817.01/8–2147: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Nicaragua


A–159. For your information the following telegram was sent to the U.S. Delegation at the Rio Conference63 in reply to a request from the Delegation asking for the Department’s views:

“It has been our consistent position, both in Pan Am Union debate prior to Rio64 and in our informal conversations with Sevilla Sacasa and members of diplomatic corps here, that we would ‘follow the majority’ in so far as possible in connection with question of Nicaraguan attendance at Rio and, for that matter, eventual recognition. We have expressed hope both in circular telegram to our missions in field65 and in Wright’s statement before Pan Am Union66 that there would exist in Nicaragua a Govt recognized by majority of American Republics in sufficient time to permit Nicaragua’s attendance at Rio. We continue to feel that this is wise policy and that our present attitude should be very judicious one waiting for substantial body of Govts to act without our giving impression of taking lead in manner which might be interpreted as pressure or tutelage. Our information here is that Honduras should be added to list of countries you mention urtel 26, Aug 19,67 as ones not likely to recognize new Govt. Honduras will of course go along with majority but we have definite information that Caceres’ instructions are to follow our lead.

“Telegram went forward today giving you composition of ‘Argüello’ delegation which is going solely as observers. Also Dept has been informed that Argüello Vargas, who, as you know, is Vice Pres in new regime, will attempt to present credentials tomorrow in Rio as representative of newly elected Govt. We are told that if he is not accepted, he will present credentials as representative of ‘Nicaragua’ and credentials will state that acceptance does not imply recognition of regime but rather recognition only of right of Nicaragua to have a delegation seated.

“In all honesty we must take into account fact that, like it or not, present regime in Nicaragua has all attributes and qualities of stable de facto Govt. It is maintaining public order. It is so far as can be ascertained meeting its international commitments, et cetera. Given the situation in Nicaragua and admitting that the regime is certainly a puppet one and a creature of Somoza (using oppressive measures such as recent detention of leading members of opposition), one of questions for us to decide is whether it is likely that in foreseeable future there will be any other stable regime in Nicaragua composed of other than these same or similar elements. Without condoning methods [Page 868] by which regime has placed itself in power, it is our view that likelihood of strictly constitutional and more representative Govt in near future is slight.”

  1. Telegram 41, August 19, 8 p.m., to the United States Delegation, Petropolis (Brazil), p. 39.
  2. For data on decisions reached at close of debate at the Pan American Union, see circular telegram, July 29, 1947, 2 a.m., p. 27.
  3. Circular telegram of July 24, 1947, p. 24.
  4. Statement by the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Wright), July 28, not printed.
  5. Not printed.