REPORTING ON GUATEMALA BY NEW YORK TIMES CORRESPONDENT SYDNEY GRUSON

Created: 5/27/1954

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REPORTING ON GUATEMALA BY NEW YORK TIMES CORRESPONDENT SYDNEY GRUSON

After moreear in Guatemalaorrespondent for The New York Times, Sydney Gruaon was expelled from the country atours' noticey an order oi tbe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guillermo Torlello.

This incident occurred soon after Toriello's appointment asost he was recalled from Washington to take and assumed officially on Betweenanuaryebruary the Guatemalan denunciation of an alleged US-sponsored plot against the Arbenz government occurred, and there was agitation in the Guatemalan Congress against foreign intervention and foreign press representatives.

The reaeon for Gruson's expulsion, accordingpokesman in the Foreign Miniatry, was that he "had systematically distorted the true facts about Guatemala and had injured the national dignity." Reference waa made in particular to Gruson's despatch which appeared in the New York Times That despatch appeared under the"Guatemalan Reds Increase Powers" and opened with the following statement:

"The emergence of the Communistsosition of dominance in Guatemala has continued during the past six months. It ia evident that from the United States point of view the situation here will go on getting worse.

"Recent developments have been along two lines. On the one hand they have shown an actual growth of Communist influence and on the other they have brought the Communists into far more open admission than ever before of their real position."

The article then went bn tohe situation and closedeference to editorial comment in the Guatemalan independent newspaper El Imparcial to the effect that "whenever there was friction between any of the revolutionary parties the conflict always was resolved in favor of the Communists aidedpowerful invisible hand. 1

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

""What superior design safeguards the Communist Party and is speeding the fatalommunist, the editorial asked. 'Perhaps it won't be long before the factsremove the veil,"1

At the end of this quotation, Gruson then commented, "Attempting to answer this question the observer is forced to the conclusion that President Arbens Guzman hasrisoner of the embrace he so long ago gave the Communists,"

last line apparently gave special offense to theand was one of the main reasons for the decision to expel

went from Guatemala to Mexico and from Mexicoby The New York Times to cover the Tenth Inter-Americanat Caracas, His reports from thethe same characteristics as his general reporting fromgenerally were writtenliberal" point of view, strivingby what seemsonscious "fifty-fifty" treatment.aragraph giving US interest and point of view is followed byGuatemalan point of view, one after the other, insuccession. In virtually every article referringGruson characterized the country with some descriptiveCommunist influence such as "where Communist leadersconsiderable influence within the government." He gave fullreports on the statements of Mr. Dulles at the Conference andaims and efforts of the US delegation. Other of his reports dealtstate of mind and desires of the Latin American delegations. Outreports from the Conference, Gruson devoted two in large measure

to the statements made by Guatemalan Foreign Minister Guillermo Toriello and tbe reactions to his speech at the Conference. These reports presented Torielloavorable light, as making his case with vigor and receiving applause at the end lastinginute, almost twice as long as that given Mr.hen the Secretary warned that international communism should be treatedanger to hemisphere peace."

6, Gruson returned to Mexico after the Conference, When the strike situation developed in Honduras, Gruson's replacement in Guatemala, The New York Times correspondent Paul Kennedy, was transferred to Tegucigalpa,

acancy in Guatemala. Gruson then succeeded in returning to Guatemala on His reentry was authorized personally by Foreign Minister Guillermo Toriello.

T. Since his return to Guatemala Gruson's reporting has dealtexclusively with the Guatemalan point of view and with Foreign Minister Toriello's statements regarding the Guatemalan position on arms purchases and denial of complicity in the Honduran strikes.

rom Mexico City, Gruson's wile.Lewis, published an article in The New York Times Sunday"Communism in Guatemala;ase History." This study is

quite objective in approach and historically accurate, allowing for journalistic compression.

Charge d'Affairesof the American Embassy in Guatemalathe time of Gruson's expulsion that Gruson "was considered one ofobjective reporters on Guatemalan affairs." On the other hand,and news commentator on Latin American affairs present atGrusonFabian Socialist" who "unwittingly andhad written ^for publication in US newspapers what thehaveim/to write."

A comparison of Gruson's reports on Guatemala with currentby other special correspondents does not set his work apart as showing strong "leftist" or "pro-Guatemalan" bias in the extent to which he quotes Guatemalan official statements or dwells upon the resurgence of "anti-Yankee" sentiment in the area.

It is possible that Gruson originally was planted in Guatemala by pre-arrangement with Communists there, then was expelledalculated effort to give him an appearance of non-complicity. Available circumstantial evidence, however, docs not make this seem likely.

Nevertheless it can be concluded from the evidence in hand that Grusonrofessional journalist's natural compulsion to return to the country from which he had been expelled, and that he did so byeal with Guillermo Toriello, in which Gruson promised to bend overto give Guatemala and its Foricgn Minister full and favorable treatment

in his reporting, It seems quite likely that the basis for this deal was laid during the Caracas Conference, when Gruson's reports on Toriello undoubtedly gave pleasure and satisfaction to Toriello, and when Toriello was making every effort to ingratiate himself with the press generally Since Caracas, Toriello probably has been Gruson's principal source

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