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‘We Should not Content Ourselves with a Sham’: The US Foreign Service and the Central American Elections of the Early 1930s

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2015

Abstract

Scholars have paid considerable attention to the connection between Washington's withdrawal from intervention and the emergence of dictatorship in Central America during the 1930s. The current article seeks to enhance our understanding of those interconnected developments through the investigation of the US Foreign Service and its role in the early 1930s presidential campaigns in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. It shows that the dynamic interaction between actors in both Washington and Central America set in motion a process that would produce decades of authoritarian rule in the isthmus.

Spanish abstract

La literatura ha prestado considerable atención a la conexión entre la disminución del intervencionismo de Washington y el surgimiento de dictaduras en Centroamérica durante la década de 1930. Este artículo busca profundizar nuestra comprensión de esos procesos interconectados a través de la investigación del servicio diplomático norteamericano y su papel en las campañas presidenciales de los primeros años de la década de 1930, en Guatemala, El Salvador y Honduras. Se muestra que la interacción entre actores tanto en Washington como en Centroamérica puso en marcha un proceso que habría de producir décadas de regímenes autoritarios en el istmo.

Portuguese abstract

Pesquisadores têm devotado atenção considerável à conexão entre a emergência de ditaduras na América Central durante a década de 1930 e a retirada de Washington do processo de intervenção. Este artigo busca melhorar o entendimento destes acontecimentos inter-relacionados através de uma investigação do Serviço Diplomático dos Estados Unidos e seu papel nas campanhas presidenciais do início dos anos 1930 na Guatemala, El Salvador e Honduras. Demonstra-se que a interação dinâmica entre atores em Washington e na América Central deu início a um processo que produziria décadas de governos autoritários na região do istmo.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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References

1 Division of American Republic Affairs, ‘Latin America: Politics and Government. Political Résumé for the Use of Delegates to the Seventh International Conference of American States, Montevideo, 1933’, National Archives of the United States, College Park, MD, Record Group 59: Department of State Lot Files [Lot Files], Studies on Latin America, box 20, folder marked Montevideo Conference, 1933.

2 For example Bruce Calder examines the US occupation of the Dominican Republic and shows that its impact on local society was limited, although it did arouse resentment against the United States, The Impact of Intervention: The Dominican Republic during US Occupation, 1916–1924 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1984). Louis Pérez Jr. demonstrates that US domination of Cuba actually subverted the important goal of regional stability, Cuba under the Platt Amendment (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986). Mary Renda shows that Woodrow Wilson's concern for the spread of democracy was strongly influenced by paternalism and racism in the case of the occupation of Haiti, Taking Haiti. Military Occupation and the Culture of U. S. Imperialism (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001). Alan McPherson concludes that Dominican, Haitian and Nicaraguan resistance to US occupation led to the adoption of the non-intervention principle under the Good Neighbor policy, The Invaded. How Latin Americans and their Allies Fought and Ended U. S. Occupations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

3 Michel Gobat, Confronting the American Dream. Nicaragua under U. S. Imperial Rule (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005), chap. 8. Quotes from pp. 215, 205, and 206.

4 Max Paul Friedman, Nazis and Good Neighbors. The United States Campaign against the Germans of Latin America in World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), passim, especially pp. 74–8.

5 Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (New York: W. W. Norton, 1993), p. 81. Similar arguments can be found in: Lars Schoultz, Beneath the United States. A History of U. S. Policy toward Latin America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), chap. 13, especially pp. 270–1; David F. Schmitz, ‘Thank God They're on Our Side’. The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1921–1965 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), chap. 2, especially p. 47; Brian Loveman, No Higher Law. American Foreign Policy and the Western Hemisphere since 1776 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), p. 242.

6 Thomas M. Leonard, Central America and the United States: the Search for Stability (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1991), p. 100. Similar arguments are in Paul Coe Clark, The United States and Somoza, 1933–1956: A Revisionist Look (Westport, CT: Preager, 1992) chap. 2; Andrew Crawley, Somoza and Roosevelt. Good Neighbour Diplomacy in Nicaragua, 1933–1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), chap. 2.

