Obrázky stránek

kind, good or bad, is enormously handi- Zelaya, from 1893 to 1910 Nicaragua was capped by the high percentage of illiteracy either perennially in revolution at home or among them—in Nicaragua 80 per cent. trying to overthrow the attempts of some in a population of 600,000. It is therefore of her neighboring sister republics to an exasperatingly difficult proposition to maintain their governments. On one ocattempt to help a people thus marooned casion Zelaya's ambitions reached as far from outside influences to enjoy the same south as Ecuador, clear across the Isthmus freedom, enlightenment, and workable and three intervening republics. democratic form of government that Finally, after seventeen years of this obtains in our own country. In this form of “liberty,” the conservative (sic) country we have our own standardized party rebelled. They pooled what little politicians, but we can get by them of their property and money had not through the press to a high percentage already been confiscated by Zelaya and in of literate constituencies. But in going 1909 dedicated that and themselves to a with any message into several of the other revolution which finally-in 1910-overrepublics of America which are struggling threw that despot. No revolution ever with misgovernment, any attitude or policy had a more legitimate object or a more which we may adopt—so abysmal is the patriotic result. Right in the middle of gulf separating the oligarch from the peon it Secretary Knox's celebrated note of -reaches the people in such a distorted December, 1909, declared Zelaya's régime form as to be at once rejected as a “tres- a reproach and blot on the escutcheon of pass upon sovereignty” or a “suppression Nicaragua, and that in this instance the of sacred rights.

further maintenance by the United States To act upon a thorough realization of of that respect and confidence which one these conditions often seems ruthless on nation owes to another in its diplomatic the part of a stronger government. In relations had become impossible. It was reality it is often beneficent. Our action during that revolution that two American in Cuba was of this character, to the citizens, Groce and Cannon, after being consternation of an incredulous gallery of imprisoned and tortured in a Nicaraguan nations. Santo Domingo and Haiti are prison at San Carlos, were finally executed additional chapters of the same unwilling- --it has always been believed, though not ness to be held off from constructive help actually proved, by the order of Zelaya. to a people actually needing and desiring The leaders of this successful revolution such help—held off by the self-interest of of 1910, Emiliano Chamorro, Pedro Rafael political factions backed by other, some Cuadra, and Adolfo Diaz, the present times foreign, forces. What we have President, released their country from got to remember is that in these cases political bondage, but when they started parties are not dealing with parties but a to establish a government of laws they nation is dealing with another nation, a found the whole country in a deplorable people with a people. Clear-eyed and condition economically. . Zelaya had resolute statesmanship will have to over- honeycombed it with ruinous concessions come the same opposition at home in to foreigners: such as the Aguardiente framing or ratifying measures which can (Italian) Syndicate, the Bluefields Fruit be put into effect only over the same kind & Steamship Company, of New Orleans, of opposition in the territory and among and other pioneer Louisiana exploiting the people to be benefited thereby. concerns. The main sources of revenue

In many of the lesser Latin republics the had been hypothecated for a national loan original idea of a government of laws has on almost Haitian terms, and the taxbecome distorted into a government of payers were shouldering a large internal , persons. The United States has not been debt the proceeds of which had apparently entirely free from the same limitations. all been devoted to those interested in its But even in a volcanic Central America, negotiation without any corresponding Nicaragua has been conspicuous for dis- benefit to the tax-payers themselves. The order. Under the guiding hand of President incoming government was also confronted

with 14 millions of dollars'. worth of their hands more than full as it was. In claims arising out of the destruction of view of the proportions attained by the native and foreign property during the revolution he said that it would be necrevolution, but the most discouraging essary for our Minister to ask for American phase of the entire situation was the po- forces if he expected to be protected. litical atrophy of the people inherited by Accordingly, the American Minister the new government. They had seven- promptly forwarded a call for help to teen years of a Zelaya past to contend with. Secretary Knox at Washington with a few

brief specifications of the uncivilized THE COMING OF THE BAYONET

warfare then being waged in Nicaragua. Nevertheless, in spite of all these handi- Here enters the United States marine, caps, this government of laws rather than pacificator. Two thousand five hundred of men was beginning to take hold in of him and of his shipmate, the United Nicaragua and to impress Nicaragua's States blue-jacket, were landed at Corinto, neighbors, when in July, 1912, the then the first of them going ashore on August Secretary of War, General Mena, jealous 4, 1912. This first contingent formed a of the President's growing popularity, Legation guard at Managua, and the rest rebelled against the Government and of them as they came up from the Pacific established himself in Granada, carrying port were distributed by rail and boat with him a good part of the army who were among the large cities and in patrols naturally enough his henchmen. There along the railroads. During the two he soon formed an alliance with the dis- months that this small army of occupation gruntled politicians who were "out,” whom occupied Nicaragua they fought just one he armed in return for their support of his battle. This was the battle of Masaya, candidacy as President.

