"The right of the people to inform themselves freely"
Latin American Historical Awareness Society of the Americas
After "National Independence", Guatemala continues to be ruled by dictatorships, principally by: Rafael Carrera (1838 -1865), Justo Rufino Barrios (1873 - 1885), Manuel Estrada Cabrera (1898 - 1920), and Gen. Jorge Ubico (1931 - 1944). The racial divide between European mix (ladino) and indigenous is thoroughly entrenched in the country and as such, dictators have no reservations selling the country to foreign businesses at a profit.
Narrative: President of Guatemala, Lazaro Chacon, signs a 25-year contract exempting the United Fruit Company from all government duties and taxes.
Expiration year- 1951.
The October Revolution of 1944 paves the way for open elections. Juan José Arévalo is inaugurated as Guatemala's first freely elected president. In his first few years, Arévalo began to build infrastructure- roads, a free port, and public works. Agricultural schools were completed, indigenous populations had access to education, newspapers, magazines, and radio broadcasts in their native language, and organized labor was encouraged.
1 May - Labor code instituted in Guatemala. Workers are guaranteed legal rights to organize and negotiate healthcare, vacations, salaries, and individual or collective contracts.
United States National Security Council "legalizes" covert activity against unsuspecting countries.
In one of the most outrageous examples of legislation, the United States adopts radical policy approving covert operations "which are so planned and executed that any U.S. government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the U.S government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them". The Act "allows" the United States to bypass international law and interfere, destabilize, and sabotage governments in the interests of "world peace".
Examples of Anti-U.S. Sentiment Expressed in Latin American Radio Broadcasts
Union Protest Against United Fruit Code Violations(spanish)
Report of Planned Invasion of Guatemala
Possible Coup Against Arevalo Government
Col. Francisco Arana, backed by followers of Ubico, conspire to overthrow Arevalo.
U.S. suspends arms sales to Guatemala indefinitely. This action forces Guatemala to seek weapons from Europe as neighboring countries become increasingly hostile.
"Guatemala is in the forefront of those nations which denounce the existence of colonial possessions in the western hemisphere."
- Latin American Branch, CIA 22 March 1949-
Reported Mutual Assistance Pact between Juan Galvez and Francisco Arana
Failure of Rebel Invasion of Guatemala from Mexico
Weekly Contributions: Latin American Branch, ORE, CIA 22 March 1949
Weekly Contributions: Latin American Branch, ORE, CIA 6 July 1949
30 August 1949- Petroleum Law instituted in Guatemala. Deposits of hydrocarbons can only be exploited by the State, by Guatemalans, or by Guatemalan companies in which the capital is predominately national.
Weekly Contributions: Latin American Branch, ORE, CIA 6 September 1949
Weekly Contributions: Latin American Branch, ORE, CIA 29 November 1949
Contact with Carlos Castillo Armas (AKA RUFUS, CALLIGERIS) is established. CIA begins buildup of personnel and resources.
"Since World War II, assaults of this character have occurred in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Venezuela, and as of 1950, one was being prepared in Guatemala"
- Victor Perlo, American Imperialism 1951-
A 1953 document proves that President Arévalo was accurate in his charge against Patterson who was under CIA cover, performing psychological and political warfare before Arbenz became President of Guatemala.
1 March - President Arévalo presents annual message to Congress. Charges former U.S. Ambassador Richard C. Patterson, Jr. of engaging in conspiracies against Guatemalan Government.
"I came to understand that, according to certain international norms- not written, but acting- small countries do not have the right to sovereignty. I also warned that our compatriots with a feudal spirit and a demand for freedom should be understood as a freedom for the multiplication of their wealth, without limitations or obligations, without any consideration for the worker who produces it or the employee who administers it.
Within this international framework, resoundingly adopted by almost all the politicians and statesmen of our century, the human factor lacks its own meaning and real value, unless that meaning and value are in accordance with commercial assumptions. It is spoken of "the rights of man”, whose rights are explained with academic sufficiency, but they have never told us who this man is, what color that man is or where and how that man lives and dies."
- President of Guatemala Juan Jose Arévalo 15 March 1951-
According to the State Department, Guatemala is classified as a vulnerable area, in the same category as Israel, Sweden, and Iceland.
Definition of "Psychological" Operations
United States Army The Chief of Staff
Special Task Assignment for PSB (Inventory of Cold War Weapons)
In November meetings were held with representatives of United Fruit and Electric Bond and Share Co. to offer resources to the CIA.
Memorandum to Deputy Director, Plans
Memorandum to Mr. James Lay, Executive Secretary National Security Council
Request for a National Estimate on Guatemala
Plot to Overthrow the Guatemalan Government
A study of Guatemala is requested for further action. The report was given 4 months to complete. 5 days later a plan to overthrow the government was created.
Meeting of Mr. Dulles and Col. King with Assistant Secretary of State Miller re overthrow of Guatemalan Government.
13 Feb- Ex-President Juan Jose Arévalo quoted in Mexican press stating Arbenz administration in "grave danger" because United Fruit Company and "Yankee imperialist agents" planned to wrest power from it.
18 Feb- Victor Manuel Gutiérrez, Secretary General of Labor in Guatemala, informs in a radio interview 300 men under Col Carlos Castillo Armas, a political exile, are preparing to invade Guatemala from Honduras. Ministry of Interior promptly denies it.
Present Political Situation in Guatemala and Possible Developments During 1952
"Future political developments will depend in large measure on the outcome of the conflict between Guatemala and the United Fruit Company."
