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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • November 03, 1961

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Record of Visit of Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes, Prague on 2 November 1961

    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.

  • February 28, 1962

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Record of Conversation with Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes, Prague

    Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes opened a February 1962 meeting at the Foreign Ministry by asking whether or not Czechoslovakia was willing to provide assistance for “Kid’s Town,” a children’s art exhibit which was his pet project.

  • July 24, 1962

    Czechoslovak Embassy in La Paz to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Economic Policy Report

    Czechoslovakia was beginning to appreciate the political impact of US aid programs under the Alliance for Progress. The 1962 Czechoslovak report goes on to explore the many conditions of US aid under Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress, which included "a complete break in commercial intercourse with Cuba and the commencement of a strong opposition strategy against the labor movement."

  • December 06, 1962

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Record of Visit of Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes with Comrade Pithart, Prague

    Bolivian chargé Calvimontes goes on at length regarding Bolivia's conflict with Chile, which was rooted in Bolivia's desire for access to the Pacific Ocean.

  • December 13, 1962

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz), Record of Conversation with Bolivian Delegation to the XII Congress of the CPCz, Secretary in the Politboro of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bolivia, Raul Ruíz Gonzáles, Prague

    This meeting represents the unofficial side of Czechoslovak foreign policy toward Cold War Latin America: its relations with the region’s Communist parties. Ruíz asks for information on the growing rift between China and the Soviet Union. The meeting, which took place at Ruíz’s request, resulted in several Bolivian Communists being sheltered through Prague’s Operation Manuel on their way home from guerrilla training in Cuba.

  • May 21, 1963

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Record of Conversation with First Secretary of the Communist Party of Bolivia, Mario Monje, Prague

    In a conversation with the head of the CPCz international department in May 1963, PCB First Secretary Mario Monje reveals the extent of his party’s modus vivendi with Paz Estenssoro’s governing Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR). According to Monje, the Bolivian president was "heavily involved" with Operation Matraca, an ongoing Cuban-sponsored guerrilla operation targeting the military governing in neighboring Peru.

  • May 18, 1964

    Czechoslovak Embassy in La Paz to Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

    When Bolivia’s political crises reached fever pitch in the lead up to the May 1964 presidential elections, the Communist Party turned to Prague for financial support. Back in Prague, Foreign Ministry officials responded in bold handwriting with a short phrase: nepřichází v úvahu, which translates roughly as "no way."

  • March 07, 1967

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Record of Conversation with Secretary and Member of the Politboro of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bolivia, Jorge Kolle, Prague

    PCB Politburo member Jorge Kolle Cueto asks on 7 March 1967 to inform the Czechoslovak Communist Party, "on behalf of the CC of the Bolivian CP," regarding "the situation in Bolivia… and his recent meeting with Fidel Castro." After four pages of discussion regarding the depressing internal political situation under 1964 coup leader, General René Barrientos, Kolle announced that "the party must necessarily prepare for the possibility of armed struggle in order to participate in the attempt to overthrow the current regime together with other leftist forces."

  • May 30, 1967

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz), Record of Conversation between Head of the International Department of the CPCz Central Committee and Member of the Central Committee of the Bolivian Communist Party, Aldo Flores, Prague

    The head of CPCz’s international department and Aldo Flores, a member of the PCB Central Committee discuss Cuban-sponsored guerrilla warfare in Bolivia. Flores described several years of close collaboration between the Bolivian and Cuban communist parties for the training of guerrilla groups in Bolivia, which had recently gone awry as "Cuban officials built their own organization in Bolivia, composed entirely of their own people."

  • November 17, 1967

    Operation MANUEL: Origins, Development and Aims

    Comrade Josef Houska submits a document concerning issues related to cooperation with the Cuban intelligence service especially the Operation MANUEL to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The Operational MANUEL started in 1962 when the Cuban intelligence asked the Czechoslovak resident in Havana to arrange a transit through Prague for Venezuelan nationals who underwent guerrilla training in Cuba. In 1964 talks were held between Cuban and Czechoslovak intelligence services but no formal agreement of the tasks and responsibilities was concluded between the two. The Soviet government was informed about the Operation MANUEL and stated its agreement with the project. Houska says that the main objective of the operation is the education and training of revolutionary cadres from Latin America and the organization of combat groups. Participants of the operation were not confined to cadres from among the ranks of communist parties but also included members from various nationalist and anti-American groupings. The routes of individual participants in the operation were determined by the Cuban intelligence service who mainly directed the Operation MANUEL. Houska says problems that arisen in the course of the operation were solved in collaboration with Cuban and the Soviet authorities. The document cautioned about counter-espionage institutions' increasing interests in the operation and the fact that the US intelligence service agents were among the operation participants. Houska says refusal to offer assistance would have a negative impact on Cuba and Czechoslovakia would lose control over the operation.

  • 1970

    Letter to the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union, B. N. Ponomarev

    A letter describing the state of socialist and communist movements in Latin America with respect to their organized struggle against the imperial influence of the US. The letter indicates that the growth of youth, workers' and women's movements in Latin America is conducive to the development of stronger ties with the socialist countries around the world. The letter suggests that a strategic approach towards Latin America should be adopted in establishing cooperation in all spheres of life: economic, political, and cultural. An emphasis is placed on the gradual development of close relations with Latin American communist parties.

  • April 14, 1971

    Letter from Sergio Del Valle to Angel Solakov with Intelligence information from Cuba

    Report on the political situation in Bolivia: President Torres takes steps to consolidate his presidential power