1952-1954, Volume IV, American Republics (Guatemala Compilation)|
Released by the Office of the Historian
74. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State
74. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 23, 1954, 4 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2354. Confidential; Priority.
1088. I called on Foreign Minister Toriello yesterday afternoon to discuss protection of American citizens during present emergency.
He endeavored assume offensive by again bringing up Department's press release of June 19,/2/ and suggesting that I issue clarification. I said I was informing Department to best of my knowledge and would not consider clarifying earlier statements.
/2/For text of a statement issued by the Department of State on June 19, see Department of State Bulletin, June 28, 1954, p. 981.
He also complained because yesterday Krieg had indicated to Chief of Protocol Garcia Galvez (on my instructions) that I was pained at President Arbenz's statement in his radio address June 19 (Embtel 1056, June 20)/3/ that "President Eisenhower had scant regard for his high office . . ." and that I was sure President Eisenhower had never made any personal allusions to President Arbenz. Toriello said that in Washington he would not have sent Chocano to Department with such a message.
/3/Not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2054)
I replied that I was happy to have occasion to reiterate and emphasize personally what Krieg had said. I then repeated it. He asserted President Eisenhower had made certain observations on Guatemalan situation; I said this was quite different from making personal allusions.
Taking the initiative, I said I wished discuss protection of American citizens. I pointed out five Americans had been picked up by police today and detained for periods of from few minutes to several hours; one was still in jail. He said police had to exercise extraordinary precautions in times like these. I said I understood this but felt there should be some reason for arrests other than fact of being American. In view this situation, I continued, I was seriously considering ordering all Americans evacuated./4/ Toreillo looked startled and, as previously urged me not to take such a step which, he said, "would do us great harm." He agreed furnish all possible protection if Americans obeyed laws and emergency regulations.
/4/The record of the 204th meeting of the NSC, held in Washington, June 24, 1954, dated June 24, notes in part that Secretary Dulles and Mr. Allen Dulles pointed out that the "chief reason" for announcing evacuation measures would be for "psychological effect". At the meeting the NSC adopted Action No. 1163-b noting that the "President authorized the Departments of State and Defense, with appropriate assistance of other agencies, to arrange evacuation of U.S. civilians from Guatemala if deemed desirable." (Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower Papers, Whitman File) In telegram 1361, to Guatemala City, dated June 26, 1954, not printed, Secretary Dulles authorized the Ambassador to activate evacuation immediately (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 214.1122/6-2654). Additional pertinent documentation on this subject is ibid., 214.1122.
I then pointed out regulations were extremely vague: no regulation prohibited use of candles during blackouts, but there were reports of shooting at any light however dim; a little known regulation prohibited taking photos but several Americans had been hauled off to police station for photographing innocuous objects. I said I especially resented fact that two CGTG men had taken initiative in having Henry Wallace, Time correspondent, detained.
Toriello said that no lights at all should be shown during blackout and journalists should know better than to take photos in existing circumstances. I urged that clear and precise regulation be issued to clarify situation.
Turning to Guatemala's present situation, Toriello said he hoped US would act to stop fighting, saying government forces were completely successful on ground but could not cope with air attacks. I said I did not see how US could stop Castillo Armas without landing Marines, a solution which he quickly said would be unsatisfactory. He next inquired whether it was not against US Government policy to sell arms to private individuals. I answered that many arms had found their way to private persons and that Colonel Julian had attempted to purchase arms for Guatemalan Government in USA.
I then asked why Guatemala had appealed to Security Council/5/ rather than OAS, the proper organization for handling inter-American disputes. Toriello replied that Guatemala preferred Security Council because members of OAS were under great economic pressure from USA and pointed out proudly that Guatemala had never asked for US loans. I asked if decision to appeal to SC was not because USSR was represented there and said Russian veto of Colombian-Brazilian resolution/6/ stuck out like sore thumb all over free world.
/5/Regarding this appeal, see Document 68.
/6/For text of Resolution S/3236, as introduced by Brazil and Colombia on June 20, 1954, see United Nations, Official Records of the Security Council, Ninth Year, 675th Meeting: 20 June 1954 (New York, 1954), p.15.
On parting, he again urged USA use its influence stop bloodshed.
After returning to Embassy I learned the one American remaining in jail had been released.
75. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Embassy in France/1/
Washington, June 23, 1954, 7 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2354. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Acting Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs David H. Popper; signed by Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs David McK. Key. Repeated for information to USUN in New York.
4775. From Secretary. See Foreign Minister/2/ immediately and express our grave concern at Hoppenot's tactics in UN Security Council meeting on Guatemalan complaint/3/ Sunday, June 20./4/ During course of meeting French Delegation drafted amendment to Brazilian-Colombian resolution/5/ referring Guatemalan case to Organization of American States; amendment stated: "Without prejudice to such measures as the Organization of American States may take, the Council calls for the immediate termination of any action likely to cause further bloodshed and requests all Members of the United Nations to abstain, in the spirit of the Charter, from giving assistance to any such action."
/2/Pierre Mendès-France, French Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
/3/ See Document 68.
/4/Reference is to the 675th meeting of the Security Council, which convened on June 20, 1954.
/5/Regarding this resolution, see footnote 5, Document 74.
US Del tried unsuccessfully dissuade French from introducing amendment, but Hoppenot insisted on tabling it, arguing it would be useful in connection with Indochina situation/6/ Amendment died when resolution as a whole was vetoed by Russians but was then, without consultation with US Del, re-introduced as separate proposal/7/ by French without any reference to OAS.
/6/For documentation relating to this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, volume XIII.
/7/For text of the proposal (UN document S/3237), adopted by unanimous vote of the Security Council, see Official Records of the Security Council, 9th Year, p. 38.
US Del felt it had no recourse but to vote for resolution.
US forebodings were fully justified. Guatemalans have made effective use of resolution to maintain that SC continues to be seized of matter and even that OAS cannot take it up. Guatemalans are maintaining resolution binds Honduras and Nicaragua to halt alleged "aid to Aggressors". Result has been to complicate task of OAS in attempting to deal with matter, and to put two factions in Guatemalan conflict on same plane regardless of fact that Guatemalan government is functioning as agent of Communist imperialism in America and as such, under resolution adopted at recent Caracas conference, represents clear threat to peace and security American continent. In short, resolution has served in. effect to lend Guatemalan government an air of respectability it should not enjoy.
We stress fact French pushed their resolution through despite our objection, even though matter was of no direct interest to them and of vital concern to us. Parallel with Indochina situation not at all convincing; quite apart from other differences, there is no regional organization such as OAS available to deal with Indochina situation, and OAS is properly the agency to deal with Guatemalan complaint in first instance under Chapter 8 of UN Charter. We cannot help contrast Hoppenot's conduct most strongly with our own attitude with regard to Thai request for UN observation. We consulted with the French about this from the outset and delayed any moves in the UN for almost a year, despite the deteriorating situation on the spot and despite the strong desires of Thai and later Cambodia. When we finally did obtain British and French acquiescence to moving in the GA, we induced the Thai to water down their resolution to a point acceptable to the British and French. We did these things in the interest of harmony with and support for our allies, just as we had done on the Tunisian and Moroccan problem/8/ in the last two GA sessions. We hardly consider Hoppenot's reckless and hasty action as an adequate response to our tactics in the UN.
/8/ For documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, volume XI, Part 1.
Please stress importance we attach to Hoppenot's abandoning such tactics and exhibiting more cooperative attitude in future. We hope he will be promptly instructed not to take any further action with regard to Guatemalan matter without prior consultation with Lodge.
Please convey to Foreign Minister how deeply concerned I am personally about this matter. I have asked Ambassador Bonnet to call tomorrow afternoon and will take it up with him in detail./9/
/9/The memorandum of conversation between Secretary Dulles, Ambassador Bonnet, and Minister of the French Embassy Gontran Begougne de Juniac, dated June 24, 1954, by Mr. Key, is not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 330/6-2454)
On June 25, 1954, Secretary Dulles discussed the Guatemalan complaint before the Security Council with British Foreign Secretary Eden and British Ambassador Makins at the Department of State; a memorandum of their conversation, by Mr. Key, not printed, is ibid., 714.00/6-2554.
76. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Secretary of State/1/
Washington, June 24, 1954.
/1/Source: Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower Papers, Whitman File.
Secretary Dulles' telephone call to Ambassador Lodge (in New York), 9:55 a.m. today:
Dulles: The President said he thinks you should let the British and French know that if they take independent line backing Guatemalan move in this matter, it would mean we would feel entirely free without regard to their position in relation to any such matters as any of their colonial problems in Egypt, Cyprus, etc.
If they feel they can take independent line, the counterpart will be that they must consider that we will be free equally to be independent when any of the matters such as North Africa, Middle East, etc., come up before the UN.
Lodge: I will do that.
Dulles: He (the President) wanted to avoid making it in the form of a threat. But make it a clear understanding that if they don't take into account our needs and considerations in this matter, it will be a two-way street, and they must accept it.
Lodge: Yes, I see. It's a terrible thing. I will get this to them. Will determine just when and how to do it.
Dulles: Use your own judgment as to time.
Lodge: If there is open split between British and French, Russians will be very much pleased. But we cannot put off meeting much longer.
Dulles: Guatemala itself, as I understand it, is violating the terms of the Charter-Article 53(2), I think. The whole status of regional organizations is at stake in this particular matter. That was the thing we fought for (Vandenberg and I) at San Francisco. The whole concept is being destroyed.
Lodge: No question about it. At the same time, I will have to have a meeting, probably tomorrow. If the British and French persist, we will have an open split. I will try to keep agenda from being adopted. Don't have to invite Guatemala to the table. I put it to the Frenchman this morning, and he didn't like it at all. Thank you very much-I will be guided accordingly.
77. The United States Representative at the United Nations (Lodge) to the Department of State/1/
New York, June 24, 1954 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2454. Top Secret.
876. For the Secretary. Re Guatemala. I told Dixon and Hoppenot this morning that we had worked hard all yesterday to get OAS to take some action in line their position/2/ yesterday. OAS did take action last night/3/ which met their position. Dixon had informed me this morning his government's policy had changed and they now insisted on UN observation. I had immediately reported/4/ this to Washington. I now had an important statement to make to them and I had asked them to come to my office so that I could do so in person. I said that this statement was not in any sense of the word a threat because of course they represented strong independent governments that would do whatever they wanted but that I was instructed by the President to say to them that if Great Britain and France felt that they must take an independent line backing the present government of Guatemala, we would feel free to take an equally independent line concerning such matters as Egypt and North Africa in which we had hitherto tried to exercise the greatest forbearance so as not to embarrass Great Britain and France.
/2/In telegram 867, from New York, dated June 23, 1954, Ambassador Lodge stated in part the following: "Hoppenot and Dixon called on me in private and told me that if the Soviet Union moved to send a peace observation commission to the region of Guatemala they would have to vote in favor of it unless the OAS had taken action to send observation of its own." (Ibid., 714.00/6-2354)
/3/On June 23, 1954, the Inter-American Peace Committee decided to authorize the formation of a subcommittee of information, composed of members of the IAPC, which might visit Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, and with consent of those governments, conduct an investigation of the complaints they had laid before the committee.
/4/Reference is to telegram 870, from New York, dated June 24, 1954, not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2454)
My announcement was received with great solemnity.
78. Notes of a Meeting of the Guatemalan Group, Held at the Department of State/1/
Washington, June 25, 1954
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.001/6-2554. Secret. Drafted by Mr. Pearson.
l. Calling the OAS Meeting
Holland reported that the Secretary had not yet approved his recommendation that the OAS meeting be called. The Secretary believed that on the assumption that Armas failed, Arbenz and Toriello would become heroes and we may not succeed in obtaining our resolution. Such a major diplomatic defeat would be a great blow to the US prestige. In analyzing the alternatives with the group, Holland believed that if we called off the meeting the results would be catastrophic; if we postponed the meeting, each day of postponement would make our position worse. In view of these alternatives he was planning to see the Secretary again to recommend that though there was a great risk in the calling of the meeting, we should do it.
During the meeting Holland and Pawley left to talk with General Smith and later reported that General Smith favored the calling of the meeting.
2. Place of Meeting
Holland reported that Kemper called/2/ him this morning from Rio to say that Rao agreed to having the meeting at Rio/3/ Later in the meeting while Holland was absent the question arose as to whether we would be able to inform any of the participating countries of this change, especially Venezuela and Argentina, but it was decided to check with Holland.
/2/A memorandum of the referenced telephone conversation, dated June 25, 1954, is not printed (Ibid., 714.00/6-2554).
/3/In the Department's telegram 182, to Montevideo, dated June 25, 1954, Secretary Dulles stated that because of the Uruguayan Government's reluctance to have the OAS meeting in Montevideo "Department has agreed with Brazilian Government to request that [proposed OAS] meeting be held in Rio. Because growing concern regarding Communist plots land] demonstrations in Montevideo Department feels most governments will be pleased at change." (Ibid., 363/6-2554)
3. Security Council Action
Holland reported that the British have agreed to abstain with respect to the Guatemalan request for a meeting; thus it is apparent that there will be no action on the Guatemalan request./4/ The group believed that in the absence of Security Council action the Guatemalans might accept the Peace Committee offer./5/
/4/On June 25, 1954, the Security Council rejected adoption of the provisional agenda containing Guatemala's complaint by a vote of 5 in favor, 4 against, and 2 abstentions; 7 affirmative votes were required for adoption. For additional documentation, see Official Records of the Security Council, 9th year, 676th Meeting (June 25, 1954).
/5/In Guatemala Embassy note no. 867, dated June 26, 1954, not printed, Guatemalan Charge Chocano informed the IAPC of Guatemala's desire to cooperate and to accept a visit by the IAPC's subcommittee of information; a translation of the note is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 363.1/6-2954.
4. Preparations for OAS Meeting on the Assumption that it will be called
Holland left the meeting and asked that the group go over the preparations for the meeting. Dreier outlined the following steps:
(a) He was planning to check with all of the members of the COAS to be sure they have their instructions so that there need be only one meeting of the Council. Depending on when we receive the go ahead decision, the Council meeting time would be set, possibly as early as Saturday afternoon.
(b) He reported that the following countries had agreed to cosponsor the request for the Council meeting-Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua,, Panama, Peru and the United States. These eleven would also constitute the majority needed to call the meeting of Foreign Ministers.
(c) The resolution for action of the Council/6/ was in draft form. It would be very brief and the group agreed that it should include a clause to the effect that though Guatemala had not deposited the ratification of the Rio Treaty, she should be invited to the meeting.
/6/For text of the referenced resolution, as adopted by the OAS at a special meeting on June 28, 1954, see Annals of the Organization of American States, 1954, pp. 159-160.
