Memorandum by the Ambassador to Paraguay (Beaulac) Temporarily in the United States34
The New York Herald Tribune, in its edition of June 5, 1947, publishes a dispatch from its representative in Asunción, Mac R. Johnson, in which he quotes President Morínigo as saying “I invite all nations in the inter-American system to send observers to Paraguay for the elections so they may observe and testify to the honesty and fairness of the balloting.”
President Morínigo told me on Tuesday, May 27, that he had extended such an invitation to the other American republics through the correspondent of News Week. The latter confirmed the President’s statement.
By issuing this public invitation, which any or all of the Governments of the other American republics may follow up, President [Page 984] Morínigo has cut the ground out from under the military rebellion, and exposed it for what it is, a selfish attempt by a heterogeneous group of military and politicians, including international communists, to seize power in Paraguay.
The suggestion that the other American republics be invited to send persons to observe elections in Paraguay was made to President Morínigo by me with the prior authorization of Under Secretary Acheson and Assistant Secretary Braden. I made the suggestion after President Morínigo had told me he was placing all his faith for permanent peace in Paraguay on free elections participated in by all the political parties, or at least by the two major political parties which together comprise nearly the total electorate of Paraguay.
President Morínigo’s invitation, made on what appears to be the eve of military victory over the rebels, is a courageous, imaginative step, which if intelligently and imaginatively followed up and if repeated by the Presidents or Governments of certain other American republics may help to break the vicious circle of bad government; rigged elections, bad economic and social conditions, and revolution, which has retarded progress in those countries and which constitutes a potential threat to our security.
Since President Morínigo has extended this invitation following a suggestion from us, and since it is in our interest that the invitation lead to tangible results in the form of improved democracy in Paraguay and perhaps in other American republics, I earnestly recommend that the Department show by words and by acts that it recognizes the contribution which President Morínigo is trying to make to peace and solidarity in this Hemisphere and that it is prepared to cooperate with him.
- Addressed to the Secretary of State, the Under Secretary, and Mr. Briggs, ARA.↩