GENERAL- KUGOWN/PBSUCCESS - SPECIFIC- FABRICATED STORY (W/ATTACHMENT)

Created: 4/13/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

VIA Air17Q2

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TO Chief of Mission, A

FROM IWOi

SUBJECT General - UCCfcSS

Specific - Fabricated Story

RjFErcElCES a) 4 b)hCKW dated2

In accordance with the request made in referencenclosed herewith is the attachment to reference (b)

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASEAS SANITIZED

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94

SSCRET

Holland,it. haa been reported that reproaentativea of Guatcmala'e Arbenz government hove been holding talks with Dutch gem merchant! in the hope of arranging the saleumbnr of famous and valuablo Catholic religious ornaments. One such religious object is described aseters tell, made of heavy gold, and incruated with precious gems. It is known aa aand will be transferred to Holland from Guatemala's Church of the Recollection, if the sale Is consum&ated. Its value is estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Another valuable religious object being offered for sale by the Guatemalan eovernnent Is the crown of the Virgin of tho Rosary, also of heavy gold, and set with diamonds, rubies, and other precious stones.

During the presidency of Juan Jose Arevalo, attempts were made to 3teal thout the priests were advised In advance of the efforts, andopy was stolen. This copy was offered for sale by the Arevalo government in Buenos Aires, where the agents were advised of the Imitation.

The renewed efforts of tho Guatemalan govermcont to sell these valuable religious objects may be an unintentional commentary on Guatemala's financial situation. ro-Comon 1st policy of persecuting private enterprise and land expropriation, thegovernment hasremendous decline in the production of Its main There hasotablo reluctance on the part of customer nations to buy even the available part of thecoffee crop, since aueh purchases would tend to assist the pro-CoDmunlst govemr.ent In racadying Its desperate financial plight.

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