Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of American Republic Affairs (Daniels)

I called on Señor Sevilla Sacasa1 at his residence last night at nine o’clock by appointment made at my initiative. We discussed at some length the unsettled conditions in Costa Rica.

I referred to rumors that men and arms had entered Costa Rica from Nicaragua to assist the government in quelling the rebellion. Señor Sevilla Sacasa confirmed that some individual Nicaraguans had in fact gone to Costa Rica to assist the government, but stressed the liberty of the individuals concerned to do that, rather than a policy of official assistance by the Nicaraguan Government. With respect to arms, he said that naturally Nicaragua was holding on to all it had because of fear of Guatemalan aggression.

I expressed the view that it would be most unfortunate if the internal political dispute within Costa Rica were to spread over the borders of that country and involve other Central American states. Señor Sevilla Sacasa said he was in entire agreement, and expressed with some vehemence, criticism of President Arévalo of Guatemala for sending in help and munitions to Costa Rican rebels. He said that the Guatemalan Government was trying to set up a friendly régime in Costa Rica so as to be in a better position to dominate Nicaragua as well as Honduras. In such circumstances, he said, it would not be unnatural for Nicaragua, and possibly Honduras and El Salvador, to take definite measures.

I told Señor Sevilla Sacasa that earlier in the day I had already expressed similar concern to the Guatemalan Ambassador.

I asked Señor Sevilla Sacasa if, by any chance, he had any suggestions as to what steps might be taken with a view to the re-establishment of normal conditions. Señor Sevilla Sacasa referred to the [Page 496] Habana Convention of 1928,2 and thought that it would be well if the various countries, especially Guatemala, would abide by its provisions. I said that was the view held by the Department.

  1. Guillermo Sevilla Sacasa, Nicaraguan Ambassador in the United States.
  2. For convention between the United States and other American Republics on duties and rights of states in the event of civil strife, signed at Habana, February 20, 1928, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 814, or 46 Stat. 2749.