The Ambassador in Nicaragua (Whelan) to the Department of State


178. Department’s circular telegrams 4421 and 4432 of May 29. President Somoza informed us today that Ambassador Sevilla Sacasa was sending his Counselor to Managua with report of conversation between the Ambassador and Holland and that he hoped the report would show him how he might help in preparing for a consultative meeting or of enlisting the support of other nations in adopting the proposed resolution.

He said “please inform the Department to be completely free and frank in telling Ambassador Sevilla Sacasa just how Nicaragua can be of help. Certainly I favor the meeting. While not objecting to Montevideo [Page 1384] I think Washington would be a better place. The Ambassador as Dean of the Latin American Diplomatic Corps there should be of considerable help to the Department and he has instructions to follow any suggestions the Department may make. As for myself I would be pleased to communicate personally with President Peron if the Department would like me to try to enlist his support. I would certainly be most surprised if he sided with the Guatemalan rather than the Nicaraguan point of view. Perhaps I can be helpful with other countries but I will not do anything until I hear from my Ambassador.”

In this conversation as in all others he directly connected Figueres and Arbenz saying he had definite proof they were still working to bring about his downfall. In fact on this occasion he gave us the names of several who he said “while working for Figueres are secretly my own agents giving me detailed report”.3

Embassy is sending separately upon this matter. Meanwhile it is plain he thinks the best proof he has of Guatemala’s threat to Nicaragua is Guatemala’s connection with Figueres scheming. I have repeatedly stressed Department’s desire is to adhere to the single topic of Communist influence in Guatemala and I assumed Department has made this equally plain to Sevilla Sacasa upon whose advice the press seems to be relying.

  1. The Department of State in circular telegram 442, dated May 29, 1954, suggested holding a consultative meeting in Montevideo under Article 6 of the Rio Treaty of 1947 to consider the recent Communist penetration of Guatemala. It proposed that the meeting adopt a resolution to meet the Communist threat and outlined the major points it believed would be included in the resolution, presenting arguments which should be used to persuade Central American governments to support them. For text of circular telegram 442, see p. 1149; for text of the draft resolution, see circular telegram 459, June 5, 1954, p. 1157.
  2. Department circular telegram 443, dated May 29, 1954, provided details of the arrival in Guatemala on May 15 of an arms shipment from the Soviet bloc, and underscored the Department’s belief that the shipment endangered Central America (414.608/5–2954).
  3. A more detailed account of President Somoza’s conversation with Ambassador Whelan is contained in despatch 484, dated June 3, 1954 (363/6–354).