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December 12, 2016
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August 20, 2002
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September 19, 1950
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Approved For Relate 2002/08/MiliiiPT9-01090A00640050038-4 Wee4y Contributions 36-50 19 September 1950 CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS GENERAL: Recent progress an the ratification of fundamental inter- American instruments has been encouraging (p. 2). NORTHERN AREA: In Mexico, Ommunists have intensified their prtpaganda campaign (p. 2). Important Mexican labor unions have taken anti-Communist action (p. 2). CENTRAL AREA: In Colombia, recent government decrees against Protestant- ism will aggravate this religious issue (p. 3). The recent illness of Colombia's president, Laureano G6mez raises the question of whether he will serve his full term (p. 3). SPECIAL SUBJECTS The Current Situation in Venezuela . The Current Situation in Chile . aPs r 0?41.4a ?a* a State Dept. review completed DocliMENT NO. _ Nu .:IANGF IN cLASS. cHANi,D To. Ts c _ ? /6 ? 47r. . Approved For Release 2002/08/01090A000200050038-4 25X1 25X1 Approved For ReINtlie 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A0a400050038-4 SECRET Weekly Contributions, (IA Working Paper) 34-50 19 September GENERAL: 1.1:2kzemtrantlattification oftInter-American Instruments Encol_ .ri'mzeea Reient-Wiodress on the ratification of fnndamental intee- American instrunents has been encouraging. The Rio treaty has aao been ratified by all but three Latin American countries, and of these, Ecuador and Guatemala have already initiated the ratificat Lon process in their respective legislatures. Although obstacles It be placed in the way of ratification in both countries, it is aa- pected that they will be overcome. It is also exTrted that Pint will ratify the treaty in the not too distant future now that newly elected legislature is functioning. The Charter of the ( vas ratified by Bolivia --following its ratification of the RI. treaty Wkly, 5 Sep 50) -- thus reducing the number of non ratifying to olevere Inasmuch as the US has likewise recently ratified the Charter, SOVO or all of these countries will probab2a be encouraged to take similar action. DEXI00; Communist_ImmEda Intensifisd Propaganda attackeITCo s an uomiUnist syrpathizere against the president himself since the outbreak of hostilities in Korea represent a distinct departure from Mxican political custom. Previously, the Communists, like other critics of the eovernmeet, have gone along with the accepted practice of showing considerable respect for the office of the president, and have directed their attacks only at other government officers such as members of the cabinet, The attacks on Alemin are largely directed against the administrationl's support of the UN position, The Peri (Lexican Com- amnist Party) claims for example, that the wishes of the people nave been disregarded and that the government is serving the Interests of "Yankee imperialism"; "Peace Committee" attacks, and those of indi- vidual. Communists and sympathizers have followed the same line. Even though these attacks have increased in intensity, it is not expected that the government will take extreme meaaures of suppression. It vill? however, continue Its anti-Comunist campaign through pro- admanistration labor groups, and rith other non-Communist groups, Anti-Communist Drive by ImE2rtantjebor Unions Etioxiesuna's-fiatrn?figan "ualiFFei6;;S: by soxoe the mare important unions in rlexico is a favorable development fer US as well as for Lexican security interests. Unions in strategic industriee? including railroads, mines and oil installations, utich formerly have evidenced considerable tolerance for Communists in their ranks, have expelled individual Communist leaders and have disciplined local section for following Communist principles or tac- tics, This dgvelopment appears to be largely the effect of the gov- ernment,s influence on labor leaders, but it also reflects to a degree increased awareness by Mexicen labor leaders of the dangers of loo. Approved For Release 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050038-4 ,ft?Ni5giagge 2_, Approved For Rekige 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A0*?200050038-4 SECRET Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) 36-50 19 SepteMber 1950 Communist action in the event of a mar involving the usat, This trend also would, if continued, lessen considerably the danger of sabotage of strategic installations and therefore reduce the nuener of military personnel needed to implement industrial defense plans, COLOEBIA: Recent Government Decrees WM A avate 1011.1 Iseee e? lm-7.76-aa1owarezarmrcrea----an g agInt Protestantism in the Department of Boyaci and in the Comisaria Caquetg can be expected to increase resentment of G6mez in Colerela and to cause continuing friction in US-Colombian relations, L. Iated acts against Protestants and Protestant missionaries toner part of the disorders of the