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tory of the Isthmus of Panama "from its southernmost extremity until the boundary of Costa Rica," and this Government is therefore interested in knowing the limits of the guarantee it has so assumed; regards it as a solemn duty of friendship and good neighborhood to do what it can toward the determination of its own rights and duties in respect to a territory the bounds of which are unfixed and in controversy.
Without, therefore, expressing any opinion touching the merits of the dispute now pending between Costa Rica and Colombia concerning the continuing validity of the boundary arbitration under the treaty of December 25, 1880, and without relinquishing the stand it has heretofore taken in regard to the rights of third parties in such arbitration, the Government of the United States, in a spirit of complete disinterestedness, feels constrained to present to the two Governments of Costa Rica and Colombia its earnest desire and hope that they shall waive the comparatively trivial obstacle to the accomplishment of the larger purpose of amicable arbitration which they have both advocated, and that they shall come to an understanding whereby that high aim shall be realized, either by the continuance of the arbitration under Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, or, if Her Majesty be indisposed to resume her functions, then by the alternative method already agreed upon, or by resort to any impartial arbitrator.
The President of the United States, in directing me to convey these views to the Government of Costa Rica, especially desires me to impress upon the minister of foreign relations his sincere conviction that the agreement of arbitration entered into by the two nations constitutes an obligation between them which neither is morally free to disregard on grounds of technical formality; and his confidence that they will use their concurrent endeavors to promote its successful issue.
It will give me great pleasure to forward to the President of the United States your favorable reply to this communication. I am, etc.,
(Inclosure 2 in No. 168.)
Mr. Baker to Mr. Jimenez,
Managua, October 30, 1893. SIR: I am in receipt of a communication from my Government requesting me to advise it of the disposition taken by your excellency's Government in regard to my communication of September 1, relating to the boundary question between Costa Rica and Colombia, and beg to call your attention to this matter in the hope of receiving a reply at your convenience. I am, etc.,
(Inclosure 3 in No. 168.- Translation.]
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS OF Costa Rica,
San Jose, November 20, 1893. Mr. MINISTER: In reply to your courteous communication of September 1 and October 30 last, I have the honor to advise your excellency that the Government of Costa Rica, in a communication of the 19th instant, offered to the Government of Colombia to submit to arbitration the question of the validity of the convention of arbitration to solve the question of limits existing between both Republics, entered into respectively the 25th of December, 1880, and the 20th of January, 1886, by diplomatic representatives of both countries; this, however, not to prevent the high interested parties to negotiate through legations named for that purpose a treaty of limits or a new convention of arbi. tration, and to fix the provisional frontiers between both countries.
Having given you the views of my Goverument on this subject, I hope that your excellency will communicate them to the Government of the United States of America, which we confidently hope, will exercise its good and most important friendly offices with that of the Republic of Colombia to that effect.
In conclusion, I beg to advise your excellency that your dispatch of September 1 had not been answered before this. The cause of this delay is that this ministry awaited a reply to a communication addressed to the ministry of foreign relations of Colombia on the subject of the present dispatch. I am, etsy
MANUEL V. JIMENEZ,
WAR WITH HONDURAS.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham,
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.
(Received January 3, 1894.) SIR: It is the purpose of this communication to give you, as briefly as possible, an idea of the present condition of things in Nicaragua.
In my dispatch No. 148 of November 22, I have advised you of the different situation of affairs between Nicaragua and Honduras, and I mentioned therein a circular letter of the Honduranean foreign office addressed to the Governments of Guatemala, Salvador, and Costa Rica, in which bitter complaints are made against the administration of Nicaragua, which is accused of aiding the Honduranean refugees in that country in their efforts to begin a new revolution against the Govern. ment of Vasquez,
Under date of November 28 the minister of foreign relations of Nicaragua, Don José Madriz, addressed a counter circular to the Govern. ments above named and to the diplomatic corps resident in Central America deploring the fact that the Congress of Honduras should have seen fit to decree full powers to Vasquez to make war when such a declaration was merely intended as a provocation against Nicaragua, refuting in every manner the charges made by Honduras and throwing upon the latter the onus of having precipitated a war, in case the latter should take place.
