GENERAL-PBSUCCESS - SPECIFIC-PSYCHOLOGICAL BAROMETER REPORT (PERIOD ENDING 23 J

Created: 1/27/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

DISPATCH NO.

CIA'HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED

OATt

Chief of Station. Guatemala^ ^

iJAN 2J

subject:

INFO* Washington

PBSUCCESS

Reference - (a) b)

Psychological Barometer Report (Period Endingh

Reference (b) noted that "tho fooling of expectancy previously noted is defir spreading" and "widespread hopelessness and apathy have.by no means been enti dissipated, but there hasignificant change in recent wooks. It appc that the majority still feel that external forces will be the deciding factor any movement designed to remedy existing conditions.1

Other factors of importanoo are cited in tfaej

Tho above description of prevailing attitudes is still pertinent, exceptof expectancy and resulting tension is morehis doesmean that Immediate anti-governnent action is anticipated.and pro-governmont elements appear convinced 'that .suoh actionatter of wooksew months. Onoof well-informed Indigenous contacts stated that' ntlib;piaoe ^Is'siBzlni,-of .impending anti-goveriiim'Tit

It

the prevailing situatloni expectancy,

head of tho Agrarian^ Department

a. The sudden departure of AlfonscvJ

for Switzerland onh has caused widespreadome sources allege that he has been exiled aa a'consequence of-recently reported conflicts arising from application of the agrarian reform and especially because of the recent illegal invasions of .land in tbeTEscuin; Ouatemala, area (those invasions having been encouraged by Carlos: Manuel mBHB&Kj. leading communist agitator). However, mootbeliaire Uu

'went to Switzerland for the purpose of,depositing large^sums of money there for himself and/or President ARBENZ. JUi ImportantTfcati< of the latter view Is that MARTINEZ, ARBENZ, et al, may -bo oanhlng"money abroad in anticipationuccessful movement to depose them..'

b. unexpected government action against opposition poraonalitlooduring thi; period is another factor of major importance. One person has been aires-another's home has been searched,hird is reportedly in hiding to avoid arrest. (All wore previously identified ln SQUAT OlJ.) It scons

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highly possible that such action will aerve to deter overt opposition to the governmenthow of force has previously engendered fear andor diminution of anti-government activity. On the other hand, such action aay also do.-jonstrate that the government is determined to rosist and suppress opposition regardless of the consequences. Govontaont leaders my also entertain the belief that thoy are capable of defeating whatever forces nay be mounted against thee Such confidence and determination could, of course, reflect greater government support than had been anticipated and lead to unexpectedly strong resistonca when and if the long runorodis initiated by opposition forces.

It is believed highly significant toortiontatement byoanager of the independent daily newspaper El Impartial, whichthat paper onanuary

do not figure ln the ranks of the anti-communists

it has been proven that those ranks do not have political content. They are simply 'anti', nothing nore. They clamor for the extirpation of the communist threat in our country, without offering any form of government. The majority

of the 'antis'eturn toam not anti-communist

overnment of the center, which the communists as well as theabhor

In addition to the foregoing statement whichignificant attitude for psychological barometer purposos, it is deeaed important to report on the experiences of Eliot p. RAZXARA since he returned to Guatemala.

ILTUJaned ^SflMMM Previously served in this country. Since his arrival one has unavoidably met numerous persons whom ho knew during his provious tour of duty here. Many of these persons were students; now they are members of the professional classes, teachers, self-employed, etc. Also, according to RAZUARA, these persons wero previously strongly anti-government; some reportedly participated in anti-governmentand activities. How, however, these same persons aro pro-government and strongly opposed to tho elomonts that seek to overthrow the present regime. This does not mean that thoy aro pro-communist, but it doos rrean, according to RAZUARA, that the opposition has failed toonsiderable segment of the populationhange of government iS necessary or desirable. These persons reportedly cited certain positive accomplishments of the Arbensfuture plans for economic Improvements,nd compare those facts with the negative program (or total lack of program) of theuch consists of nothing more than "anti-coamunisE."

According to RAZfcARA, Utese persons strongly approve of tho agrarian reform, nignway and port construction, control of foreign enterprises,sto the economic, political and social progress of Guatemala. Although basically anti-conminlst for ideological reasons, they have not responded to negativismere anti-communism which to themeturn to stagnant dictatorship).

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STATION COt&EWT: Manifestations of this anti-cornraunist but pro-government attitude have been noted in the past, but the foregoing daEa suggests that the percentage of the population entertaining such views may possibly be larger and more significant than we had previously thought.

d. "Anti-intervention" propaganda aid attacks against OAS rteeting at Caracas, Venezuela, continue without let-up in the official and/or coionunlst press in an obvious effort to rally pro-government sentiment. Except for theconversions noted in sub-para.bove. It has been impossible to measure the efficacy of this propaganda. However, it is reasonably certain, asreported, that it does serve to encourage the unity of pro-government individuals and groups.

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