Created: 3/3/1953

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B Domestic*





a. Policy principles and

b Armed

C. Public







on principal

Section was prepared lor the NIS by the Intelligence Organization, Department ol Stale.



Siait 3


Guatemalan rational policy focuses upon tbe further economic development and greater self-sufficiency of the nation and upon social and political measures which especially favor the lower classes and at the same time provide the support needed by the present regime to remain in power. Guatemala's foreign policy is designed to obtain the greatest possible freedom for the pursuit of these domestic objectives. It is also an expression of intense nationalismesire, based upon ihe government's Ideological orientation, lo the establishment of goremr views in other Middle American states

Since the revolution4 the general trend in Guatemalan policy has thus been leftist and nationalistic. At the same tlmo tills trend has reflected conflict between the old and the new and has especially Indicated the character of the now leadership Its Inexperience, its radicalism, and its opportunism. Prior to thc revolution,In terms of broad national mlerest wasnooextstrnt and certainly did not involve the buildingewew society,ew culture. The new approach to policymaking reflects an awareness of broad Westernin nationalism, socialism, and materialIdeas based upon theso developments were Imported into Guatemala by thc youngand incorporated Into the constitutionnto political party plaUorms. and into the organisational programs of pressure groups and patriotic societies. The revolutionarydreamedew order In which Indian and Western cultures were to be brought Into aharmony; the levels of the economicallymasses were to be raised and the rural "feudal" socioeconomic relationships broken; the traditional economy was to be modernised through agricultural diversification and Industrialization, and the country freed from the bondsractical democracy was to replace the tyranny of military dictatorship

This idealism, which was apparent In thephilosophy, has been generally lost or corrupted In thr post elgni years. Theol Individual and national resources have led lo policies lacking in balance, moderation, and sense of reality. There Is no better measure of the weakness of Uie revolution than the ease withandful of communists has been able to exploit and direct the movement

Guatemalan national policy and lis unplementa-Uon arc conditionedonflicting background of human and environmental forces. Natural and traditional factors which strongly Influence the course of Guatemalan policies Include theposition of thc country. Its natural re-souicca. the character of the people, and their level of social, economic, and political achievement. Ouatemala's small size and population placerestrictions upon national policy objectives. Historically, Its proximity lo. and close economic relations with, ihe United Slates have alsoattern of limitations. The character ofsociety itself has been the chief barrier to change. The Indian, whoittic more than half of the population, Is only slowingfrom his own culture to accept Western values and standards. The majority of these peopleattached to an ancient mluxation which antedates the corning of the white man. and will resist efforts to change this way of life Thepopulation, the racially mixed Ladinos* live more or less according lo the ways and ideas of Wastem civilization. Yet even they have not been closely associated with modern developments In social, economic, and political fields.

The Guatemalan economy has always beenagricultural; landholdlngs have been relatively large and the Indian has provided the bulkervile, cheap labor force Theof coffee, in the Uie nineteenth centuryodem export crop served to Intensify thisThe entrance of foreign capital and the expansion of banana growing In the presenthave extended the plantation type of society and economy.

Certain long-standing political traditions have also affected Guatemala's policy objectives and course Down to the present genera Uon thc sourc* of political power was largely confined to aof landholders, commercial people, and army ofBcrrs Despite liberal political influences, which had their origin in the independence period and which were expressed In laws and republican forms, govern moot In Guatemala has been narrowly repre-

cultural typoincludestlic-ndUm. .na wmr



at best, und often has been Irresponsibly personal und tyrannical.

The political movement which came to fruition in Ihe revolution4 wu to some extent ato this tradition In the ns Initial life. In part it was the mult of Internal social and cco-nomie change an acceleration of both rural and or ban economic development and tne emergence of new politically arUculate middle-clasa> and tbig gro:;'I But th* character and effectne-neas of tbe revolution were pnhapa moremallpolitical exiles and students whose experience* abroad, especially in Western Europe, the United States, Mexico, and Argentina, brought them tn Uic realization that Guatemala was lar behindorld In which progress seemed lo be gearedU-ong spirit o( nationalism, more Intemlve ulllUailon ofand humannd broad socialThe revolution4 placedupon education, locial welfare legislation, agrarian reform, and the encouragement of organized labor. Democracy and statlsm have become the principal political concepts ln thein Guatemalaheeactionong experience with dictatorship, theorollary of twentieth-century Western Mtcial and economic thought and practice Along with theae ideas there has developed, especially among the Guatemalantrong sense of economic nationalism and antlfoeelgniwnthis framework, economic policies have stressed agricultural diversification. Industrial expansion, and improved comma meat ram

