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Letter to the President of the Junta of Government of Bolivia on the Settlement of the Chaco Controversy.

May 25, 1938

His Excellency:

Colonel German Busch,

President of the Junta of Government of Bolivia,

La Paz, Bolivia

The proposal which the Peace Conference presents to the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay for the definitive settlement of the Chaco controversy is, in the opinion of the Government of the United States, an equitable one which offers every possibility for lasting peace, security and the national interests of the two parties. It is the result of the most careful study and impartial deliberation on the part of the delegates of the mediatory countries. It is in keeping with the pledge of the American republics to settle by peaceful means the international differences that may arise among them. It was formulated after full and frank exchanges of views between Conference delegates and members of the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay at La Paz and Asuncion. It represents a final effort to fulfill one of the obligations assumed under the Protocol of June 12, 1935, signed by the two parties under the auspices of the six mediatory governments.

Almost three years have elapsed since hostilities ceased in the Chaco, as a result of the voluntary agreement between Bolivia and Paraguay. That agreement put an end to the death and destruction of armed conflict, but the burden of suffering and loss must still weigh heavily upon the two peoples. I am confident that Your Excellency shares my deep conviction that the peoples of the two countries want peace and should have peace. The Peace Conference at Buenos Aires has been striving for three years to assist the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay to make peace secure. An opportunity to crown these long negotiations with success now presents itself. There exists for all of those participating, directly or indirectly, in the work of the Peace Conference a solemn obligation to seize that opportunity.

The Government of the United States has cooperated loyally and actively with the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay and with the governments of the other mediatory nations in seeking a just and definitive settlement of the Chaco controversy. It has a vital interest, in common with its sister republics of the Americas, in preserving peace in our hemisphere. In the present instance, the Government of the United States records its complete solidarity with the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay in urging in the strongest and most friendly manner the acceptance by the Governments of Bolivia and Paraguay of the proposal referred to.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration and the expression of my best wishes for the welfare and prosperity of the Bolivian people.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to the President of the Junta of Government of Bolivia on the Settlement of the Chaco Controversy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208868

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