(d) Dreier did not believe the meeting would be very long and would not involve many speeches. He was working on his own speech. (e) A complete draft/7/ of the Secretary's speech for the OAS meeting will be ready on Tuesday, June 29 according to McJennett.
(f) Jamison, Herron and Wieland were to develop a press release/8/ for issuance by the Secretary at the time the OAS Council calls the meeting of Foreign Ministers.
/8/Apparent reference to the Department's press release 351, dated June 26, 1954, printed in the Department of State Bulletin, July 5, 1954, pp. 31-32.
(g) A Spanish text/9/ of the draft resolution has been prepared. Woodward suggested that this draft be distributed to the Latin Americans so that there would not be so many texts floating around.
There was considerable discussion of the developments in connection with a television program this Sunday, "The American Forum of the Air" by Granik. It was decided that Herron should call Granik's office and suggest that four newsmen appear on the program to query Chocano on the Guatemalan situation.
79. Editorial Note
On June 26, 1954, representatives of ten of the member states on the Council of the Organization of American States (Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and the United States) requested a meeting of Consultation of the American Foreign Ministers under Articles 6 and 11 of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance; for text of the letter of request, see the Department of State Bulletin, July 5, 1954, pages 131-132, or Annals of the Organization of American States, 1954, page 159. At a special meeting on June 28, 1954, the Council adopted a resolution authorizing a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs at Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 1954; for text, see ibid., pages 159-160. At a third special meeting, on July 2, 1954, the Council adopted a resolution postponing the proposed meeting sine die; for text of the resolution, see ibid., page 161.
80. The Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 27, 1954, 2 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2754. Secret; Niact.
112 1. Situation appears breaking rapidly. Toriello called me to Foreign Office this morning where he said he knew I could stop fighting in 15 minutes if I wished. He asked if I would do so if military Junta took over the government. He asked specifically whether Arbenz would have to leave office and whether Toriello's own resignation would do any good. He said he was willing to do anything in power to prevent bloodshed and further bombing by planes which he said had damaged vessel Springsfjord at San Jose this morning. He said that he personally and his brother Jorge had always been very anti-Communist and that as far as he was concerned the Junta could take all the Communists in Guatemala and send them to Moscow. Toriello stated that if the government were turned over to a Junta, Castillo Armas must not come to power as this would cause great bloodshed in the country. He stated that I could cause end of fighting through pressure, if not on Castillo Armas, then on Honduras.
I replied that I had no control over situation but would do anything I could to bring about peace. Re Arbenz remaining in office, I said I could not speak for insurgent forces but would think that the situation would demand a clean sweep.
Toriello asked whether I would be available to see him again this afternoon or tonight. I replied that I would be willing to see him at any time.
Since returning to the office from Foreign Office, I received telephone call from Colonel Diaz, chief of armed forces, who invited me to meet with him and other officers in his home at earliest possible moment. I am now leaving for this meeting and will telegraph results upon my return.
In view of developments I am taking action on evacuation at this time.
81. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 27, 1954, 11 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2754. Secret; Niact.
1124. Pass Defense. A few minutes after I returned to Embassy after interviewing Foreign Minister Toriello (Embtel 1121, June 27),/2/ I received personal telephone call from Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz, Chief of Guatemala Armed Forces, who said he was with several army officers and asked if I could meet him at his residence at once. I went there about half hour later accompanied by Colonels McCormick/3/ and Martin and Mr. Krieg.
/3/Aloysius E. McCormick, Army Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Guatemala City.
After my arrival Colonel Diaz entered room accompanied by Colonel Sanchez, Minister of Defense; Colonel Parrinello,/4 / Chief of Staff; Colonel Giron, Chief of Air Force; and Colonel Sarti,/5/ President of Superior Defense Council. Diaz began by describing horrible situation created by aerial bombardment of Chiquimula and Zacapa. He said towns were virtually wiped out; that in Zapaca dead lay unburied in streets and buzzards were having feast on them; civil population had fled. Army could cope with Castillo Armas' ground forces, but not his aviation. He said Castillo could not have obtained these arms without US acquiescence. I replied sharply that if he had brought me to his house to make accusations against my government, I would leave immediately. He hastily said he was not accusing US. He therefore asked what US would wish in return if it used its good offices to put end to fighting. Constantly emphasizing I could speak only as individual and not for US Government, I said there was only one important problem between our governments: That of communism. Colonel Diaz said he knew that and was prepared guarantee in name of army that Communist Party would be outlawed and its leaders exiled.
/5/Lt. Col. Carlos Sarti.
I said this was fine, but that government had long known this and neither government nor army had ever acted; how could I be sure army would be able to carry out its decision? After some hesitation Diaz said this was crucial question. Solution desired by all army officers was that he should assume presidency. He emphasized that this had been difficult decision and would be difficult execute; he said Communists could be expected try uprising to oppose coup, and that he would need in Guatemala City forces which were now at battle front. Thus it would be necessary for US to use influence stop fighting and especially to have Honduras and Nicaragua stop allowing Castillo use airfields. I asked whether he had attempted any direct arrangement with Castillo Armas. He replied in stongest terms (and was strongly seconded by others) that direct negotiations with Castillo were out of question; they would rather die than talk with him. Diaz said Castillo Armas could never govern Guatemala after massacres his air forces caused; he might have had some supporters in army before, but no longer.
I stressed again that I could neither speak for Castillo nor commit my government, but that if Diaz assumed power and ousted Communists, I would strongly recommend that US attempt to bring about cease-fire until arrangement could be made. Once again Diaz and colleagues insisted that truce, at least cessation of airraids, would be essential before they could act against Arbenz. They said there were only 500 regular troops in city, plus 2,500 reservists with two years previous service who had just been called up. Latter were armed and equipped. Unfortunately, there were also about 2,000 peasants who had just been brought in for training. They would be disarmed. I simply repeated that when I knew Diaz was in control I would recommend cease-fire.
After further discussion and several private conferences with colleagues, Diaz said they had decided act at once, relying on my promise to urge a cease-fire. He then said, "Now comes the tough problem. Who is going to bell the cat? Who will talk to Jacobo?" With but moment's hesitation, he made decision: "Col. Sanchez will visit all garrisons and announce I have assumed presidency. Colonel Giron will inform air force. I will go to Palace with Parrinello and Sarti and we will tell Jacobo." After some other talk, Diaz said, "Arbenz may answer two ways. He will either say, ‘yes,’ or he will say, ‘this is insubordination,’ and call the guard. In latter case, we will not emerge from Palace. If we are not out in reasonable period, Sanchez will bring up artillery."
Throughout discussion, I emphasized necessity of acting quickly to round up leading Communists before they could mobilize forces. All agreed this was essential and Sanchez was designated to give necessary orders. I pointed out that Major Rosenberg,/6/ chief of detectives, undoubtedly had report of Diaz telephone call to Embassy since all our telephones were tapped and might well be making his own plans. Strangely enough, this idea apparently had not occurred to Diaz. He said he would act as soon as possible to replace Rosenberg and Cruz Wer,/7/ chief of police.
/6/Jaime Rosenberg Rivera, Chief of the Judicial Guard in Guatemala.
/7/Rogelio Cruz Wer, Director General of the Civil Guard in Guatemala.
I then told Diaz I felt very deeply necessity of implanting democracy as far as local conditions permitted and that all sectors of population, including those who have followed Castillo Armas anti-Communist movement, be allowed participate in political life of country. Diaz and associates gave most categorical assurances that they would issue general amnesty, release all political prisoners and allow persons in asylum in diplomatic missions to come out. They said Castillo Armas could return if he wished but added feeling against him was high because of bombings and they could not guarantee his safety.
At one point Diaz asked whether any members of present Cabinet were unacceptable to US. I said I could not attempt to dictate his Cabinet and that if he appointed reasonable men I was sure all our secondary problems could be worked out, such as difficulties of American Companies. I emphasized strongly I represented US Government and people, not individual companies.
At conclusion, it was agreed Diaz would telephone me after seeing Arbenz and inform me of outcome./8/
/8/ In telegram 1123, from Guatemala City, dated June 27, 1954, and sent at 7 p.m., Ambassador Peurifoy, apparently referring to the subsequent meeting between Colonel Diaz and President Arbenz, stated in part the following: Colonel Diaz "told me that he had just talked with Arbenz who he described as very tired, said he could not continue without army support; that he wished to leave office gracefully and that he would go on national radio hookup at 9 p.m. tonight to announce that he was turning over presidency to Diaz and requesting all people support him." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2754) In telegram 1125, from Guatemala City, dated June 28, and sent at 1 a.m., Ambassador Peurifoy informed the Secretary of State that President Arbenz had announced his resignation at 9:10 p.m. in a "bitterly anti-US speech" over a nation-wide radio broadcast. (Ibid., 714.00/6-2854)
82. Telegram from the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 28, 1954, noon.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files, 714.00/6-2854. Secret; Priority.
1131. Between 4 and 6 a.m. today, I met with Colonel Diaz, Colonel Sanchez, Colonel Parrinello, and Colonel Monzon./2/ Diaz announced yesterday he had arrested Fortuny, Gutierrez and Pellecer. He said he had replaced Colonel Cruz Wer, head of Guardia Civil, with Colonel Jose Luis Morales Melgar, and Major Jaime Rosenberg, head of Guardia Judicial, with Lt. Colonel J. Antonio G. Saravia.
/2/Elfego Hernán Monzón Aguirre, Guatemalan Minister Without Portfolio, 1950-1954.
I told Colonel Diaz that I was amazed and astounded at fact that he had permitted Arbenz in delivering his valedictory to charge that US was responsible for supplying aviators to forces attacking Guatemala, and for his general line to say we had used "pretext of Communism" to unleash aggression on this country. I told him that, this being his first act, I did not see how we could work together toward bringing about a peace. I suggested that perhaps he might wish to designate Colonel Monzón, well-known for his anti-Communist feelings, as President. He said that he agreed with me in principle and would give me his answer today at noon when I am to meet with him again./3/
/3/Department of State files contain no record of a subsequent meeting between Ambassador Peurifoy and Colonel Diaz to discuss the possible presidency of Colonel Monzón.
83. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 28, 1954, 5 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 714.00/6-2854. Secret; Niact.
1136. As I left Embassy this morning to meet with Colonels Diaz, Sanchez and Monzón, I received word they had just announced they had formed military junta contrary to agreement which we had reached last night Embtel 1130, June 28./2/
/2/Telegram 1130 from Guatemala City, not printed. ( Ibid., 714.00/6-2854)
When we met in office of Chief of Armed Forces I expressed surprise at this development and Colonel Diaz asked Colonel Monzón to explain. Monzón said he did not feel himself strong enough assume presidency alone; that resignation or dismissal of Chief of Armed Forces would cause dissension within army at time when unity was essential maintain internal order; that he had therefore requested Colonel Diaz set up junta and retain position of Chief of Armed Forces.
Colonel Diaz then emphasized his willingness to turn over presidency to Monzón but said he had yielded to latter's insistence in formation of junta. Monzón would be in charge of Ministry of Interior, thus having police under his control, and he would be in full charge of internal affairs. Diaz and Sanchez promised take no action without his approval.
Colonel Diaz went on to review Monzón’s record as anti-Communist. He said that as member of (Arevalos) Cabinet, Colonel Monzón had not only spoken out against communism but had acted against it. He guaranteed support of Army to Colonel Monzón in carrying out vigorous program clean out Communists.
Colonel Diaz, who took lead in most of discussions, said junta's immediate problem was restore internal peace. He therefore renewed his request I use my influence cause Castillo Armas lay down his arms. He argued that Castillo had been fighting under banner of anti-communism; new junta was thoroughly anti-Communist; if Castillo Armas were sincere anti-Communist he would stop fighting at once. They would offer him and followers every guarantee. He could come back to Guatemala and contest presidential elections if he wished. In response to my question, Diaz said it was junta’s intention proclaim general amnesty, release all political prisoners and allow those who had taken asylum in Embassies come out. Sanchez interrupted at this point to say he wished be entirely frank: At this exact moment it was not possible free all prisoners but that as soon as Castillo Armas matter was settled this would be done. Meanwhile, presence of Colonel Monzón in Ministry of Government was a guarantee of their safety. Monzón added, "They are all my friends." I pointed out it was necessary be realistic in this situation: Castillo Armas was in Guatemala at head of forces which had inflicted severe punishment on government troops. Hence most practical and effective way obtain peace was deal with Castillo Armas.
Talk then centered on this subject for considerable period developing no new points of view. Junta tried every argument at their command avoid a direct meeting with Castillo, although at one point they seemed be wavering on possibility of meeting with representatives of Castillo. I explained thought [throughout?], however, that it was better deal with head man so that hard and fast agreements could be made.
Colonel Diaz then brought up question of recognition. I pointed out that I and my colleagues did not question good faith of junta members but that we anticipated Washington would wish consider situation for a reasonable period to see what action they would take. It was further pointed out that one of criteria for recognition is that new government be in control of territory of the country; such was not case here, where Castillo Armas controlled a portion of territory.
After considerable fruitless discussion, it was agreed that junta would consider matter alone and give me a concrete answer at 5 this afternoon.
84. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 28, 1954, 8 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2854. Secret; Niact.
1137. Pass Defense. In accordance with prior arrangements (Embassy's telegram 1136, June 28),/2/ I met 5 p.m. with Colonels Diaz, Sanchez and Monzón to receive their answer as to whether they would be prepared to initiate conversations with Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, leader of rebel forces.
Diaz first inquired whether if they agreed to conversations I thought a cease-fire could be arranged while negotiations were in progress. I replied that while I could not speak for Castillo Armas, I would be pleased to suggest that a cease-fire be worked out. Diaz then stated that he and his colleagues felt it desirable to have a neutral person present during conversations so that what was agreed upon could be witnessed. He said he had already spoken to the Papal Nuncio who had expressed his willingness to collaborate. 1 said I would convey this message with my favorable recommendation.
In those circumstances, said Colonel Diaz, Junta would be prepared open talks with Castillo Armas. I promised to convey this message immediately to Department and request that it be speedily conveyed, if possible, to Castillo Armas. Junta thought talks should be held in Nunciature in Guatemala City. It was suggested that Colonel Martin talk with Chief of Staff Parrinello about the landing pattern to be followed by plane bearing Castillo Armas should talks be agreed upon, and that Colonel McCormick also confer with Parrinello to work out details of cease-fire. In this connection, Colonel Diaz estimated that it would take twelve hours from the time he received messages confirming possible agreement until word regarding cease-fire could be circulated to troops in field. Junta members made several efforts obtain advance agreement to an end to air attacks, but I insisted cease-fire must be effective on all branches at once.
Papal Nuncio/3/ informed Embassy today over 90 percent of people favored Castillo Armas. I intend to see Nuncio tomorrow and confirm his role in conversations as well as have generally frank talk concerning situation.