A wide gap exists, however, between policy and achievement in recent Ouatemalan history. The new leadership, sometimes ideallsllcally inclined, more frequently opportunistic, and almost always Inexperienced, has been incapable of adjusting ita programs to realities. The government, which hascries of revoltsas been more concerned with staying In power than with broad national interests, emphasis has often been placed upon policies which were politically expedient or which produced rapid and pretentious returns. Thus, progress In education has been measured in terms of Impressive buildings, and highwayhas been motivated as much by emotional nationalism as by sound economic considerations Socio-economic policy has been geared progres Bively to the masses: much of the program ofunity has degenerated to the level ofdemocratic ideal* continually have been interpreted in Ihe light of the political needs of ihe revolutionary regimes

The trend In recent Guatemalan foreign policy is ineflection of domestic developments. While Guatemala seek* to maintain traditionally


close ties with,oet ran of leadershiphe Central Amen- an republics, lU leftist dotic polities claim mat of Itsnder its nee leadership since tlie revolutionuatemala ha* Interfered In the internal affairs ofmerican countries on democraticround* At thetime, nationalism haa led Guolemulo to attack British sovereignty In British Honduras, to real-it the dominant position of the United States in Guatemalan affairs, and at tinws to carry Its challenge to US leadership Into the Organization of American States (OAS) andnited Nations

The original revolutionary objectives appealed to almost all groups in Guatemalan society -Ihe only major exception SfSBfJ the once-privilegedNational policy, however, has rrxmd toward organised labor and the peasantry, andresent leadership has accepted the numerically weak, but politically knowledgeable, communists is advisers and aids Because the government his sought lo attach to its political machine the largely inarticulate working classes, it has alienated tre smaller but men* articulate and economically powerful urban professional and business groupt. The Arbcnz legim. hasritical point in this trend, forommitment to such ancourse Is so firm that little maneuverability Is left to the poill;leadership

R ome*tic policiesocial

a. EducationIn accordance will, thebackground of the early revolutlonaiy leadership and Its broad social and culturaleducatloi. was one of the firsto receive attention In the new order The President, Juan Jose, aeducator, believed that Guatemala must nd Itself of class barriers andemocratc "spiritualducational reform was torimary means ol accomplishingalthough Arevalo was also conscious of related economic and political ietj.nrem<revalo's educationalenvisaged considerable Increase in lie school population including Ihe heretoforeted rural elements, and emphasized practical and secular Instruction The virtual eradication ofthe literacy leveli> toanticipated within four years. Inasic objective of the program waait ion for livingemocracy, tn addition, there was evidently the Intent totrong sense of nationalism (see CHima IV.nder Education)

The dcvtlopmeiii of the educational reform pnv gram exemplifies the idealism and at the san e


lhe lack of realism in nollonal policy. During Iho Arevalo administration thereeavy con-cenlratlon of funds In the school-bulldtng program, tho results of which can be seenumber of scientifically planned and expensive structures which are located in some of the more populous urban communities. These, of course, serve only the urban Ladmothe ruralwhose incorporationnified society was one of the primary purposes of Arevalo'sTraveling cultural minions designed to meet the needs of these people have been poorly supported and largely unsuccessful Educational reform in genera! has not gone much beyond the spectacular but unbalanced Increase of the school physical plant. Literacy has scarcely beenand relatively Utile progress lias been made In the development of practical education.

The reasonsap existing between stated goals snu achievement in education are numerous. No change in basic educational law has been madehe number of teachers is Inadequate and curriculum and teaching methods areUnderlying these factors are thehandicaps of poverty and Ignorance It Is probable that much of the misdirection of emphasis has Iteen lhe result of cither personal ambition or the political need for that kind o! publicwhich is attainable only through the quick production of material symbols.

a porThe trend In national policy to favor labor reflects both the leftist course and thc policy of expediency of the GuatemalanIn the light of Western practices, the labor Code passed7 wastandard*adical. Law. although it did in effect discriminate against largeIt guaranteed the right of labor, urban and rural, to organize, to bargain collectively, and, wilh some reservations, to strike In addition to olher protective features, the law sotystem of Independent labor courts (for furthersee Chapter IV,he labor Code raised some natural opposition from urban and rural employers, especially thc latter, who feared the loos of their centuries-old source of cheap,labor The employers' fear wa* Intensified by thr government's policy of encouraging theto establish their leadership over labor This, together with the government's dependence on labor for support, has resultedituation In which all parties which support and receive help from thc government must curry the favor of labor and Its communist and procommunut leaders.