pr od I The Foreign 1]inister has derenej the barring or any religion waneI than Catholicism from the Comisaria of Caqueta on the grounds that the Colombian concordat with the Vatican prohibits missions other than Catholic from functioning in Intendencias and Comiaaeias (somemnat conparable to US federal ter- ritories), The defense is. qnestf,.onable since the decree refers tAD practice of religion While the concordat refers only to mission activity, The government has not as yet presented any defense of the recent decree (effective in the Department of Boyacg) imposing compulsory attendance at Bass on all rectors, students, etc., whether Protestant or Catholic. Since Colombia has adhered to the principle of freedom of religion not only in its constitution but also in the OAS Charter, in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and in the final. Act of the Uinth Inter-American Conference at Bogota, US protests cannot be eetracerily rejected ao unwarranted interference in Colonbia#s intee- nal affairs. On the other hand, US pretests will probably not be completely effective, and anti-Protestant actions will probable be a continuing source of friction in Colombian-US relations, Further- more, since the recent government decrees are likely to please only those Colombians mho already favor Gomez, the present policy may well tend to prolong current unrest and dissatisfaction with the government, and may, conceivable, revive the bitterness of the 19th century religious controversye Illness Enda s G6mez Continuance in Office on a cornet on o rial hyper- tension which caused Laureano Gomez to collapse on 17 September It a luncheon (according to the usually reliable France Pros so radio serv- ice), brings to the fore the problem of stnc=n?coM presidency? While 05mez has reportedly recovered from the recent attack, his condition is such as to put his cervival of four years in the presin dency in serious question. The normal successor to the presidency, the Des q.2, is elected by Congress each two years, and the incumbent unt ugust 1951 is Dr, Eduardo Santos, the Liberal leader who has ? most strenela opposed any cooperation with the amez administration, Approved FarKelease 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050038-4 3? 25X6 25X6 Approved For ReIhIte 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A06400050038-4 SECRET 25X1 Weekly Contribution% 38-50 19 September (CIA Working Paper) Situation Memorandum 55-50 25X6 The Current Situation in Venezuela (Sunma The political situatien has been calm following t s urbances of May, The economic outlook has improved because of good prospects for a sustained high level of oil production, Venezuelan Communists have been relatively quiet of late. Influence of the US Military Mission con- tinues to increase, Continued support of the US. position vis-a-vis the USSR is almost certain. Recent developments are generally favorable to US interests. Political past three nonths the political tension, which reached a high point during the oil strike of 3-13 MNya appears to have subsided, and prospects are good for continued stability of the government during the next feromonths and probably beyond, while the possibility of an elIi- ayes for revolutionary purposes between Acci6n Democr4tica and the Cor munists cannot be altogether discounted, the likelihood that any such coalition could be effectively organized is remote. The success of any revolutionary scheme still remains contingent upon disunity within the junta and the armed forces, and of thin there is no clear evidence. Promulgation of the electoral statute has probably been retarded by the general apathy with which the draft statute was met, Mile both the URD and NMI parties approve the statute and favor the peompt hold- ing of election% their rival campaign as chanpions of free elections has engendered little enthusiasm, among the publica Which appears to be divided chiefly between those who are content with the statue quo and those who feel that the elections would be a farce Under these circumstances, it is uniteeay that the government will try to accelerate preparations for elections. Economitl economic outlook has improved, largely because the Korean sit- uation appears to have removed the threat of restrictions by the US Congress on oil import% and also because Venezuelans anticipate an Increased demand for petrolcura particularly in the event of war. In preparation for such an amatnality? the Minister of Development has asked the oil companies to report on the possibility of eapanding oil production 25 percent. It is also reported that Creole has canceled a contract for the disposal of 07 million of surplus drilling eqeipment,. While an increase of only about 10 percent would bring Venezuelan oil production from the current record level to that currently estimated by tae RSRD as satisfying Venezuela is contribution to US wartime require- ment% it is nevertheless favorable for US interests that planning for Approved For Release 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050038-4 41:4/1141"-- Approved