CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM *
MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of CentralPaper on PBSUCCESS
I. Appreciation of the Situation
A. Conclusions of the Board of National Estimates
The following estimate of the situation in Guatemala and adjoining countries is takenpecial estimate prepared during tho past week by the Board of National Estimates. General Bull headed the Special Panel and the views rot State (DIR) and the service intelligence agencies were solicited in the preparation ol the eatimato, Tho terms of roference of the estimating panel included the following questions:
What is the present atrength of the Communists in Guatemala?
What are tho current strengths and attitudes of Honduras, Nicaragua and Salvador and what are the effects upon themontinued march of Communism in Guatemala?
On whose side is time?
The conclusions of the Board of National Estimates as ofre as follows:
"1. Wc consider that the conclusions ofemain essentially valid. In particular, we reaffirm the first conclusion, as follows:
"The current political situation In Guatemala is adverse to US interests. The Guatemalan Communistsolitical influence far out of proportion to their small numerical strength. Their influence will probably continue to grow as long as President Arbenz remains in power.
"2. The Communists now effectively control the political life of Guatemala. Arbenz' decisions on domestic and foreign policy are reached, not in the official cabinet, butitchen cabinet composed
"of Communists snd pro-Communists. There is no prospectreak between Arbenz and the Communists.
"3. There has probably been an increase in popular disillusionment with the Arbenz regime. There is certainly increased desperation among oppoaition elements. In present circumstances, however, the possibility of effective internal political action to alter the situation does not exist. We believe that effective revolutionary action would require the active supportajor portion of the Army.
"4. The diapoeition of the Army toward the regime is therefore crucial. We note indications of unrest, even of disaffection, within the Army and considerevolutionary potential now exists there. We do not believe, however, tbat the Guatemalan Army is likely to take spontaneous action against the Arbenz regime.
"5. The Communists will be concerned to neutralize thepotential in the Army, and, with the passage of time, may succeed in doing so.
"6. The solidarity of the other Central American states into Guatemala has weakened during the past year and may further decrease.
"7. In view of the foregoing considerations, we believe that time is on the side of the Communists in Guatemala. "
B. Assets Available to PBSUCCESS
nside tho Country
Before listing specific assets, the population of Guatemala should be mentionedtrong, potential asset. Predominantly anti-Communist the people, once aroused from their normal political inertia, couldowerful role against the Arbenz regime. Increasing government repression and Communist brutality are having their offoct evidenced in numerous instances of popular
unrest throughout the country. ew typical examples taken at random are the signature of an anti-Communist petition byeople in Communistew vigorously anti-Communist newspaper in Chiquimula; large pockets of averred anti-Communists at numerous points in the Mazatenango area; public meetings attended by several hundred people at Puerto Barrios; and the denial to the Communists of the local Labor organization at Quezaltenango.
Though only tied together informally at present,focus has boon given to the large Catholic group by the extremely effective pastoral letter ofssued by the Archbishop of Guatemala urgine all Catholics to combat Communism. This lettcrC
Jean, and it is believed will, haveeffect if its message is continuously replayed.
Additional unity of purpose is provided by theassets available in Guatemala as well as the encouragement generated by the vague but growingthat "something is in theell-backed movement is around thealligeris1 announced leadership and well-received political manifesto of late February have contributed to this. It has alsoonsequence of tbe paramilitary program, not presently military and formidable, but psychologically persuasive. onsciousness of the stick behind the carrot isrerequisite to creating any effective opposition in Guatemala, Communist-'dominated as it is today,
Psychological assets include many newspapers and radio stations, not controlled or influenced by CIA, which are still independent. "Elor example, is strongly anti-Communist. So is Clemente Marroquin Rojas, the most influential journalist in Guatemala City. Admittedly these independents must move with caution and their days of independence may well be numbered but for the moment they survive.
A controlled group in Guatemala Cityeekly, "El Rebelirects poster and leafletelephone provocation team, "goon" squads and runsradio broadcasts. It alaoolitical organization consistingoalition of numerous political groups known as the National Anti-Communist Fronthich provides coverage of the entire country. This ia supplementedpecial group,hotravel throughout the country contacting numeroua agents.
