K -PROGRAM BRIEFING NOTES

Created: 7/12/1954

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SUBJSCTi . CIEriac

Onpril the Central Uience Agency dlBpatchod wo to Guate-raala,aa to operate ax ar. undercover ajrent, oosii-r,eal thy African tn rlat end operating Independently of tho porsan-ont CIA Installation in that country. The background ol ay aaaign-sent vas as foliova"

1. By end large, executl<ro power In Oaatenala is centered In Ouate-nala Oity, the country's capital. Thus success or failure of the oporetion In tho last analysis hinped upon our ability to wrestof the city fron the Arteni Government. Conversely, as long ae the Arbens repine could cmrclse sway over the city, local cuc-co-seo in the provinces would not necessarily haws vic-

Lory.

2. Arbens and air advisers also recorntsed this strategic prerelao and wort; layinf fair plaeal accordlr^ly. bith the threat of an jp-risinr gralnr, daily, especially since the arrival of the eras altipaantuerto Barrios, anprooodontod naaanres were taken to

he amcd forces concentrated in Guateaala City and the law enforcement agencies for the anticipated showdown. Repressive ijeasures were stepped up endheay, tho Guatemalan -oliccevestatliu: blow aaainat tiie iiiderrroundtillo uruna. ariety of roaeOOl wc had

mt been ablo to sUtf off this event, whose roccoss wasttribu table to tho ireocure ani thoroirhly anprofcssloachtuatutulaa ondorprojnd excelled.

3. ourasn thehase, wc had viewed this very dovelopaont'kely contingency. Wo had been reckon? nr: vith the .ilbllityto at goto stop ol the revolt. Irrespective of Insurgent successes in th- proviricos and irrespective of the scopehe internal resistance which we sight be able to raster ant actualize. Once that stalonate had been reached, we knew that the factor oi Cuatcwala Cityocal point of covernoental strength would loon lar^t. Sooatthinr had to be done about this.

b- new Siat Goaterula City waschillea heel of our jtder-. fee had been unsuceesaful in making serious inroads theb truef governnent control over the armed forces concentrated there. The civilian resistance organisation inCity was deplorably weak and esposed to the unceasincof the Ooveraaent, theTory of police terror, aod co oonist ilspradations. There existed, to the best of oirn? serious flreeree in tha *rsy High swnd'r loyalty to President Arfceni pe -sonally although It is onlyft-r say 'hat the officers' corpe in its ov*rwnel*rfnp aajorlty had all along boon rtrssjrlyin.st. The police, we found, vs* to'.on c

and purposes comunisl controlled.

theoi such unfavorabe auspicespeedy investof tlie center of psximncntal strength and infaportacce of the tine elsront ll this, wethat an atteapt would have to be isade toithin tha structure of the Arbens ro^ae.

an optlarura ve would bars li; ed to obtain concreteMajor dafect&enr-he troop units -errlsoned Jnnee tho iztarnal uprising In the provinces hit itsMilitary twite in the provincial garrtsraja

awe were anxious toransfer ofArbens to elooects syapethatic to our cause, ahead oi aehowaaaaeo oldrolonged andand which night well bave re suitedoveroaiont victory.

C. Iho thesisvr ;acceptedalace revolution "old style* wo lid sdliUte aeai-at tbe effects vonosahorough purse of all ceaeainlsts and fallow travelling eleaants la Ouetestala.

Although weopular upriaincast scale as aforhoroutdi ho use-do ani np, wo were naturally prepared toalace coup in preference to failure andprovided we could be satisflod that the transfer of power t'.uaotoeesutist ruse deedrned to ^ask

too pro nervation offluonce end power behind *front, ie eueeequeat developaanu pro^J, such ft dodge was In feet attenpted and had It not been for the WLgUanoe af our

repreaentativwa in Guatemala City, adrht have suocuedea.

9, The linchpin of President Arfcmz' control waa tha Aray Highvl. Aa lonr. as Its fealty resident ronained uninpalrod the chancesuccessful overthrow oi his regi were scant. Bern peripheral defections in the provincial garrison towns could not nake up for Ihe continued allegiance ol elite troops concentrated incaoi^al,f'eir de'ect'oo oeeJXd not bo hope! for unices andignificant elasiont of thoigh Coiaanr] decided' to abanlsn Uie- sUn.

lb hasten tMe drvelooamt by efltablietainpofw Ui.'n the Amy High "ojuiand oi luiitwnaia waa the special ar:.'.T.leh cyroceed lo Guateraala*

It stands lo reason tiinl the tasks vlthad been on-trusted could not in propriety bo discharged b7 CIA parsonnel asslgn-ei toca-proaisevo -Osclosed beyond per-advnr.tjro that the conspiracy er.loyod official Ansi-lcan backing.

