Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Edgar L. McGinnis, Jr., of the Office of South American Affairs


Subject: Communist Orientation of the Ecuadoran National Labor Confederation

Participants: Senor Galo Plaza—President of Ecuador
Dr. Neftali Ponce—Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador
Senor Colon Serrano—Minister of Economy of Ecuador
Senor Salazar Gomez—Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations of the Chamber of Deputies of Ecuador
Mr. Mann—ARA
Mr. Warren—OSA
Mr. Krieg—OSA
Mr. McGinnis—OSA

After the discussion of certain other matters with President Plaza (which have been made the subjects of separate memoranda), Mr. Mann observed that it appeared unfortunate that the Ecuadoran National Labor Confederation (CTE) retained membership in the CTAL, He said that apparently the CTE was the only labor group in Latin America, not completely dominated by the communists, that is affiliated with the Communist Confederation of Workers of Latin America (CTAL). Mr. Mann mentioned the fact that the two United States labor confederations, as well as many free Latin American labor organizations, belonged to the democratically oriented Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT).

President Plaza replied that he was not unmindful of this matter, but said that there was a great deal of ideological confusion within the ranks of labor in Ecuador. He said that he hoped that some of this confusion, particularly within the Socialist Party, would be corrected during the forthcoming presidential campaign. He referred to the progressive front which it was hoped to work out between the MCDN,1 the Liberals, and the Socialists whereby the latter could be weaned away from communist influences. The President indicated that the affiliation between the CTE and the CTAL was a matter in which he could not take direct action. He said, however, that he was hopeful that some of the communist influence in the labor ranks and the orientation of some socialist groups toward the CTAL could be eliminated in the long run. He said he hoped that this matter would be resolved following the next presidential elections.

  1. Movimiento Cívico Democràtica National.