Several other small anti-Communist publications ln various parts of Guatemala receive financial aid and guidance.
c. Military and Paramilitary
Aa stated above the Board of Nationalevolutionary potential exists in the Guatemalan Army. Specific data may be adduced to confirm this estimate.
Disaffection and dissatisfaction is evident throughout all echelons. The high command is particularly vulnerable to defection and in some instancco defection in place is practically assured. The Minister of National Defense, Jose Angel Sanchez, is opposed to Communist control over Axben* and is considered inclined towards supporting any well-organised opposition movement. The Chief of the Armed Forces, Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz, ia probably discredited nd considered no longer loyal to Arbenz. The Chief of Staff, Colonel Enrique Parinclloon. has repeatedly indicated his desire to see the end of the Communist-controlled regime, ihe Chief of the Air Force, Colonel Luis A, Giron, ia believed disaffectt-d. The Mtnieter without Portfolio, Colonel Elfego Monzon, is actively, covertly ornanizing within the Armyoup
J Plans are under way to incorporate his aeseta with those of the JUNTAeeting is being planned to effect this union. Thus, within the highefinite capability exists to defect in place sufficient numbers of influential military leaders to ensure control over the Armed Forces before any overt action is undertaken.
In furtherance of the objective to defect tho Army, two distinct operations are in progress; the JUNTA, through its military contacts and an independent effort by CIA targeted at key personnel. The JUNTA leadership, being primarily composed of Guatemalan Army officers in exilo, has achieved certain success to date. The leaders of this organisational effort nave been examined by polygraph and /cleared as to the validity of their statements. The independent effort ia now being carrlod outase officer in the field followingays of Intensive study of the most promising targots of importance.
Inilitary organization of younger officers positively pledged to Calligeris is in existence. They have been organized and contacted by Calligeris1 military representative in Guatemala. The Calligeris organization presently has four trusted military leaders in the four sectors of Guatemala City andjin each of the nine target garrisons. These leaders estimate that,ay, they can capture from within all the garrisons except Quiche, Mazatenango and San Jose, where added efforts to prepare capitulation are In progress.
At best, the apparently "safe" garrisons will be taken withouthot. Where this does not work, correct disposition of friendly elements plus the denial of weapons and ammunition to enemy forces should quell opposition. If neceasary, civilian paramilitary units will step in to provide overwhelming force.
As regards this civilian paramilitary organization,numbers of men in each of the nine garrison areas In Guatemala are already pledged. The number of men available in each garrison area aro listed below. Three columns are given to show the various estimates, ranging from the most conservative to the optimistic. igures cannot, of courao, be guaranteed but are the result of checkingiguros with individual leaders who have been cxfiltrated from Guatemala. These figures have boon sufficiently confirmed by questioning, where possible, that it is the belief of the LINCOLN staff that they are accurate. Moreover, in no instance has questioning shown initial estimates to be seriously erroneous.
Guatemala' City Coban
Que zaltenango Mazuiche
Which There is Reason to Believe Exist in Area ft Are Anti-Govt to Point of Taking Action
Calligeris Claimed Support. Presently Unconfirmed but not Disproved
In addition to the above civilians available in the garrisonour other civilian organizations in important tactical areas, ringing Guatemala City, arc envisaged. Strength figures in these areas computed in the same manner as above are as follows:
Tho entire complex of friendly military and paramilitary assets will be firmly organized, finally trained and leday, he paramilitary assets developed and existing outside Guatemala. These assets are discussed underelow.
Intelligence from within Guatemala le provided mainly by tho JUNTA Intelligence Service located in Honduras and discussed in the next section below. In addition the Guatemala City Station is providing good intelligence on political and psychological subjects as well as from sources on the Government, Army and Communist Party. In addition Intelligence ls provided by the propaganda organisations mentioned above as well as by the State Department and the service attaches.