7 Friedman, Max Paul cautions scholars that the context of US power remains important in the study of Latin American actors (‘agency is not independence’): ‘Retiring the Puppets, Bringing Latin America Back In: Recent Scholarship on United States-Latin American Relations’, Diplomatic History, 27: 5 (November, 2003), pp. 621–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 Some of the correspondence quoted in this article may also be found in the microfilm edition of the confidential files of US Legations in Honduras and El Salvador, US Department of State, Confidential U. S. Diplomatic Post Records: Central America, Honduras, 1930–1945 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1983) and ibid., Confidential U. S. Diplomatic Post Records: Central America, El Salvador, 1930–1945 (Frederick, MD: University Press of America, 1983). Note that these are only the so-called ‘confidential files’, identified with ‘Confidential Files’ (CF) in the footnotes below.

9 Stimson to Whitehouse, 23 Nov. 1932, National Archives of the United States at College Park, MD, Record Group 84: Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State, Legation in San Salvador [PRES], volume 116, class 710, Political Relations. Treaties. The Treaty of 1907 that Stimson mentions was a predecessor of the 1923 Treaty.

10 Leonard, Search for Stability, pp. 80–3; John E. Findling, Close Neighbors, Distant Friends: United States-Central American Relations (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987), chap. 4.

11 Bryce Wood, The Making of the Good Neighbor Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), pp. 3–155; Mark Gilderhus, The Second Century: U. S.-Latin American Relations since 1889 (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2000), pp. 71–9; McPherson, The Invaded, pp. 194–261, 263.

12 Victor Bulmer-Thomas, The Political Economy of Central America since 1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 2–3, 38–49 and 56–7; Jeffrey Paige, Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), pp. 107–9; Sergio Tischler Visquerra, Guatemala 1944: crisis y revolución. Ocaso y quiebre de una forma estatal, second edition (Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2001), pp. 155–70.

13 Bulmer-Thomas, Political Economy, pp. 2–3, 48–52; Darío Euraque, Reinterpreting the Banana Republic: Region and State in Honduras, 1870–1972 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), pp. 1–20 and 43–57; Rivera, Miguel Cáceres and Carranza, Sucelinda Zelaya, ‘Honduras. Seguridad productiva y crecimiento económico: la función económica del cariato’, Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos, 31 (2005), pp. 4991Google Scholar, particularly pp. 51–60, 68–70 and 76–7.

14 Stimson to the Legations in Central America, circular telegram, 3 Jan. 1930, National Archives of the United States at College Park, MD, Record Group 84: Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State, Legation in Tegucigalpa [PRHO], vol. 179, cl. 801, Government Guatemala. For Department instruction on non-intervention, see footnotes 25, 29 and 39 below.

15 On Whitehouse: U. S. Department of State, State Department Register (Washington, DC, 1933), p. 278; on Robbins, Register (1935), p. 284; on Lay, Register (1934), p. 204. Of the 44 people who were appointed chief of mission to one of the five Central American countries between 1920 and 1950, 33 were appointed to that rank for the first time, Register (1920–1950).

16 Lay to Whitehouse, 13 Jan. 1933, National Archives of the United States at College Park, MD, Record Group 84: Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State, Legation in Guatemala [PRGU], vol. 295, cl. 800, Honduras.

17 Personal Memorandum for the Minister, 19 Nov. 1928, PRES, vol. 106, cl. 844: A list of informers deemed reliable by the legation.

18 On the worldview of Central American elites, see Samuel Z. Stone, The Heritage of the Conquistadors. Ruling Classes in Central America from the Conquest to the Sandinistas (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1990); David McCreery, Rural Guatemala, 1760–1940 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994); Paige, Coffee and Power, pp. 120–6; Marta Elena Casaús Arzú, Guatemala: linaje y racismo, third edition (Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2007), passim, but especially pp. 258–60; Jeffrey L. Gould and Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago, To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920–1932 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), pp. 8–16.

19 McCafferty to Department, despatch 218, 13 Nov. 1930, National Archives Microfilm Publication, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1020; Schott to Department, despatch 236, 22 March 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, Bolshevism; Finley to Department, despatch 490, 2 May 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, Guatemala; Lay to Department, despatch 731, 3 March 1933, PRHO, Confidential Files [CF], vol. 218.