/3/Monsenor Genaro Verolino.
I request Department convey through appropriate channels to Castillo Armas the offer of Junta to confer with him. In interest of stopping bloodshed, I strongly recommend he be urged to accept.
85. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland)/1/
Washington, June 29, 1954, 3 p.m..
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2954. Top Secret.
Ambassador Peurifoy called from Guatemala to say that the bombing continued, and wanted to know if there wasn't some way to get word to Armas to stop it. The Ambassador stated that the new people were being greatly embarrassed and were in a "flap". He didn't know what was going to happen.
Mr. Holland said this development was what he needed. He asked the Ambassador to get the new people to authorize us to call the Council of American States together and advise them that the new Junta has requested the United States and El Salvador to lend their good offices to accomplish two ends:
1. First, an immediate cessation of hostilities.
2. A meeting of the heads of the two groups in El Salvador to try to work out a settlement.
Mr. Holland said that if they will authorize us to do that, then we can openly send people to this fellow to tell him they have got to stop this. Ambassador Peurifoy stated at this point that "they will authorize that".
Mr. Holland said that he was going to call the OAS and say that through the Ambassador the Junta had called upon El Salvador and the United States to lend their good offices to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and that we are proposing to send a mission from Tegucigalpa and urge that this be done. The Ambassador agreed.
Mr. Holland asked the Ambassador if he had sent out the cables/2/ he had requested a while ago. The Ambassador said yes, that they had agreed to send three cables. Mr. Peurifoy urged Mr. Holland to act with great rapidity, and the latter promised he would.
Mr. Holland asked that they immediately cable/3/ the Department, advising that they are requesting that we and El Salvador use their good offices to try to achieve this and the stoppage of hostilities immediately. Ambassador Peruifoy said he would do this.
/3/ Telegram 1148, from Guatemala City, dated June 29, 1954, not printed, contains the translated text of a letter from the Guatemalan military junta received at the Embassy on June 29, requesting the United States to use its good offices to bring about a meeting between Colonel Monzon and Castillo Armas aimed at ending hostilities in Guatemala. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2954)
Mr. Holland said he had talked with McDermott./4/ McDermott had spoken with President Osorio,/5/ and the President said he would be glad to have the meeting in El Salvador.
/4/Michael J. McDermott, U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador.
/5/Lt. Col. Oscar Osorio, President of El Salvador.
Mr. Holland said that he would call the Council immediately stating that this had come from the Junta through Peurifoy and is being confirmed in writing, and that we will move also right away./6/
/6/ln a memorandum of telephone conversations which took place at approximately 3:30 p.m. on June 29, 1954, dated June 29, Assistant Secretary Holland stated that he had called Ambassadors McDermott, Willauer, and Thomas E. Whelan, Ambassador to Nicaragua, to request that they try to establish contact with Castillo Armas to urge him to declare an immediate suspension of hostilities, and that he had also called Salvadoran Ambassador Hector David Castro, President of the Council of the Organization of American States (COAS), to ask him to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council so that Mr. Holland could appear before it and report the Guatemalan junta's overture. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2954) A meeting of the Council was called for 5:30 p.m. on June 29.
Mr. Holland said, in response to a question of the Ambassador, that he had spoken with Willauer at Tegucigalpa about this matter.
Mr. Holland concluded with the request to the Ambassador that he get out the three cables (which he enumerated).
86. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, June 29, 1954, 7 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/6-2954. Secret, Priority.
1146. Following Assistant Secretary Holland's telephone call last night suggesting possibility of holding negotiations in San Salvador between Guatemalan Government Junta and Castillo Armas, I immediately tried to get in touch with Colonel Diaz but was unable to until about 2 a.m., today when I met him at office of Chief of Armed Forces.
Diaz immediately agreed to meeting in Salvador but desired consult his colleagues. Sanchez finally arrived and consented but Monzón could not be located. During interval, I visited Colonel Funes,/2/ Salvadoran Ambassador, and secured his agreement.
/2/J. Alberto Funes, Salvadoran Ambassador to Guatemala.
Returning to Diaz’ office at 4 a.m., I found Monzón had not yet appeared. Just as I was about to leave, Diaz received telephone call from Palace and he and Sanchez left to confer with several officers. While they were out, Colonel Martin, our Air Attaché, arrived and informed me plot was afoot to assassinate Diaz and Sanchez and urged me to leave building at once. I spent a difficult moment wondering if I would be caught in crossfire, but finally decided remain.
Shortly thereafter Diaz returned and wearily informed me that things had changed: He and Sanchez had decided resign from Junta since it appeared they were unacceptable to Castillo Armas; they would however, collaborate with new government.
It was then arranged for Colonel Monzón to meet me in Diaz’ office and he appeared shortly with new Junta members, Jose Luis Cruz/3/ and Mauricio Dubois./4/ He was drained by fatigue and seemed at first unable comprehend points of Holland's plan, but after Diaz and Sanchez had helped explain it to him, he agreed eagerly and asked that meeting be held on Wednesday, which was as soon as he could get away. He courteously detailed officer to accompany me to wireless telephone office, where I called Holland,/5/ and then to my home.
/3/Lt. Col. José Luis Cruz Salazar.
/4/Juan Mauricio Dubois.
/5/No memorandum of this telephone conversation was found in Department of State files.
87. Editorial Note
On the morning of June 30, 1954, the President's Press Secretary, James C. Hagerty, had a telephone conversation with Secretary Dulles concerning the status of several foreign policy issues in preparation for the President's press conference at 10:30 a.m. Hagerty recorded the conversations with respect to Guatemala as follows:
"Dulles said that the President could take great satisfaction from the trend of events in Guatemala where Red agents and fellow travelers were fleeing the country. He suggested that the President say that the Guatemalans were resuming to take charge of their own affairs, that the United States welcomed this and that the Secretary of State was going to make a more complete statement on this subject on nationwide radio that night." (Eisenhower Library, Hagerty papers, Diary Series)
The record of the President's press conference is printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, pages 602-614.
The text of Secretary Dulles’ address to the Nation over radio and television concerning Communism in Guatemala is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, July 12, 1954, pages 43-45.
88. The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Guatemala/1/
Washington, June 30, 1954, 8:22 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 363.1/6-3054. Secret, Priority. Drafted and signed by Assistant Secretary Holland. Sent also to the Embassies in Tegucigalpa, Managua, San Salvador, and USUN in New York; repeated to the Embassy in Mexico for the information of Ambassador Daniels.
1382. Department feels Peace Committee should fulfill its schedule to spend three days each in Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, and Managua, thus fulfilling need for demonstration to UN Security Council of positive OAS action and strengthening prestige of OAS in hemisphere.
If representatives Junta unwilling act in absence Monzón Peurifoy should recommend they cable Peace Committee requesting it await further communication upon return Guatemala of Monzón at which time Junta should advise Committee, COAS and UNSC that Guatemala no longer has controversy with Honduras and Nicaragua but requests that Committee nevertheless visit Guatemala as planned. Committee's visit Guatemala affords splendid opportunity full demonstration Communist penetration Arbenz government, atrocities and subversive activities.
Willauer and Whelan should recommend their governments immediately cable Peace Committee through Ministry of Foreign Relations in Mexico stating they no longer have controversy with Guatemala but renewing invitation Committee fulfill its program come to Honduras from Guatemala for three days thence to Nicaragua for same period.
Every effort should be made cause Committee return with report it has achieved harmonious relations between three countries and condemning international Communist movement for its attempts destroy inter-American system through subversive activities disrupting harmonious relations between American states./2/
/2/On June 30, 1954, the Guatemalan Government requested the IAPC to reconsider its decision to send an investigating committee to Guatemala, and on July 2 Guatemala reconfirmed its request; translations of the relevant messages exchanged between the IAPC and Guatemala are quoted in full in the Department's circular instruction CA-134, to all diplomatic posts in the American Republics and to USUN in New York, dated July 6, 1954, not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 363/7-654). Also on July 2, the Governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, in view of the mediation which in the meantime had resulted in the termination of the armed conflict in Guatemala, advised the IAPC that the reason for the investigation had ceased to exist. The final report of the IAPC on the controversy between the three countries, dated July 8, 1954, is printed in the Annals of the Organization of American States, 1954, pp. 239-245.
McDermott should promptly keep other addressees this cable fully advised progress conferences/3/ San Salvador.
/3/Reference is to the talks between Castillo Armas and Colonel Monzón held in San Salvador, June 30-July 2, 1954.
89. Editorial Note
On the night of June 30, 1954, Lieutenant Colonel Castillo Armas and Colonel Monzón initiated talks at San Salvador, aimed at establishing a permanent cease-fire and reaching a political settlement. President Osorio acted as intermediary. Ambassador McDermott did not participate directly in the talks; his role in arranging them is described in detail in despatch 3, from San Salvador, dated July 5, 1954, not printed (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/7-554). The notes of the Secretary's staff meeting, which took place at the Department of State at 9:15 a.m. on July 1 (dated July 1 and designated SM N-243, not printed) record Assistant Secretary Holland as stating that a deadlock existed between the two Guatemalan leaders, because Castillo Armas wanted to move his troops immediately into Guatemala City and Monzón insisted on retaining control of the Guatemalan army, and that Ambassador Peurifoy might have to go to San Salvador to take part in the talks (Secretary's Staff Meetings, Lot 63 D 75)
90. Telegram From the Ambassador in El Salvador (McDermott) to the Department of State/1/
San Salvador, July 1, 1954, 8 a. m.
[Received July 1, 6:53 p.m.]
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/7-154. Confidential; Niact. Repeated Niact to Guatemala City. This telegram was transmitted in two sections.
2. Discussions behind closed doors between Castillo Armas, Monzón, President Osorio and Peralta Salazar,/2/ President Legislative Assembly continued from 8:10 p.m. until approximately 3:45 a.m.
/2/José María Peralta Salazar.
President Osorio subsequently explained he had taken for basis discussion existence two de facto governments in Guatemala. Three basic proposals were made by Salvador, one by Monzón and one by Castillo Armas. Other proposals of lesser importance were discussed but left without final decision.
Salvadoran proposal was that a plebiscite be held within shortest possible period thus not allowing Communists now disordered or fleeing from country to take advantage of situation. Date of plebiscite was to be fixed by Castillo Armas. Plebiscite was to be supervised by mixed commissions composed equal number members both parties. Guatemalan people would be asked vote for Castillo Armas or junta. If vote favorable Castillo Armas, he would be given all powers and rights of chief of state and would not be obligated to convoke elections until country had returned to normal and on date he alone would determine. If vote favorable to junta it would convoke elections for a Constituent Assembly or to elect a President. In latter case Monzón would not be a candidate.
Second proposal was advanced by Monzón. It provided for increasing junta to five members with assurances that at a later prudent date to be selected by Castillo Armas latter could appoint additional member replacing one member who would retire. Monzón stated he would leave with President Osorio written resignation to take place when Castillo Armas determined [garbled group] Castillo Armas would eventually have majority.
Third proposal presented by Castillo Armas provided for unification of two governments on basis of a lengthy list of conditions and provided this arrangement accepted by Army in which case Castillo Armas would be named Chief of the Armed Forces and political chief of the republic. The unification would be based on joint declaration that the two governments seek the same basic purposes.
Salvadoran proposal for a plebiscite was unconditionally accepted without delay by Monzón. After discussion it was accepted in principle by Castillo Armas. Subsequently, however, Juan Cordova Cerna, adviser to Armas, was called in and expressed grave doubts regarding feasibility or desirability hold plebiscite at this time. Maintained Communists had only temporarily gone to ground and their influence in plebiscite could jeopardize all Castillo Armas accomplishments. Second proposal which was made by Monzón was not accepted by Castillo Armas as apparently not giving him sufficient immediate leadership.
The third proposal presented by Castillo Armas was not accepted by Monzón.
President said he regarded Castillo Armas as definitely the more recalcitrant of the two. He said Monzón had accepted the Salvadoran proposal and had advanced one of his own. Castillo Armas had only conditionally accepted Salvadoran proposal and had not followed through in subsequent discussions, consequently, Castillo Armas had been agreeable to only one which was his own.
President said no further conversations would be held in San Salvador as both protagonists are returning to the respective headquarters. Existing truce or cease-fire had been extended to expire 9:00 a.m. July 2, after which hour Castillo Armas could presumably take whatever military action he desired. Osorio said he was exceedingly sorry personal ambitions had prevented solution of problem of gravest importance to Guatemala and Central America. He said, however, there was nothing further he could do and matter of any other possible solution could now only rest with United States as one of the two mediators. The President was informed we are not of view mediation was involved but rather an extension of good offices to assist both parties to reach a solution through personal discussions. President conceded that our view was correct interpretation of previous conversations.
Monzón returning Guatemala air attaché plane departing here 8:00 a.m. and Castillo Armas by his own plane to Chiquimula at approximately same hour.
General feeling intense disappointment among numerous diplomats and others including all high officers Salvadoran army who were present at Presidential Palace throughout night.
Entire foregoing explanation conveyed to me by President in strictest confidence as details at close of meeting known only to four participants and in part to one or two advisors.
President has just telephoned asking me to see him at 8:30 a. m. Will report immediately thereafter.
91. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, July 7, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/7-754. Secret.
/2/An unsigned copy of the Pact of San Salvador was transmitted to the Department of State as an attachment to despatch 3 from San Salvador, dated July 5, 1954, not printed (Ibid., 714.00/7-554).
In accordance with telephonic instructions from Assistant Secretary Holland, I left Guatemala for El Salvador with Col. Batten/3/ Chief of the U.S. Air Force Mission in Guatemala, and Harold E. Urist, Public Affairs Officer, in the Air Mission plane at 11:30 a.m. July 1. We took along a number of U.S. news correspondents and representatives of each of the five Guatemalan independent newspapers. Upon our arrival in San Salvador at 12:15 p.m. I was met by the Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Antonio Alvarez Vidaurre, representing the Salvadoran Government.
Ambassador Alvarez drove me to the Palace, where Ambassador Michael McDermott and Counselor of Embassy Andrew E. Donovan were waiting. I was presented at 1:30 p. m. to President Osorio. Also present during the interview were Sr. Peralta, President of the Salvadoran Assembly, who was to be President Osorio's personal representative during the negotiations, Ambassador McDermott, Mr. Donovan, and Mr. Urist who served as interpreter. We had barely exchanged greetings when I received a telephone call/4/ in the President's private office from Secretary of State Dulles, who emphasized the importance of bringing the negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion and that, if it were necessary, I was authorized to "crack some heads together".
/4/No record of the referenced telephone conversation was found.
