Created: 1/1/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible



E. Characteristics and Effectiveness of Media.

A. Propaganda and Films.

1. The two means of public information in Guatemala having the greatest audience effect are word of mouth and films. The former has been used by government agents and supporters to explain and popularize the Agrarian Reform Law.

B. Pamphlets, Folders, and News Sheets.

and foldersarge element of middle and income groups. Despite the high rate of illiteracy and lowof living, there has been in recentoticeable increaseand dissemination of books and pamphlets. Tbe Ministry

of Education is said to haven the past four years. Most of the works published are of the pamphlet type and of inferior quality, both in content and appearance. Perhaps for that reason theyide circulation among the popular and/or revolutionary masses.

propaganda has been circulated through the useand folder material. Most of it is attractive in formatwell printed, illustrated with good drawings, but the qualityis poor. Smallusizcd items are customary.

C. Newspapers and Magazines.

1. Newspapers, magazines, and radio are utilized primarily for political propaganda, both domestic and foreign, rather than for Informs, tion purposes. Irresponsible inflammatory and libelous reporting is the rule rather than exception.

au Oaliy papers are printed and distributed in Guater iHSWSrVyf"

2, There areegistered newspapers and periodicals In Guatemala, with reported combined circulation. The total number of readera may be three times this number.

Nsectaisined Class. Csanced to: TS KjT^

Bffriew (Ata:


toteUHW79 I


-3. The total circulation of the independent, anti-communist, and anti-government press ishile the circulation of the government-owned, government-controlled, and communlat prees ia. The government so far has allowed comparative freedom of the press and of expression, heck over the press summaries of the past two years indicates that the non-government. Independent press, with its greater circulation, hasonsistently large volume of criticism, challenge and accusations regarding communist penetration. This bas not crystallized public opinion into action against the government, however. The explanation probably lies in aof causes: (a) lack of real fear and conviction regarding theof foreign danger through Soviet communism because the USSR is remote; (b) relatively satisfactory economic conditions leading to desire to avoid disturbance to the status quo; (cj lack of cohcaiveness and agreement on alternative national policies among the anti-communist and anti-government forces.

D. Conclusions.

Pamphlet material, for circulation through the media of anti-communist market women, students, and similar groups offers one of the best potentials for transmission of propaganda;

circular letters, enclosing pamphlet material, to military, lawyers and other professional men are suggested;

pamphlets and circular letters to women school teachers and to housewives alsoay of reaching groups of rising Importance in the political and economic life of the

the foregoing groups have been special targets of communist propaganda.




A. Receiving Sets and Radio Audience Characteristics.

The total number of radio receiving sets in use in Guatemala isistributedopulation of. Thisatio of about two sets toersons. Most of these sets, however, are found in urban centers so thater cent of aU radio receiving sets tn the country are distributed4 per cent of the population. The remaininger cent of existing radio receiving sets is thinly and unevenly distributeder cent of the It was estimated1 thateceivers were located In public places, primarily in areas where few persons ownedbouter cent of all radios can receive both long- and short-wave transmissions.

For purposes of comparison, the distribution of radio receiving sets in neighboring countries Is as follows:3 setaersons;ets; Costaetslets; ets; et.

A further breakdown of the distribution of sets in Guatemala shows-that approximately one-half million people,th of the totalhave access to radio. It Is estimated that abouter cent of all radios are in the Departamento de Guatemala, abouter cent In Guatemala City and environs, ander cent in Quezaltenango. The availability of electric power in small townsactor influencing the distribution of radio receiving sets.

The ownership of the limited radio receiving facilities isamong the rich, the prosperous commercial classes, some of the military, the professional and intellectual groups, and students. in urban centers presumably listen in from time to time on their employers* sets. Campesinos and urban workers have occasional access to sets in cantinas and ether public places.

The radio does not constitute an effective means of approach to the masses of agricultural workers and apparently reachesmall number of urban workers. It is noted that Communist and pro-Communist organizations which have been capitalizing on their opportunities under the present government have not tried to use radiorimary means of influencing opinion among native workers. The principal Communist



drive has been by direct contact, largely through local agrarian The importance placed on this means of contact is indicated by the fact that one thousand or more of these committees wereactive as of December,

On the other hand, the Arbena government docs utilize the official radloj "La Voa dcn presenting the administration's view and stressing actions and policies of interest to workers. During labor disputes between Guatemalan workers and the United Fruitspot comments and commentaries favoring the "workers" and the Nation's stand In the dispute with the "monopolistic company" were carried repeatedly. The government also brings pressure against radio stations carrying Information contrary to its policies or Interests.

