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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 03, 1961

CZECHOSLOVAK MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, RECORD OF VISIT OF BOLIVIAN CHARGé D’AFFAIRES JORGE CALVIMONTES, PRAGUE ON 2 NOVEMBER 1961

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    Bolivia’s chargé d’affaires in Prague, Jorge Calvimontes Calvimontes, was a young leftwing journalist and poet who had risen to prominence in the 1950s as a writer for La Nación, the official newspaper of the Bolivian revolution and its heterogeneous political party, the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario.
    "Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Record of Visit of Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes, Prague on 2 November 1961," November 03, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Inv.č. 93, ka. 74, Komunistická strana Československa, Ústřední výbor, Kancelář 1, tajemníka ÚV KSČ Antonína Novotného—II. Č, Národní archiv, Prahu. Obtained by Thomas Field with help from Vlasta Měšťánková; translated by Jiri Macek. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123801
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Ref. 018.765/61- DP. Secret!

[Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

Record of Visit of Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires [Jorge] Calvimontes,

[Prague, Czechoslovakia]

[2 November 1961]

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At 12 noon on 2 November 1961, Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Mr. Calvimontes, visited me at his request.

He informed me that he had received orders and a decree from his ministry for the former Cz. Commercial Attaché in La Paz cde. Reichl.  He intends to hand this over at the awards ceremony at the Embassy and asked for communication regarding who would attend these small festivities from the Cz. party.  I told the Chargé d’Affaires that a Cz. citizen is required to get a foreign order agreement from the Cz. government and from the President of the Republic.  Cde. Reichl’s application for the adoption of Bolivia’s order has been filed, and Mr. Calivmontes will be informed when a decision is known.  In another interview, Mr. Calvimontes expressed his delight regarding the fact that economic relations between our countries are developing quite well and gave great credit for that achievement to Mr. Reichl, who was actively involved in this matter while temporarily residing in La Paz.  As far as the cultural relations are concerned, the chargé d’affaires announced receiving two art exhibitions.  One being color photography and the other being child drawings. It will be the very first Bolivian art exhibition organized by ČSSR [Czechoslovak Socialist Republic].  At the same time, the exhibition serves as a cornerstone of the cultural relations agreement signed last month during the visit of the Bolivian Minister of Education and Culture.  As far as the photography exhibition is concerned, it reflects both specific modern developments and conveniences Bolivia has achieved lately as well as photographs depicting the poverty and social destitution that is still present among Bolivians.  The main purpose of this exhibition is to show the real situation present in Bolivia instead of an idealized one.  The photographic exhibition will be installed simultaneously with the exhibition of Bolivian children’s drawings to thus arouse the interest and solidarity of our mass organizations, such as the ROH and the Cz. Red Cross, in helping to build the ‘kids’ town’ to be built in Bolivia with international assistance and in some way assist in the solution of the problem of child poverty…

[More pleasantries follow]

[…]At the end of the conversation, Mr. Calvimontes mentioned the fact that questions regarding his extramural studies at the Faculty of Journalism in Prague had not been resolved yet. Although he has already obtained the curriculum, he is still waiting to be enrolled.  He has already talked to both Comrades Petrželka and Hájek who promised to help. These studies are of particular interest to him, because he had always been engaged in journalism, and prior to his departure for the ČSSR, he worked as a journalist for the government newspaper La Nación, despite being busy at the headquarters of the Bolivian Ministry of Public Works.  The aforementioned serves as a reason why he would like to improve his expertise by studying at the journalism faculty in Prague.  He thinks that is capable, since after a year in the ČSSR he has learned to speak the Czech language fairly well.  I promised Mr. Calivmontes that I would look into the status of this issue.  The visit lasted 30 min.  It was spoken in Czech.

Conclusions:

1)  Follow up on the issue of the approval of the consent order for cde. Reichl.

2)  Notify the 6th Department of the upcoming color photographic exhibition and children’s drawings; the 6th Department is to discuss the issue with the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs].

3)  Inquire about Mr. Calvimontes’s request for external study at the journalism faculty and inform him in the case of a positive decision.

In Prague on 3 November 1961

Written by: Dr. B. Verner

[signed]

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