President Osorio told me that the negotiations between Colonels Elfego Monzón and Carlos Castillo Armas had been carried on until 4 a.m. that morning (they had begun the evening of June 30), but that the two men were as far apart as when they met. He said Col. Monzón would not give an inch and that in his opinion Col. Castillo Armas should be the President of the Military Junta which was ruling Guatemala, and that if I could bring them together, I was a better man than he. I mentioned to him my conversation with Secretary Dulles and emphasized the deep concern of my Government with regard to the situation in Guatemala and how important it was that the two sides be brought to a satisfactory understanding and agreement. I said I was going to do everything in my power to resolve the basic differences and take the two colonels back to Guatemala with me and the other diplomatic advisers who had lent their good offices. I then told President Osorio that I desired to meet privately first with Colonel Castillo Armas and then with Colonel Monzón. This was immediately arranged, and at 2 p.m. I met with Colonel Castillo Armas in one of the reception rooms, with only Mr. Urist present.
I told Col. Castillo Armas that I was sorry to hear that there had been some difficulties between him and Col. Monzón in reaching an understanding, that I believed this was the time for true patriots to put aside personal ambitions and interests and work together for the good of Guatemala. The basic and common aims of both sides, I said, should be the total eradication of Communism from the country and the restoration of peace and tranquility. The colonel was in absolute agreement. I said I could see no reason for a divergence of opinion between him and Col. Monzón, since I believed Col. Monzón also to be a sincere Guatemalan whose only interest was the welfare of his country. I pleaded with Col. Castillo Armas to leave the details of the future government and the question of who would be president of Guatemala to a time when representatives of both groups could sit down over a conference table in Guatemala and thrash out their differences. I repeated that this was not the moment to preoccupy themselves with details and programs, but that the important thing was to agree immediately on common aspirations for the good of their country and return together, arm in arm, to Guatemala, where the people were waiting to receive them. I suggested that both armies be joined together and march into the capital as one, as brother Guatemalans. Col. Castillo Armas said again he was in complete agreement. However, he believed Col. Monzón wanted to be president of the Junta, and that his military colleagues, after their long battle and sacrifices, would not accept it. I then told him I was going to speak with absolute frankness. "You know, and I know," I told him, "how the American people feel about you. Many American people think you should be the president of Guatemala, and some time in the not-too-distant future, say six months from now, you should hold free and democratic elections, and I personally will do all in my power to help you. For the present, I think you should be taken into the Junta. And, confidentially, I'll tell you something else. Col. Cruz Salazar (one of the three members of the Junta) told me that he was on your side, so you should have no problem at all." He seemed to be pleased and reassured by these last statements.
We completed our conversation at 2:30. I told him I was now going to see Col. Monzón and that I thought the two colonels and the diplomatic advisers should meet as a group at about 4:30 to clarify any remaining details which might need discussion.
I then met with Col. Monzón. He reiterated previous statements made to me, declaring that he was interested only in restoring peace and tranquility to Guatemala, that he had no personal ambition with regard to the presidency of Guatemala, and that, if necessary, he would be happy to sign a statement to that effect. The only point on which he was adamant was that he wanted to save the honor of the Guatemalan army., He said, quite logically, in my opinion, that since he had been appointed chief of the Military Junta by the army staff, he would have to return to Guatemala in the same capacity. He was in complete agreement with the idea of an immediate accord with Col. Castillo Armas on general objectives. He said he would be happy to accept Col. Castillo Armas in the Junta, and that after they had returned with me to Guatemala the Junta could elect Castillo Armas president.
I asked Col. Monzón if there were any immediate problems he felt needed discussion. He said the only serious problem was getting food to the Government troops in the field, and he hoped Castillo Armas would give immediate permission for supplies to be dropped. We terminated our discussion at 3 o'clock.
I then informed President Osorio of our discussions without going into detail, and told him I would return at 4:30 p.m. to meet with the two colonels and the other three advisers.
After luncheon at Ambassador McDermott's residence, I returned shortly before 5 p.m. to the Palace and met with the group participating in the negotiations.
I led off the discussions with a resume of the principal objectives both parties should take into consideration before they went into detailed negotiations. This was a re-statement of my introductions to the talks held with the two colonels. The entire group agreed. Col. Castillo Armas, however, who had meanwhile been talking with his legal advisers (Lic. Juan Cordova Cerna, Lic. Luis Alberto Coronado Lira, Lic. Carlos Salazar, hijo), brought up the question of the number of members in the Junta. He pointed out that if only he joined the Junta there would be a preponderance of members representing the other side. He said that he would like, therefore, to include another person representing his forces and proposed the name of Major Enrique Oliva/5/ who, in his opinion, was one of the most capable and hard-working professional military men in Guatemala. He said Major Oliva had no political ambitions and would be a valuable asset to the Junta. Col. Monzón accepted this proposal without reservation. One of the advisers then pointed out that there would still be three against two. The Papal Nuncio offered as a solution the possibility of having a Junta of six members, three for each side. This point was discussed for some time, but was finally dropped when it was agreed that 1) three members on each side could easily lead to a stalemate when voting takes place, and 2) a Junta with six members was really too large and unwieldy.
/5/Enrique Trinidad Oliva Quintana.
The advisers all agreed with me that on the details of the future administration of the country all should be left until the two colonels had returned to Guatemala and were able to sit down with the other members of the Junta to work out their problems together. The entire arrangement seemed satisfactory to both parties and to the diplomatic advisers, and the meeting was terminated at 6 p.m. so that the two colonels and their legal advisers could meet alone to draw up a statement of their common decision. Meanwhile, the diplomatic advisers retired to a nearby room to be available at any time for consultation.
From that moment until midnight we held individual and group meetings. Castillo Armas' advisers were apparently in disagreement with the colonel and felt that any document signed by him should be ad referendum. He could then return to his headquarters in Chiquimula to obtain the approval of his staff officers. I fought strongly against this, reviewing once again the importance of arriving at a general agreement then and there, because I felt that if Castillo Armas needed the approval of his staff, it would be only just that Col. Monzón would also have to obtain the acquiescence of the two other Junta members in Guatemala, thereby losing the opportunity to create the maximum psychological impact which could be expected from their immediate return together. I was finally forced to talk with Castillo Armas alone and ask him point blank whether he was the chief of his "outfit", since every time he agreed on a point he subsequently changed his decision after conferring with his advisers. I told him that if he was not the top man in his organization, I would appreciate his telling me who was, so that I could deal with that person.
I believe this question was the turning point of the negotiations, and Castillo Armas and his advisers accepted Monzón's concession that within fifteen days after the signing of the pact he would agree to the election of a new Junta president. Without actually stating it, the implication was that Castillo Armas would be elected.
From midnight when the two sides finally arrived at an agreement on the basic points, the legal advisers spent their time conferring and arguing on the format and wording of the pact, and at 4 a.m. the document was finally completed.
About 3 a.m., while I was awaiting the completion of the first draft of the pact, I was visited by the Nicaraguan Ambassador to El Salvador, Sr. Carlos Duque Estrada, who said he brought an urgent message from President Somoza. He said that President Somoza wished to advise me that in view of the "breakdown" in negotiations between Castillo Armas and Monzón, he urged the entire negotiation party to come to Managua as his guests to continue their discussions there. If this were not feasible, he said, then he strongly advised that Col. Castillo Armas be made president of Guatemala, and that Col. Monzón be made Minister of Defense. He mentioned several other Cabinet appointments, which I do not recall. I thanked Ambassador Duque in the name of my Government and asked him to convey my expressions of gratitude to President Somoza. I told him, however, that it now appeared that the two sides were arriving at a satisfactory agreement and that I did not believe it would be necessary to trouble President Somoza with any of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, preparations had been made for a formal ceremony in the large banquet room of the Palace, and for the proceedings to be broadcast by radio. The entire press, both national and international, who had also been up all night awaiting the historic moment, were allowed to witness the event and take photographs. The pact was signed by the two colonels; Sr. Carlos Azúcar Chavez, acting Foreign Minister in the absence of Sr. Peralta . . .; the Papal Nuncio, and Col. Furies. I suggested to the members of the negotiating group that the name of the representative of the United States of America be omitted from the document, thus giving the Salvadoran Government recognition as the principal mediator. Actually, Sr. Peralta had disappeared shortly after the general negotiations meeting had ended at 6 p.m., and I did not see either him or President Osorio again until the following day.
I went immediately to the United States Embassy with Ambassador McDermott in order to send the following wire/6/ to the Department: "Holland from Peurifoy. Pact between Armas and Monzón signed five a.m. today. Both return with me to Guatemala 11:30 a.m. (Friday, July 2). Junta increased to five members. Monzón remains President for two weeks at which time members vote for new president. Election promised soon as practicable after peace and tranquility restored."
/6/Reference is to unnumbered telegram, from San Salvador, dated July 2, 1954; it is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/7-254. There are slight discrepancies between the telegram as sent and as quoted by Ambassador Peurifoy in this despatch.
I then returned to Ambassador McDermott's residence at 6:45 a.m., intending to make preparations for departure at 1 l a.m. with the two colonels and their advisers, since this had been the agreement made with them. Col. Castillo Armas, when he agreed to return with me to Guatemala, had explained that he was going to leave at 6 a.m., shortly after signing the pact, for Chiquimula in order to give orders to his troops and, I assume, to report to his staff on what had taken place in San Salvador. He had assured me that he would return to San Salvador in time to take off at 11 a.m. However, when I called him to verify the hour of departure, I was informed that he and members of his staff had left for Chiquimula and Honduras but had not stated when they would return. I was finally able to locate Col. Castillo Armas' principal legal adviser, Lic. Juan Cord6va Cerna, who told me that he regretted that Col. Castillo Armas could not return by 11 a.m. as planned, that he had to visit both Chiquimula and Tegucigalpa for "very personal reasons", and that he would either return that afternoon or the following morning.
After conferring once more by telephone with Mr. Holland, who believed as I did that it was important for the two colonels to return to Guatemala together, I alerted Col. Monzón and his party and ordered Col. Vernon P. Martin, Embassy Air Attaché, to have his crew stand by. When Col. Castillo Armas did not return that day, I made plans to take off the following morning, July 3, at 1 l a.m.
The following morning, before going to the airport, I called on President Osorio to thank him in the name of my Government for his magnificent hospitality and for the significant role he had played in bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the important negotiations which would bring peace and order to the sister republic of Guatemala. He in turn expressed his satisfaction at the results of the negotiations and asked me to convey to the Government of the United States his appreciation of the part played by my country in this important Central American event. He then presented me with a medallion commemorating the Lempa River hydro-electric plant at Chorrera del Guayabo, and a special set of commemorative postage stamps as a token of his personal esteem and appreciation.
Col. Castillo Armas arrived in San Salvador about 10 a.m. and also visited the Palace to confer with President Osorio. He and his party finally arrived at the airport about 12:20 p.m. and we took off in the Air Attaché’s plane at 12:43. Accompanying me on the return trip were Colonels Castillo Armas and Monzón; Col. Miguel Angel Mendoza, officer of the Castillo Armas air force; Major Arriaga, as pesonal aide to Col. Monzón; Major Enrique Oliva, one of the two new members of the Junta; Licenciados Juan Ibarra and Eduardo Cáceres Lehnhoff, legal advisers to Col. Monzón; Lic. Luis Alberto Coronado Lira, legal adviser to Col. Castillo Armas; the Papal Nuncio; Ambassador Furies, and Mr. Urist. Arrangements had meanwhile been made for nine planes of various types, representing both the regular army and the Castillo Armas forces, to accompany our plane in a formation flight over Guatemala City before landing at Aurora Airport. We landed at 1:30 p.m.
John E. Peurifoy
92. Editorial Note
In a memorandum of conversation summarizing the Secretary's staff meeting, held on July 7, 1954, at 9:15 a.m. in the Secretary's office, Walter K. Scott recorded, inter alia, the following exchanges:
"Mr. Murphy questioned whether or not Ambassador Peurifoy should now be transferred from Guatemala inasmuch as the situation had improved so. Another Ambassador not so involved might be better now.
"Mr. Holland stated that he would question the timing now-that Ambassador Peurifoy could be moved at a later time; he suggested the first of the year, but that transfer at an earlier date would bring about unnecessary criticism that the United States had placed him there only to foment revolution.
"The Under Secretary stated that Ambassador Peurifoy had mentioned to him that if the Guatemalan situation were cleared up he would like a more important post. The Under Secretary stated that he felt he deserved something better but that Mr. Holland was right-that any transfer should be delayed until later in the year.
"Mr. Holland mentioned that he was trying to work out possible courses of U.S. action to prevent Guatemala from reverting to a dictatorship. He felt that if this happened we would suffer serious propaganda loss throughout the Americas. He hoped to have recommendations to the Secretary by tomorrow.
"Replying to the Secretary's inquiry, Mr. Holland covered the various documents under preparation for release on the Guatemalan incident. They included a chronology of events in Guatemala since 1944 presently being drawn up from Guatemalan Government documents made available to us by the military Junta. He also mentioned that a propaganda booklet was under preparation on the Guatemalan incident for release to the Other Americas.
"4. British White Paper.
"Mr. Holland reported that the British are preparing a ‘White Paper’ on our actions in the United Nations on the Guatemalan incident. It was pointed out that this probably developed from debate in Parliament which required a government report. The Secretary stated that Eden had mentioned to him the possibility of the Government coming under serious attack over the incident. The Secretary stated that the matter was of serious moment to the United Nations, particularly as it was a precedent for requests in the future from other regional organizations to handle similar matters. He felt that we would not like an incident in the Arab world to be handled by the irresponsible Arab League rather than the United Nations.
"The Secretary approved Mr. Merchant's office handling the contact with the British over this matter, working with L, UNA and ARA.
"Mr. Phleger stated that we should point out to the British that at Caracas we opposed consideration of the item on European colonies in the Americas on the basis that such a matter should be considered in the United Nations rather than in the Association [Organization] of American States, inasmuch as it involved countries outside the Association. He felt that our action in the United Nations vis-à-vis Guatemala was the other side of this coin and that the British could not have our support both ways." (Secretary's Staff Meetings, Lot 63 D 75)
Secretary Dulles presided at the meeting, which was attended by 18 other participants.
93. Circular Telegram From the Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Offices/1/
Washington, July 7, 1954, 8:07 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 414.608/7-754. Confidential. Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary Woodward, with the assistance of Mr. Ohmans; approved by Assistant Secretary Holland. Sent to the Embassies in Athens, Belgrade, Brussels, Copenhagen, HICOG Bonn, Helsinki, Lisbon, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Rome, The Hague, Stockholm, and London; repeated for information to Bern, Guatemala City, USPOLAD Trieste, and USUN in New York.
15. In your discretion and in degree commensurate any cooperation you consider shown by Government to which you accredited orally convey appreciation US Government for actions taken or promised regarding prevention of arms shipments to Guatemala and related control flag vessels and general idea cooperation with American republics in meeting threat to peace. State that new Guatemalan Government apparently of such complexion that US able withdraw request for cooperation in arms control.
94. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, July 8, 1954, 9 a.m.
[Received July 8, 3:07 p.m.]
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.02/7-854. Secret.
45. As arranged yesterday with Colonel Castillo Arenas (Embtel July 6)/2/ Juan Cordova Cerna called on me this afternoon to explain Castillo's views on future organization of government.
/2/Reference is to telegram 32, from Guatemala City, not printed. (Ibid., 714.00/7-654)
Cordova Cerna said Guatemala was currently distracted with politics, fears of army plots against Castillo and possibility of Communist uprising; what was needed was strong established government to insure internal order and put end to politicking. I asked whether he thought a Junta composed of Castillo Armas, Monzón and Oliva would be sufficiently strong, and he replied affirmatively without hesitation. Having in mind current whispering campaign against Monzón, I then asked whether Castillo's friends would accept Monzón as member of Junta and cooperate loyally with him, and Cordova said he thought they would.
We then discussed whether Castillo could run for constitutional presidency if he assumed presidency of Junta. Cordova Cerna said under existing' constitution he was disqualified because he had led revolt against previous government; hence it would not matter whether he was president of Junta, a plain member or held no government office. While constitution could be revised, Cordova said he and Castillo thought it preferable Castillo should complete Arbenz term of office (to March 1957), and meanwhile have new constitution drawn up and hold presidential elections in which he would not be candidate. In interim country would be governed by basic status [statutes?] which would provide definite limitations on governments powers and guarantees of people.
He then launched into lengthy discussion of his plan for constituting government: Under Junta, there would be 5-man political council to formulate policy on political matters and 15-man planning council to formulate and coordinate economic policy. Policies drawn up by councils, when approved by Junta would be executed by ministries, which would be stripped of policy making functions. Economic policy would be based on free enterprise system, foreign investment would be encouraged on mutually advantageous terms, and social gains of workers would be retained and carried further.
Cordova Cerna impressed me as highly idealistic and he had obviously studied question thoroughly, but his ideas might be difficult to carry out here.
I have reason to believe Monzón will accept reduction of Junta to three members/3/ will suggest holding elections in next few days and will himself propose Castillo for presidency of Junta. At moment this seems best way to solve dilemma of army-Castillo relationship.
/3/On July 7, 1954, the five-member Guatemalan Junta of Government unanimously elected Castillo Armas as its permanent President; Colonels Cruz and Dubois resigned, leaving the new Junta comprised of Castillo Armas, Colonel Monzón, and Major Oliva.
95. Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the President/1/
Washington, July 9, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.02/7-1054. Secret.
We have received telegrams/2/ from Ambassador Peurifoy in Guatemala reporting that the new Government is constituted in Guatemala and that it has sent our Embassy a formal note/3/ stating that it is prepared to fulfill the international obligations of Guatemala. The new Government, which was formally established on July 2, appears to control the entire territory of Guatemala.
/2/ Apparent reference to the following telegrams from Guatemala City, none printed: unnumbered, dated July 2, 1954 (ibid., 714.00/7-254); 26, dated July 6, 1954 (ibid., 714.02/7-654); and 31, dated July 6, 1954 (ibid., 714.00/7-754).
/3/Reference is to Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Relations note no. 10248, dated July 7, 1954, not printed; the note and a translation were transmitted to the Department of State under cover of despatch 7 from Guatemala City, dated July 8, 1954, not printed. (Ibid., 714.00/7-854)
We are ready to send a circular telegram/4/ to all the other Governments of the American Republics (and to London, Paris and Ottawa which have indicated from time to time that they wish to coordinate recognition actions with us) asking for the views of the Governments, of the other American Republics and indicating that we are considering recognition of the new Guatemalan Government on July 13. This will allow time for some other countries to recognize sooner (El Salvador and Costa Rica have already done so), and for other countries to coordinate with us, so we will not be conspicuously in the lead or behind.
/4/Sent as circular telegram 24, dated July 9,1954, to all diplomatic posts in the American Republics, except Guatemala City, and also to London, Paris, Ottawa, and Taipei; repeated for information to Guatemala City. (Ibid., 714.02/7-954)
I would appreciate your informing me whether you approve of this action./5/
/5/The source text bears the following handwritten notation initialed by President Eisenhower: "10 July 1954 O.K."
The United States extended recognition to the new Guatemalan Government on July 13, 1954. (Ibid., 714.02/7-1354)
John Foster Dulles
96. Report Prepared in the United States Information Agency/1/
Washington, July 27, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-OCB Files, Lot 62 D 430, "Guatemala, 1954-1955." Secret. This report was submitted to the Operations Coordinating Board at the request of the Acting Director of the U.S. Information Agency. It was circulated to Board members under cover of a memorandum from Elmer B. Staats, dated Aug. 2, 1954, which reads in part as follows: "It is believed that this report is pertinent in connection with recent discussions by the Board of the desirability of having a common approach to information activities in connection with the Guatemalan revolt."
REPORT ON ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY IN THE GUATEMALAN SITUATION
In concert with other departments and agencies and for the purpose of supporting specified foreign policy objectives, the Agency began last November-December 1953 to regroup its limited resources in an effort to meet the growing crisis conditions in Guatemala and neighboring countries. Unfortunately, the sharp cutback in Agency funds and personnel during the summer and fall of 1953 had forced reduction of the already small operations in the area, especially in various smaller countries where the programs amounted to one-man holding operations. Actions taken by the Agency to remedy these deficiencies and to carry out an effective operation may be grouped under three time-periods: the six months prior to the communist arms shipment; the crisis period of May-June; and the current post-crisis period.
I. Pre-Crisis Period
A. Policy--Up to the 10th Inter-American Conference at Caracas in March much Latin American opinion refused to concern itself with the communist issue in Guatemala, either regarding the Arbenz regime as a "homegrown" revolutionary movement dedicated to improving the lot of the exploited Guatemalans, or preferring to dwell on the United Fruit issue and speculate as to United States motives of economic imperialism.
In this context our principal information effort was directed toward creating greater awareness throughout the Hemisphere of the real threat to peace and security posed by the verifiable communist penetration of the Guatemalan government. In accordance with established policy at that time, this effort stopped short of accusations, directly attributed to the Agency, against the Arbenz regime as communist-dominated but did include the preparation and placement of unattributed articles labeling certain Guatemalan officials as communists, and also labeling certain actions of the Guatemalan government as communist-inspired.
Even though Guatemala alone voted against the anti-communist resolution at Caracas, public attention in Latin America did not begin to focus on the issue of communist penetration and resultant threat to peace and security. With this in mind, the Agency intensified its efforts to get irrefutable evidence publicized throughout the Hemisphere, again short of directly labeling the Arbenz regime as communist but using its actions as self-evident proof.
B. Operations-In November and December, 1953, the information program in Guatemala was reviewed with Ambassador Peurifoy, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency. A new Public Affairs Officer was appointed and provisions were made for such internal strengthening of personnel and funds as events might require. In order to give direct support to the Guatemalan program, long seriously handicapped in operations through Guatemalan government restrictions, and to help meet the problem of communist penetration in the Central American area, a regional servicing operation was developed whereby USIS Mexico could give program support to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. This servicing concentrates on anti-communist materials produced by USIS Mexico in direct collaboration with the other posts and tailored to meet specific needs in individual countries. A third phase of organizational build-up was a considerably expanded 1955 budget projection, parts of which were to be initiated with 1954 funds, especially the strengthening of the one-man holding operations in the smaller countries.
Elsewhere in the Caribbean, and related to the Central American plan, a new office was established in Port-of-Spain for the Trinidad-British Guiana-Barbados area. The existing small operation for the French West Indies, based in Martinique, was re-examined and provision made for selected expansion.
Media and field operations were directed to intensify their efforts in the collection, preparation, and placement of materials demonstrating communist design on, and penetration of, the Hemisphere. A successful project in January, for example, was the preparation here of a series of articles exposing Guatemalan communists Fortuny and Gutierrez; these were planted in a Chilean newspaper and later reprinted in selected other countries with Chilean attribution.
Throughout this period and on through the crisis itself emphasis was placed on cross-reporting Latin American opinion which opposed the Arbenz regime and supported the U.S. stand as taken at Caracas.
The Agency's special coverage team at the Caracas Conference fed out a continuous flow of news, backgrounders, photos, and tape recordings, concentrating on the anti-communist resolution and Guatemala's lone opposition. Through direct Wireless File to all missions and fast pouch these materials were disseminated by all field offices throughout the conference with good placement, backed up by frequent background briefings and conversations with editors, commentators, and public opinion leaders. Film coverage was arranged for newsreel and TV outlets and, for future continuing use, full film documentation was developed on the anti-communist resolution, including speeches by Secretary Dulles and Assistant Secretary Holland.
II. Crisis Period
A. Policy-The communist arms shipment to Guatemala in mid-May marked a definite turning point: first, among the small neighboring countries fearing intervention or aggression; second, elsewhere in the Hemisphere a mixture of surprise, concern and even alarm at this unexpected development; third, elsewhere in the world as the issue became headline news and the communist propaganda network openly took up Guatemala's cause. Especially significant was the attention given to the problem in Moscow radio broadcasts which from the beginning had been high and became a continuous clamor, so that by June 23 one Pravda article was broadcast thirty separate times.
As part of the basic U.S. decision to see the issue through to an emergency OAS meeting of consultation, the Agency immediately embarked upon an aggressive information effort, utilizing all available resources, to expose and discredit the Arbenz regime as communist-dominated, to dramatize the threat to the peace and security of the Hemisphere, and to encourage positive action by other American Republics. This effort included use of direct attribution but continued to emphasize cross-reporting of desirable Latin American opinion. Strong advantage was taken of key developments which helped swing Latin American opinion to our side, such as the Soviet arms delivery and the Guatemalan-Soviet maneuver in the U.N.
Output was directed not only to the Hemisphere but also to other parts of the world where, because of public unfamiliarity with the Latin American scene, communist propaganda found ready acceptance. Content was aimed at such attitudes as: skepticism or outright disbelief regarding the U.S. position, ranging to public acceptance of allegations that the U.S. engineered the revolution and that U.S. officials had strong financial interests in the United Fruit Company; public rejection of the premise that international communism had in fact subverted the Guatemalan government; reaction in principle to the U.S. stand on searching vessels in American waters and to the U.S. opposition to U.N. Security Council consideration of the Guatemalan request.
Information treatment was complicated by censorship within Guatemala which, for a period, gave the communist side a distinct advantage in getting out its story first; also by the marked tendency of certain foreign news agencies to cross-report reactions adverse to the U.S. and to select comment out of context.
B. Operations-Benefiting from the previous organizational build-up, an emergency working party under the leadership of the Assistant Director for American Republics was established in the Agency, with special liaison officer assigned to Assistant Secretary Holland in the Department of State. Specialists were reassigned within the Agency to the Policy and Programs Staff for Latin America, the intelligence-research staff, and the press, radio, and films media. A series of directives was issued formulating the various tasks to be undertaken by media and field operations.
Despite the lack of lead time in the policy decision to change from a largely unattributed effort to an aggressive labeling campaign, more than 200 articles, backgrounders, and scripts were prepared and transmitted by Wireless File, cable, and fast pouch during four weeks beginning the end of May for press and radio placement abroad. These were developed partly from public sources and partly from declassified intelligence from State and CIA. Content ranged from coverage of daily developments in Guatemala, Washington, the U.N., and elsewhere in the area, to original verified exposes of communist penetration. Illustrative of numerous pamphlets prepared, a "Chronology of Communism in Guatemala", written here and printed in Habana in 100,000 copies, was distributed to all posts in Latin America. In addition some 27,000 pieces of anti-communist cartoons and posters were expedited to the field for selective placement. Based on Agency materials WRUL broadcasts were stepped up throughout the crisis period. Newsreel coverage of Guatemala's action in the U.N. and the emergency OAS meeting were released worldwide. Three special film subjects, including the film "Caracas: Resolution and Reality," were sent to all posts in the area.
Not only posts in this area but selected posts around the world regularly filed back useful stories for cross-reporting together with analyses of local opinion trends. When it became clear from these reports and other sources that censorship inside Guatemala was preventing foreign correspondents from reporting the story, while at the same time Guatemalan and allied sources were pushing their own version of the revolt, the Agency detailed an experienced press officer to Tegucigalpa in Operation Berry. This consisted of assembling daily, from intelligence sources, a succinct account of events within Guatemala and forwarding by cable to Embassy Tegucigalpa. The press liaison officer informally passed this information along to selected correspondents. Coverage immediately began to improve, helping also to offset cross-reporting by foreign news agencies of anti-U.S. comment.
Field reports now coming in show effective use of materials produced here and by the field posts themselves. Wireless File materials were well received by both metropolitan and provincial papers as timely and effective and were widely printed, frequently without attribution to USIS. This was also true of the anti-communist cartoon prints and plastic plates. Through well-organized mailing lists the various pamphlets and posters were put into the hands of selected individuals and groups. Local radio outlets likewise were successfully brought into play. For example, the important CMQ network in Cuba early in June agreed to use all hard-hitting commentaries on Guatemala at peak listening hours, without USIS attribution. Selected films were redirected to key groups throughout the area, including films exposing communist activities in other countries clearly paralleling the Guatemalan situation.
III. Post-Crisis Period
At the present time, the information treatment of the Guatemalan problem has entered the phase of disseminating the documentation only now becoming available from within Guatemala, which confirms the communist nature of the Arbenz government and demonstrates the truth of the representations previously made by the United States. In this task, the Castillo Armas government can be expected to help by exposing the atrocities and the tactics of the previous administration. Since this is the first time a communist government has been overthrown, a full case history of "rise and fall" is available, pointedly useful on a sustained basis in arousing Latin America to the methods and dangers of communist penetration. This line is also being carried worldwide to offset the large measure of skepticism which characterizes public reaction to the Guatemalan situation.
As part of the basic job of getting verified facts on communist penetration in Guatemala, the Agency detailed two cameramen to Guatemala as soon as it was possible to enter the country. A considerable quantity of sound film documenting communist atrocities is already on hand. Together with other film materials this footage will be developed into two permanent film records on communism in Guatemala, one short subject for immediate theatrical release worldwide and one longer subject for continuing use. A similar effort is being made with regard to still photos and recorded interviews. These and other efforts are in addition to publicizing official statements or reports as they become available for public use.
The Agency will continue to give high priority to Guatemala during what undoubtedly will be a long period of rehabilitation. A long-range effort of re-orientation seems indicated, at government levels and particularly in the interior areas where land has been distributed and doubts about the future persist. The Agency desires to play its part in a coordinated multi-Agency effort and has informally exchanged views with the Department of State on the type and size of resources that might be employed.