2. Outside the Country a. Genoral
In addition to Independent media, tbe following controlled external PW assets are available:
Publication* and Radio
muggled into Guatemala)
Published weekly in Honduras by controlled anti-Communiit group of Guatemalun exiles.
Leaflets and Bulletins
muggled into Guatemala)
group. Same group.
muggled into Guatemala)
Published weekly in Salvador by anti-Communi front group (FAGE)
Broadcasts (Crlstal YST)
aboutiles beyond Same group Guatemalan border
just begun Distribution ln Guatemala being developod, if possible
Published in Mexico by anti-Communistgroup (FEGAM)
for the Liberation of Guatemala
anti_JUNTA but also antl-Communlst
Published inew reach Guatemala) by Comm. for the Liberation of Guatemala (LIONIZER)
A principal, ii not the principal, psychologicala clandestine
which Is expected to go on the air Broadcasting tapea are and will be prepared at LINCOLN. This station will be beamed at Guatemala from where it will be purportedly broadcasting. Programs are planned for the next thirty to forty days and two weeks of tapes are now ready for use. Thia radio will also provide the radio support needed immediately prior to the upriaing unless it la inoperative or ita use is undesirable in whichontingency station fully under our control will be used. Preparations for thia installation are substantially completed.
A writing staff of Guatemalans has been Installed in safe houses near LINCOLN to provide the support needed for the above assets as well aa preparing additional propaganda material for field distribution.eporting system has been devised for psychological purpoaea which is providing substantial raw material for the writers. This is supplemented by hourly FBIS service and the receipt withinours of publication of daily newspapers from Guatemala, Coata Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Salvador and Honduras.
To buttresa the effects of the Caracas anti-Communist resolution two conferences in Mexico City have been arranged. The fixat scheduled forill be sponsored by the "Latin American Laborers in Exile" largely under the auspices of ORIT. Though not directly targeted at Guatemala, it is anticipated that considerable propaganda against the target will be generated. The second to beay will be called the "Congress Against Soviet Intervention in Latint will be attended by many prominent anti-Communists from every countryHr> America and will have as its main object the focusing of the attention of Latin Americans on the Communist situation in Guatemala therebyall for all anti-Communists to aid in the struggle.
In the paramilitary field Calligeris is, of course, the leader and has with him anenior Colonel, plus four ex-officer personneltaff. In addition there arerainee graduates of one of ouradio operators and crypto clerks in trainingore on the way, who are already experienced. Recently aboutore men arrived from Guatemala as sub-unit leaders or special task personnel whileen with varying degrees of experience and different capabilities are availabletand-by basis and will provide the nucleus for various shock forces. Adequate provision has been made for logistical support.
The primary intelligence assets are those initially provided by the JUNTA (Headquarters in Honduras)-but now sufficiently reformed, compartment cd and polygraphed to be legitimately considered the equivalentirect PBSUCCESS asset. This separate but controlled service has penetrations in the major Guatemalan Government departments. aU military garrisons, the Communist Party (PGT/tC
J E Section has been developed giving exclusive attention to Communist penetrations of the JUNTA, conducting investigations and developing Moreover, radio operators will soon be deployed within Guatemalan target areas tofor intelligence and EEI'8.
Ever elnce the work was first started on the preparationlan for PBSUCCESS It has been fully recognised that the U. S. would be accused of being the main sponsor of moat if not all activities directed against the Arbenz regime. Written statements to thia effect were included in the report on Stage One written inaper written in4 and presented to the Secretary of State, and, in addition, there have been numerous oral reports to the same effect. Moreover It has been consistently assumed that in an operation of this scope aomo evidence supporting the accusations would unavoidably be available to unfriendly powers or individuals. Nevertheless it waa concluded that there waa sufficient likelihood that no irrefutable evidenceegal nature would be discovered to justify the undertaking particularly when the risks were weighed against the importance of the project.
A careful review of all known factors bearina on securityexistenceof the
U. S. Embaaaioa in uuaternaia and Honduras indicates that so far the estimates have been accurate and that security has been as well maintained in this project as could reasonably be expected. Consequently It is fair to assume that no irrefutable evidence tying tho project to the U. S. Government Is in the hands of the enemy. It would of course be as impossible in thia case aa in all others to guarantee this last statement but it can be aaaerted that the risks of U. S. involvement today are not auch as to warrant, in ourermination or modification of the project on security grounds, if it is otherwise desirable.