While the Guatemalan masses are not habituated to radio listeningain aource of information, they probably consider it ansource, and they may give wide word.of-mouth circulation to interesting rumors and news picked up from broadcasts heard in public places.



and Wired Sets


Licensed Unlicensed

Seta Number Licensed


Radio Receiver Sets

Estimated Percent

Medium Wave

Estimated No. Equipped for Shortwave





Cirographical Distribution of Radio Seta



salt enango Dept.

of country


of Radio Owners No information available.


Geographicalrade estimates, as of

B. Audience Taste and Reactions.

From the foregoing, it must be assumed that radio broadcasts in Guatemala will be heard mainly by the propertied, commercial,military and student classes. Probably there are many women listeners.

No analysis of the taste or susceptibilities of this audience isS short-wave broadcasting station which receives frequentents from Latin American listeners findstriking feature of these communications is the almost unanimous interest expressed in good music programs. Six letters received recently from Guatemala bear out this pattern.



A survey of available recordings show lhat il probably is fairly difficult and quite expensive for radio broadcasting stations in the small Latin American countries to obtain collections adequate to sustaingood music programs. This fact, rather than audience taste, may explain the preponderance in Guatemalan broadcasts of "live"regional music by local bands, as well as the time devoted tomediocre recorded music*

All in all, it appears that programs based on folklore, aiming to identify present-day Indians with the glory of the ancient Maya, would fail to reach the Indians and would not be welcome to the moneyed classes who own most of the receiving sets. The latter people, although they may be descendants of cacique's themselves, usually want to be identified with their European ancestors while admitting the splendor of the Maya heritagehing to one side, belonging to the past. Mans themes from that heritage nevertheless evoke response, when applied in appropriate context.

Excerpts from comments received-from severaltin American listeners regarding US short-wave broadcasts heard in the area are given below. These excerpts consist mainly of comments on the programs. References to stamp collecting were common, but these have been omitted. f the letters contained words of praise for the US company which runs the station. These also have been omitted. The most striking feature of the letters is the almost unanimous Interest in good music programs, etailed study of the enclosure may indicate other patterns,

C Sabinas, Coahulla;m completely satisfied with the programs which are designed along cultural lines and whose theme* are concerned with the welfare of mankind In general.

C Sabinas Coahulla:riend invited me to hear your broadcasts. Itreat pleasure to hear such noble programs,

Nueva Roslta, Coahulla: Your station ia principally interesting for its music. My preference is for the classical,lso enjoy popular melodies of the sweet type. Your interviews with Latin Americans, and your reading and commenting on listeners' letters are also good. In addition, your commentaries are interesting an any subject, except politics,



Tepic, Nayurit: The following comments arc both my own and those of my friends. First, congratulations on your good taste in choosing your music. ray that you will continue to broadcast good music, particularly since the local programs are so bad. Your lectures and commentaries are also good, but couldn't they be snorter? newson't think these would add anything since we already get news from other stations in the US, Canada andhink it would be good to include programs giving the latestin the fields of art and literature,

Mexico DFi Your classical music programs give me stupendous satisfaction, both during and after your transmissions,

Salttllo, Coahutla:ish yourong life In view of the quality of your programs, especially their instructional and cultural aspects.

ongratulate you un your excellent record library. May you continue to delight your listeners with selections from it.

Mexico DFt You are to be highly congratulated on your wonderful, altruistic work. Your station is most welcome here because of the -excessive commercial propaganda on the local stations. Re your1 prefer classical music, particularly Beethoven, Tchaikovsky,-Borodin andhink that newsecessity, but please make the Items short.

Sancti Spiritus:o not think you could improve your cultural, musical and informational programs.

Havana:ave listened with satisfaction to your highly cultural programs.

Banes, Oriente: We listen to your station every day to enjoy your musical programs and cultural talks.

