489. Memorandum of Conversation1 2

[Page 1]


  • Dr. Fernando Aguero, President Partido Conservador Tradicional (PCT)
  • James E. Briggs, Political Officer, Amembassy MANAGUA

Aguero’s main theme was that the recent wave of violence in Managua, including several armed robberies as well as incidents involving the pro-Castro terrorist Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), can be expected to intensify in the months ahead. According to Aguero the GON’s shooting of young FSLN members is making martyrs out of these individuals and creating considerable sympathy among the Nicaraguan youth for the organization. He characterized the recent wave of armed robberies in the Managua area as symptoms of the deepening economic difficulties of the country and insisted that the combination of increased crime and FSLN activities will lead to an extremely serious security problem in the country later this year. Aguero emphasized that this situation could be considerably relieved if Somoza would make a clear statement that he will not seek another term as President. However, Aguero continued, he and other PCT leaders are coming increasingly to the conclusion that a) Somoza will seek re-election, and b) if he does so there is no way to prevent a repetition of the results of the 1967 election.

As he has in past, Aguero emphasized that the United States can play an important role in trying to persuade Somoza not to seek re-election. He added that if the United States cannot persuade Somoza to step aside, then the only other hope for the country would be either a Guardia Nacional coup or such a deterioration that Somoza would want to share power with the PCT. He thought the latter possibility to be remote.

In commenting on his public statement denouncing the GON’s detention and expatriation of leftist Jose Pasos Marciacq following a recent Guardia-FSLN shoot-out, Aguero said he is aware of Pasos Marciacq’s political leanings and his possible involvement with the FSLN through his brother-in-law Constantino Pereira. Nevertheless, Aguero continued, [Page 2] Pasos Marciacq is a friend and neighbor; and the GON’s arbitrary handling of the case without any recourse to legal process for Pasos Marciacq was an outrage regardless of his politics.

In a brief rundown of recent Conservative Party developments Aguero acknowledged that he is having increased difficulty with “certain wealthy PCT members in Granada,” but he did not wish to amplify this remark. He did say that there is renewed pressure from Granada for a PCT reconciliation with Pedro Joaquin Chamorro’s Accion Nacional Conservadora, but that he is adamant such a re-joining of forces is out of the question as long as it means Chamorro’s return to the party.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 2 NIC. Confidential. Drafted on January 28 by Briggs and cleared by Barnebey. Sent under the covering Airgram A–11 from Managua, February 1. In Airgram A–35 from Managua, March 8, the Embassy reported that it had “seen no evidence that there are any Cubans directly involved with the guerrillas.” (Ibid.)
  2. Embassy Political Officer James E. Briggs met with Dr. Fernando Agüero, the President of the opposition Partido Conservador Tradicional to discuss a wave of violence sponsored by the “pro-Castro” FSLN. According to Agüero, the violence was symptomatic of economic and social difficulties which could be considerably relieved if the United States persuaded Somoza not to seek re-election.