The Bolivian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Gutiérrez) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:16 p.m.]
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of the cables of the 29th and 30th of July45 which representatives of neutral countries addressed to us with relation to the conflict with Paraguay, requesting, from us, reports on the most recent events and asking us whether we would be disposed to accept an investigation of them, and a reply on the request to give orders to prevent acts of hostility in the Chaco. At the same time they communicate to us that Paraguay has denied the attack on our Fortín Florida. It is our duty to reply as follows: We have been giving information on the occurrences in the Chaco since the conferences on the pact were closed, for the purpose of making known the historical truth, without having submitted the said events for conciliation. We have acceded to continuing the discussion of the pact even after the attack of June 29. But the aggression of July 15 changed the situation. Paraguay, who did not accede to continuing the negotiations after the attack of the 29th of June, attacked us anew on the 15th of July. This aggression obliged us to send reinforcements to the Chaco to make ourselves respected. In the denunciation which we made on account of the attack on Fortín Florida, we referred to the despatch of the commandant of the [Page 50] Fortín. That attack took place on the 25th of July after a previous incursion of the Paraguayans at the same place. Investigations which do not define the fundamental question do not interest us. Bolivia desires the final solution of the controversy. It does not desire to be perennially on guard in the Chaco checking the advances of Paraguay. It is for this reason that the country has reacted with all its forces resolved to liquidate the controversy even by arms. We are defending a territory which we consider historically ours. We have a right to the littoral on the river Paraguay. Subsequently to the 15th of July Paraguay attacked us at Fortín Florida. We have seen ourselves obliged to take reprisals for these attacks and have occupied three Paraguayan fortines. In the year 1928 Paraguay attacked us likewise. The country desires to stop such proceedings. At the present time Paraguay is concentrating troops in the Chaco. While she maintains this aggressive campaign, we reply categorically that we shall maintain the same attitude.
I greet Your Excellency [etc.]
- Not printed; for Spanish text of cables, see Bolivia, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Memoria, 1934, pp. 73–74.↩