Manzanillo:onstant listener and much enjoy your classical music. ould prefer that you not broadcaste hear enough of that on other stations. uggest that you might rebroadcast the United Nations programs which deal with individual countries, their customs. Industrial development, etc. They are very pleasant and

Guantanamo; Everyisten to your station which is outstanding for the quality of the musio.

Sanike music and old masters. Modern, of any level, is the noise of cats and dogs. Nothing better than Liszt. Brahms, Bach, Wagner, Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc. lways tune into stations which transmit classical music.

Sanike your programs very much and hope they continue as they are. Some monthsimilar station began broadcasts andew weeks changed to dramas about the Iron Curtain.

San Rafael deake this opportunity to salute your marvelous station with its cultural programs and Impartial commentaries.

San Jose: Your programs arem sure the majority of shortwave listeners are tired of political commentaries, commercial advertising, and common music such as mamboa and worse.

Puntarenas: Your programs are very good, especially those related to good music.

Estado Miranda: This la the fifthave listened to them an enemy of correspondence butln view of the quality of the programs, especially commentaries and the toodust writeove concert music (Liszt, Mozart, Beethoven) and operas.

San Cristobal. Estadoisten to your programs everyI particularly enjoy your good

Valencia: Congratulations on your cultural and good musicisten daily.

Tegucigalpa: Apparently the horrible radio programs we are afflicted with hereontinental phenomenon. Anyway, the three hours from your station are my salvation.

ow consider the hourhe best of the day sinceear your beautiful music. onder If one day you could play some band music. now Sousa marches don't compare with classicial music.


m sure tbey would please your Latin American listeners. my electric power only starts. Honduras timeon't hear the rest of your program.

Uoaco: My family is immensely pleased with your programs, especially the musical part. We like Tchaikovsky. Ravel and Grieg.

Guayaquil: My familynjoy both your classical and popular music programs. We also like Argentine and Brazilian music. We are particularly interested in hearing scientific talks. These enchant us -since they instruct us and let us learn about things of which we areignorant.

Asuncion: My preference is for classlcial music, especiallylso enjoy popular music, except for the mambo, Gershwin is one of my favorites,

m interested in national and international subjects above all. Also in programs on all aspects of life in all cities of the earth. The history of music, programs of chamber music, and biographies of the most distinguished men of the New World, also would be good Finally there are many aspects of California history which would interest the people of Spanish America.

C5 Broadcasting Stations and Current Situation of Broadcasting.

Despite the limited number of receiving sets in the country, Guatemala hasctive radio stations. Three are government-owned. The most powerful station iskilowatt government-owned Voice of Guatemala. Many stations havend short-wave equipment. Two use FM transmitters in portable units for remote-control broadcasting. There is no coordinated network.

AU radio stations broadcast. and. m.

Radio stations operate on temporary licences valid for six months. This systemactor in making effective the extra-official pressure which frequently is put on to silence programs critical of the administration.


The government transmitter, "La Voz de Guatemala"s the most important, the best organized, and the only station heard with sufficient strength and regularity to warrant regular monitoring at VCB. The station operates under full government control and serves as the official broadcaster of government news, announcements, policies, and information.

The broadcasting pattern of TGW approximates that of an independently owned commercial station. The government utilizes it, however, to promote special policies or projects. Besides the regular radio fare and reports on government affairs, "La Voz de Guatemala" carries four complete newscasts compiled by "our own professional reporters from news gathered in European and world radio-telegraph newso particular news agency has been credited of late by this station,the news formerly was gathered from the Guatemalan daily DIARIO DE LA MAN ANA,

This station also covers, by remote control, special events such as meetings and conferences held by the political parties, the labor unions, the "peacehe democratic youth movement, and more recently, the anti-Communist movement's organizational efforts.

The station carries much news of the Central American and Caribbean countries, especially Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and has been an important instrument in promoting the "Organization of Central American States."

Under the Arbenz government, Guatemalan radio stations have operated uninterruptedly and free from excessive government control or interference. Pressure is exerted in varying ways, however, against lukewarm and anti-administration stations.

