329. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uruguay1

268706. Subject: Bowdler/Folle Meeting October 3: USG Contacts With Opposition. Ref: Montevideo 35102

1. Confidential Entire text.

2. During October 3 meeting reported septel,3 Ambassador Bowdler raised issue of Embassy contacts with political figures, saying they are normal and not intended as any interference. Foreign Minister Folle, referring indirectly to Eaton’s luncheon meeting with Christian Democratic leader Terra,4 said that this individual was of the extreme left, had provided an electoral umbrella for other extremists in the formation of the Frente Amplio, and thus contacts at a meal with him were very sensitive. He implied that another type of meeting might not be. The Foreign Minister mentioned the situation of an Embassy Officer and how he tried to calm the situation that developed over contacts of this Officer with opposition politicians. He said, however, that there was one specific charge that General Queirolo had asked him to raise. It was that Embassy Political Officer Youle was promoting the idea of a governing triumvirate. Clearly, this type of activity was unacceptable. Mr. Eaton said that he had heard this report and was certain that the charges against the Officer were baseless. That he would promote a triumvirate made no sense. It was not U.S. policy and he was sure he had not done that. However, now that the Foreign Minister had specifically raised the matter, he would check once again and would confirm to him what he was sure was the case.

3. Action: Department would appreciate Embassy’s latest thinking on the origins of the Youle/triumvirate complot story, and any further [Page 936] indications of its hold on the minds of top leaders.5 Our present plan is that DAS Eaton would then go back to Pacheco here while chargé makes similar denial demarche to Folle.6

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P880031-1967. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Sent for information immediate to the White House. Drafted by Andre; cleared by Eaton, Service, and in S/S; approved by Bowdler.
  2. See footnotes 2 and 5, Document 328.
  3. In telegram 269211 to Montevideo, October 8, the Department reported that Bowdler and Folle discussed Uruguay’s petroleum needs, Central America, Bolivia, the OAS, Argentina, and Uruguayan elections. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800481-0813)
  4. See footnote 5, Document 328.
  5. In telegram 3814 from Montevideo, October 9, the Embassy assessed the idea of a governing triumvirate in Uruguay, noting that “with Uruguay’s history of collegial government, it is not considered a far-fetched notion here,” although “no one in this Embassy has ever made such a proposal (including Poloff Youle).” The Embassy judged that “the underlying motives of the current triumvirate complot story appear to lie not in the concept but in the GOU’s hypersensitivity to our contacts with proscribed politicians, where Youle’s political responsibilities have caused him to play a leading role.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P880031-1954)
  6. In telegram 270987 to Montevideo, October 11, the Department noted that Eaton had met with Pacheco the previous day and “made clear and unequivocal statement to him that neither John Youle nor any other person at our Embassy had proposed or supported the idea of a triumvirate.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P880031–1952) In telegram 3898 from Montevideo, October 16, the Embassy reported that Shaw had met with Folle on October 16 to deliver the same message. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P880031-1949)