CABLE RE GUATEMALA 1954 COUP

Created: 7/8/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

ia historical review program t release as sanitized

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Operations

The following information ie being act forth to present an Idea of the sltUAtlon encountered in Honduras In an effort to r: documentary evidence that the Guatemalan Government was connectedeneral strike In Honduras.

X. many united Fruit Company officials, Government officials and private individuals all concurred in one statement! "The Guatemalans ware behind the strike". Vhm questioned cs to the evldenea upon which they baaed this statement their replies usually indicated that they had reached the conclusion because: a) the development of the strike of the UFCO workers followed the sane pattern as strikes in Guatemala, b) the demands of the strikers were phrased in almost identical language as demands made upon the UFCO In Ouateaala, and/or a) Honduran workers did not have the experience and knowledge toe and carryeneral strike without foreign guidance. In other worde, aost of those who concluded that tho Guatemalans were behind tho strike reached this conclusion on the basis of analysis rather thanesult of knowledge of the specific activities of Guatemalan agents.

One UFCO official who was asked for leads he night be able to furnish, such as thef people who aonld be Interviewed regarding their knowledge of Guatemalan support of the strike, stated that ho had absolutely no leads to offer with the exception offfj 9 whom he already knew to bo collaborating with the writer.

Host of the Army commanders in the strike area Indicated that while they believed there was Guatemalan influence in the strike, they had no evidence and no specif lo leads tp rtffer. The one exception was

Amy Co-nnanderwho was the source

requested to obtain from

signed statement of his attempted recruitment by Francisco

CTRCLA, believed to haveuatemalan agent,

uniible to comply with this requ.>ct. The exact roleis in

doubt as it Is now understood that he furnished bail for Junnommunist who had been arrested in Puerto Cortes*

Lt. Col. Raul FLORES Gomez, Acting Commander of the Army In the Department of Cortes has been very cooperative andeputation of being very pro-United States. He was unable, however, to furnish any specific leads of Guatemalan connection with the strike and repeatedly referred toff 9 as the authority on Communist activities In Honduras.

as repeatedly made the statement that the strike was organized and directed by Honduran Communists who had studied In Guatemala and Europe. Hs pointed out that these Honduran Communists had been trained for their Job and they did not need outside direction although three members of the Partldo Guatemalteco del Trabajo were in-Honduras during the early stages of tha strike to serve as advisors. Further, any advice or Instructions the Honduran Communists received were delivered orally by Communists who had travelled overland from Guatemala to Honduras, and funds they received were In cash and delivered by courier.

6. One difficulty which was encountered constsntly* was withstories which had been repeated frequently and incorrectly. example la with regard to stories circulating aboutuatemalan plane at Puerto CortesL stories were circulating that Government authorities hadfrom that plane as wellap showing all airfields and Official requests made by the Embassy to thethese documents did not produce then. The UFCO official whowhen the plana landed at Puerto Cortes was interviewed that he believed, in view of the circumstances, thatbeen taken from the plane byho with the Ministerhad searched the plane. The 0FC0 official admittedeen any documents taken from the Dlane, and he had not beenwere taken from the plane. The Army Colander stemphatically that no documents had been taken from theA emphatically denied that he had taken any documents {Vol a adap on the plane"alBd env'loP8S. he peTmUte.

*id state that when the pilot ano airor1 In

reaSOnS^nsul wLdJcUred^er^a

8* pon=tBnt "fforts have been made to determine _Don what vidence the Guatemalan consuls lnPedro Sula and%ie?fo cSJtaalared persona non grata. Official inquiries of the Honduran Gove"-

failed to produce this evidence. 9 hes stated that the Guatemalan consuls were engaged lr.ctivities, but he had no concrete evidence. He as veil as cany other people who were questioned as to the specific contacts of the Guatemalan consuls were unable to furnish specific names.

9. It Is believed that the attachment ill be of Interest in connection with the legal proceedings followed Incases in Honduras. ompetent Government officialenouncement to the appropriate Judge, describing the chargesubject and naming witnesses who can testify to the facts. of the witnesses arerequired at the time the denouncement is made. It is then up to the judge to rbtaln the testimony of witnesses before the case is tried. In many instances, It has been found that there are denouncements cf Communist activities of certain individuals, but there are no actual signed statements to support tho charges. It is believed that tho case of the Guatemalan consuls may have boon similar In that there were probably charges againstut no actual evidence.

as stated that he Is certain the Guatemalan Ambassador In Tegucigalpa assisted the strikers financially and spread Communist propaganda, but he has no evidence to support this statement.

All investigation as to tangible leads to Guatemalan and Coramuntnt Influence In the strike pointed tos the pernon who would be most likely to have evidence. Identity A's principal sourco has beenf

ould testify, If necessary, to a) Guatemalan Communist "recommendations" as to the action Honduran Communists sho;ld take, b) Hcnduran Communist organization of the strike assisted by advisors from the Partido Guatemaltrco del Trabajo and c) Honduran .oaaur.ist control of the strike in its initial phases. For the reasons outlined lnT , it would not be desirable to uses

a witness unless it is absolutely necessary.

1J. rief review ma do* of the riles ofCommunist activities in Honduras revealed that these fileslends to suspectedents in Honduras. Ifvailable et the tinewas

initiated, investigation of tho leads emftaxneuin olcht have led to the evidence desired. It is believed that these flies should be studiod and lnforr/etion extracted for future operotlcrnl assistance in Honduras.

1-Lincoln

2-Fili-a

Earl G. Knox

Original document.

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