?or that very roaaon,se clearly anderc-ood ay all concerned, includ'. ng our Ambasoador, thate arprebaniodhe par-ioivumoo o! ay mission, the United St-ttoo would seroly sccorl no therotection to which all citizens abroad are entitled, but would disavow all knowledge of ay alssicm.

Tho only facilities toave access, ware tho CIA calls lit* and tho dlploffatlc poacho Id comuni-cste with the ro;r! -mal hea jquarters Ir. Mlaptfith the Directorahinrton,

Onntroducedto Coloneler*er of the Arbone cabinet, an the representative of an organ! satl r. composed of Guatemalan exilesew prooinent and Independently wealthy united States dtiaons dedicated to the cause of overthrowing tha Arbens re; ine.

Ih.xplained tohe Americans parti ci pa ting In this endeavor worn notny manner answerable to theStates Oovernaont. oft no doubt in his Lnd fiat weacting wiihlr the franuwork of United States foreign policy which bad roBOlvod that eonauniet ascendancy in Gaatncnla consti-tated'a direct and najo- threat to the security of the Jnited States in the Iteoternspherehich for that reason was looking with favor upon any attempt under .eken by patriotic Guatemalan elements tc break the conaunlst rtrenelehol;.

1?. It should be notedactlenlflcance transcondinf this particular oporation that Colonel X,erlcii ofdoubt, docldnd to cooo vlth up nsinly ontrer.gth

of Me conviction that this ondortaklnr wo* backed by the United States. y or raay not ROV*y storye Jaitod States Govoraaent wasvt-lva-i. oy have believe!ro-

V

tcstevioaruaicnalan ondertaking. "Ms aatter *ao never redci Detv-jon again.

Colnnol X'b persistent denande for tangible saniiestatf.ons of Unliod Statesliminating In an alwost wheoent inalstance that itlltary objectives in the capital oi hla own country beU: air botibarirwnt suggested to my mind tii at he viewed this whole affair in the context of tho worldwide straggle botewen the United States and soviot inperlallem. Bis decision to stake his life anJ caroor on what he sort have realised wns an exceedingly hazardous ventarecd essentially fron Ms conviction that in SOe was aligninc hlxself with theles.

a period of alaost two aonths.eace,beenontributed toof the operation. It should be stressed that be did sottio when our fortunes were at their lowest ebb and thatin our food faith oni So our professional competencyot own when tho whole structure of theorganisation cared In.

cannot help but feel thatust have Inown thatvorklnr for tho US intelligence servioo. However, it shouldre rood that at nowhile thia operation lasted was heconclusive evidenceirect Involvement of the unitedand the print?resent oi non-ittrlbatablltty reoained

l'L" all thro fh this oporation.

atteuBpts tcwaborc of tho krnyCoT-jnd,the KaflJJtBT of Jofenso, Colonel Smashes, wvi histho Chief of Staff of the Guatemalan Aray, Colonelwith ths difficulties of unexpected severity and finally had to

he abandoned so as not to 3eopardf so tho security of Colonel X,

Aut prior toX aeda one last attoapt through tho Salva-doran Ambassador in Gaataaala, Colonel. Fanes, aho at ny ratjjostSANtmZ and PaaZISLLO to too* with ae In the Selvadoran Embassy. At that atage it was try Intention to serve thenlat oltlaa-tua rather than vastlnp on thea any farther sdsslonary efforts*

I found itself haaatrung hovnvor, by Ambassadoras not to engag* in any recmitnoot attoapts under the protection of hisestriction obviously lapoeod at the Insistence of President Obot'oalvador.

1 was furthermore laboringandicap of not being able to deal with the aforessntiooad off!coxaoaltlan of strength. Bather than courting rsUtff and possible oo<nproadee of Colonel X,

I canoalled the engs^esant, being certain that the inpact of govern-mnt reverses would eventually convince then that they wore backing the wrong horse. As it turned out, witherivotal rolo in the ret:lne's final undoing and both, in the reflection of their enforced exile, are likely to rue 'he day whor they chosuvertures.

23. Tho rolo played byn the ovorthrov o' live Arbenz re rise and in thwart! og the cocuonict scheme to install their puppet, the CfaieS of the Armed forces. Colonel las,atter oi hiotor-ical record and has been accur ;iely covered in tbe daily press.he could have moved sooner than ho actually did is and vlllatter of dispute.

Ziu Like I'itler, President Arbens until the moment of his enforced abdication remained in effective control of the governmentalratos aad any premature sally mijjit have net with svtft rctribation. hy instructions toad boon all along to tread warily and not to stake the fov important asseto which we bad been able-recirdtata novo.

25. 5he Internalod pronleedovor Furthermore, the manliestations of United States backing to which all along he had pointed ao an indispensable prerequisite for the successalace coup supported by the Army FiJ Caaaand, wore somewhat slow In coming. In tho ond all cane out well.

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