In addition to efforts within Guatemala, there is urgent need for a marked step-up in the information program for the Hemisphere, for the two-fold purpose of aggressively exposing communist penetration and bolstering democratic forces. As in efforts directed toward Guatemala, this should be part of a multi-Agency plan of action, bringing to bear on the Hemisphere greater attention and larger resources than the U. S. government has given it in the years since the war.
97. Editorial Note
By an exchange of notes signed at Guatemala City, July 27 and 30, 1954, and entered into force on the latter date, the United States agreed to permit the transfer to Guatemala of military equipment and materiel, including F-51 aircraft, subject to certain understandings. The notes were transmitted to the Department of State, under cover of despatch 211, from Guatemala City, dated September 14, 1954, not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.5622/9-1454) For text of the notes, see United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST), volume 5 (pt. 2), page 1926, or TIAS No. 3059.
98. Editorial Note
By an exchange of notes signed at Washington, July 28 and August 28, 1954, and entered into force on the latter date, the United States and Guatemala agreed to extend and to amend the agreement of May 19, 1943, relating to the construction of the Inter-American Highway in Guatemala. For the text of the notes, see 5 UST (pt. 3) 2244, or TIAS No. 3084.
99. Minutes of a Meeting, Held at the Department of State, August 8, 1954/1/
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Guatemala Embassy Files, Lot 60 F 65, "350--Guatemala." Secret. Drafted by Mr. Fisher on Aug. 12.
/2/Ambassador Peurifoy was in Washington for consultations at the Department of State during most of the early part of August; he returned to Guatemala on Aug.16.
Ambassador Peurifoy reported that the political situation was encouraging since the August 2 rebellion of Army elements/3/ had been put down. Castillo Armas had tremendous popular support, and gave signs that he intended to use his power to consolidate his control firmly.
/3/Documentation relating to this subject is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00.
Castillo Armas proposed soon to call elections for delegates to draft a Constitution and elect a president for a specified period. This would terminate the Junta, and would be preferable to Cordoba Cerna's idea of submitting a "statute" to referendum, which would provide for continuation of Castillo Armas in power. Castillo's popularity right now was so great that no opposition candidate would have a chance, if one could be found. Mr. Leddy expressed concern over risking elections, pointed out the danger of adverse results, citing the case of Venezuela./4/ Mr. Holland felt the situations were dissimilar in that view of Castillo Armas enjoyed great popularity at this moment, and his potential opposition had not had three years to prepare, as had been the case in Venezuela.
/4/Apparent reference to the Venezuelan national election held on Nov. 30, 1952; see Mr. Miller's memorandum to the Secretary, Dec. 5, 1952, in Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, vol. IV, p.1635.
Cordoba Cerna appeared to be the best man in sight as advisor to Castillo Armas, and perhaps eventually president. He would return to Guatemala next week, after Ambassador Peurifoy had had an opportunity to confer with him. Ambassador Peurifoy would return shortly afterwards.
Principal problem is lack of leaders. Solutions suggested: creation of a labor leader training institute in Guatemala, which has been proposed by ORIT leaders. Guatemalan leaders may also be trained in the United States, where they can observe highly developed trade union practices, and in Puerto Rico, where they can be seen adapted to more primitive conditions.
A further problem is that of employers attitudes. The IRCA is reported to have begun to institute a retaliatory policy against employees who have been strong union men, as distinguished from Communists or sympathizers. This must be stopped, as it will put United States concerns in the van in a turn-back-the-clock operation. Montgomery/5/ and others should be approached on this problem.
/5/Presumably Joseph W. Montgomery, vice president, United Fruit Company.
The Guatemalan labor code will have to be overhauled or replaced. Vallon/6/ will be able to make recommendations on a United States or other technician who can help with this.
/6/Edwin E. Vallon; on detail from the Department of State to the Department of Labor from June 30, 1952 to mid-July 1954, when he was assigned to temporary detail as labor consultant to the Embassy in Guatemala. He was appointed labor attaché on Dec. 6, 1954.
A fourth problem is that of the affiliations of such Guatemalan labor organizations as develop there. Our position is that we support free labor organization at the local level, as well as free association with international groups except Communist controlled or anti-United States ones. We, therefore, look with approval on affiliation with OBIT, but that is Guatemala's business.
There were a total of 770 persons who took asylum after Arbenz' downfall. The Castillo Armas government considers them to be in four categories: (1) women and children in asylum only because of family relationships; (2) Communists; (3) criminals; and (4) relatively harmless members of the Arbenz political regime. The Guatemalans are examining each case to determine whether the individual is guilty of crimes or Communist activities. The Guatemalan Foreign Office has no plan for disposing of the asylee problem.
There are four alternative courses: (1) turn all the asylees loose in the hemisphere with safe conducts; (2) keep all or many of them holed up in Embassies indefinitely--the Haya de la Torre/7/ solution; (3) submit to the OAS;/8/ (4) try to persuade the host governments to withdraw asylum from criminals and Communists, i.e., evict them from the Embassies. The host governments would have to be assured that the evictees would get humane treatment, i.e., Guatemala would have to guarantee prosecution in good faith of the criminals, to send to the Iron Curtain any Communists choosing to go there and accepted by a Soviet country, to free the harmless asylees, and to try to rehabilitate the dangerous ones. Alternative courses 1 and 2 constitute no solution for obvious reasons, and No. 3 would probably result in interminable debate and no solution.
/7/Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre was a Peruvian political leader who had sought asylum in the Colombian Embassy at Lima in January 1949, and was unable to obtain safe conduct to leave the Embassy until March 1954, when the Peruvian Government allowed him to proceed to Mexico.
/8/In a memorandum to Deputy Assistant Secretary Woodward, Director of the Office of South American Affairs Atwood, and Mr. Burrows, dated July 5, 1954, Assistant Secretary Holland stated that "a novel, but perhaps practical solution" to the problem of the disposition of Communist leaders who took asylum in different Embassies in Guatemala "might be the establishment of two or three large prison camps, operated by the OAS itself and in which Communist agents would have a chance to demonstrate their eschewal of Communism as the price of liberty." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.001/7-554) In a memorandum to Mr. Holland, dated July 7, 1954, Mr. Burrows commented that he believed that the Assistant Secretary's suggestion was "not a feasible or practicable one" (ibid., 714.001/7-754), and in a memorandum to Mr. Holland, dated July 13, 1954, Mr. Woodward stated in part that the "establishment of an OAS detention center would be likely to create so much bad publicity that it should not be suggested unless we are certain that the dimensions of the problem are so great that they cannot be handled by Guatemala alone." (Ibid., 714.001/7-1354) There is no indication in Department of State files that Mr. Holland pursued the idea of a detention center.
Therefore, Ambassador Peurifoy should urge the Government to release the women and children, and to guarantee the humane treatment mentioned in No. 4 above so that arrangements could be made with host governments that the latter withhold or withdraw asylum from people active on behalf of international Communism, and from criminals, both upon presentation of charges supported by prima facie evidence. If the Guatemalans accept, Mr. Holland should go to Mexico City to try to sell it to President Ruiz Cortines. Mr. Holland said Generalissimo Trujillo liked the plan but thought it wouldn't work. An alternative would be to issue safe conducts conditioned on going to an Iron Curtain country. Mr. Fisher should draft a memorandum/9/ to the Secretary recommending this course.
The Embassy had submitted some recommendations on FOA programs in agriculture, health and sanitation, and education. Our agricultural experiment station staff should be reinforced, and the corn breeding program examined for possible inclusion. The Roosevelt Hospital should be finished off as quickly as possible.
Ambassador Peurifoy recommended that strong assistance be given the American School in Guatemala. It badly needs a new building. If the FOA cannot do it, thought should be given an EXIM or other type of loan.
The Guatemalan school system, formerly riddled with Communists, should be restored as fast as possible. A suggestion is the importation of teachers from other countries, after an expert survey, possibly by FOA, reveals the requirements and recommends remedies.
The FOA labor exchange program should be implemented. An instruction/10/ on this has already gone down to the Embassy.
Ambassador Peurifoy should try to get the Government to invite Muñoz Marin/11/ to visit Guatemala. Further discussion and planning of ways in which the many good examples set by Puerto Rico can be made useful to Guatemala can then go forward.
/11/Luis Muñoz Marin, Governor of Puerto Rico, 1949-1957.
Guatemala has a public internal debt of about $30,000,000. The Government would like to get a 30 million dollar 6-year loan or series of loans, without any publicity. It would be used to pay off the 4 to 6 million immediately and urgently due in back salaries to government employees, to start immediately a public works program, including low cost housing, and hospitals in seven zones, to complete the Roosevelt Hospital, to complete the Inter-American and possibly the Atlantic Highways, to install a $7 million hydro-electric plant at Lake Amatitlan and other projects.
A secret loan is impractical. Guatemala may be able to get loans from several different private banks, possibly with EXIM guarantees.
The Guatemalans need first of all a fiscal expert to help them find out their true financial condition. The IBRD should send a team down to examine the economy and outline what it can do in the way of loans. Sound projects not financed by IBRD should be supported by EXIM Bank loans.
Minister of Communications Prado Velez,/12/ or whoever is going to be directly responsible, should be urged to draw up plans and come to the United States to discuss them in concrete terms.
/12/Martín Prado Velez.
Mr. Neal should look into ways and means of furnishing Guatemala with a short term loan to meet its immediate operating needs./13/
/13/During the latter part of August and early September, officials in the Department of State discussed the possibility of a short-term loan for Guatemala against Guatemalan gold reserves. In telegram 247, from Guatemala City, dated Sept. 7, 1954, Ambassador Peurifoy stated in part the following: "Federal Reserve loan does not appear necessary since further review here indicates probability Guatemalan Government can for the present meet its obligations." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 814.10/9-754)
100. Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland) to the Secretary of State/1/
Washington, August 10, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.001/8-1054. Confidential.
There has been no progress toward satisfactory disposition of the Communist and other dangerous asylees in Guatemala. Of the 770 persons who took refuge in nine Latin American missions in Guatemala after the fall of the Arbenz Government, only a few women and children have been granted safe conducts out of the country. The Guatemalan Government while investigating the cases of asylees for evidence of Communist or criminal activities, has developed no policy other than to resist the growing pressure for safe conducts for all asylees, recognizing the danger of releasing into the hemisphere many Communists and sympathizers among the asylees. The OAS can probably contribute little toward a settlement besides extended debate, either inconclusive or adverse to Guatemala. However, a continued impasse will lead to serious difficulties between Guatemala and other Latin American countries, especially the host governments. Of these, Mexico is the most important with over 300 asylees in its Embassy.
The most desirable solution would be one clearly establishing the principle that the traditional benefits of asylum should be denied international Communists. It would probably best be embodied in bilateral arrangements between Guatemala and the respective host governments along the following lines: (1) host to withdraw benefits of asylum from Communists and criminals against whom charges supported by prima facie evidence are presented, i.e., evict them from diplomatic premises into Guatemalan jurisdiction; (2) Guatemala would immediately give safe conducts out of Guatemala to the relatively harmless asylees and guarantee humane treatment to persons evicted from the embassies. In this respect Guatemala would specifically undertake to prosecute in good faith those accused of crimes, to offer transportation to Iron Curtain countries to Communists who elect to go there and are admitted, and to attempt to rehabilitate the remainder, releasing those found to be harmless.
In the event this kind of solution cannot be achieved, consideration should be given the alternative of Guatemala's granting safe conducts for dangerous asylees conditioned on their being transported to and accepted by an Iron Curtain country. These alternatives have been worked out in our conferences with Amb. Peurifoy.
That Embassy Guatemala seek the Guatemalan Government's concurrence on the proposals suggested, and that if given, I personally visit President Ruiz Cortines of Mexico to try to persuade him to accept a solution along the lines outlined./2/
/2/Secretary Dulles approved this recommendation "subject to CIA views."
101. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Embassy in Guatemala/1/
Washington, August 31, 1954, 7:25 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/8-2754. Secret; Priority. Drafted, with the assistance of Mr. Leddy, and signed by Assistant Secretary Holland.
178. Department concerned lest threatened break between Castillo, Cordova Cerna and Monzón (urtel 225)/2/ lead renewed violence and jeopardize anti-Communist victory achieved by June revolution. Cable your estimate current intentions Monzón and Castillo and military support on which all three men can count.
/2/The referenced telegram, dated Aug. 27, 1954, is not printed. (Ibid., 714.00/8-2754)
On basis evidence available to Department it appears we have following alternatives:
(1) Support Cordova proposal to purge Monzón and subordinate Castillo to new group dominated by Cordova. If successful program would ensure effective elimination Communists from political life country. Disadvantages are Cordova's lack significant popular support except among conservative and business groups and uncertainty his ability control regular army and liberation military forces.
(2) Unlimited support of Castillo against Cordova and Monzón on basis his popularity with people, his control airforce and presumed control liberation forces and at least significant portion regular army. Disadvantage is his demonstrated lack of ability govern and risk defections and revolution now or later.
(3) Attempt persuade Castillo, Monzón and Cordova to collaborate until revolutionary changes better consolidated by taking following steps:
(a) Assure Monzón and regular Army we are not opposed to Army as an institution and recognize great majority officer corps loyal present Government. As long as regular Army loyal Government we will urge protection its legitimate interests. FYI only we would interpret this to include gradual and selective purge unreliable officers in such way as would minimize risk regular army officers will consider counter-revolution necessary to protect their jobs. End FYI. In this connection please comment probable reaction Castillo and Cordova to such an assurance to Monzón.
(b) Friendly but firm statement to Castillo and Cordova that we expect them collaborate for good Guatemala until revolutionary gains consolidated. In this connection not clear Department whether Monzón's resignation from Government at this time would provoke reaction from regular Army and whether Castillo or others pressing for his immediate resignation. Please clarify.
Department inclined believe third alternative preferable but recognizes decision must be governed by local situation. Submit Embassy analysis stating whether situation deteriorating so rapidly that immediate action necessary./3/
/3/In telegram 234, from Guatemala City, dated Aug. 31, 1954, Ambassador Peurifoy reported that he had discussed the Guatemalan political situation with the three members of the Junta of Government, and that during the discussion Colonel Monzón remarked that in spite of the fact that the members of the Junta had collaborated loyally with each other, confidence had not returned to Guatemala, and "he had concluded that only by placing full powers in hands of one man in accordance with Guatemalan tradition could stability be assured. Hence, two days ago he had voluntarily suggested he and Oliva resign; Oliva had subsequently agreed." (Ibid., 714.00/8-3154) On Sept. 1, 1954, Colonel Monzón and Major Oliva resigned, the Junta was dissolved, and Castillo Armas assumed the provisional Presidency of Guatemala. On Oct. 10, 1954, the results of a popular election held in Guatemala confirmed Castillo Armas as President of the country.
