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Minister Says U.S. Ambassador In Danger Of Becoming ‘Persona Non Grata’

January 19, 1987

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) _ U.S. Ambassador Clyde Taylor is in danger of becoming ″persona non grata″ because of his continued support for the opposition, Interior Minister Sabino Montanaro said Sunday.

There was no immediate comment from Taylor, whose remarks in support of democracy since taking over the ambassadorship in late 1985 have angered the Paraguayan hierarchy. Paraguay has been ruled by rightist strongman Gen. Alfredo Stroessner since 1954.

The statement by Montanaro, vice president of the ruling Colorado Party, follows Taylor’s offer to help the opposition station Radio Nanduty end the jamming of its signals that caused it to suspend operations last Wednesday because of financial losses.

On Friday, the U.S. Embassy called on the Paraguayan government to ″take the necessary measures″ to end the jamming. The owners of Radio Nanduty have accused the government of complicity in blocking broadcasts.

Previously, the U.S. Embassy offered its diplomatic assistance to the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, a faction considered ″irregular″ by the government.

Montanaro told party officials in the eastern city of Piribebuy that Taylor would be wise to recognize that the Paraguayan government ″is interested only in the opinion of the Colorado Party.″

Otherwise, the official said, Taylor could soon be declared ″persona non grata″ by the ruling party of this California-sized country of 3.6 million people.

Radio Nanduty’s leftist owner, Humberto Rubin, said the station was losing $10,000 a month because of the jamming of all news and advertisements . In recent weeks it had been able to broadcast only continuous music.

In the past, Montanaro has blamed the interference on ″a technical problem″ at the station itself and said the government could do nothing about it.

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