160. Telegram 101 to Tegucigalpa, 96 to San Salvador, 80 to Managua, 123 to San Jose, October 41
Problem of eventual recognition Honduras and restoration of normal relations including military and economic aid tied to earliest possible establishment or restoration of Honduran constitutional government.
Study of Honduran constitution indicates following procedure might accomplish this.
1. Lopez, as head of government, would announce that the announced dissolution of the National Congress was voided and call for the Congress to convene within a certain number of days to select a Designate to serve out the unexpired portion of the current Presidential term. (Art. 201) (COMMENT: Department assumes the absence of [Facsimile Page 2] the President is absolute as required by Art 201. It might be necessary arrange absolute absence of existing Vice Presidents as none seems suitable as designate.)
2. A quorum for a session of the National Congress would be QUOTE one more than half the number of members comprising Congress UNQUOTE (Art. 177), i.e., 30 members inasmuch as the current membership is 58. (COMMENT: Since 22 members of Congress are nationalists, it should be possible obtain 8 more from among orthodox liberals and others acceptable to Lopez without necessarily having all Congressmen in attendance.)
3. This Designate would serve until December 21, 1963, at which time the Council of Ministers would take over the executive functions (Art. 203). (COMMENT: Presumably the Ministers would be named by Designate with Lopez concurrance.)
4. The Council of Ministers would be required to call for presidential elections within 15 days (Art. 201) and, therefore, would issue such an announcement on or about Sunday, January 5, 1964.
5. Assuming that all interested parties would prefer that the full four months permitted by the Constitution, would be allowed to run before election day, election day would be on or [Facsimile Page 3] about May 5, 1964. The winner of this presidential election would be declared and installed within 20 days, i.e., on or about May 25, 1964 (Art. 201).[Typeset Page 382]
You are instructed as follows:
(a) TEGUCIGALPA: Please indicate feasibility.
(b) SALVADOR: Discuss above with Bueso without reference to comments making clear this not repeat not an official US position but merely a technical study which he may use without reference to US.
(c) SAN JOSE: Discuss only with Oduber on same basis as (b) above.
- Eventual recognition of Honduran Government and restoration of normal relations. Confidential. 3 pp. DOS, CF, POL 15 HOND.↩