For Reke 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A015400050038-4 SECRET Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) 'Situation Memorandum 55-50 36-50 - 2 - 19 September 1950 ? expansion should, be initiated nows in advance of actual needs in view of the probable time lag before maximum requirements could be met. Another repercussion of the international situation is the in- creased consciousness of Venezuela's dependence upon imports as re- flected in the government's decision to stockpile certain essential commodities, beginning with automobile tires, and in the added impetus towards achieving self6-8ufficiency in certain basic agricultural prod:- vets, notably rice and sugar. While careful advance planning to meet a possible supply emergency would favor not only internal economic and political stability's but US interests as wells there is some danger of panicky stockpiling of perishable commodities as wall as of indulgence in uneconomic, overambitious projects aimed at self-sufficiency. The government's program is not yet sufficiently formulated to permit any judgment of its soundness. The serious epidemic of foot and mouth disease has caused consider- able criticism of the governments and particularly of Amenodoro Rangel Lams, Minister of Agriculture, who is vulnerable to charges of negli- gence. The removal of the control commission from the jurisdiction.of the agriculture ministry, and the appointment of Dr. Arnaldo Gabaldon (a man justly distinguished for his conduct of the anti-malarial campaign) as director of the now autonomous commission probably signifies not only that the junta lacks confidence in the Minister of Agriculture, but also that the campaign to control the epidemic will henceforth be more vigor- ous and efficient, kilitar A number of plans now under consideration in the ministry of defense indicate the increasing influence of the US Army Mission; if adopted, these plans should eventeally improve the efficiency of the Venezuelan armed forces, Among the projects being discussed is a radical reorgani- zation of the armys which among other things would increase army strength from approximately 16,000 to 20,000 and would group the infantry battal- ions (now the largest organized unit) into three brigades, each comparable to a small infant- division. Also being considered are plans to establish three recruit training centers; to combine the first two years of instruc- tion for cadets of all the services; and to request a US officer to advise the G-2 section. Further evidence of military cooperation is the signing of a four-year agreement for a US Naval Mission to replace the contract ehich expired this spring. Venezuela continues to be eager to purchase US military equipments and has urgently requested forty-M-24 tanks, and spare parts for F-147 planes. Negotiating arms purchases and discussing the spare parts and replacement problem uere the principal objects of the recent official .Approved For Release 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01 90A000200050038,4 5. Approved For ReIhee 2002/08/28 : CINEE9-01090A06400050038-4 Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) Situation Memorandum 55-93 38-50 - 3 19 September 1950 visit to the US of Lt, Col, Felix Roan floreno, Chief of Staff. While Venezuela will probablercontinue some purchases from non-US sources whenever the price differential is great (as in the recent contract with British Vickers for two destroyers), US-Venezuelan military coop- eration has increased. Subversive -"---UBEETnist capabilities in Venezuela have declined somewhat as a result of the dissolution in May of the "red" Communist Party, but it is as yet too early to estimate with any accuracy the extent of the cline,. During the past three months the Communists have remained rela- tively quiet, and it is believed that their primary objectives at this time are to strengthen and preserve the underground organization, and to establish a policy upon ehich future cooperation with AD elements could he based, The Stockholm peace petition has begun to be circulated, but apparently on a minor scale and covertly. Party-line propaganda on Korea has been limited by the unavailability of legal media and the apparently infrequent appearance of clandestine publications. There has been some slight evidence of withdrawal of labor support from the Communists, It is possible that the junta may dissolve the renaining legal Communist Party (the smaller but also Soviet-oriented Partido Revolucionario del Proletariat? - Comunista? also known as the "black" Communist Party), International -----Mntinuing support by Venezuela of the US position vis-a-vis the Seeiet Union is practically assured, Official and to a great extent unofficial reaction to the Korean situation has been favorable to the US. It is believed that Venezuela's stated reason for withholding direct military assistance is valid in that the armed forces are undoubtedle needed for the protection of the petroleum industry. Relations between Venezuela and the USSR will probably continue to be