The Ambassador in Paraguay ( Beaulac ) to the Secretary of State

No. 2020

Sir: I have the honor to refer to numerous telegrams and despatches concerning the riot of August 14, which took place when a number of university and secondary school students and others, including persons affiliated with the Febrerista Party, attempted to interfere with the progress of the Liberal Party parade which was taking place in down-town Asunción in honor of the President and members of the Board of Directors of the Liberal Party who were returning to Asuncion from Buenos Aires following the political amnesty recently granted by the Paraguayan Government.

As already reported, the Embassy considers that the Paraguayan Government showed partiality in its communiqué concerning the riot, which placed all the blame on the Liberal Party. I have expressed this opinion in friendly conversations with the Minister of Public Works, the Minister of Finance, and President Morínigo. All of them maintained that the Liberals were the aggressors in the sense that “they threw the first stone”. In justice to the official view, the Legal Attaché’s Office reported that the actual fighting started when shots were fired from the Liberal ranks.

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Nevertheless, I have thought it desirable to let the Government know, in a friendly way, that I did not share its published view that [Page 1188] the Liberals were entirely to blame for the events of August 14. In this connection, I asked the President this morning whether the Government might not lift the one-month period of suspension imposed on the Liberal Party. He declined to say that the Government might do this. He did say, however, that the suspension was solely for the record and that the Liberals were free to carry on their political activities and were, in fact, carrying them on. He said that the Government was continuing to give thought to means of restoring the legal position of the Liberal Party.

The Liberals are taking their suspension very calmly. The Embassy has been informed, without confirmation, that Guggiari, who was described to me by the head of the Colorado Party recently, as a “good but unfortunate man” would shortly resign from the Presidency of the Party and would be replaced by Gerónimo Zubizarreta who has great prestige among all classes and political parties in Paraguay. Guggiari will then return to Buenos Aires.

Respectfully yours,

Willard L. Beaulac