92. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1


  • Nicaraguan Situation

The rioting which broke out in Managua yesterday was a deliberate provocation by opposition candidate Fernando Aguero to gain at least a delay in the February 5 general elections and, if possible, intervention by the US or OAS.

In a speech to his followers, Aguero called upon the Nicaraguan National Guard to join him in overthrowing the Somozas. (General “Tachito” Somoza is the Government’s candidate.) He then led a demonstration through the city. A clash between the demonstrators and the National Guard occurred, leading to an extensive street fight. A CIA estimate as of midnight placed casualties at 16 dead, 66 wounded.

CIA reports that the Government has authorized two priests to enter the hotel to talk to Aguero.

Ambassador Brown reports that to his best knowledge, no Americans have been hurt. Some 20 United States citizens are in the besieged hotel. Brown has asked Nicaraguan authorities to exercise extreme care in any action against Aguero so that the lives of Americans and other foreigners will not be endangered.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Nicaragua, Vol. I, 12/63–12/68. Confidential. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.