Santiago, Chile (Dec. 20)
President Enrique Penaranda of Bolivia, who is known for his pro-Jewish sentiments, and his pro-Allied government were overthrown today in a revolution maneuvered by pro-Nazi elements and headed by Victor Paz Estenssoro, a former finance minister who was arrested in 1941 in connection with an attempted pro-Nazi patch. Paz Estenssoro was reported to have set himself up in the President’s palace.
Only a few weeks ago President Penarands, escorted by members of his cabinet, paid a visit to an exhibition arranged in La Paz by the local Jewish community. The exhibition aimed at discrediting the anti-Semitic propaganda conducted by Nazi agents in the country to the effect that the Jews in Bolivia are “parasites” and constitute a dangerous element. The exhibition, showing the contribution of Jewish refugees to the development of the country, was highly praised by the now deposed President.
It is taken for granted here that the anti-Allied policy of the Argentine Government had much to do with the present coup in Bolivia which may affect the position of the 6,000 Jews there. The majority of the Jews in Bolivia are refugees from Europe.
It was recalled here today that Paz Estenssoro was among the Bolivian fascists who urged the segregation of all Jews in Bolivia in a remote undeveloped section of the country. The attempted coup of 1941 in which he was involved was carried out with the aid of the German Minister in Bolivia who was forced to leave the country immediately after the “putsch” failed.