267. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Nicaragua1

179651. San Jose for Ambassador Bowdler. Subject: Nicaraguan Scenario.

1. (S-Entire text)

2. You are authorized to see President Somoza as soon as possible and relay the following points:

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—Our efforts to work out conditions that will facilitate an orderly transition have made only very limited progress.

—Several Latin American countries continue to discuss these items with the provisional government and are continuing to try to broaden assurances and conditions. But the PG has shown little interest so far in negotiating an expansion of the Junta or agreement on a new Guard head.

—This is a difficult situation and the decision is yours to make, but we think your prompt departure will help minimize bloodshed and the further loss of life. We do not think it prudent to wait any longer, and if you were looking to us as wanting you to stay you should not.

—We are also concerned that the longer you stay and the longer the war is fought, the more difficult it will be for the GN or anyone else to play a constructive role in the peace.

—We are prepared to accept you in the U.S. and you may therefore wish to make plans to depart quickly.

—If you wish to discuss modalities for a change-over which would have some [garble—chance?] perhaps of leading to an orderly transition I would [be] willing to do so, but you should be under no illusion that we can guarantee anything. FYI: You may wish to suggest some ideas that he might want to consider, but make clear that they are not official recommendations. You may want to suggest that he might wish to follow the formula of having the Congress name a transitional successor; to name a new Commander for the Guard to assume command and immediately restructure the Guard; to issue calls for a ceasefire and standstill. You might also suggest that appropriate announcements by the new head of state and Guard Commander regarding peace, human rights, and binding up the wounds could help. All of this might help establish a base for talking to the provisional government but no one could of course guarantee the PG or FSLN reaction. End FYI.

3. You should also seek to do what you can with regard to promoting a relief committee (para 4D of State 178797),2 and encouraging moderate elements to remain and scramble to be heard in the post-Somoza period.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850036–1910. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Sent for information Immediate to Managua, Caracas, Panama City, San José, and Santo Domingo. Drafted by Vaky; cleared in S/S–O and by Pastor (in substance); approved by Christopher. In telegram 3101 from Managua, July 11, Pezzullo recommended: “If the negotiations fail to bear fruit within 24 hours, I should be authorized to go to Somoza and suggest his early departure.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850036–1910)
  2. See footnote 4, Document 264. In telegram 3123 from Managua, July 12, Pezzullo reported that he had delivered the démarche to Somoza. Somoza was “very resigned and asked no questions about the transition process.” Pezzullo concluded: “As I was leaving, more in sadness than in anger, he said ‛it is too bad your negotiations did not succeed.’” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor Files, Country Files, Box 36, Nicaragua: 7/12–14/79)