REPORT RE GUATEMALA 1954 COUP

Created: 5/1/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Quatemala

Wm Around Arbans/Ballef that -Arbens

f hla rerm/roaBible Successor/Amy Support.

Quatemala

Mar 5fc and earlier Marnd earlier

Arbenz la torn between hla alncere desire to introduce democratic institutions into Guatemala and the frustration of watching his plans go awry because of administrative bungling. Extremely seery of giving the Impression that heictator, Arbens attempts to croate the impression that he makes wide delegations of authority and ia greatly influenced by hia cabinet ministers. Yet he isery impatient administrator and has been continually disappointed by the apparent Inability of his staff to obtain desired results. Inave often heard him engaged in violent argumenta and harsh bitter fights with

coHPmarrriAL

f .

lAVOa official, jnlt

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Alfonso ftrtlwi, Korasan and Brocaaiante. Itnythat that* tUMM have takan thair toll as far aaconfidence in the Be men la concerned. eel that hediatruate either their abilities or their motives moredid one year

President does not mix sooLafely with Portunyha two top Communist leaders. oticed no change in hia

attitude toward then before or after thoy cade their trips to the USSR. Portuny la aoraetiaoa invited along on tha larger partiea but alaost never on snail outings or intimate dinners. He was presentew Year'a party and at one larae party given in February by Tony Vlllanoya. the President's Salvadoran brother-ind law. On such occasions' 'Arbens rarely speaks vo Fortuny. Outlerras is rarely present at eocial gatherings. Ha impressed ao as being store of an idealiat about hia Cconuniem than was Fortuny,

fee: that the Prasldent has few Illusions about Portuny Portuny'e wife was Arbens* personal secretary sthe ran for president. nderstand it, sue handledhis personal, financial and social correspondence. Alsotiae aho waa having an affair with Portuny. Shewith child and carried Fortuny. Ao soon as thisArbenz released her sa his secretary.

I. Actually Arbenz appears to have wavered very little in theoutward favoritism shown to his friends andossible exception to hhls Eight be cited in regard to an apparent increase in the favor shown to the Torlello brothers, Jorge and Guillermo. The Torlello family is extremely wealthy' and ita members aro well repreaentedide variety ofenterprises, farms and profeealons. The most outstanding members of the family are GuillorrDO, Jorgo, Armando and Enrique.-. Duringas includedrulae with the President, his familyew friends. Among these friends was Jorge Torlello. Ho and the President have alwaya been quite cloae and on this crulae they were more so than usual. verheard the laat part of one of their conversations as Arbenz waa ohldlng Jorge that soon he would have to furniah himhauffeur. Jorge is currently the headery prosperous import-export business and with hia family fortune behind hia could have no useovernment-furnished chauffeur unlessriver for an official limousine. ook this aa anthat Jorge mifcht well be inlllneabinet poet or on ambassadorship.

In any consideration of the men around Arbenz the question invariably arises aa to the idontlty of hia aucoessor to the prealdence. The oonatltutlon limits the term to six years,m fairly certain that Arbenz will conform to it and realgn at the end of hia term In The looae talk in political olrolea now points to either Martinez ora maud NacDonald as likely candidates to sucoeed him. In myartinez definitely haa tha ambition to be prealdent, but he is atill quite young in years and experience. Now only it may well be that ho will ba adviaed by othere toew years. His election6 would definitely be very bad for the oountry* primarily because of hia apparent incompetence. eel that he has dla-appointed Arbenz in his failure to carry out ordure and get reaults.

Qharnaud MaoDonald, on tho other hand, has considerable adnin-latrative experience (Hinlater of Government is police) and is skilled in political maneuvering. Ue Is probably busy lining up an organization to back hia. ave not come to know Charnaud vary wall. He le alwaya quiet and never free, with hia opinlona.

OFFICIALS ONLY

10.

OFFICIALS

My personal choice for the next president is aulllermo Tori.im

to the US* delegated

Caracas Conference. Although liberal minded and vehement!*

iametrically

of Comjfnmism. He is wealthy enough to be financially incorruptible, and as farnow his integrity has not been

SfLia?sdan/^WOrk WeU MiCh ofhergSverr^ent

officials andreat deal of respect in bus'ne^T

hlsCown- wtth^nJ? fouSS^ of

ndorsement and influence behind him he might well emergeuccessful candidate.

tlJiloimmnlst hegemony ln Guatemala ismU8Lany Nation Of such actlon^oula bTan open

a^

literate non-Communist Guatemalans.

old little stock in rumors of an army-led rev<^-

that aucn an adventure Sid prove successful primarilym convinced that the members if

and-their President. This is true because hisdone more materially and psychologically -or h indl^dual raember3 of the officer corps than any of then*3 kept hls PromisSs to thence hei^H? alntalned many of his close personal friendships. To begin with all offices received substantialdditionrbenz started his program of * elling government lands to the officers. This has reallv

ncludeddesirable residential aS.i? Guatemalahe program also Included provisions for making low cost long-term house loans available to the officers.?hifn? lyby the officers, to many of whom this is their only chance to become property owners. Now that thev are paying off mortgages they have something to look forward to in that they will have their homes paid off by the time they retire. The success of this program is attested to by the colony of such new houses going up in the city. The longer an officer makes payments on his house the larger becomesli2,Jni se, and also the larger becomes his personal Interest in maintaining the regime which operates the housing program. The elevation to property-owner status haa had 2psychological effect as well and tends to thwart Communist propaganda beamed at the officer corps. ny cu'-and-dried association of the officer corps with the.ultra-conservative opposition wouldisconception. Actually, if any conditions were intolerable to the officer corps they would look to Arbenz as the best possible source of action in their behalf.

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Original document.

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