834.00/4–847: Telegram

The Chargé in Paraguay (Trueblood) to the Secretary of State


197.25 I have reported Chaves’ outspokenly unfavorable reaction when he learned of Argentina’s interest in mediation on a multilateral basis. The Paraguayan Government also took us to task re our reply to their circular of March 18 for intimating that multilateral consultation might be in order. On March 26, the government here hastily revoked the decree of March 18, declaring a state of war. All of these circumstances combined with Brazil’s course of action lead me to believe Brazil’s insistence from the outset on mediation by adjoining countries was a position worked out with the government here and designed to exclude from any consideration of Paraguayan situation, countries with strong leftist groups such as Uruguay and Chile which might exert their influence against the Morínigo Government here. [Page 979] The Brazilian Chargé has consistently defended Morínigo in our conversations because in his opinion (1) latter is aggressively anti-Communist hence his ouster at this stage would be inconsistent with present anti-Communist trends in US and elsewhere; (2) Morínigo was helpful to US and Brazil during war; (3) Morínigo is more sinned against by scheming and treacherous politicians here than a sinner in his own right; (4) Morínigo was prevented from democratizing Paraguay earlier than June, 1946 by cavalry clique but since then he has been sincere in his efforts to do so; (5) if Morínigo steps out, he has no legal successor, which would force country back to another military junta at a time when armed forces are disrupted.

If the foregoing hypothesis is correct, Brazil, motivated by a strong desire for peace here, and due to a belief that this would be best served by saving the Morínigo-Colorado Government, has successfully preempted the situation here by shutting off any chance of multilateral consultations in favor of regional mediation, for which the memorandum of April 626 can pave the way. It now remains to be seen whether Argentina, in the event mediation Can get underway, will consent to cooperate on basis of a formula developed entirely by Brazil. Buenos Aires telegram April 10, 3 p.m.,27 implies this will be the case.

Fabrino tells me in strict confidence that he thinks the forthcoming conference between Dutra and Perón28 will offer a splendid opportunity to thresh out the Paraguayan situation and for the two nations to agree on a political hands-off policy here implemented by a coordinated economic approach so that any rivalries and friction between Argentina and Brazil here can be effectively eliminated.

Sent to Department; repeated to Rio as 23 and Buenos Aires as 39 and brings them up to date.

  1. First section of this telegram not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram 394, not printed.
  4. The Presidents of Brazil and Argentina, respectively.