724.61/4–545: Telegram

The Ambassador in Bolivia ( Thurston ) to the Secretary of State

374. Embassy’s 318, March 21, 5 p.m. Colonel Ponce, Minister of Public Works, who is generally considered to be pro-Nazi, spoke to me last evening at considerable length with respect to the Soviet Union. He indicated that it is his understanding that the Government of the US is promoting the establishment of diplomatic relations between the American Republics and the USSR and that the question of the general recognition of the Soviet Union by all American Republics that have not yet done so will be brought up at the San Francisco Conference. I stated to Ponce that I was quite certain we have not taken the initiative in bringing together the Soviet Union and those Latin American States which have recently recognized it, but that in each case the action was spontaneous on the part of the Republic concerned. I also stated that I had no reason to believe that any such proposal as he mentioned would be made at San Francisco.

Ponce, whose views were ratified by Colonels Eordan and Inmacho (both believed to be intelligent and friendly to the US) stated that he [Page 229] is convinced that the Soviet Union has concealed but not changed its doctrinal views during recent years, is an inimical force and that once it establishes itself in Latin America it will work against the interests of the US. With regard to Bolivia he stated that the uneducated masses of the country are peculiarly susceptible to communistic indoctrination and will respond readily to the Soviet propaganda which the Soviet diplomatic mission here undoubtedly will spread. He stated that the PIR10 is closely affiliated with the communistic movement and with comparable organizations in Chile. He concluded his observations by the flat statement that the Army is definitively opposed to the establishment of relations with the Soviet Union.11

Thurston
  1. Partido de la Izquierda Revolucionaria.
  2. Relations were in fact established on April 18, 1945, by an exchange of notes between the Ambassadors of the Soviet Union and of Bolivia in the United States.