20 Examples from the 1930 Honduran files: Lay to the U. S. Consulates on the Honduran North Coast, 13 Nov. 1930, PRHO, vol. 172, cl. 850.4, Labor Strikes; Stewart to Lay, 20 Oct. 1930, PRHO, vol. 170, cl. 800, Political Conditions; Higgins to Department, telegram 125, 19 Dec. 1930, PRHO, vol. 170, cl. 800, Political Conditions.

21 McCafferty to Department, despatch 218, 13 Nov. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1020; Robbins to Department, despatch 468, 21 March 1931, PRES, vol. 112, cl. 800.B, Bolshevism.

22 Whitehouse to Department, despatch 101, 9 July 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1013; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 128, 28 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1012; Lay to Department, despatch 634, 13 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Wasson, 11 March 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June.

23 Thomas J. Dodd, Tiburcio Carías. Portrait of a Honduran Political Leader (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2005), pp. 23–50; Paige, Coffee and Power, 110–13; Erik K. Ching, ‘Patronage and Politics under General Maximiliano Martínez, 1931–1939. The Local Roots of Military Authoritarianism in El Salvador’, in Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago and Leigh Binford (eds.), Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society, and Community in El Salvador (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), pp. 50–70, particularly pp. 54–6; Patricia Parkman, Nonviolent Insurrection in El Salvador: The Fall of Maximiliano Hernández Martínez (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1988), p. 16.

24 Grieb, Kenneth J., ‘American Involvement in the Rise of Jorge Ubico’, Caribbean Studies, 10: 1 (April 1970), pp. 521Google Scholar.

25 Whitehouse to Department, telegram 121, 23 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1028; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 124, 24 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1030; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 125, 26 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1032; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 126, 27 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1033; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 128, 28 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1035; McCafferty to Department, telegram 105, 16 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1025; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 129, 29 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1036; Stimson to McCafferty, telegram 74, 17 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1025; Stimson to Whitehouse, telegram 82, 30 Dec. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1036; Whitehouse to Department, telegram 8, 7 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1045; McCafferty to Department, despatch 218, 13 Nov. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1020; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 274, 18 Feb. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1058.

26 Paige, Coffee and Power, pp. 18–20; Gould and Lauria-Santiago, Darkness, pp. 34–41.

27 Héctor Lindo-Fuentes, Erik Ching and Rafael A. Lara-Martínez, Remembering a Massacre in El Salvador: The Insurrection of 1932, Roque Dalton, and the Politics of Historical Memory (Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico University Press, 2007), p. 80.

28 Robbins to Department, despatch 365, 26 Sept. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Stimson to Robbins, telegram 22, 1 Oct. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador.

29 Robbins to Department, despatch 393, 18 Nov. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Stimson to Robbins, telegram 27, 20 Nov. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to Department, telegram 51, 18 Dec. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, Guatemala; Robbins to Department, despatch 411, 30 Dec. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to Department, despatch 399, 2 Dec. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to Department, despatch 412, 2 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to Department, telegram 6, 12 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador.

30 Ching, ‘Patronage and Politics’, p. 58

31 Robbins to Department, despatch 365, 26 Sep. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador.

32 Marta Elena Casaús Arzú and Teresa García Giráldez, Las redes intelectuales centroamericanas: un siglo de imaginarios nacionales (1820–1920) (Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2005) is a very useful source on Masferrer that situates his ideas in a longer intellectual history and in an extensive network of contemporary intellectuals. See especially pp. 91–103. See also Paige, Coffee and Power, pp. 110–11; Parkman, Nonviolent Insurrection, p. 16; Gould and Lauria Santiago, Darkness, p. 52.

33 Robbins to White, despatch 424, 16 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador.

34 Ibid. Robbins to Department, telegram 15, 12 Feb. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador.

Ibid

35 Euraque, Reinterpreting, p. 57; Lay to Department, telegram 135, 30 June 1931, PRHO, vol. 178, cl. 800, Honduras. Telegrams; Lay to Department, despatch 589, 5 Aug. 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217; Lay to Department, despatch 646, 27 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Department, despatch 613, 14 Sept. 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217; Higgins to Department, despatch 515, 20 June 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217; Lay to Department, despatch 634, 13 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June.

