131. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

[Omitted here are portions of the memorandum unrelated to Bolivia.]

4. Pereda Assumes Power in Bolivia: The military-civilian group favoring Pereda and opposing the annulment of the fraud-ridden Bolivian elections forced Banzer’s resignation on July 21. Banzer handed over power to a military junta which immediately installed Pereda in the presidency. Pereda, who has claimed his assumption of power fulfills the will of the people, may seek to install himself for a lengthy period. We are concerned by the interruption of the process of democratic political development and the example this may set for other Latin countries. We want to persuade Pereda to hold elections. We are expressing our concern about the breakdown of the democratic process and are stating our hope that the government will hold elections. This approach should send the signal we want Pereda to receive without putting him on the defensive.2

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 20, Evening Reports (State): 7/78. Secret. In the top right-hand corner of the first page, Carter wrote, “Cy J.”
  2. Carter wrote in the left-hand margin, “Be as firm as possible.”