Manifesto to Nicaraguan Compatriots
July 14, 1927

To my Nicaraguan compatriots:

It is not necessary to justify my acts to those persons who could never understand my views, or who in any event have refused to do so, unable to submit to that which honor and patriotism demand. I make no attempt to excuse myself to those who are unqualified to judge my actions, the countless adulators, for example, who live from the scraps their master throws them, and who have assumed the task of censuring my acts, reviling them and making me appear irresponsible and lacking in judgement in regard to the positions I have taken in defense of the national honor and our country's sovereignty, or in regard to the rights of the people, so terribly cheated by those who have come here to our land to make excessive profits, dealing with other people not as honorable businessmen of one kind or another, but like slave traders or dealers in human flesh. Such critics cannot judge or censure because they do not look at the causes that justify the drastic measure that has been taken to make amends or to stop an abuse, no matter who may have committed that abuse or thought he had a right to do so, merely because he is a citizen of the United States.

According to information I have received, Moncada, taking advantage of the distance that separates us, wants to make me look like the enemy of the people, and not like the defender of the rights of my fellow citizens.

I am going to make a statement about the causes that led to the measure I took in the name of my country and my fellow citizens:

The American Alexander, who lives in Murra, department of Nueva Segovia, has been a gold smuggler for several years, producing great profits for himself and the luxurious life-style of a nabob, cheating the mine workers who live at the mercy of the dangers peculiar to that kind of work. The American Alexander pays his miners not with cash, but rather with vouchers, worth from one cent to five pesos, which are valid only in Charles Butters's commissary in exchange for merchandise at exorbitant prices that the workers must accept.

Alexander is a habitual drunkard and, as such, is harmful to the society in which he lives, and his punishable acts should cease and be corrected, because it is to them that he owes his cynicism.

Charles Butters, American, who for a number of years has called himself the owner of the San Albino mine, who cheats my fellow countrymen out of their salaries, forcing them to work twelve hours a day, paying them with vouchers worth from one cent to five pesos, which are acceptable only in his commissary in exchange for merchandise at twice the normal price, thinks himself authorized by his nationality to commit such abuses, and thinks that they should not be stopped by those who have a duty to do so. But being an American does not mean being invulnerable; the real people of my country also have their law and their justice, intended to prevent such abused carried out with the support of our traitors.

General Moncada does not know about and disregards the needs and suffering of the working class because he does not belong to that community of people who are forced to earn their living by their physical labor, with their bare hands, in order to eat and dress themselves badly. Moncada is not qualified to speak in defense of ideals unknown to his experience. Moncada disregards these things because his fellow citizens who, cheated and offended, have demanded the justice heretofore denied to them. You should understand, Señor Moncada, that any foreigner of whatever nationality who transgresses or commits reprehensible acts in the country where he lives falls under the sanction of the laws and must suffer the consequences, especially if that country is in a state of war. The gold produced in the bowels of the Nicaraguan earth belongs to Nicaragua, and it is extracted by the ands of Nicaraguan workers. Where, then, is the guarantee behind that enormous debt of 45,000 dollars that is owed to the holders of the vouchers with which they pay the worker's labor, the worker who lives from day to day and who at any time and without any cause can be fired, having in his pocket as his pay some bits of paper, which, though they have the number five stamped on them, are not worth a cent beyond the district of the mine? How will Charles Butters convert the sacred debt that he owes to his worker who, miserable, half-naked and sick with malaria, has nothing with which to return to the refuge of his home because everything he has saved is represented by bits of paper that are not worth a penny outside the place where he has worked?

Moncada, the people know what justice is, and when it is denied to them they seize it! And since I am of the people and know what law and justice are, I have seized it myself in Butters's name, taking those assets that belong to my country in order to convert that longstanding debt into real value, paying it with that same gold which the enterprise produces.

With this done, the property will be returned to the swindling company, if it is able to prove to the people that it is in fact the legitimate owner.

I want nothing for myself; I am a mechanic, the sound of my hammer on its anvil echoes at a great distance, and it speaks every language in matters of labor. I aspire to nothing. I desire only the redemption of the working class.

Aside from this, I defy Moncada himself to respond to other changes. I do not take orders from any foreign leader, and much less do persons of foreign nationality serve with me. You, Moncada, cannot say the same, and, in regard to your aspirations, I remember your words written in a letter that you sent me, which I have in my possession: "There is no reason to sacrifice yourself for your country. Life comes to an end, but the country remains." This made me lose confidence in you and made me understand the dimensions of your moral personality.

I take this opportunity to respond to the conduct of the adventuring invader whose name is G.D. Hatfield.

"Who are you, miserable servant of Wall Street, to threaten the genuine sons of my country and myself with such impudence? Do you perhaps think that you are in the heart of Africa to come here to impose your will merely because you are Coolidge's paid assassin? No, degenerate pirate, you do not even know your father or your real language. I do not fear you. If you would like to avoid your countrymen's loss of blood, they having no interest in our political affairs, make up your mind like a man. Come to me personally, choose the terrain you prefer outside your control, and I will do the same, so that we may measure the power of our weapons in the following way. Either you will fill yourself with glory killing a patriot, or I will make you eat the dust in the manner demonstrated by the official seal of my army."

Patria y Libertad,