The latest available) of programs and operations of the government-owned station indicates the following:

1. Control^

Emergency Restrictions: The Government has found it necessary to invoke certain restrictive or control measures, as regards radioonly during periods when disorders have occurredational emergency has arisen.



b. Political Coverage: The Arbenz Government has not imposed-any special measures, nor passed any new laws which have greatlythe radio stations' freedom of action which they have enjoyed in the past. On the other hand, at least outwardly, the Government hasand enforced the Electoral Code which make it mandatory for radio stations to make special time available to all political partiesreelection political campaign.

Actually, the opposition, during the campaign for themayoralty election which took place early Inon the air for only two weeks prior to the election.and theirmuch more subdued in tone and less vociferous in theirwere the speeches for the pro-Government candidate. Prior totime apparently allotted to the opposition, the announcerthat this time had been set aside for them,rief pausethe applicable section of the Electoral Code, and then woulddue to the absence of representation from the opposition recordsplayed, without giving any explanation as to the reason for thethe opposition to

No election returns or announcements that the anti-Communist opposition actually had won the election was made until at least forty-eight hours after tbe news was known from Other sources,EUTERS despatch from Guatemala City, In the-interim, music took the place of the usual newscast0 GMT,

2, Domestic Services.

a. Broadcasting Patterns Despite the complete domination of "La Voz dc Guatemala" by the Government, it has developed its operation tooint that its broadcasting pattern approximates that of an independently owned commercial station. However, the Government does utilize thla station ln promoting special policies or projects, and in presenting the administration's view. This was evident during the labor dispute between the Guatemalan workers and the United Fruit Company. Spot comments and commentaries favoring the "workers" aod the Nation's stand In the dispute with the "monopolistic company" were carried repeatedly. The same form of attack and propaganda against the "unrelenting foreign-owned company which operates the International Railroad of Central America" was employed by the railroad workers unjon which demanded that the "IRCA" oust its vice president, and also rehire twenty-four workers who "had been fired without just cause,"

Propaganda: "La Voz de Guatemala" freelyextends remote control facilities to, presentation of eventsanti-US elements are allowed to make vigorous attacksUnited States and its interest. During the important conventioncarryerger of the major Guatemalan labor organizations into

a unified centralconvention attended by President Arbenz himself, the Mexican Communist labor leader, Vicente Lombardo Tolcdano, viciously attacked the United States in one of the longest speeches carried by this station

The British usually are included in attacksGuatemalan speakers or commentators against the "capitalists andwho interfere in Guatemalan business and political affairs,the station is used to promote the Government's desire for theBritish Honduras to Guatemala.

3, Foreign Services.

a. Anti-France: One-half hour weekly is allowed by "La Vox de Guatemala" for the "Committee for the Aid of the Spanish Republic" tohow entitled "For the Liberation of Spain." This program devotes most of its time to attacking the French Government, reiterating hope for the "liberation" of Spain, Whether or not the more fact that the time is given indicates sympathy of the Government or the radio which it controls with this movement is open to argument, but the fact remains that high Government officials, leading Guatemalan labor leaders and other prominent personages besides the exiled Spanish Republicans have often becn-guest speakers. The latteras reported on the progress of the anti-France movement both within and outside of Spain. Indications that there wouldtrong anti-Franco protest movement among factory workers In industrial cities was made by speakers on tbis program before the outbreak of the strikes ln Barcelona and Pamplona. The show is beamed to "Spanish RepubUcans in Exile" on both continents.

On November 8,nnouncement was made that duringand December the Aidato-the-Spaniah-Republic program would be of only fifteen minutes' duration, but that the normal half-hour broadcast? would be resumed in January.

"The Bclczc Hour": The program sponsored by "the free people of Guatemala who support the Belizans In their fight fors beamed to "Belize,'the territory which the corrupt British imperialists erroneously call Britishighly inflammatory comment, usuallyingle theme, is ready alternately in Spanish and in English by two announcers, with music setting o0 the different sections. The half-hour program is broadcast three times weekly,

Comment and Suggestions.

broadcasts directed to the known listening audiencea useful psychological weapon against Communism andGuatemala. This Is an audience, however, which is alreadydivided into those who already fear and distrust communismwho are either convinced communists or who accept the thesisArbenz Government that communism in Guatemalaocalunder domination of foreign, specifically Soviet, communists.

