hief of Station,lHPO: Chief, WHD subject: Embassy Memoranda
"Views of Major Victor H
Attached for Lincoln and Headquarters Is one copya memorandum propared by Andrew B, WARDLAW,of Hnbassy,4 andabove
Morao, as noted
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
Major Victor M.Guatemalan Air Attach* to the other Central American Countries and Panama;
Andrew B. Wardlaw. First Secretary of Embassy
SUBJECT: Attitude of Guatemalan Any towards Present Political Situation In this Country.
Major Figueroa, withave had conversations at social functions during ths last year, called at the Embassy today to ask why he had not been able to obtain an export license for the shipment from the United States to Guatemalaessna ISO lightwhich he wished to have for bis personal use. Hs explained that this plane was not for use In connection with his official mission here as Guatemalan Air Attache In the other Central American countries. (It Is known that previous efforts toicense for the export of such an aircraft to Guatemala for use by Major Figueroa in his official capacity have been thwarted by the inability of the Guatemalan Oovernment to obtain an export license*)
I told Major Figueroa that this question of licensee for light aircraft for private use had come up several times recently, and that Mr.ho is now in charge of the local office of the ArlQnss Centroanerlcanos Ltda. whloh handles Cessna planes, had been very much concerned about his inability to obtain export licenses for planes he had sold in Guatemala. id not know exactly what was back of this difficult/ with export licenses butad already written Washington to find out. ssured Major Figueroa that there was absolutely nothing personal in the refusal of export licensee in his case.
Major Figueroa then broached the subject of the Inability of the Guatemalan Array to obtain arms of any kind from the United States. He said that the Army is nowesperate situation, that the peasants are being equipped-with light weapons and that the Army has nothing with which it could cope with the armed peasants. He emphasised that the officers of the Army, with the exception of two or
three who hove gone Into polltloaig way, ara stronglymcrun 1st but now find themselves trapped. Ba said that tho realin Guatemala will cots with tha choiesuccessor to Prasidont arbenz: that the Amy would rasiat tbs choies of charraud KaeDonald or any other leftist" for thabut he feared aueh resistance would sot be availing unless the Army, should be allowed to obtain weapons froa the United States. Be stated that the Army's choice for tha Presidency was Colonel DIAZ.
Major Figueroa begged thst the United States reoonaider Its poller towards allowing shipments ef arms to Guatemala since this policy was contrary to tbe Interests of the United States as wall aa to tbat ef Guatemala and its Army.
I asked him how the United States comld know that if the Army had weapons lt would use Its influence to bringifferent political trend in the country since the Army in the past had had weapons and the present situation had developed. Re said that In the past the officers had been blinded to the realities of the situation but that now they realised their mistake and wanted to correct it.
Major Figueroa sdded thst the common soldiers did no thinking ef their own but would always accept guidance from the officers.
X hare on previous occasions noticed greatin Major Flgueroa's political expressions. On one occasion he ssemed strongly anti-Communist and pro-American? somewhat later, shortly after hisae Air Attache, he claimed he was anti-Communist but hs followed the usual leftist political line ia my conversation with hia. Today his line wae again anti-Coexeunist and he professed the warmestfor the United States. Where he really stands, ifo not know*