GUATEMALA; CONFERENCE WITH MESSRS LEDDY AND MANN.

Created: 8/31/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM

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HEKOW-iDmWestern Hewiaplier? Division

tens le ] conference wit! Messrs Leddy

and Harm.

1. nderstand that Mr.ia in the process ofa full on or and urn of our important discuss'un of yesterdaywith Messrs Leddy and Mann. nown that we were gol'gao many important policyould have asked fortoarger one and certainly for you to have beennight also have asked for General Cabell to be Included, becausekeen and continuing Interest lo the situation ir Guatemala. Cabell haa repeatedly atated to ae that he wants us tocertain that enough attention ls being devoted toln Guattwiala not onlyut alsoIn so far ss wepropriety see to itwithin the 'tate Department.hink rightlyon the score that as long asin Guatemala remains as unsettled and ss explosive aeappears to be, this Agencyontinuingvarious Urea which are not United to the reporting of sign!dsvalcpmenta as they occur and to our covert PP activitiesextend to the furnishing to State for Its consideration of any 3Ideaa which nay occur to ua and which we believe night be Ohelp ln strengthening the situation in .

?. Cm the basis of the two rather alarming telegrams which

received last night, 'eneral Cabell thla morning rexrc-sted ae to re- rj^rVr constitute within thapecUl Usk force to follow the r. w. uatemalan situation constantly for the purpose of being absolutely Jertain that we are missing no bets and leaving nothing undone whiche areosition to do. /This sane task forcepossibly sup- O iji plemunted by your Hondnren desV officoroperatelnllar j apacity as regards the developing political crisis In Honduras,ill surely require aone vory close following. Further aa regardaave, pursuant to the request of Ambassador Wlllenar and the suggestion of Mr. Leddy, spoken to Nr. Joseph Alsop brieflyiew to Interesting him in doing sons columnsghtlnr the developing crisis ln Honduras and focusing public attention on. Alsop seemed interested and willing to do something about thla, end observed to me thet he waa contemplatingisit to Honduras at the invitation of Anfcaaaador Wlllauer, but he said he would havoe some factual background nstsrlal concerning the principal figuresssues there nrior to hie denarture^7

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3. In Mr. usterllne 'prust that ha will bring out tha aallent points of tho discussion, including tho following!

Leddy and Harm readily acknowledgedthe present phase In Guatemala, the Statethe primary responsibility for formulating thethis Government as well as for calling upon thietake action along certain linos that fit withinand come within our capabilities. At thethey made it very clear that they hoped andcontinue to work together closely with ua "as athey made it clear that they would at all timesour suggestions and reccmendationa, not onlycourses of action which might be taken by us,more general lines. Theae statements wereirect question from me as to whether itclear as between us where the leadingllee. ointed out that orer since the conclusion"action phase" of PDSDCCCSS we had endeavored toclear not only among our own personnel and tobut also to Kr. Holland, Hr. Leddy and othersthat we no longer considered that we had thefor calling the plays. Mr. Leddythis was so and that this position on our part was,

of course, acceptable and even welcome to the Department.

very important point discussed wasconcerned the matter of what political factionthe Uf- Government should eupoort. Tt wasfor the foreseeable future our mean supportgiven to Castillo Armas and that the time is notwhen 't is clear that support should behim and shifted to another elementforfaction which is represented by Cordoba Cerna. continue to maintainf course, withfor tho purpose of exertinginfluence uponconform to the best and wisest pattern of actionthe further purpose of avoiding friction betweenelements which aro essentially friendly tostates but ot present quarreling among themselves.

regards the Guatemalan professionalit was agre-'d thatolicy should be tothe officers to believe that the United Stateswill support the Army to the extent of modernising

it and bu'lding it up within reasonableut at the esme time making lt clear to the military leaders that

they should not involve themselves In political intrigue or attempts to undermine the Government of Castillo Armas. Concerning tho key problem of Colonel Nonion, lt ems felt that he should be gently phased out of his preaent position rather than shoved out ln any preclpitons way. In view of the probable strong adverse reaction on tho part of ths Armyrecipitous nova against flonaon. It was further understood that both ths &Mbassy and our station wouldto makeop priority matter to observe end follow closely the activities of Honsoniew toJust where he stands today and Joet what he la up to. Of course, if lt should prove that ha Is really plotting and conspiring against Armas or lending himself to the plots snd designs of othersthen the policyHonton would be much sharper and aore abruptts enrtsecjueneas,

d. Concerning the troublascas and unsettled matter of the so-called political "aaylees' It was agreed, afterdlacusston, that whsreaa there Is no fullysolution of thla problem lt would be Uio best and wlsnat courae to at least attempterine ofnegotiations involving new approaches to the Guatemalan Government and slso to certain of the governments who are granting political asylum, to the endumber of the key "aaylees" would be provided theof going to Rossis. It vos seriously doubted that Russia would bato nccept them or that aost of then would bo willing to go if given tha opportunitybut it was fait that if they should po thla would have the benefit of removing them far fron the scene where they could actively engage lnand plots to overthrow the present enti^ommoalst regime. If they should not be invited to go to Buasla, nothing would ba lost and, on theonsiderable amount of propaganda capital could be made out of therefusal to bail out its agen*Ja and stooges when they run into trouble."There was bow discussion to the effect that ln the event of Soviet unwillingness to receive these persons, sore other area behind tho Iron Curtain might take them. It waa agreed, after much discussion, thst tho most dangerous place for them to go vonld be Mexico, not only be suae of Its proximity to Guatemala, but also because of the opportunities which exist there for then to receive aup.-ort, encouragement and. the internatlmal Coesaunlst ai'peretua, aa well as from the generally tolerant and "soft" attitude and position of the Mexican Government.

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li. You are aware of the farther conversations which wa had tMo morning,g talk with Nr. leddy informing him of all of our views and urging him to arrango at the earl it-at possible moment for all tho steps necessary to be taken within the Department (a) to firm up the policy decisions cn all of the critical points otove mentioned, and (b) to get off appropriate instructions to the Snbaaay as well as guidancepecific nature to cia. Mr. Leddy undertook to move on those mat*ers as rapidly as possible and to set up awith Hr. Holland and Kr. Harm for this purpose.

FRANK G. VlSMti) DOjiuty Director (Plena)

cc: DDCI^ SA/DCl/P

p Hr. Eeterline

V CTHOTb:: urther spelling-out of the rationale of thisreference ia mode to our memorandumugust entitled "Proporal of Ccnblned Departmentnd CIA for Act'on to exploit Asylee Situation in Oustenals". This memorandum pointed up the various psychological and propaganda^advantagos vt.ich might be achieved through thle particular approach, including the fact tbatumber of the top Coiseuniste should, in fsct, go to Russia this would serve to high-light snd underscore the factviet intervention In and responsibility for developments under the Arbens regime. This fact, of which we are satisfied, is still Inadequately believed and little heeded in other important countries in the Western Hemisphere, Including particularly Hextco, Chile and Brasll. s orally informed by Hr.ew days after the subnlof our memorandumugust, that Hr. Holland had used thie memarandun as the basisiscussion with bis staff and hod ccrnented aoet favorably upon the memorandum rs regards both itsstance and its exposition. Ea (Ms ss it may,me to me that aamount of time has expired without much progress having been cchlevod along the lines of recommended action.

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