102. Editorial Note
On September 1, 1954, the United States and Guatemala signed at Guatemala City a General Agreement for Technical Cooperation, which entered into force on the same date. The agreement was transmitted to the Department of State under cover of despatch 233, from Guatemala City, dated September 22, 1954, not printed (814.00 TA/9-2254). For text of the agreement, see 5 UST (pt. 2) 2010, or TIAS No. 3068.
103. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, September 2, 1954, 4 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/9-254. Confidential; Priority.
241. First night, following assumption of presidency by Colonel Castillo Armas, passed without incident. While government officials expressed confidence there would be no trouble they said suitable precautions against possible military uprising had been taken and press this morning reports Castillo together with former Junta members Monzón and Oliva visited principal military centers yesterday where Castillo received assurances support and Monzón and Oliva emphasized their resignations had been voluntary and not as result of pressure. However, some army officers are known to feel that Monzón's resignation violated pact of San Salvador and that they are under no obligation whatever to Castillo. Hence while Castillo has survived first critical moments possibility of disturbances later cannot be entirely discounted.
I talked with President Castillo for an hour last night at home of Minister of Communications Prado Velez and endeavored to impress on him need for decisive action if he was to hold confidence of country. I urged advantage be taken of resignation of Cabinet to replace incompetents with capable men. I then asked his views on proposal to hold Constituent Assembly, suggesting such action in near future desirable to enhance domestic and foreign prestige of his government and reassure Guatemalans who feared long period of dictatorship. Castillo said he planned to announce intention call Constituent Assembly in speech today but that he did not think it should be held until problem of unemployment had been substantially overcome since he feared jobless would be easy prey to Communist propaganda. I asked when he thought elections would be held and he said as soon as highway construction program could be gotten under way, especially construction of inter-American highway. I then told him all formalities had been complied with and that representative of BPR would arrive in Guatemala soon to assist in starting work. Castillo was pleased and said he would probably refer to this development in his address to nation.
President then said he had two matters he wished discuss with me: Labor and relations with American companies. On labor, he said he had had to take harsh measures to break Communist control of unions but that he wished to attract labor support for his government and avoid reputation abroad of being anti-labor. He thought time had come to reorganize unions and regretted that American companies were opposing his efforts. He hoped they could be induced to cooperate with government in eliminating Communists and setting up free unions, thus avoiding vacuum in labor movement, which Communists would take advantage of to organize labor clandestinely. I expressed full agreement with his views and said I knew Department also agreed.
It will be noted President's spontaneously expressed views on labor differ sharply from alleged government position as stated by IRCA Railway official who called on me yesterday (Embassy telegram 238)./2/
/2/In the referenced telegram, from Guatemala City, dated Sept. 2, 1954, Ambassador Peurifoy reported that at a meeting with officials of the leading American-owned companies in Guatemala, IRCA and other company officials had stated that they needed a minimum of six months "free of union activity" in order to clean out Communists so that they could reorganize their operations on a "stable basis", that the Guatemalan Government agreed, but would not act "while Department and Embassy sympathetic toward union movement." (Ibid., 814.062/9-254)
Continuing this conversation Castillo said that relations with American companies were generally excellent. Both UFCO and IRCA had expressed willingness revise their contracts to give greater benefits to government and he hoped detailed negotiations might be undertaken soon. Only Electric Power Company had not made any offer. I replied I hoped mutually satisfactory arrangements could be worked out with all companies especially in view of government's urgent need for additional revenue.
In conclusion President said his advisers were working on provisional law to permit exploration for petroleum to get underway at once and that later complete new petroleum law would be drawn up possibly with aid of US expert not connected with oil companies. I encouraged him to proceed along this line and mentioned Max Ball as outstanding authority on petroleum legislation.
104. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Peurifoy) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, September 8, 1954, 7 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/9-854. Confidential; Priority. Repeated for information to the Embassy at Mexico City.
256. In talk with Foreign Minister Salazar/2/ today I inquired about Guatemalan Government's policy on asylees explaining I had been confused by circumstance that President Castillo Armas in Salazar's presence had agreed to Department's proposal for making renewed effort to prevent dispersion of Communists and other undesirables throughout hemisphere and that I had subsequently learned through newspapers that safe conducts were being issued to all asylees.
/2/Carlos Salazar Gática, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Relations.
Salazar, obviously embarrassed, said that until recently he had issued safe conducts only to persons of minor importance until about five days ago Mexican Ambassador had visited Castillo and asked that asylees be cleared out of Embassy before September 16, Mexico's national holiday. Subsequently, Castillo had instructed that safe conducts be issued to all asylees without distinction. Salazar said he had reminded Castillo of his agreement with me but Castillo had replied that nothing had been done and plan must have failed.
I replied it was extremely embarrassing for me and my government to have policy changed in this manner without our being informed and that our Ambassador in Mexico/3/ had been conducting negotiations with Mexican authorities and planned to see President tomorrow. In conclusion I said with reference to Mexican Ambassador it was interesting to know whose advice Castillo accepted. Salazar repeatedly said he was sorry but feared nothing more could be done on this matter now./4/
/4/Circular telegram 135, dated Sept. 10, 1954, sent to the Embassies at Buenos Aires, Mexico City, San Jose, San Salvador, Santiago, and Quito, and repeated to the Embassies in the other American Republics, reads in part as follows: "[We] believe it is of the utmost importance that governments receiving asylees [from Guatemala] maintain both in their own interest and that of other American republics continuous and effective surveillance these persons while they remain in their jurisdiction, take measures assure prevention their engaging in subversive activities, and inform other American republics regarding destination should their efforts leave that country be successful. In our view appropriate destinations further travel for most of these individuals would be Guatemala in response extradition request that Government, or behind Iron Curtain." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.00/9-1054)
105. The Acting Secretary of State to the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration (Stassen)/1/
Washington, September 30, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 8/1/4.00/9-3054. Confidential. Drafted by Mr. Leddy.
Dear Mr. Stassen: Since the overthrow of the pro-Communist Arbenz Government in Guatemala approximately three months ago, the Department of State and the Foreign Operations Administration have both given urgent and careful study to the problem of the economic rebuilding of that country, and the specific part which can be played by aid from our Government. A marked decline in economic activity consequent upon the disturbances of May and June of this year has been reflected in increasing unemployment, reduced levels of income particularly among the lower classes of the population, and a retarding or total cessation, in some cases, in normal expansion and growth. The Government of Guatemala, suffering extraordinary expenses at a time when the national treasury was found to be looted by the departing regime, has not been able to count fully on even normal sources of revenue to cope with the new burdens of reconstruction. Emergency loans to the Government may be obtained, on a limited basis, from internal banking sources; but as the Government is unwilling (for domestic political reasons of considerable importance) to look for private foreign loans through usual banking channels, it has become apparent that some form of foreign aid is indispensable to meet the pressing need for renewed economic activity and restoration of confidence.
The interest of our Government in a favorable solution of this problem has been expressed publicly by the Secretary of State on June 30, 1954,/2/ and reiterated by President Eisenhower on August 16, 1954. The rebuilding of the Guatemalan economy, as a bulwark against the return of Communist domination of that country, is a very important objective of our foreign policy.
/2/Reference is to the Secretary's address over radio and television on June 30, 1954; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, July 12, 1954, pp. 43-45.
Within the last two weeks, a representative/3/ of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development visited Guatemala for the purpose of estimating present needs on which that institution can assist. On his return earlier this week, we were informed by President Black/4/ that this representative recommended against any loans to Guatemala at this time./5/ Likewise, during the present week, it has been indicated to this Department that the policy of the Export Import Bank is not in favor of the kind of loan which is now needed by Guatemala. Accordingly, it would appear that neither the International Bank nor the Export Import Bank can now be looked to as sources for emergency economic or financial assistance to Guatemala at this time.
/3/Enrique Lopez Herrarte.
/4/Eugene R. Black, President, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
/5/In a memorandum of conversation which took place at the Department of State between Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Waugh, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Woodward, Special Assistant in the Office of Financial and Development Policy Robinson, Mr. Black, Burke Knapp, and Mr. Lopez Herrarte of the IBRD, drafted by Director of the Office of Middle American Affairs Newbegin, dated Sept. 20, 1954, not printed, Mr. Lopez Herrarte is recorded as having stated that there was no present need for commercial loans in Guatemala, that the financial plans of the government were insufficiently definite and too far removed from any operation than would result in a bankable loan, and that loans would be unjustified from the standpoint of the unstable political and constitutional situation in the country (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 814.10/9-2054).
Meanwhile, our Embassy at Guatemala City has reported that the Guatemalan economy stands in urgent need of strengthening through the initiation of public works programs which will absorb a large portion of the many thousands now unemployed, and restore confidence by demonstrating the willingness of the United States to support the regime. The Embassy has pointed out that time is a precious commodity in the present urgent need, and has specifically recommended that a loan of ten million dollars be obtained from the Export Import Bank for purposes of road construction and other public works. Your attention is drawn to Embassy cable No. 247, dated September 7, 1954,/6/ copy of which was distributed to the Foreign Operations Administration. In Washington, the Embassy of Guatemala has on September 20, 1954, submitted a formal note/7/ to this Department requesting that the sum of ten million dollars be made available to the Government of Guatemala, in order to pull the country's economy out of the state of partial paralysis which has developed as a result of Communist depredations and mismanagement.
/6/Not printed. (Ibid., 814.10/9-754)
/7/Reference is to Guatemalan Embassy note no. 1302, dated Sept. 17, 1954, not printed. (Ibid., 814.10/9-1754)
In the present circumstances, it is the considered judgment of the Department of State that our policy objectives in Guatemala require a rapid injection of new funds into the Guatemalan economy, and that this could best be accomplished by a specific grant for public works in the fields of housing, road construction and sanitation and other development purposes. These projects will, in the main, fall within the purview of the Foreign Operations Administration, and could properly receive its supervision and guidance. The amount deemed necessary, during the present fiscal year, is estimated at five million dollars. The allocation and distribution of such funds should remain under control of representatives of the United States Government by requiring that release be made solely on the joint signature of the Country Director of FOA and the American Ambassador.
Such aid to the Government of Guatemala should not encourage other Latin American Governments to feel they should receive similar assistance. The special needs of Guatemala are generally recognized by other Governments as well as our own, and the public assurance of aid to Guatemala, given by the President and the Secretary of State, has been generally accepted by other governments in Latin America as a recognition on our part of the peculiar and dangerous conditions which followed upon the overthrow of the pro-Communist regime. It is not anticipated that the action recommended will cause ill feeling among other Latin American Governments or precipitate requests by them for equal treatment.
May I therefore request that you give urgent consideration to the feasibility of making available to Guatemala the sum of five million dollars for public works in the fields of housing, road construction, and sanitation and other development purposes and that designated officers of your Agency confer with officers of the Department at the earliest possible moment to achieve this purpose./8/
/8/On Oct. 5, 1954, Mr. Stassen, Ambassador Armour, who was in Washington for consultations at the Department of State, and Mr. Fisher discussed the subject of emergency FOA aid for Guatemala at the Department of State. In a memorandum of that conversation, by Mr. Fisher, dated Oct. 6, Mr. Stassen is reported to have stated his agreement that in general Latin America had been "sadly neglected" by the United States, that in the specific case of Guatemala "he would do what he could to resolve the problem", and that "one of the factors involved was that the President's emergency fund, contrary to what many believed, was not a separate unallocated sum, but merely an authority to transfer funds among existing allocations." (Ibid., 814.00 TA/10-554)
Walter B. Smith
106. The Acting Director of the Foreign Operations Administration (FitzGerald) to the Secretary of State/1/
Washington, October 16, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 814.00 TA/ 10-1654. Confidential.
Dear Mr. Secretary: This is in response to the letter of September 30, from Honorable Walter B. Smith, then Acting Secretary of State, proposing a $5,000,000 grant for Guatemala./2/
The Foreign Operations Administration is fully aware of the United States policy of supporting the new non-communist government in Guatemala by improving the economic conditions in that country. Already we have (1) greatly increased the Guatemalan technical assistance budget from $190,000 to $1,300,000, to be used primarily in the basic fields of agricultural extension and research, public health and sanitation, and education, and to provide industrial, economic and financial advisors on a short-term basis upon request by the Guatemalan Government, (2) made an economic development grant of $500,000, to be matched by the Government of Guatemala, for the Roosevelt Hospital, which will put into operation two units (pediatrics, obstetrics and general services) of that hospital.
Finally, we are prepared to make available modest additional funds on a grant basis for projects designed to help shore up the more vulnerable areas of the economy and to provide some immediate relief to the unemployment problem. We are not, however, in a position to provide Guatemala with a grant in the magnitude of $5,000,000 because of other high priority requirements for our limited funds and since it is not clear that sound projects have been or can be developed for the prompt use of this amount. While we will, in any event, have to use the authority granted the President in the Mutual Security Act of 1954/3/ to transfer funds into the Latin American area, such transfer must be kept to the irreducible minimum. We believe, therefore, that we can carry out the foreign policy objectives of the United States in Guatemala by providing at this time for a grant of $1,000,000 and thereafter keeping the situation under continuous review.
/3/For text of the Mutual Security Act of 1954 (Public Law 665), approved Aug. 26, 1954, see 68 Stat. 832.
While we realize that the Department of State has the primary responsibility for deciding whether a grant of $5,000,000 to Guatemala would have had any adverse effect on our relations with other Central American Republics, we should like to express our view, for such value as it may be to you, that the adverse effects would have been very considerable./4/
/4/In a memorandum to Mr. Waugh, dated Oct. 15, 1954, Director of the Office of Financial and Development Policy Corbett, stated in part the following: "At staff level in FOA there is apparently a feeling that a grant to Guatemala would encourage similar requests for other American Republics, particularly those in Central America." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.5 MSP/10-1554)
As for the uses to which a grant of $1,000,000 would be put, we will request the United States Operations Mission Director in Guatemala/5/ to develop a proposed operating plan with representatives of the Guatemalan Government which would emphasize (1) immediate "impact" projects having the primary purpose of putting unemployed to work on sound, though probably small, public works projects, and other developmental activities, and (2) the preparation of detailed plans for sound bankable economic development projects for submission to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the Export-Import Bank. We would use our good offices in assisting Guatemala in presenting such projects to the banks for their consideration. We understand that the Guatemalan Government has recently appointed a Coordinator of Technical Cooperation, which should facilitate the development of the most constructive proposals for the use of the proposed grant.
/5/Edward J. Martin.
We are prepared promptly to advise the Guatemalan Government of an allotment of $1,000,000 on a grant basis, and will time such advice so as to permit the Department to obtain the maximum political advantage therefrom.
