Globe and Hemisphere: Latin America's Place in the Postwar Foreign Relations of the United States

By J. Fred Rippy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
BOLIVIA: AN EXHIBIT OF THE PROBLEMS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN RETARDED COUNTRIES

"VIOLENCE shook Bolivia in September, but by month's end the government of newly-inaugurated Hernán Siles Zuazo seemed confident it had sufficient popular support to maintain itself in power. The President declared a nation-wide state of siege after armed rioters staged a hunger march in La Paz in which at least five persons were killed and scores injured. Mobs burned the plant of the official government newspaper, La Nación, and the government-owned Illimani radio station, and did more than $1 million damage before police could break them up. Counter-attackers then sacked the Falange headquarters and the home of Oscar Unzaga de la Vega, leader of the opposition Falange Socialista Boliviana.... Over 200 were arrested for participation in the riots, and Falange leaders sought asylum in the various Latin American embassies.... In protest against the burning of La Nación...workers led by Juan Lechín, head of the Central Labor Organization, seized the plant of the shut-down opposition newspaper, La Razón.... After an inventory of La Razón's facilities was taken, the Chamber of Deputies passed a law authorizing expropriation of the newspaper for official use, but at month's end the bill had not been passed by the Senate. In the midst of the political upheaval labor chief Lechín suddenly resigned as Senate president, giving as reasons poor health and Senate failure to obtain a quorum. However, it appeared that the firm stand taken by moderate officials on... La Razón's expropriation was also a factor."

-175-

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