36 Dodd, Carías, pp. 23–35; Mario Argueta, Tiburcio Carías. Anatomía de una época, second edition (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 2008), pp. 21–44; Lay to Department, despatch 443, 4 April 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Department, despatch 668, 23 Nov. 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217. Carías's statement included respect for foreign interests; cordial relations with all neighbouring countries and the United States; and support for the Treaty of 1923.

37 Lay to Department, despatch 483, 20 May 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Department, despatch 486, 21 May 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Higgins, ‘Memorandum of Conversation with the President’, 25 May 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Higgins, ‘Memorandum of Conversation with the Foreign Minister with regard to the Politico-Military Situation’, 6 June 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Higgins to Wasson, 6 June 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Higgins, ‘Memorandum of Conversation with President Mejía’, 13 July 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Higgins to Department, despatch 569, 22 July 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Department, despatch 648, 28 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June.

38 Euraque, Reinterpreting, pp. 57–8; Schraud to Lay, despatch 89, 31 Jan. 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras; Lay to Department, despatch 649, 31 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Lay to Wilson, 4 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December.

39 Lay to Department, despatch 675, 2 Dec. 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217; Lay to Department, telegram 97, 18 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, despatch 671, 25 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; White to Lay, 30 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December.

40 Lay to Whitehouse, telegram, 19 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, telegram 100, 22 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Whitehouse, telegram, 24 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Whitehouse to Lay, telegram, 25 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, despatch 675, 2 Dec. 1932, PRHO, CF, vol. 217; Lay to Hanna, 20 Dec. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Eberhardt, telegram, 2 Jan. 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras; Lay to Department, despatch 713, 3 Feb. 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras.

41 Kenneth J. Grieb, Guatemalan Caudillo. The Regime of Jorge Ubico: Guatemala 1931–1944 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1979) and Stefan Karlan, ‘Paz, progreso, justicia y honradez’: Das Ubico Regime in Guatemala, 1931–1944 (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 1991).

42 Casaús, Linaje y racismo, pp. 133–5 and Tischler, Guatemala 1944, pp. 1–13 and 173–4. For more general discussions of these themes, consult Arias, David Díaz, ‘La invención de las naciones en Centroamérica, 1821–1950’, Boletín de la Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica, 15 (December 4, 2005)Google Scholar available at http://www.afehc-historia-centroamericana.org and Montoya, José Edgardo Cal, ‘La escritura de la historia como genealogía política: la comprensión de la nación en la historiografía guatemalteca reciente sobre la reforma liberal de 1871’, Boletín AFEHC, 16 (January 4, 2006)Google Scholar.

43 Cáceres and Zelaya, ‘Seguridad productiva’, pp. 78–83. Euraque, Reinterpreting, pp. 61–2; Matías Funes, Los deliberantes: el poder militar en Honduras (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 1995), pp. 24–5. While sensitive to the role of political repression, Dodd's Carías positions the regime in a development of national consolidation and modernisation. Argueta, Anatomía, finds very little to admire in the Cariato.

44 Thomas P. Anderson, Matanza: El Salvador's Communist Revolt of 1932 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1972); Gould and Lauria-Santiago, Darkness, pp. 209–38; Lindo-Fuentes, Ching and Lara-Martínez, Remembering, chap. 1; and the essays by Ching and Tilley in Erik Ching, Carlos Gregorio López Bernal and Virginia Tilley, Las masas, la matanza y el martinato en El Salvador. Ensayos sobre 1932 (San Salvador: UCA Editores, 2007).

45 Whitehouse to Department, despatch 268, 29 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1054; McCafferty to Department, despatch 218, 13 Nov. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1020.

46 Robbins to White, 30 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 114, cl. 891, Public Press; Robbins to McDermott, 30 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 114, cl. 891, Public Press; Lay to Department, despatch 651, 4 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, despatch 653, 8 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Wilson, 4 Nov. 1931, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, despatch 697, 13 Jan. 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras.

