132. Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in Bolivia1

185954. Subject: Bolivian Change of Government. Ref: Vaky-Boeker TelCon 7/22/782

[Page 418]

1. As we discussed, the Embassy in any informal contacts should take the following posture during this period of assessment of the situation.

2. We do not repeat not want to legitimize the interruption of the process of democratic political development.3 At the same time we do not want to inadvertently make it harder for Pereda and his advisers to do the right thing, i.e., continue the process, by publicly pushing them into a nationalist corner that might cause them to harden.

3. Accordingly you should make clear our deep regret at this interruption in the electoral course and democratic political process while also making clear our hope that the interruption is temporary and the new government will renew this process and electoral procedures that will permit the Bolivian people to fulfill their legitimate democratic aspirations. This posture corresponds with what we will be saying publicly during the weekend. In your private talks, the Bolivians should not have any doubt as to the serious concern with which we view these events.

4. We recognize that the situation is not promising, but we plan to tailor our immediate actions here and in Bolivia to do what we can to encourage them to preserve the human rights progress achieved and to return to a process of democratic political development.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780302-0280. Confidential; Niact Immediate. Drafted by McNeil; cleared by Schneider; approved by Vaky.
  2. Not found.
  3. In telegram 5799 from La Paz, July 22, the Embassy reported: “In a series of disjointed decisions Pereda and Bolivia’s generals have now aborted the promising process of return to democratic, civilian government,” and noted, “No one could plan a debacle so complete.” The Embassy analyzed the events that had led to Pereda’s coup and made recommendations regarding the public reaction of the United States, the question of recognition, and foreign assistance. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780302-0294)