Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Dale M. Povenmire
Q: Am I to understand that a guy like Romualdi or Doherty could come into Paraguay? The impression I had was that Stroessner was such a dictator that he would not have allowed them into the country.
POVENMIRE: I did recommend that AIFLD come in. Ambassador Snow approved this recommendation; it went through channels. As a consequence Jesse Friedman came down from Peru, where he was assigned with AIFLD. That is where I first met Jesse. I have always liked him and we work well together. Eventually AIFLD sent in two Paraguayan exiles, one by the name of Lava, and another with a Basque name. Unfortunately these two came in as labor organizers and were perhaps too effective. After about six weeks they were picked up by the Paraguayan police and thrown into jail.
Q: It was possible that Romauldi came to visit Jesse. You knew that Jesse was his stepson?
POVENMIRE: I did know that. My recollection is that Romauldi swung by first in order to evaluate the situation. It was not an official labor visit whatsoever.
Q: Anything you would like to say about Bill Doherty, Jr., would be useful in terms of other comments we've had, including from his brother who didn't get along with him too well.
POVENMIRE: I was just going to add that these two Paraguayan exiles who came back to Paraguay had a lot of courage. When they were thrown into jail Bill Doherty and several others from AIFLD came down to Paraguay to visit them and to talk to the Paraguayan authorities. I think that also demonstrated a lot of individual bravery on the part of the AIFLD people. It was still a difficult time in Paraguay and I would not have wanted to have had to do what they did.
Q: Were these two citizens of Paraguay?