We also will have available shortly a suggested draft of a broad agreement covering the general terms and conditions of such a grant, which if you find it satisfactory, we would hope you could negotiate as soon as possible with the Guatemalan Government so that the United States Operations Mission can develop operating agreements promptly.
It is our understanding that the Operations Coordinating Board, at its meeting on October 6, approved a grant to Guatemala at this time of $1,000,000 and the use thereof for the operating programs indicated above.
D. A. FitzGerald
107. Telegram From the Ambassador in Guatemala (Armour) to the Department of State/1/
Guatemala City, October 22, 1954, 4 p.m.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 814.10/10-2254. Confidential.
332. Joint State-FOA message. President Castillo informed me yesterday he attaches highest priority completion and improvement south coastal highway and suggested Guatemala could provide one for each two dollars granted by US. On basis this new approach and in light following considerations, recommend reconsideration 5 million grant (Department telegram 324 October 21):/2/
/2/No telegram fitting this description was found in Department of State files. The reference may be to telegram 276, dated Oct. 20, 1954, which reported that FOA was not in a position to provide Guatemala with a grant of $5 million because of fund limitations and no clear indication of progress toward developing sound projects. It would, however, consider a possible grant of $1 million and keep it under continuous review. (Ibid., 814.00 TA/10-1954)
(1) As a result our identification in Guatemalan official and public mind with liberation movement and statements by US officials concerning aid there is general expectation large-scale grant as witness Monzón's memorandum/3/ requesting some 280 millions. We have succeeded in reducing requests from 280 to 10. We believe we can cut 10 to 5 without bad effect. But we cannot go all the way to 1 without serious risk disillusionment and addition another element instability in already difficult and complex situation.
(2) Grant need not be regarded as precedent. Roosevelt Hospital and Inter-American Highway are continuation old programs and are not peculiar Guatemala. Aid on basis Guatemala matching funds can be said be extension same program designed maintain equality treatment by making up for years when Guatemala received no aid because Communists.
(3) There is real need. Money could be used kill several birds one stone-help restore confidence economy, alleviate unemployment and help build roads now virtually impassable on Pacific Coast agricultural region over which between 60 to 80 percent of wealth produced in country must move.
(4) Guatemala is doing its part. New one-time tax imposed October 19 designed supply $6.2 million is stiff medicine especially at time of falling coffee prices. Furthermore, Castillo sincerely desires put economic house in order as witness request for financial advisor and disposition discuss with us in advance petroleum and other major economic policies.
(5) Policy of little or no aid may well diminish Embassy's influence on negotiations for new petroleum law, new contract United Fruit and adjustment differences re electric company, Grace Lines and Pan Air. Success in obtaining satisfactory oil law might alone yield tax revenues to US far in excess of 5 millions in issue.
(6) Failure supply adequate grant may result in no aid in view Guatemala's long tradition no foreign loans. It will certainly postpone aid for estimated minimum one year required make detailed justifications and conclude negotiations with lending institutions. Next 12 months are critical ones.
(7) We disagree sound projects cannot be developed quickly. World Bank assigns high priority south coastal highway, page 203, its detailed report./4/ Johnson Drake Piper, 86 Trinity Place, New York, did considerable work south coastal roads 1949-50 and estimates cost resurfacing 52 kilometers Guatemala City to Escuintla at half million. This central artery very bad condition and cost-saving it will be higher if not repaired soon. Same company estimates cost repair completion 113 kilometers Popaya to Retalhuleu to Talisman and 32 kilometers Retalhuleu to Champerico at 8.5 millions with estimated dollar costs including 1 million asphalt and fuel, 1.2 million steel bridge work, 1.1 million culvert pipe, reinforcing steel, tracts, spare and replacement parts for Guatemalan road building equipment. Estimates Guatemalan Highway Department higher with neither figure including cost connection highway with Salvador also desired by President. This American company offers commence work within 30 days on basis cost plus 5-1/2 percent with appropriate incentive clauses. Regardless whether this or other agency or company used it should not be difficult with competent FOA or Bureau Public Roads supervision assure efficient use. Completion detailed justification serve basis bids might take month. Furthermore, in unlikely event unable wisely spend entire sum this year carry over small excess into next year as in case other countries should present no serious problem.
/4/Reference is to The Economic Development of Guatemala: Report of a Mission sponsored by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in collaboration with the Government of Guatemala (Washington, 1951).
(8) Time of essence. We have too large a stake in this government to delay meaningful aid./5/
/5/In a memorandum of telephone conversation between Ambassador Armour, Counselor of Embassy Mann, and Assistant Secretary Holland, dated Oct. 25, 1954, Mr. Holland is reported as having stated that the FOA had agreed to increase the total amount of aid to Guatemala from $2.8 million to $5 million, that the increase "had been obtained just on muscle", and that "the disposition to do what was necessary was deep and reliable here and, if we pushed it the right way, whatever had to be done could be done." (814.00 TA/10-2554) Information in Department of State files indicates that the additional $2,200,000 was to be made up of $1,700,000 transferred to Guatemala from the general technical cooperation account for Latin America and $500,000 from the development aid account for Bolivia. (Memorandum to Under Secretary Murphy, by Special Assistant to the Secretary Nolting, Oct. 25, 1954, not printed; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 814.00/10-2554)
108. The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)/1/
Washington, October 27, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.56/10-2754. Secret. Drafted by Robert M. Sayre of the Office of Regional American Affairs.
Dear Mr. Secretary: Arrangements were made in July of this year between the United States and the new Government of Guatemala under which that government became eligible to purchase military equipment from this government./2/ The Guatemalan Government has taken action which has removed the objection that the United States had to Guatemala's reservation to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance and it now appears that Guatemala will become a party to that Treaty in the near future./3/ It is also expected that Guatemala will soon approve the defense plans of the Inter-American Defense Board. As a further means of strengthening Guatemala's military relations with the United States and the other American Republics, I recommend that early consideration be given to developing a hemisphere defense role for Guatemala as a first step in the direction of establishing the eligibility of Guatemala for grant military assistance under the provisions of Section 105 of the Mutual Security Act of 1954.
/2/Reference is to the agreement effected by an exchange of notes at Guatemala City, dated July 27 and 30,1954; see Document 97.
/3/Guatemala's ratification of the Rio Treaty was deposited, with a reservation, on Apr. 6, 1955.
The present Government of Guatemala, which came to power by ousting a communist controlled government, is cooperating fully with the United States and it is in the interest of the United States that this government be supported. Action has already been taken to provide economic assistance to Guatemala and further measures of economic cooperation are under consideration. These measures should assist in maintaining popular support of the present government and help to stabilize the economic situation in that country, but they make no direct contribution to winning and maintaining the support of the Guatemalan military establishment, which probably will assert the determining influence in any political crisis in Guatemala. Although a military assistance agreement with Guatemala would have the purpose of assisting that country to develop a unit, or units, of its armed forces for hemisphere defense missions, provision of assistance under such an agreement would have the additional result of helping to modernize the Guatemalan military establishment. It is believed that a bilateral agreement with the Guatemalan Government would therefore have considerable appeal to the Guatemalan military and the conclusion of an agreement would be a major step in the direction of assuring continued Guatemalan military support of the present Government. The ability of the present Government to obtain assistance would be the more important because of the failure of the previous regime to obtain military equipment from us and would serve to strengthen the Government's prestige with the Guatemalan Army and thus enhance its ability to maintain internal order.
In view of the unsettled situation in Guatemala it is, quite apart from support of the present Government, important to maintain the friendship and cooperation of the Guatemalan Army because it is, in the final analysis, in the best position to determine the successor government and its orientation. I think it would be a grave error on our part not to recognize that fact and to do everything possible to orient the Guatemalan military toward the United States and secure its firm support for our policy of assuring that communism does not again acquire any influence in the Guatemalan Government.
Because of the special nature of Guatemala's case, I consider it of great importance that we be in a position to offer the Guatemalan Government a bilateral military assistance agreement as soon as that Government completes ratification of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance. That should occur within the next sixty days. I therefore urge that prompt consideration be given to developing a defense role for Guatemala and to making available the necessary funds during this fiscal year and fiscal year 1956 to initiate and carry out a suitable military assistance program in Guatemala.
John Foster Dulles
109. The Secretary of Defense (Wilson) to the Secretary of State/1/
Washington, November 24, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.5 MSP/11-2454. Secret.
Dear Mr. Secretary: I refer to your letter of 27 October 1954/2/, with regard to a possible military assistance program to Guatemala. You urge prompt consideration be given to developing a defense role for Guatemala and to making funds available to initiate and carry out a suitable military assistance program for that country.
You are aware, of course, that because of the limited MDA funds available for Latin America, a military assistance program for Guatemala can be carried out only at the expense of other programs world-wide. You will appreciate that the cumulative effect of supporting numerous new programs in Latin America, by diversion of the limited MDA Program funds, is of much greater significance than would be indicated by the relatively small amount of funds required for individual country programs in the area. In the case of Guatemala, such diversion of funds at this time can be justified primarily by political considerations only.
Before the Department of Defense can develop a proper defense role and force bases for Guatemala, it will be necessary to make a military survey of that country in order to examine defense requirements, status of equipment and troops, and ability of the country to support military forces. Such a military survey is necessary to prevent recurrence of the hastily implemented program for Honduras, in which there was considerable duplication of equipment and in which there has been criticism from the U.S. Ambassador as to the type of unit supported. It is realized that conduct of the survey might make it difficult to meet your timetable for presentation of a bilateral military assistance agreement to the government of Guatemala. However, dispatch of a survey team before presentation of a bilateral agreement might provide some psychological advantage and, in any event, will provide a basis for development of a sounder program for Guatemala than would otherwise be possible.
It is requested that the Department of State obtain political clearance for the conduct of a military survey of Guatemala. Concurrently, the Department of Defense will make preparation for prompt dispatch of a military survey team, as well as subsidiary actions required before negotiation of the necessary bilateral agreements with Guatemala can take place.
It is further requested that your Department be prepared to initiate action to obtain the required Presidential determination as to the eligibility of Guatemala for grant military assistance. In the meantime, direct contact may be established with the Chairman, US Delegation, Inter-American Defense Board,/3/ who will be responsible for the military survey of Guatemala, and for carrying out the necessary bilateral negotiations for the Department of Defense./4/
/3/Lt. Gen. Howard A. Craig, USAF.
/4/In a letter to Secretary of Defense Wilson, dated Dec. 2, 1954, not printed, Deputy Under Secretary Murphy stated that the military survey requested by Secretary Wilson had already been completed, and that upon receipt of a letter from the Department of Defense indicating that defense plans required the participation of Guatemala, the Department of State would seek the necessary Presidential determination as to Guatemala's eligibility for grant military assistance. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.5 MSP/l 1-2454)
C. E. Wilson
110. The Secretary of State to the Director of the Foreign Operations Administration (Stassen)/1/
Washington, November 26, 1954.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central File 714.56/11-2654. Secret. Drafted by Special Assistant for Inter-American Military Affairs Spencer and Mr. Fisher.
Dear Mr. Stassen: Our Ambassador to Guatemala has urgently recommended, for important political reasons, that certain military equipment be made available to the Government of Guatemala and delivered before December 22, 1954. The equipment is desired for use in connection with a military demonstration to be held in Guatemala City on December 22, 1954, for the purpose of encouraging anti-communist elements and deterring communist conspiracy in Guatemala by a public show of Guatemalan military strength. As indicated in the enclosed memorandum of November 23, 1954,/2/ from the Department of the Army, General Matthew B. Ridgway has informed the Guatemalan Ambassador, in Washington, that the Department of the Army will prepare the desired equipment for shipment without delay on a vessel scheduled to depart from New Orleans on December 10 and to arrive in Puerto Barrios on December 16. The Guatemalan Ambassador, however, has informed General Ridgway and representatives of the State Department that his Government cannot at the present time make full payment for the equipment in cash but would be prepared to pay for it on deferred payment terms under the provisions of Section 106, Public Law 665, approved August 26, 1954.
/2/Not attached to source text.
The Department of State believes that a public demonstration by Guatemalan military forces in possession of adequate equipment recently delivered by the United States would emphasize to communist elements in the Central American area the firm intention and the capability of the present Guatemalan Government to resist communist subversion and conspiracy with armed force and the determination of the United States to support Guatemala in resisting communism. This would conform with our national policy objective of eliminating the threat of communism from Guatemala and the Central American area. The Department of State therefore strongly recommends that Guatemala be permitted to procure the desired equipment on deferred payment terms and that the transaction be authorized in sufficient time to assure delivery of the equipment in Guatemala before December 22./3/
/3/In a letter to Mr. Stassen, dated Nov. 29, 1954, , supplementing this letter, Mr. Nolting, for the Secretary of State, stated in part that in spite of the current shortage of cash resources in Guatemala the Department of State believed that the country's economy was "basically sound and that the long term fiscal outlook of the Government may be considered as reasonably optimistic." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files, 714.5 MSP/ 11-2954)
Information in Department of State files indicates that by Dec. 3, 1954, the Department approved for sale to Guatemala on deferred credit terms military equipment, including vehicles, parts, and small arms ammunition, valued at approximately $400,000 (ibid., 714.5 MSP/ 12-354), and that most of this equipment arrived in Guatemala prior to Dec. 22. Additional pertinent documentation is ibid., 714.5 MSP and 714.56.
For the Secretary of State
Frederick E. Nolting, Jr.
111. Editorial Note
On December 13, 1954, the United States and Guatemala signed at Washington an agreement providing for development assistance to Guatemala, which entered into force on the same date. For text of the agreement, see 5 UST (pt. 3) 2972, or TIAS No. 3155. For additional information, see Department of State press release 715, dated December 13, 1954, in the Department of State Bulletin, December 27, 1954, page 985.
112. Memorandum by John W. Fisher of the Office of Middle American Affairs/1/
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, MID Files: Lot 58 D 18. Confidential. There is no indication of a drafting date on the source text.
BALANCE SHEET--DECEMBER 31, 1954 GUATEMALA
1. Faster implementation of economic and technical assistance promised by U.S.
2. Grant of 12,000 metric tons of corn to relieve shortage.
3. Cash assistance to get Inter-American Highway work accelerated pending reimbursement from U.S. funds.
4. Reimbursement for services of Elmer Batzell, petroleum adviser contracted by Guatemalan Government.
5. Renegotiation of U.S.-Guatemalan Trade Agreement. 6. A Bilateral Military Assistance Agreement with the U.S.
United States Wants:
1. Acceptance of sound advice in fiscal and development policy.
2. Coordination of technical advice received from U.S. and that received from Venezuela (petroleum), IBRD and IMF (financial and economic development), and any other non-U.S. sources.
3. Encouragement by Guatemala of repatriation of its own private capital abroad.
4. Discussion of an Investment Guarantee Treaty with the U.S.
5. Conclusion of Air and Military Mission Agreements.
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