propaganda should be directed toward:

the government's claim to the above effect withfactual information; (manufactured evidence is not necessarycase as there is plenty of factual evidence)

intellectuals who have fallen for the Communist line;

intellectuals who may be used by Communists;

dV Citing examples and praising intellectuals who have refused to be used by the Communists;

e. Discrediting the government on grounds ofarticularly for its folly In allowing itself to be duped, deceived and trapped in its present unfavorable International situation by agents of International communism, sent to Guatemala from other countries for precisely that purpose;




up the idea that there is no advantage in supportingwhich has already set Its course toward InevitableCommunists will not let anything survive which they cannotthey haveosition of any influence whatever; thisbe shown by tracing the history of the Communists in theand after the Civil War: they broke up and destroyed allgroups, betrayed every collaborator whom they could nothave done the same thing to the Spanish Circulos lnCuba. (There is abundant evidence on this subject; it mightto offset the time given by the official Guatemalan radio to

the allegations that Col. Arana wastaken out of Arbenz' way) solely because of Ms opposition toinfluence in the government;

the energy of the new generation of Latin Americanhave gone Into teaching,ut warning against the falseextremism.

E- Entertainment Broadcasts to Support Propaganda.

The following program possibilities have been developed as though for productions in series. Although not used serially in the sense of regular periodic broadcasts, material collected on this basis can be organized easily, and can be used so as to give an Impression of verisimilitude if the intention is to operate in the guiseegular station.

The sampling of possible entertainment material also has been selected with the idea of appealing to the interest or taste of potential listeners at varying hours of the day.

Inreliminary experimental selection of recordings it was concludedeasonable approach to the problem would be to Imagine the attitude of the owneradio station in Guatemala, should he bewith money and free entry through customs, which would allow him

to select recordings in New York: he doubtless would try to satisfy and flatter the taste of listeners with "goodut at the same time make selections likely to cause them to stay tuned in if they dialed into the middle of one of his broadcasts by chance or were regular listeners.






Recordings of marimba music and music typical of Guatemala are very limited in quantity,

Recordings of mam bo and other popular dance music of Caribbean flavor are abundant. None have been purchased so far, but some might be useful.

Good recordings of classical, semi-classical music by Spanish and Latin American composers as well as Russian, German, French, are readily available,

The cost of recordings is0 for each five to six hours of playing time.

Program Suggestions,

ussian Composers; Prokofieff and Shostakovich

- Several Latin American listeners writing ln comments on US short-wave broadcasts requested works by Dorodin and Tchaikovsky; it can be assumed that works by other Russian composers would be appreciated.

Presentations of the music of Prokofieff and Shostakovich, with biographical notes interpolated, wouldine vehicle for propaganda hitting at the theme of Soviet enslavement of artists. The experiences of Prokofieff and Shostakovich provide vivid illustrations of the political repression and exploitation of even Russia's greatest musicians under Soviet rule.

Poetry reading; Latin Americans, especially students andtake their culture seriously. Most Latin Americans love poetry and those who don't love It respect it. The Communist intellectuals have taken great advantage of this special predilection by exploiting the talent of Pablo Neruda and other poets who have lent their art to the Communist cause.

It might be possible to capitalize on this Interest to get listeners and at the same time draw attention away from the Communist poets. ood criticism of literary deterioration of some of the poets and writers-who have prostituted their art to Communism might be prepared. possesses an example In Otto Raul Lelva. Ana Louise Strong

interviewed (and praised) him recently. Now the orthodox Communists say sheYankee spy" (Trlbuna Popular,, ine example of how fast an intellectual or poet can rise and fall on the perfidious wings of Soviet politico-literary fame.

Sample recordingeautiful treatment of poems of Garcia Lorca with musical background; intended for illustration of technique only, not for broadcast, as the poet is identified with the extreme left of the Spanish Republic.

appeal; The Catholic Church has.ear of special veneration of the Virginhas proclaimed certain indulgences in this the religious patronesses and most famousthe Virgin in the Latin American countries has good possibilitiesconnection.

Religious music interspersed with historical and legendary material on this subject can be provided.

series: (a) Music of famous cities; (b) Universities of (c) Polk music of the world; (dj Spanish zarzuelas; (e) awith selectlnns of the works and biographical notes on the

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: