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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".

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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-

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.

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.

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.

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-January 24-
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.

"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-

Castillo Armas maintained in Honduras [                     ] [            ] with financial assistance from CIA.
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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.

-September 14-
Col. King meets with American business men in New York re economic pressures against Guatemala.
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Observations on Proposed PP Program, Stage 2, PBSUCCESS
-January 6th-
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
-January 14th-
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
-January 29th-
Guatemala Bares Plot

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.

-January 30th-
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.

Ofiicial Record
To Director of CIA from LINCOLN
White Paper Counter by CIA
Declaration of Col. Castillo Armas
-February 3rd-
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
Psychological Intelligence
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
-March 5th-
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.
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PBSUCCESS: Selection of Clandestine Radio Site
Security - Operational Support
Sabotage Targets
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
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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
-April 20th-
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.
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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.

KUGOWN Sherwood Script Propaganda
The Sherwood Tapes
-May 11th-
The government of Honduras blames Guatemala for the great strike of Honduran workers against United Fruit Company. 
Foster Dulles endorses the accusations of the Honduran government against Guatemala.
Air Support Pilot List
-May 17th-
The State Department gives an announcement of a shipment of arms to Guatemala.
-May 19th-
The State Department believes that Latin American nations are not sufficiently alarmed by the danger that international communism poses to their freedom and well-being.
Message to Director
-May 20th-
The Nicaraguan ambassador, after a conference with Foster Dulles, declared in Washington that his country contemplates the convenience of requesting a meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs to consider the serious events of Central America.
A shipment of Swiss ammunition for the Guatemalan government is stopped in Hamburg.
-May 25th-
Foster Dulles declares the shipment of "communist" arms to Guatemala gives the small country a tremendous military superiority over its Central American neighbors and could endanger the Panama Canal.
-May 26th-
The first pirate plane flies over Guatemala, throwing inflammatory leaflets and announcing a short-term invasion. U.S. Air support over the course of the following month was the deciding factor in the overthrow of Arbenz.
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Continental Congress against the Soviet invasion in Latin America is held in Mexico. The first vice president of the Congress is a Guatemalan lawyer Carlos Salazar Gatica, former official of the United Fruit, involved in several conspiracies against Arevalo and Arbenz.
The Guatemalan government offers the Honduran government the signing of a non-aggression pact, to end the tension between the two countries.
-May 29th-
A military pact between the United States and Honduras. Immediate, precipitated and substantial shipment of weapons, ammunition, and airplanes. Technicians arrive in Managua and Tegucigalpa.
Points for Consideration by the Special State Department Group working on......
Secret to Washington from ~
-May 31st-
Guatemalan police discover documents that prove the complicity of certain people, inside Guatemala, to support the mercenary invasion. Several conspirators are detained, others take refuge in embassies and others flee to Honduras.
President Arbenz has made multiple attempts to resolve the situation diplomatically to no avail.
Arbenz Public Meeting with Eisenhower Denied
-June 2nd-
United States amasses "the largest battalion in the area" on Honduran territory.
Cable to Director from Lincoln
-June 8th-
Foster Dulles declares in Washington that the Guatemalan problem "has nothing to do with United Fruit but affects the other American nations equally."
June 10th-
Honduras rejects the Guatemalan offer of a non-aggression pact. 
-June 11th-
Government of Mexico ordered the closing of the border with Guatemala.
-June 13th-
The United States prohibits the sale of weapons to Guatemala and requires licenses to register all ships on the high seas.
Policy Guidance for Final Phase of PBSUCCESS
-June 14th-
Journalists begin to arrive in Guatemala, San Salvador and Tegucigalpa.
-June 15th-
The Ambassadors of El Salvador and Costa Rica leave the city of Guatemala to their respective countries.
-June 16th-
Pan American Airways suspends services to Guatemala.