The Chargé in Paraguay ( Trueblood ) to the Secretary of State
389. Brazilian Ambassador presenting credentials this morning. Last night he told me that Foreign Minister yesterday declared offensive in the north (Embassy’s telegram 387, July 1636) did not represent any change in government’s decision to proceed with mediation as proposed. Chaves explained to Barboza that the offensive had been planned for some weeks past and got under way on July 14 before the [Page 987] government here was notified of the Itamarati’s37 approval of proposed plan. Offensive obviously represents final attempt on part of government to administer decisive military defeat to rebels which has been leitmotif of government thinking all along (Embassy’s telegrams 313, June 8 and 346, June 2738). Barboza and I feel this 11th hour offensive which is sure to result in considerable bloodshed is unfortunate and scarcely in keeping with spirit of current negotiations. He is undeterred, however, from pressing forward.
Negrão is at frontier waiting to consult rebels. Once their assent is obtained Barboza states Itamarati will invite the mediating powers to name their representatives and constitute the board of mediation. Chaves informed Barboza yesterday that Paraguayan Government will probably instruct Enciso39 today or tomorrow to issue formal invitation to United States to participate in mediation which if accepted will enable Itamarati to request our government to appoint representative. The Brazilian Government is understandably anxious to get the mediation machinery set up at the earliest possible moment in order to call an armistice and stop further fighting. Barboza inquired if I had any instructions regarding United States participation in mediation; I hope Department will be able to advise me shortly its views on this. Barboza was also interested in Argentine Government’s attitude at this stage and that of Paraguayan exiles in Buenos Aires; I stated I had no reports from our Embassy there. Barboza and Fabrino envisage that the work of the mediators may well be of considerable duration, possibly extending until holding of elections, which as suggested in Embassy’s telegram 383, July 1440 will require many months to prepare properly. They also foresee that Argentina, Brazil and the United States may be called on to cooperate in the development of a program of economic rehabilitation and development for Paraguay. In weighing the pros and cons of our participating in the mediation the foregoing factors are of pertinence. If we desire to continue our policy of actively cooperating in Paraguay’s development I believe it will be essential for us to act affirmatively in view of the likelihood that plans of far-reaching scope will emerge from the mediation.
Sent Department 389, repeated Buenos Aires 123, Rio 82.