Memorandum of Conversation, by Assistant Secretary of State Armour, Political Adviser, United States Delegation, Rio de Janeiro Conference


Dr. Sevilla Sacasa having expressed through Mr. Sanders75 a desire to see me, I had a talk with him this morning at the Copacabana Hotel. He brought up three points:

The question of presentation of the credentials of his delegation as representatives of the new government in Nicaragua. He asked me whether I felt that they should present their request for decision on this point. I said that I thought that no useful purpose would be served since I did not believe there had been any radical change since [Page 872] the decision taken after the vote at the Pan American Union in Washington.77
He reminded me that when he had seen me in Washington he had told me that General Somoza had for some time been planning to leave the country in order to have a serious operation and he wondered whether this would not be a good time for him to do so. In other words, whether the departure of Somoza would not help in clearing up the situation and making recognition easier. I told him that I entirely agreed: that so long as General Somoza remained in the country it would be difficult to convince the other governments withholding recognition that any steps taken were not under the direction of General Somoza himself. I told Dr. Sevilla Sacasa that while of course I did not wish to appear to be telling them how they should arrange their affairs, I believed that if after the departure of General Somoza they would broaden the government by bringing in representatives of certain of the other groups this might also improve the situation. The important thing was to convince us and the governments of the other American Republics that the Government in Nicaragua was representative of the will of the majority of the people and that naturally the broadening by the inclusion of other elements in the Government would appear to be a step in this direction.

. . . . . . .

N[orman] A[rmour]
  1. William Sanders, Associate Chief of the Division of International Organization Affairs; Adviser at the Rio Conference.
  2. In Airgram A–308, September 2, the Chargé reported as follows: “Ministers of State of the Argüello Government detained since the Somoza coup d’état were released Friday evening [August 29]. This action apparently taken owing to the decision of the Rio Conference not to accept the Argüello delegation or representatives of the de facto Government. Those released include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Leon DeBayle, who for the past three weeks has been confined in General Somoza’s fortress residence. Bernbaum”. (817.00/9–247)