- NIE-62 Intelligence Advisory Committee 11 March 1952-
General- Political Matters Specific- Guatemala
The Revolutions of 1944
Intermediate Report on Military Plans for Guatemala
Castillo Armas maintained in Honduras [ ] [ ] with financial assistance from CIA.
What is the Fundamental Trouble with Latin America?
How Communists Won Control of Guatemala
IR 6165.30 Capabilities of the Communist Party, Guatemala
Conference Between CALLIGERIS, SEEKFORD, and HINDMARSH
U.S. Non Intervention Policy
U.S. Arms Sales
Future PP Activities in Guatemala
PBFORTUNE - Meeting with Principle Agent (KS) 3 September 1953
The Agrarian Reform Law
Memo of Conversation between Ambassador Schoenfeld and Jacobo Arbenz
As late as September of 1953, the State Department realized that the "revolutionary army" of Castillo Armas was doomed to failure. The following document- Impressions of PBFORTUNE- reveals that the position of Armas was weak in Guatemala, he had amassed negligible assets on his own, and provided no evidence that popular support would be available once the coup began. This memo exposes the State Department's intent to move forward with Carlos Castillo Armas playing a "proper, limited scale" in the operation.
Impressions of PBFORTUNE
Memorandum of Conversation with DD/P re PBFORTUNE
Guatemala General Plan of Action
Col. King meets with American business men in New York re economic pressures against Guatemala.
Memorandum For The Record Subject: PBSUCCESS
PBSUCCESS: Meeting of First Team 18 Sep 53
Oil Exploitation in Guatemala
The Economic Importance of the Resources of Selected Areas to the US and.....
Letter to Dulles re Decline in Prestige Abroad
Status of U.S. Military Mission in Guatemala
An Evaluation of the Significance of the Shift in Political Power Since 1944
Biographic Data on Guatemalan Personalities Juan Jose Arevalo
Observations on Proposed PP Program, Stage 2, PBSUCCESS
The Chamber of Deputies of Chile recognizes the dangers of a conspiracy against Guatemala and unanimously agrees to ask the Chilean delegation that goes to Caracas a firm defense of the small Central American country.
Estimate of Costs For Communications PBSUCCESS
New York Customs detained and seized a shipment of ammunition purchased in Switzerland by the Guatemalan government. The pretext given by officials was that the cargo did not have a license to import into Guatemala.
Alexander Wiley, president of the Commission of Foreign Relations, made public accusations against Guatemala, repeating the slogan that Guatemala is a "dangerous bridgehead of international communism".
Action Against the General Labor Confederation of Guatemala
Letter From CALLIGERIS to "Supreme Jefe of Group", i.e., Director
View the document- Proposed PP Program Stage Two PBSUCCESS
The government of Guatemala exhibits, in a bulletin given to the press, all documents in its possession on the organization of mercenary troops in Honduras, with protection from the governments of Honduras, Nicaragua, Santo Domingo, Venezuela, and the approval of the "Government of the North". Cardinal Spellman is also mentioned in the documents.
State Department rejects the Guatemalan accusation, blaming Moscow with aims of sabotaging Pan-American harmony.
Moscow Tass in Russian Hellschreiber to Europe
To Director from Lincoln re Source of Leak
The "Official" Congressional record of the United States Senate.
View the Document- Statement by Prominent Democrat on Expropriation in Central America
To Director of CIA from LINCOLN
White Paper Counter by CIA
Declaration of Col. Castillo Armas
Two members of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives- Donald Jackson and Frances Bolton- asked for the adoption of measures against Guatemala as a result of the expulsion of two American journalists. Bolton stated such action was definitive proof that Guatemala was in the hands of the Communists.
KUGOWN Support Current Situation of Labor in Guatemala
A pact is made between a large group of American businessmen and Carlos Castillo Armas to carry out the coup. Joshua Smith and Robert Ford are representatives for the "Group".
Agreement Between Group and Junta
Delivery Points for Supplies
KUGOWN White Paper Counter
White Paper Original (spanish)
15 February Conference on Black Flights
Message to SLINC from Director CIA
KUGOWN Instructions for Eliot P. Razmara
KUGOWN Notes for Frances R. Hegarty
Covert Operations Section
Propaganda Budget for March
KUGOWN Operational Telephone team for rumor propogation
Pan-American Conference in Caracas. Chancellor Toriello of Guatemala denounces the United States, its aim to defend the interests of United Fruit and the use of military aggression against Guatemala. Foster Dulles, lawyer of the International Railways of Central America, proclaims his grief before the communist infiltration. Delegates from Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador pronounce rejection against foreign intervention.
Address by Guillermo Toriello Garrido
State Department officials recognize the agrarian reform as favorable among the Guatemalan working class population.
Specific Instructions for "Don Juan Jose" CIA re "Pancho"
Use of Church Contacts for WSBURNT Program
Progress Report PBSUCCESS for the Period 2-8 March 1954
PBSUCCESS: Selection of Clandestine Radio Site
Security - Operational Support
First- hand account of Donald C. Hediger details how U.S. agents revived and took control of failing subversive attempts by "local" anti-communist organizations.
Operational Hediger Report
Operational GROUP's Reccomendations
Letter from Sydney Gruson
Report by Mr [ ] on OAS Conference
Approval for Purchase of Arms
Air Operations Report
Review of ESSENCE Operations
Report of the Committee on Freedom of Information
The State department, in the name of United Fruit Company, demands the Government of Guatemala to pay a sum of 15,800,000 dollars for expropriated lands. The government of Guatemala, protected by law, rejects the claim.
Operation WASHTUB was a propaganda campaign using U.S submarines to accuse Guatemala of smuggling weapons. The following example illustrates how one submarine identified by locals was used in the media.