Bolivia returns to calm, but right still plans to quash June election
Although the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz was calm June 19 following 24 hours of rightist rioting, the future of President Lidia Gueiler Tejada remains uncertain.
Rightists are clearly bent on canceling presidential balloting scheduled for June 29, but Mrs. Gueiler promises the election will take place.
A major uncertainty remains the role of the Bolivian Second Army Corps headquartered in Santa Cruz, which declared itself in revolt against Mrs. Gueiler and called for a military government.
Second Army rangers also renewed their demand for removal of new US Ambassador Marvin Weissman, who was accused of meddling in Bolivian affairs by allegedly trying to stem a military coup in late May.
In this connection, Army units refused to come to the aid of US consular officials and the director of the US cultural center in Santa Cruz when their offices were attacked and looted June 18 by the rightist demonstrators, who also ransacked 15 other buildings and offices in the downtown part of the city.
"We cannot give you protection," the Army command in Santa Cruz told one of the beseiged Americans, "because then we would have to give it to everyone."
The rightists, who include not only civilians but also apparently key elements in the Second Army Corps, support the Bolivian Socialist Falange. It is a rightist party that supports Gen. Hugo Banzer Suarez, a former president, who is a candidate in the June 29 election, but not given much prospect of winning.