The present regime has particularly fostered the organization of labor, Including the Oeneral Con-frdcratlon of Workers of Ouatemala

tion General de Trabajadorct de OuatemaUi.ssociated with thc communist-eontrollcd Confederation of Latin American Work-em (Corifederacidn de Trabajadoret du America Latlna,ed by Vicente Lombardo Toleduno. and with thc World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) The effect of this policy has been more significant politically than economically although labor may


lions, on the United Fruit Company plantations, and on the national farms. Another result of the policy has been to provides the heads of labor unions, with opportunities to danmRC US business interests in Ouatemala. The strong effort of government-backed labor against the United Fruit Company1ood illustration of this effect of thc policy (aeo below, under Foreign poUcy).

che Ouale-malan Government, with effective communistIncreased tbe range and tempo of Its leftist aocio-political course with the passage of the Agrarian Reform Law. In principle, the lawbroad social and economic objectives and was intended to Increase the productivity of both land and labor. The law provided for theof unused private land and thein small sections of this and certain nationally owned land lo landless peasants. It stressed state control and made It easier for farmers to secure the use of land by lease from the slate or through cooperatives than to get it with fullhe law also established the principle


I contradicts

both It* high principles and the economic realities for pouucal considerations have been dominant President Jacoboecision2 to stress agrarian reform may have resulted in port from his desire to proceedajor reform project thai apparently would not antagonise the urban groups so much as had the recently attemptedof the Labor Code. Political overtone* arc aldo evident In those provisions of the Agrarian Reform Law which greatly Increase the poliUcal power of thc state over the nation's ruralThe Influence of communist* ha* beenclear In relation to the Agrarian Reform Law. The most active and Influential of lisIn Congress were communists. Inthe National Agrarian Department, sot up to administer Uic law, was heavily stalled with communists, proeommurusts, and opportunists who would notresent political currents.




Social sicuarrvSince the revolution the ffTM-rnnient'a stated policy has been concerned with improving the health and slrengthenme the economic security of Guatemala's working classes.4 the Ouatemalan Oovemmenl has placedemphasis on the developmentstem of social security With importedassistance, the system was launched?e establishment of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (tnttltuto Guatemalteco deSocial. IOSS) Beginningodest way with limited functional and geographicalthe system has been gradually extended to outlying urban centers and to some agricultural workers, particularly In the more developedon the Pacific slope. Functionally, eov-crarfc has been confined so far largely to accident prevention and to uccldcnl rehabilitation and1 slitaternity program lor theof Guatemala has been planned, to become effective InFor further information, .see Chaptih IV.)

Although the government approached thef providing social security benefits realistically and established the systemoundand actuarial basts. It haa permitted the IGSS to be infiltrated by communists and to be usedolitical Instrument. The political character of the IGSS has been evident chiefly since theIn1 of Alfonso Sowrrano.toryptoeommunUt. as theural manager

Z. Economic

Current national economic policies lnare aimed primarily at creating an "eco-nomically independent" stateonsequent emphasis on diversification of agriculture and the protection anil development ol local Industry. Kcoiiomlr. policy4 lias been closelywith the social philosophy of tbefor broad economic progress is considered necessary toalanced Ouatemalan society. At the same time the execution of economic policy has been subject to the handicaps of geographical limitations, antiquated institutions and practices, inexperience, and political Guatemalan economic policy arehe ties with the United States through trade and Investment andationalism whichesire forand economic Independence

Guatemalan economic policy would suggest that Itsaccept something of bothand twentieth-century statlsm Theof private enterprise, rooted ln thehas received consistent. If qualified, emphasis from all leading policymaker* At the same time, the nrv leadership appears to accep; the conceptrsponsutle slate mechanism to effect planning ami lo assist In national economic development. The resident occasionally consult* with leading Industrial, commercial, andorgani7atkms regarding important aroftnPlfa policy matters, bur vldom accepts theirational Econon tc Council, representative of all economicind lidded by the President, was established1 as the top economic policy making body, but apparently ceased to funcUcBiew month' Autonomous or semiautono mous state agenclei play key roles in theeconomicanitation, the most imporUn. of which are the IGSS and the Production Develop ment Institute tfn<tttvtod* fomenlodela Prvdue-cton.ganisauon designed to stlmu late economic development through research anr credit assistance.

a. Aghicultufi; With regard to the ceo nomlc policy of inrreaalng and diversifyingproduct in: Guatemala has long been en couraged by the United States and by various ln ternational agencies which have contributed to educational and experimental programs aflcctini agriculture In the new Guatemalan order. INTOP is designed to assist In Implementation o' this policy, primarily by actingredit agency Signseal istk approach to Guatemala's agri cultural problems, however, arc offset by less fan* able Indications There has been exaggerated In terest. for cxampli. In such dramatic palliative as thef agriculture In an econonv which is both prtmltlve and poor. With the dlsso lutionthe state-farm administratio: through which the goveinment has administercr anf the most produclivi land in the country, considerable evidence of cor ruptiOR and malpnwllcc haa been revealed.