47 Whitehouse to Department, despatch 268, 29 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1054; Lay to Department, despatch 651, 4 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December.

48 Whitehouse to Department, despatch 268, 29 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1054; Lay to Department, despatch 651, 4 Nov. 1932, PRHO, vol. 189, cl. 800, Honduras, November to December; Lay to Department, despatch 731, 3 March 1933, PRHO, CF, vol. 218.

49 Lay to Department, despatch 649, 31 Oct. 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 266, 28 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1053; Robbins to Department, despatch 457, 3 March 1931, PRGU, vol. 275, cl. 800, Political Affairs. El Salvador.

50 Lay to Department, despatch 759, 7 April 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras; Higgins to Department, despatch 831, 6 July 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras; Lay to Department, despatch 917, 12 Oct. 1933, PRHO, vol. 196, cl. 800, Honduras; Higgins to Department, despatch 940, 2 Nov. 1933, PRHO, vol. 197, cl. 800.2, Cabinet; Higgins to Department, despatch 984, 22 Dec. 1933, PRHO, CF, vol. 218; Dodd, Carías, pp. 61–9.

51 Higgins to Department, despatch 330, 4 Nov. 1931, PRHO, vol. 179, cl. 800, Honduras, continued; Robbins to Department, despatch 468, 21 March 1931, PRES, vol. 112, cl. 800.B, Bolshevism; McCafferty to Department, despatch 218, 13 Nov. 1930, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1020.

52 Schott to Department, despatch 348, 5 Sept. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Lay to Whitehouse, 28 April 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June.

53 Schott to Department, despatch 348, 5 Sept. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Lay to Whitehouse, 28 April 1932, PRHO, vol. 188, cl. 800, Honduras, January to June; Robbins to Department, despatch 365, 26 Sept. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to Department, despatch 388, 6 Nov. 1930, PRES, vol. 104, cl. 800.B, Bolshevism; Robbins to White, 7 Nov. 1930, ‘Robbins, Warren’, Individual and Subject File, Francis White Papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, IA; Robbins to Department, despatch 431, 23 Jan. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador; Robbins to White, 17 Feb. 1931, PRES, vol. 111, cl. 800, El Salvador; Argueta, Anatomía, pp. 73–7.

54 Harris to the Secretary of War, no date [Dec. 1932], M1280, roll 3, Revolutions, 75; deLambert to White, 11 April 1933, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1111; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 316, 7 April 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1062; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 419, 4 Aug. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1075; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 345, 8 May 1931, M1280, roll 4, Ubico, Jorge, 16; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 419, 4 Aug. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1075; Whitehouse to Department, despatch 266, 28 Jan. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1053.

55 Robbins to Department, despatch 468, 21 March 1931, PRES, vol. 112, cl. 800, Bolshevism; Lay to Department, despatch 731, 3 March 1933, PRHO, CF, vol. 218.

56 Whitehouse to Department, despatch 419, 4 Aug. 1931, M1280, roll 1, Political Affairs, 1075. Whitehouse did not agree with these estimates.

57 Hull to the Legations in Central America, Instruction 216, 30 April 1936, PRES, box 4, cl. 800, General.

58 Clark, The United States and Somoza, pp. 1–37; Crawley, Somoza and Roosevelt, pp. 43–112; Des Portes to Department, despatch 267, 9 June 1937, M1280, roll 4, Jorge Ubico, 652–8; Keena to Department, despatch 557, 13 Nov. 1936, box 8, cl. 800, Honduras; Corrigan to Department, despatch 684, 14 May 1936, PRES, box 4, cl. 800, El Salvador.

59 Clark, The United States and Somoza, pp. 1–37; Crawley, Somoza and Roosevelt, pp. 43–112. The international context of events in Nicaragua is often obscured in works that deal with US-Central American relations. For example, both LaFeber and Schmitz, in his chapter on US policies in Central American and the Caribbean, choose to deal with the rise of Somoza before they discuss preceding events in surrounding countries: LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions, pp. 66–80; Schmitz, ‘Thank God’, pp. 46–84.

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