maintained at a min.isaunt level, since it is unlikely that the Vene- zuelan government will permit the exchange of ambassadors for some time. In these circumstances it is possible that, while the Soviet Embassy in Caracas continues to function, international Communist interests are being handled chiefly through the Czechoslovak legation, whose commercial attache, Richard Falbr, seems to devote most of his time to Communist Party rather than commercial affairs, Approved For Release 2002/08/28 : CIA-R 90A000200050038-4 ?15 6, Approved For Atease 2002/08/2A;a94#-RDP79-01090arrO200050038-4 eohly Contributicns, () IA orking Paper) Situaticn remerendum 56-50 78-50 19 September 1950 The Current Situaticn in Chile (Summa -- The Gonzalez Videla governnent appears reasonably &blo despite political struggles over economic planning, religious education, and the Bolivian corridor issue* The economic position has been generally favorable, but prospects for the future are uncertain. Loyalty, efficiency, and train- ing of the armed forces remain at a satisfactory level; morale is gradually improving* Chilean Communists are becoming more militant and more active mmeeg labor groups. EXcept for a temporary setback vis-a-vis Peru and Bolivia, Chiles relations with other Latin American countries remain basically unchanged: that country continues te support the US in matters involving the East-'ioot strugtle. -- The increased labor uneasiness believed largely attributable to the Communists ecnstitutes a potential danger to US security interests in Chile.) Political The Gonsillez Vieela government appears reasenably stable despite a series of political tensions thet have arisen during the recent quarter concerning Finance Tanister Vial's economic projects, the religious educes- tion bill, and the Bolivian corridor issue* The "Vial Plan" -- which proposed that wage increases for the .public employees, armed forces, judiciary, and teachers be financed by increased taxes -- met ouch eerious opeosit'on in the conservative senate that the government was forced to compromise with the opposition and remove a series of direct taxes in order to assure its passage. Furthermore, Vial's new exchange rates schedule provoked the resignation of the rinister of Economy and a near cabinet crisis* In this ministerial feud the Presidents support of Vial, a Social Christian Conservative and former personal enemy, over a member of Gonzalez, own Radical Party has enhanced the prestige of Vial -- who was originally expected to have a short-lived political career -- ad has demonstrated once again Of shorter duraticn, but no loss serious a threat to tae unity of the coalition, was the bitter controversy that arose from the advancement or legislation to require religious instruction (Catholic) in the public sohools The pigeenholing of the bill for this session of congress- has averted open conflict on this delicate issue and helped the President, who is both a Catholic and a ason, save faces Repercussions from the "Bolivian corridor controversy" -- that regarding Chile's ceding to Bolivia a corridor to the sea in exchange for access to certain Bolivian lakes which could be used for irrigating Chile's arrid north -- appear to have suboided somewhat insofar as the basic issue is concerned. Instead, Approved For Release 2002/08/ DP79-01090A000200050038-14 Approved For Release 2002/08/28S:SERDP79-010901t200050038-4 . 2 - Weekly Contributions, 38-60 19 September 1950 (0I1 Working Paper) Sitnation Memorandum 66-60 the opposition is attaching great importance to Foreign Minister Valor's secret exchange of notes with Bolivia on the subjeot of the corridor in SU effort to prejudice Walker's -- and therefore the government's -- ohaeeec of filling a senatcrial vacancy created by the death of Arturo Alecsandri. While such a naneuver may succeed in keeping Walker from becoming a candidate, it is believed that it will Pall short of its desired objective of depriving the government of the much-needed sena- torial post. It is not expected that any substantial change in deovernment sta- bility-el/1 occur during coming months. It is true that the government's opponents will continue to attack its economic polities and that adverse economic developments and continued labor unrest may jeopardize the nenee too-strong administration control of the government. Bowser, numerous attacks on the administration have failed to impair the cohesiveness of the eovernment coalition, aed it maybe expected that the administration will benefit from eased pressure when congress adjourns, probably this monan, Eboeomic -"Chile's economic position during the recent quarter has been generally favorable, but prospects for the future are uncertain. A sustained demand for copper at highly renunerative prices -- despite the reimposition by the US of the copper import tax -- has remained the most favorable factor, slightly outweighing the unfavorable effects of oontinued monetary inflae tion? reduced production and income resulting from continuous strikes, and genera/ economic uncertainty caused by lengthy legislative