831.00/4–1447: Telegram

The Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan) to the Secretary of State


171. Situation continues tense. Junta yesterday released copy document termed as attempt to win military members Junta to Lopez Contreras’ side. Number political arrests large. Many civilians and officers have gone into hiding. Embassy has had several requests for asylum. AD sponsored mass meetings held at Caracas and announced elsewhere have contributed to great public unrest. Workers proclaim readiness to take up arms in support government. Julio César Vargas still hiding in private home. Reliable source reports Vargas expects counter-revolution start quickly, perhaps tomorrow. Other sources confirm this possibility, but very drastic steps being taken may have disrupted opposition plans.