where some of the rebel forces under a Then the revolution started in earnest. "conservative" by the name of Zeledon Mena led off by confiscating the American were holding a hill which commanded the railroad with its rolling-stock operating railroad below it. After repeated demands between Managua, the capital, and Gran- for surrender, promising safe conduct to ada, on the great lake. To be consistent Zeledon and no reprisals to his command, they also took the boats, on both lakes, had been refused, the marines carried the owned by the railroad company, and used position in thirty-seven minutes with a them to bombard unfortified towns along loss of four men. The Legation guard of the shores. In the course of this naval 100 men is still stationed in the “campo," preparedness they threw three-inch shells on the outskirts of Managua. with a fine impartiality over the foreign The important thing to remember about legations, the cathedral, hospitals, and those particular marines is that they were private houses of the capital, killing there officially asked to afford the protection for many women and children. One of these American lives and interests in Nicaragua 14-pound emissaries of frightfulness ex- which the Nicaraguan Government was at ploded in the writer's dining room. the time unable to supply. The peculiar

All means of communication and trans- thing about those marines is that the portation being cut off, the United States Nicaraguans do not want them to go away. Legation was, for a very uncomfortable Their original landing and that of the blueweek, prevented from getting any word to jackets has been criticised as an "unthe outside world. During that time the warranted trespass upon the sovereignty" American Minister requested from the of Nicaragua and as an "undue interNicaraguan Government adequate pro- ference” with the internal affairs of that tection for the American railroad, the country. But let us not forget that some American boats on the lakes, and the of these critics were beneficiaries of the old American interests and lives that were Zelaya régime, who do not view with being daily menaced in the capital. The contentment the continuance of orderly Secretary of Foreign Affairs explained very government under the existing régime. clearly that the government forces had Possibly our intervention in Nicaragua prevented the overthrow of the existing and men upon the people. Admiral government. So its opponents contend. Southerland's opinion was that the retenConceding that it had such an effect then, tion of a small force of marines in in addition to protecting foreign lives and Nicaragua was an absolute necessity, beproperty from uncivilized warfare, we were cause its withdrawal would undoubtedly helping to support a duly established be followed by the recurrence of revoluand recognized constitutional government. tionary activities. His opinion has been Our intervention in Nicaragua was based concurred in by two successive Secrethen, first, on broad humanitarian prin- taries of the Navy, one acting for a Reciples, and secondly, on a political priv- publican President and the other for a Demilege, if not actually a duty, under a broad ocratic Chief Executive. The marines, as conception of the Monroe Doctrine. From I have said, are still in Nicaragua. Let personal observation on the ground at the us see what the people of Nicaragua say time I can state further without reserva- about their continued stay there. tion that our men conducted themselves The women of Granada said to Admiral in a manner which reflected conspicuous Southerland on his departure: credit on their country. Officers and

We, the daughters of this beloved soil, would men, as we have a right to expect, were

feel happy and contented if we had the traninvariably courageous and determined, quility indispensable for the development and but more than that, they have continued well-being of our families. But unfortunately to conduct themselves with a restraint civil conflicts have continually weakened the and discretion which, more than their ties which in every civilized country are conbravery, have impressed the Nicaraguans sidered sacred and which maintain the stability during the three years when two successive of all well-organized Society, which cannot exist Administrations at Washington of differ

without due respect for lives and property. ing political faith have maintained them

These conflicts have become here constantly at their pacific station.

more stubborn and bloody, the bitterness

always greater and the loss each time more EVIDENCES OF GOOD FEELING

irreparable, bringing about a division so deep

in the Nicaraguan people that the most perThe official reports of Admiral Souther- verse elements predominated in this city, and land and his subordinate officers to the it fell to our lot to live in a state of horror and Secretary of the Navy of the operations fright. It was for this that we celebrated with of the United States marines and blue- enthusiasm your arrival on the shores of Nicajackets in Nicaragua established officially ragua as a token that soon our troubles would the cause and effect of our intervention in

Our hopes were fulfilled, inasmuch as that country. They ought to put at rest

you brought with wonderful rapidity the peace speculation as to the necessity or propriety for. "So we send you these flowers, gathered

and good order that we had so vainly longed of that act. But in case they do not, from our gardens, which carry for you and abundant evidence is at hand from the

your generous country the gratitude of the Nicaraguans themselves to establish this

women of Granada. footnote to history alongside its Cuban predecessor on the same page.