The communication is a very lengthy one, quoting in detail numerous expressions of friendship from former notes exchanged between the two countries, and calling attention, among other things, to the existence of a treaty between Nicaragua and Honduras by which the two countries submit to arbitration any disagreement between them before adopting the method of settling difficulties by a war. For the purposes of an
insight into matters, the final passage of Mr. Madriz's letter will suffice. It is as follows:
The menace made against us by the Government of Honduras lacks foundation absolutely, and can not, therefore, but inspire in us sentiments of profound sorrow at seeing that our neighbor retrogrades in the road to civilization. We thought that, notwithstanding our domestic troubles, the relations between state and state were advaneing toward the point of union, which is one of the most beautiful ideals of Central American patriotism, but we see the contrary with the utmost regret. Perhaps the unfortunate period of war shall return for Central America; perhaps cruel discord will drown friendliness. The seeds of our welfare can not germinate in a field sterilized by blood.
If it is possible to avoid this fateful result, Nicaragua whose spirit is quiet, who loves peace, and who is interested in the honor of her sister Republics as in her own, is ready to effect a reconciliation which shall conclude in an honorable manner the question causing the present situation. But if, unfortunately, this good desire should be ineffective, she is ready to defend herself alone, because her right is sufficient arm, and the patriotism of her sons a powerful defense.
In prevision, therefore, of the serious evil menacing her, and assured of having jastice on her part, she throws on those provoking it the responsibility of whatever may happen, and, as the Government of Honduras has failed signally to comply with the engagement contracted with that of Nicaragua in the treaty of peace and friendship mentioned above, and in making offensive comments upon our country it has endeavored to bring the enmity of the remaining friendly nations upon us, this Government considers itself free to take the measures most convenient for the security of the sacred national interests intrusted to its loyalty and patriotism, until the Government of Honduras shall return spontaneously to the path pointed out by justice and the interest of people joined in history by the sacred ties of brotherhood and by the perspective of an identical and glorious future.
A copy of this circular was received by me to-day. Five days ago, viz, on December 1, General Ortiz, vice-president of the Republic, minister of war, and general in chief of the armies, left Managua for Leon, and two days afterwards 600 armed men from Chinendega and 600 from Leon were leaving their barracks for the frontier of Honduras.
The trouble is primarily caused and now developed by the Honduranean refugees in this country who have been given employment in civil and military posts, and whose only aim is to overthrow Vasquez's administration regardless of the consequences of such action upon the country which has given them asylum.
The Government has by recent decree levied a forced loan of $400,000, and is engaged now in collecting it. I send you herewith a translation of the decree.
The ministry has been nominally reorganized, but on account of illness of the one or the absence of the other the various departments are under the charge of two ministers for the present. The assignments are as follows: Foreign relations, J. Madriz; Gobernacion, Feo. Baca h.; Fomento, J. D. Gómez; Guerra y Marina, A. Ortiz; Hacienda, Leonardo Lacayo.
The Constituent Assembly is still in session, but is expected to adjourn in a few days.
I beg to remain, etc.,
(Inolosare 1 in No. 162.- Translation.]
MINISTRY OF HACIENDA. The President of the Republic has issued the following decreo: In prevision of a conflict between this Republic and that of Honduras on account of the hostile attitude which the Government of that nation has assumed against Nicaragua, and as it is absolutely necessary to prepare ourselves conveniently for the defense of the national honor and sovereignty, and as it is indispensable to secure the means necessary for that purpose by a forced loan because the exhausted condition of the public treasury does not permit their being taken out of the ordinary revenues, the Government, using the faculties given it by decree of the Constituent Assembly of October 19 last, decrees :
1. Let there be assigned in the Republic a forced loan of $400,000, which shall be distributed in the following manner: Department of Granada.
$100, 000 Managna
80, 000 Leon
60, 000 Carazo
28, 000 Chinendega.
24, 000 Rivas..
24, 000 Masaya..
20, 000 Matagalpa..
18,000 N. Segovia.