Added support in cloaking the U. S. hand exists in theother countries which both have good reasons for wanting toreplacement of the Arbenz Government and have the meansa coup of the size planned. The following facts are
The known hostility of tho above countries to Arbenz was useful in cloaking tbe U. S. hand at the time of the4 White Paper. This paper directly accused Nicaragua, Honduras, [he Dominican Republic and Venezuela, as well as private U. S. interests, of attempting to intervene in Guatemalan affairs with the acquiescence of "the government of the North". Much
o. Possible Courses oi Action
A- Continue the plan in substantially ite present form, bending every effort toward the earliest feasible conclusion. Some adjustment of the present target date would probably be necessary in view of the delays thus far oncountered in the timetable of schedulednd developments. There would, of course, be an understanding that the final phase would not be authorized unless and until the Director had satisfied himself tbat conditions were favorable for the success of the operation,
a substantially modified form of the plan,intelligence, propaganda, political action, and defectionand postponing paramilitary action until October or later. have to assume that there couldigorous and coordinatedofficial and overt action and covert operations.
the present plan and rely upon overt diplomaticrelatively minor political and psychological warfare activitiesthe present regime. What is specifically proposed is toa strong official statement of the United States position towardregime in Guatemala, followed by an attempt to secure thethe Caracas majority at an OAS meeting in September for theGuatemala of the sanctions envisaged in the Rio Pact. would involve an economic and communications blockade ofOAS members or at least by tho bo members willing to support andthe action.
best chance of removing the Arbenz regime la toenergetically as possible along the lines of the present plan. Thereof political and psychological unrest within Guatemala andhostility to the regirno. evolutionary potential exists In Continued application of planned and integrated pressuresprogressively greater unrest and defection while removal ofwill greatly strengthen the oppoeition and discourage orand potential allies.
is fair to assume that no irrefutable evidence tying thethe U. S. Government ia In the hands of the enemy. The security ofis as good as can be expected and fully in keeping with theand reported on numerous occasions starting with the beginning of
the project. Any- action agalnat the Arbenz regime will be charged against the United States whether or not it has any responsibility for It.
IIB which would substantially postpone theoffers few advantages but has numerous disadvantages, amongloss of assets through disaffection or insecurity (timebeing in directoss of support from other nations,Honduras which would hesitate to support near Its elections,it stilltablo and friendly government; andwould diminish if it could be counted on at all; disruption ofdefection program, both military and civilian, which Is geared
to early action; loss of Intelligenceesult of the effect of further evidence of inability to act on the part of Calligeria; similar reduction In the effectiveness of propaganda; danger of an early, abortive coup by impatient elements; and strengthening of the Arbenz team since time is on its side particularly if pressures are relaxed.
IIC is outside the jurisdiction of CIA butquestions requiring answers not presently available. Someare:
Will evidence of Communist domination In Guatemala be available in such convincing form as to make it difficult, if not impossible,merican politician, not wishing to recognise the fact, to avoid doing so?
How many of the countries that voted for the Caracas resolution would vote in the same fashion, if such vote Involved taking action against Guatemala?
Assuming an embargo is voted, when will It be possible and will it be effective in denying (a) access to Guatemala of non-Western Hemisphere shipping adequate for its trade, (b) access to imports of Mexican petroleum, (c) access to imports of Argentinean grain and (d) access to European sources of supply for industrial goodn? Would such an embargo close European, Asiatic and Soviot bloc markets for Guatemalan coffee?
Assuming failuro before the OAS, will It be possible to undertake any action along the lines presently contemplated or will our hands be tied?
5. Is it
5. Is it contemplated that our NATO allies would be asked to recognize that the Guatemalan regimeerious military threat and therefore to join in the imposition of economic sanctions ?
Frank G. Wii Deputy Director (Plana)
IL iOriginal document.