President Diaz thus expressed himself Upon leaving Nicaragua in October,

in an official communication to the

American Admiral: 1912, Admiral Southerland reported that conditions throughout that country were, When the last revolutionary conflicts broke by the admission of its citizens of both out you happily arrived on our shores as a true parties, more settled than they had been representative of a friendly nation, and what for many years previous. This condi

This condi- otherwise would have been a bloody and a tion of affairs was directly due to the long war was promptly and energetically quelled operations of his forces, called military effective coöperation. Allow me on behalf

in its beginning, thanks to your friendly and but in reality far less military than pacific, of my Government and the nation under my which operations had been materially

care to tender you personally my deepest helped by the uniformly excellent im- thanks, as well as to the Government of the pression made by United States officers United States of America for this act of gener


ous friendship which binds our gratitude and not the purpose of this Government stimulates us to our best efforts in carrying on keep those marines there indefinitely. the programme of our Government...

good many of them would like to go On the beneficent aid of your Government we

living in Nicaragua, but they can only de count, for without this all our energies and

so individually. Our Government want efforts for the betterment of our country would be entirely in vain. You carry with you the

to substitute for the benevolent bayonetsi gratitude of this people and of this country,

treaty which is not only benevolent but where you have so effectively helped to found

which is mutually beneficial. a new era of progress, of prosperity, and of This treaty, like all others which come peace.

before the Senate for ratification, is meetAnd as a proof that this utterance of ing with opposition. Some of this oppo President Diaz is not a mere matter of sition is inspired or interested; some of empty words it is well to remember that is due to ignorance of the facts in he has continued his genuine efforts toward case. With the former state of mind we making the government of his country cannot deal by reason, but the latter source one of laws rather than of men. He has of opposition ought to be open to reason granted permission freely to the Liberal and a clear statement of actual facts, party, of opposing political faith, to hold authoritatively made. meetings for the purpose of reorganiza

I have indicated briefly earlier in the tion, and has been uniformly fair-minded article the deplorable condition of affairs toward political opponents who have economically existing in Nicaragua as the showed any disposition at all to play fair result of Zelaya's seventeen years of mis themselves. Unquestionably a most po- government. To investigate this situation tent ingredient in the present lack of the State Department sent to Managua bitterness is the fact that after the capitu- in May, 1911, the late Thomas C. Dawson, lation of General Mena's army at Granada a man well known all over Latin America the rebel leader was himself given safe and everywhere recognized as of unquesconduct out of the country and his troops

tioned fitness for the task assigned him. were sprinkled carefully back into their

The result of the Dawson mission was former civil occupations without the the appointment of the Mixed Claims reprisals which generally follow an un- Commission, on which I had the honor to successful revolution.

serve, to adjust the claims arising out of

the war, to establish the finances of the A CONSTRUCTIVE TREATY

country on a sound gold basis, and to take In Nicaragua, then, good order has appropriate preliminary steps toward a prevailed for three years. The reason complete readjustment of the national why good order has prevailed, by the finances by means of a loan. The records admission of the Nicaraguan people them- of all these transactions have been and selves, is partly because of the presence are entirely open to public examination, in that country of 100 United States and they are, of course, on file in the Demarines. The force in their bayonets partment of State, which, under two sucwould hardly be sufficient to preserve good cessive Administrations of opposing order in a population of 600,000 people political faiths, continues to sponsor them. inhabiting a very diversified country. After a thorough investigation by the Neither would the benevolence in those Claims Commission it became clear that bayonets be sufficiently tranquilizing unless the sum of $15,000,000 would be required the beneficiaries were convinced of good for the refunding of outstanding bonds, for faith. It is neither the actual force nor the payment of just claims and the floating the asserted benevolence in those bayonets debt, and for the general financial rehabilwhich has made it possible for them to tation of the country. In that sum also propreserve good order all this time. They vision was made for various needed internal are simply recognized as the symbol of a improvements such as the reconstructie big idea, the pledge of an honest, tem- of a railroad to the Pacific Coast and for the porary guardianship. Nevertheless, it is building of the railroad which has long been


WHERE THE UNITED STATES FLAG BELONGS The Consulate of the United States at Managua, Nicaragua, which was under fire during the bombardment

of the capital in August, 1912


WHERE THE UNITED STATES FLAG DOES NOT BELONG Casa Número Uno,” the Nicaraguan White House, official residence of President Diaz. Contrary to state

ments made in Congress and in the press, the United States flag never flew over this building

« PředchozíPokračovat »