Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the President

Subject: Resumption of Normal Diplomatic Relations with Paraguay.

On January 30, 1949 President González of Paraguay was forced to resign by a political combination of superior strength which had the backing of the armed forces. A successor was chosen in accordance with constitutional processes similar to those followed in June 1948 at which time Provisional President Frutos was “recognized” by this Government without interruption of diplomatic relations. Presidential elections were called for April 17, 1949.1

On February 26 the new Paraguayan Government was overthrown by a new combination between the Colorado party and the armed forces. The new Government announced that the elections scheduled for April 17 are still to be held.

Our Ambassador in Asunción reported in the attached telegram of March 302 that he considers the new Government to be the most democratic Paraguay has had in many years. Civilians apparently are in the ascendency. It has been “recognized” by Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Spain and the Vatican. Brazil is prepared to resume relations concurrently with the United States. Chile, Nicaragua, France and Great Britain are understood to be prepared to follow United States action.

I believe we should now resume diplomatic relations with Paraguay because (1) the lack of official relations presents daily problems in conducting business, in the functioning of our technical assistance missions, and in relations with Paraguayan representatives on inter-American organization affairs, (2) our lack of relations may have the negative effect of discouraging the firm establishment of what appears to be as good a government as can be expected in Paraguay at present, and (3) if our resumption of relations occurs after the April 17 elections our action might be interpreted as an endorsement of the quality of those elections.

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I would appreciate an indication from you as to whether you approve the resumption of relations with Paraguay at this time.3

Dean Acheson
  1. The elections were held as scheduled and resulted in the election of Felipe Molas López as President of Paraguay.
  2. Reference is to telegram 116, March 29, from Asunción, supra, which was received in the Department of State on March 30.
  3. The Department of State file copy bore the notation: “Approved 4/8/49 Harry S. Truman”.

    On April 13, Ambassador Warren presented to the Paraguayan Foreign Minister a note replying to the Paraguayan note of March 2, 1949. This action constituted resumption by the United States of normal diplomatic relations interrupted on January 30, 1949 by the resignation of President J. Natalicio González. The U.S. note expressed confidence that the friendship which had always characterized relations between the two countries would continue unimpaired. (Department of State Bulletin, April 24, 1949, p. 538)