12, 000 Finotega
10, 000 Estelé
10, 000 Total.......
400, COO This loan shall be paid in three parts, the first, twenty-four hours after the notice shall have been given; the second, eight days after, and the third, fifteen days thereafter.
2. The collection of the present loan shall be made by the authorities, and the respective prefects shall name the assigning committees. The repayment to the voluntary lenders shall be made in the form and with the profits determined in decree No. 3 of last Augusti.
3. The distributing committees shall be guided in the assignment of the contribution by article 6 of the decree of the Constituent Assembly of October 19, already mentioned, which exempts from loans those owning less than $5,000 besides their dwelling house.
4. Lenders who should not make their payments within the dates mentioned in article 1 of this decree shall be obliged to lend double the amount assigned to them; and they shall be paid by notes at two years' time, earning only 6 per cent annually.
5. Tho prefects shall publish immediately the present decree, which shall be in force from this date, proceeding to the organization of the committees for compliance therewith. Given at Managua, on the 25th day of the month of November of 1893.
J. S. ZELAYA,
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
(Received January 3, 1894.) SIR: I beg to advise you that hostilities have begun on the frontier between Honduras and Nicaragua. A picket of Honduranean soldiers is said to bave invaded the village of Santa Maria in this Republic. This has brought forth the following manifest from President Zelaya to the National Constituent Assembly: Citizen representatives:
In moments of difficult transition for Nicaragua, and when the Government born of the revolution of July was using all its efforts to heal the wounds of the country and to give powerful impulse to the national progress, a grave difficulty has arisen with the Government of Honduras, as you will be able to see by the documents which I send herewith.
General Domingo Vasquez, President of that Republic, jealous of the asylum granted by us to the Honduranean refugees, or perhaps badly informed in regard to our frank and respectful policy, has provoked us to a war without consulting justice, convenience, international practices, nor even the stipulations of the treaty of peace and friendship between Nicaragna and Honduras.
Perhaps we shall shed blood on Central American soil on account of the hatred of a chief inimical to Nicaragua, and little interested in the honor of his people; and although friendly Governments have interposed their generous mediation to avoid that conflict, I believe it my duty, in order to take proper measures in the direction of such a grave affair, to consult expressly the national will, whose faithful interpreters yon are in your character of representatives of the Nicaraguan people, and jealous defenders of its honor and its sovereign rights.
J. SANTOS ZELAYA. The Congress, upon receipt of this, issued the following decree: Let the executive power be authorized to employ all means leading to the safeguard of the national honor, security, and integrity, which are menaced by the present head of the Government of Honduras, and, in the regrettable case of pot being able to reach a pacific and decorous solution, to accept or declare war.
I understand that hostilities are continuing on the frontier, but have no reliable data so far. I beg to remain, etc.,
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
(Received January 12, 1894.) SIR: Referring to my dispatch No. 170, of December 9, I beg to say that the troubles between Nicaragua and Honduras still continue.
The Honduranean refugees in this country, about 1,600 strong, and armed and equipped by Nicaragua, crossed the border of Honduras and marched against the Honduranean villages of Cholutua and Corpus. No details are known of their success so far, though there are reports of their defeat by the forces of Vasquez. The Nicaraguans, about 3,000 strong, are on the border as an army of observation, and are awaiting acts of hostility of Vasquez against Nicaragua to cross the frontier also and aid the Honduranean invaders, who are now under the leadership of Policarpo Bonilla.
It is very difficult to obtain authentic news, as the means of communication with the frontier are exceedingly meager, and the Govern. ment jealously keeps from the public any information in the least unsatisfactory.
It has been the general impression here, since the time the Hon. duranean refugees aided the Leon Liberals in taking Managua, that there was an understanding with them to help them in a revolution against Vasquez, and present events seem to justify that belief. I shall keep the Department advised of all authentic news I shall get from the seat of war. I beg to remain, etc.,
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham,
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
(Received February 2.) SIR: Since my dispatch No. 179, of December 26, referring to the war between Nicaragua and Honduras, the Nicaraguan troops under General Ortiz have invaded Honduras and are reported to have taken