• U.S.

PARAGUAY: Friend Lost

2 minute read

The U.S. lost another Good Neighbor, Argentina gained another satellite.

First official indication that Paraguay had followed Bolivia into totalitarian, anti-U.S. Argentina’s growing bloc came from Washington. There the Paraguayan Embassy announced a change in Foreign Ministers, piously said that the shift “in no way alters the directives of the Government.”

Actually, there had been a complete and picturesque alteration. Stocky President Higinio Morinigo had long teetered on the fence between Argentina and the U.S. Short time ago the Frente de Guerra (War Front), a pro-Argentine group of Army officers, decided that he had perched there long enough. Led by hatchet-faced Colonel Benitez Vera, the 3,000-man garrison of Campo Grande set out for the center of Asunción, a few miles away, riding in Lend-Lease jeeps and trucks, guarded by Lend-Lease airplanes. President Morinigo met them, yielded to their demands.

Immediate result was Paraguay’s recognition of Argentina’s President Edelmiro Farrell (TIME, March 20). Foreign Minister Luis Argana and two other pro-U.S. Ministers in Morinigo’s Cabinet were allowed to stay a short time, but last week they were fired. Morinigo became an army-bossed puppet.*

*About the time of President Morinigo’s inauguration, his mother is said to have remarked: “If I had known he was going to be President, I would have sent him to school.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com