VIOLENCE MAY BREAK OUT IN ECUADOR OVER THE CUBAN ISSUE

Created: 3/2/1961

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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told Ambassador Bernbaum in early February that he was greatly concerned over the Ecuadorean political situation, and predicted another postponement of the eleventh Inter-American Conference now set for Quito onay. He noted President Velasco's desire for closer relations with Cuba, his friendship for Araujo, and his refusal to take action against Communist or Cuban activities In Ecuador.

The potential for violence over the Cuban Issue wasrecently by Communist-backed student unrest In both Quito and Guayaquil which caused demonstrations against Chiriboga and the incumbent minister of government The Castro regime has cultivated relations with Velasco,by expressing support for Ecuador in its long-standing boundary dispute with Peru.

Chiriboga also stated to an American officialilitary coup was being planned in Guayaquil. Such an attempt has been consideredroup of aboutigh-ranking officers, under the leadership of the former armywho were retired soon after Velasco was inaugurated last September. As minister of government, Araujo accused these officials ofmove which touchedolitical controversy and helped precipitate his resignation. Although Velascoubstantial following among the officer corps, he might alienate it If he reappoints Araujoop government position andro-Castro, pro-Soviet policy. Chiriboga said he had information thatabinet meeting last Saturday Velasco agreed to repudiate Araujo and threaten htra with jail If he continued his activities; but Chiriboga also said he was certain Velasco will not follow through on this.

2 Mar Gl CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 5

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Araujo recently spent about three weeks in Cuba, apd he has reportedly maintained close contact with the Cuban Embassy in Quito. An advocate of close relations with the bloc, hecontacted one or more bloc missions while in Havana.

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