” hardly impressive. Mr. Braden emphasized unfortunate effects this action can have and our profound preoccupation with trend events are taking.

Use of Guardia Nacional deplored. Chargé informed we continue to recognize Argüello.

While this Govt will not intervene and wishes to avoid any steps which could be interpreted as intervention, you are authorized in your discretion to bring the above to the attention of Sevilla Sacasa.

You should endeavor to see Pres Argüello (taking into account of course necessary precautions for your own safety) in order to inform him of conversation with Chargé.

This telegram is forwarded with reference to and in amplification of your conversation with Asst. Secy Braden this afternoon.31

  1. Col. Camilo González-Cervantes.
  2. Following the Nicaraguan Chargé’s visit, Mr. Braden that afternoon called Mr. Bernbaum on the telephone and informed him of his conversation. Mr. Bernbaum said that former President Somoza was in complete control of the situation and that Argüello was being held in the presidential palace incommunicado (817.00/5–2647).