PBSUCCESS - PSYCHOLOGICAL BAROMETER REPORT (PERIOD ENDING 9 JANUARY 1954)

Created: 1/13/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CIA HISTORIC^ REVIEWIN "FULL

4

Chief of Station, Guateoa] PBSUCCESS

Psychological Barometer Report (PeriodU) Reference -

The general situation as described lnf reference persisted into and through this period vith little change, lhe following paragraphs contain summary information rolating to pertinent developments slnoa the laat previous reporti

1* Reporta continue to circulate regarding efforts by the Guatemalanto obtain arms andIull Failure to obtain such ea trials ia believed to have created an increasingly critical situation within the Armyreating doubt ae to tha Army's ability to control internal events) and at the same time increased the sense of isolation from the American community of states. Guatemala'a apparent preoccupation with arms procurement may also indicate that the government is placing store and more credence in reports of subversive movements and is desperately attempting to am itaalf and supporting groups.

Perhaps the most significant development during this reporting period vats the annooncenent that Alfonso MAHTDBZ, bead of tbe Departamento Agrarie Raclonalad personally gone to Escuintla for the purpose ofconflicts in that area arising from illegal selsures of land by farm workers who were goaded into such action by communists, principally Carlos manuel PRLLECER. undoubtedly,occupation of land not "affee table1 under the reform law hasangerous and explosivo situation* Land owners are incensed, and acoordlng to one source formerly associated with the AREVALO regime, the government is seriously concerned by the forceful tactics being employed by the commnrtBte.

In this connection, it has also been reported that President ARBENZ and hie advisors axe worried by recent internal conflicts in the official parties (excluding the PGT) because they feol there is notrong "revolutionary group" behind them. For this reason it has been allegedormer asaociato of AREVALO that the govornmont is considering the Importanceriendly Army as apposed to the communist party and ite ambitious leaders.

RYBAT

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tho foregoing data relating to the government's concerncommunist boldness has not been confirmed, it does followrumors that the government itself and/or thoaot to suppress communism before rightist groups are wellto do

is again notedatter of significance that anotherhas been received alleging that illegalities arising fromreform movement are definitely partcheme to winof tho masses in the shortest possible time in order toposition of the communists (and/or the government). One informantreliability asserted that the communists want to berom the standpoint of internal support) by the time themeeting takes place at Caracas inU.

and rumors continue to be received through regularregarding the organization of armed groups in adjoiningthe purpose of overthrowing the ARBEHZ government. Individuals]to appear at the Embassy to declare their anti-communist,sentiments. Copies of significant memoranda ofbeen sent to Headquarters and Lincoln under separate cover*

Real and rumored Cabinet changes during the reporting period have set off much speculation ae to their significance. It ia the consensus of opinion atmonont that tbe most important change, involving the Minister of Foreign Relations and as yet unconfirmed, is related to the upcomingof American States at Caracas. It is speculated that Guillermo TORIELLO, present Guatein&lan ambassador to the United States, will become the next Minister of Foreign Relations in order to strengthen Guatemala's position at the Caracas meeting. It appears certain that the Caracaswill be of utmost importance to the Guatemalan Government, and ve will make every effort to observe and report significant developments intherewith.

P. In connection with Guatemala's continuing dissemination ofpropaganda, it is noted that the official press is playing up the recent actic by the Chilean Congress to announce itself in opposition to any form of aggro; Rion against Guateaala. rominent opposition personality here has expresaet the fear tbat other Latin Amoriean countries might follow suit and thereby create an embarrassing and difficult position for the United States at Caracaiailure to achieve near unanimity in the proposed investigation and condemnation of communism willarked victory for the Guatemalan Government and/or the communists. In all probability the "anti-intervention" campaign will be greatly stepped up prior to the meeting at Caracas.

U

iles

George L. Tranger

Original document.

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