Courtesy Reuters

The Establishment of Peace in Nicaragua

IN AUGUST 1925 the United States withdrew from Nicaragua the small legation guard which had helped merely by its presence to maintain stable government in that country for some thirteen years. Less than three months later, General Emiliano Chamorro seized the Loma fortress, which dominates the city of Managua. From this vantage point he was able to dictate terms which placed him in command of the army and made him virtually the ruler of Nicaragua. President Carlos Solorzano, who, like General Chamorro, was a Conservative, but who had come into office ten months before as the result of a coalition between his own wing of the party and the Liberals, was compelled to repudiate his agreements with the Liberals and to remove all office holders not in sympathy with the new régime. Even those members of Congress who were not willing to support Chamorro were expelled, and the Liberal Vice-President, Doctor Juan Bautista Sacasa, was compelled by threats of personal violence to flee the country. In January 1926 President Solorzano withdrew from office and General Chamorro was elected by the Congress to take his place.

In the General Treaty of Peace and Amity signed at Washington in 1923, the five Central American Republics had agreed not to recognize any government established in a Central American state by a revolution or a coup d'état, and the Department of State had announced that its own policy would thenceforth be governed by this same principle. General Chamorro's administration was not therefore recognized by the United States, and this fact made it very difficult for him to establish his authority on a firm basis in Nicaragua, even though the government at Washington had made it clear that it would not look with sympathy upon efforts to overthrow his régime by force. The Liberals immediately made preparations for a revolt. An outbreak on the east coast in May 1926 was suppressed by Chamorro's troops, but a more formidable movement in the same region in August soon involved

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