oonsidera- tion of economic measures. While it is too early to note the impaot on the economy of the various economic measures adopted during the last quaeter? it is estimated that they will not measure up to the government expectations. The implementation of the "Via/ Plan" will mean an increase be government expenditures of almost 29% over the budget figure of 15.7 billion pesos for 1950, only part of which will be finanoed by taxation. Moreover, the wage increases and addition/al social security benefits established by this bill and the former one benefitting private employees mill probably cause in other sectors similar demands for wage increases and special security benefito. Furthermore, the adoption of now multiple exchange rates not only shelves the plan for establishing a single exchange rate but also foreshadows further price increases because of the upward shift in the rates for most imports. Unless the receipts from major exports -- particularly copper -- can be stepped up substantially and farther taxation can be enacted before the end of the year, the prospects for a budgetary deficit this year are very strong. sOrganised labor (both Communiat and non-Communist) is becoming Approved For Release 2002/0 -RDP 9-01090A0002000500/3-4 Approved For Mese 2002/0WilA-RDP79-01090264200050038-4 - 3 - Weekly Contributions, 38-50 19 September 1950 (CIA Workina: Paper) Situation Memorandum 56-50 increasingly powerful and will probably continue to exert considerable influence on governmental economic policy and legislation. A now, still loosely formed, labor federation (Nevimiento Unitario Nacional de Trabw. jadores NUNT) appears to be a potentially powerful group since it claims the affiliation of twelve important federations of labor unions in addition to the support and cooperation of both tho Socialist and Communist CTCh ? and the ;one-established but politically dormant confederation the Carr- federacion General de Traba'adoros (CGT). Continued pressure from or groups appears e y ur e ialance of the year. !Anton'', Loyalty, efficiency, and training of the armed forces remain at a satisfactory level; morale is gradually improving as a result of the salary increase of approximately 35 percent recently Granted the army, navy, air force, and carabinoros (national police). Congressional authorization to augment the-TallariTge from 20,000 to 25,000 is considered a WOG to meet the needs of riFaiarpopulation rather than an indication of an imminent stepping-up of polio? activities. Chilean air force training is expected to improve when the 27 reconditioned training planos recently purchased from the US -- but grounded during a congressional investigation -- are put into service. Subversive Digliig the past three months Chilean Comnuniste have improved their position. They suffered somewhat, it is true, when they stirred up some popular indignation against themselves by stoning the US EMbassy. Commu- nists have, however, continued to enjoy the increased measure of freedom which they Gained after the present cabinet -- which has a more leftist makeup than its predecessor -- came into office. They have continued their political activities, have made them more overt and militant, and have also instigated or prolonged strikes in the nitrate and copper industries. Commu- nists have made slight gains in labor influence and have enhanced their potential for creating labor disturbances by penetration of the now labor organization (ruNT) and to a certain extent the white-collar workers' federa- tion (JUNECH). The Ceramists have continued to fight against the Defense of Democracy Lau and maybe expected to go on with the campaign, though their chances for success in the irLediate future appear to be remote. In other respects Communists may be expected at least to hold their own during the coming quarter. International cop for a temporary setback vis-a-vis Peru and Bolivia over the Bolivian corridor issue and a slight improvement of relations with Haiti accompanying the renewal of relations with the military junta, Chile's relabions with other Latin American countrias remain basically unchanged. Chile continues in general to follow US policy and to support the US in international organizations. Popular and official cement -- except among Approved For Release 2002/08/28 : CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050038-4 9. Approved For Mase2002/0.40tIMP79-01090A000200050038-4 - 4 - Tookly Contributions, 36-50 19 September 1950 (CIA :.-orking Paper) Situation Lemorandum 56-50 Communists -- has been highly laudatory of the US response to the UN call for aid in Korea. In matters involving the East-'Test strugzle Chile is expected to continuo to support the US and to uphold her promise to take steps to maintain the flay of copper and nitrates to the US. The most recent evidence of Chile's animosity towards the USSR has been a stiff note to the Dose= governrant in which Chile denounced all Soviet claims to Antarctic territory. RET 10. Approved For Release 2002/08/ 8 : CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050038-4