The Agrarian If form law purports to be thi solution to the problemsepressed and Incffi dent labor group and of large amounts of nnusec land. Itore effecUve "capitalistic' society by freeing Joth tha Indian and the lane from their feudal 1lationshlpa.onsequem increase and diver vflcatlon of production. These social and econon* ideals, however, are In concic* with political rnotl-es since the law actually pro videsystem if stale control through wbicl the social,nd poilOcal life of the run population may be more closely supervised by thi gov eminent. Although the state Is movinf rapidly ahead to distribute unused land, it is no' yet prepared to support the expectedand utilisation with effective technical and fl nanclal assistance, and thus merely exposes addl llonal laud to the wasteful practices of primitive agriculture. Finally, its noted above, the Jmple



or the Agrarian Reform Law has been closely related to the political needs of theand its communist allies.

and industryPolicieswith domestic commercial andhave been less radically altered byregimes, partly because of theupon agricultural problems and partlythe opposition of moderate interests,Guatemala City.

Fiscal policy4 has been moderate, although projected ambitious economicmay force the government to adopt financial measures which could affect adversely largeof commercial and Industrial interests. To dale, however, the government hastable currency. Inflation has not been serious, and the nation has no burdensome external debt. The tax system, which antedates the revolutionary period, has had greater demands put upon it by the government, but Itystem which weighs mora heavily upon agricultural interests than upon business.

Prior4 the principal function of the tariff was to provide revenueovernment whose financial needs were limited. The revolution,with Its goal of economic independence has Introduced the protectionist objective. Although the tariff structure has not been greatly changed, increased protection has often been effected by prohibiting or restricting' the importation of given commodities. The most recent governmentwouldew stage In tariffan increased emphasis upon tariffource of revenue In conjunctionovernment-backed program of economic development.

As the government has come to rely more heavily upon Ihe working class for political support, Its labor policies have tended to become inimical to business. The provisions of the original labor Code were not extreme. standards, andattempts to introduce more radicalhave been stopped, temporarily at least,of the government's responsiveness topressure. The businessman Is currently more seriously threatened by the government'sacceleration of land expropriation under tho Agrarian Reform law. There has been fear of attacks upon private property in general, and the government's policy has been held responsibleusiness recession which began inolitical sense the government's course Is driving the moderate urban interests more definitely Into opposition.

nationalismEconomichastrong and consistenton-Guatemalan policy. On one issue most

Guatemalans arc agreed tliat certain large foreign investment interests conflict with national aspirations. The United Fruit Company and the International Railways of Centrals the largest foreign-owned enterprises have borne tbe brunt of the coordinated government-laborresulting from this nationalism (sec below, under Forcipnomewhat more posi-Uve sense, the national roadbuilding programthe same nationalistic spirit. Although roads have been recognisedrimary economic need as well as useful public-works projects, they have often been conceived In political rather than economic or social terms This Is stronglyby the disproportionate attention andwhich have been given to the construction of the Atlantic Highway. Tho chief motive behind this project is the Ouatemalan determination to be free of the transportation monopoly now held by thewned IRCA.


a.iNctr-Lis awn4 rejected the arbitrary andrule to which the country long had beenand conceivedorking democracy with broadly representative republican Institutions This democracy was created in form at least. The army in theory was relegated to the political background. The principle of division of powers in government was recognized in balancinglegislative, and Judicial branches Therelo be ample guarantees lorealthy party system supported byelectoral practices and freedom ofThe revolutionary leaders aimed to broaden the political base by appealing to labor, toand industrial Interests, to intellectuals, and to young military leadens They offered little, however, to the clergy and the once-dominant land-

The insecurity of the two adrnlnistrations which have been in officeombined with the opportunism and inexperience of political leaders and the general apathy and ignorance or thehasapid trend away from the original political principles of the revolution. The most recent and obvious aspect of this trend has been the progressive narrowing of tho political base of the government, as important middle-class groups have been relatively neglected while labor, first urban and later rural, has been favored. The concentration upon labor has been demonstratedequence of important steps: enactment or the Labor Code, government sponsorship andof labor organisation, and the passage of the recent Agrarian Reform Law, by which thehas supported the extension of organized labor into the as yet largely unorganised rural



Furlhermotc, lhe government has accepted and encouraged the communist leadershipolitical force with which It ts now in rpen alliance. The result has been not only lhe lupiopcrtionste increase of labor strengthendency toward radical domestic legislation, but lhe election and appointment oi communists and fellow travelers, wilh tho help of the government, lo fccy legislative and executive positions, from whlirh Uiey may help to formulate and Implement policy (sec this Chapto.nder Political Parties).

In their political tactics, too, tbeave failed lo measure up tn their stated democratic principles and policies and have made little progress in Ibis respect over previous periods of Guatemalan political history. Despite the fact that the press and the radio are freer than they wen at any time priornd that political parties are generally permitted to register andthe government has used its resources lo back proadministration parties and has at times so restricted the opposition that It has hod little chance of success throughout the country Only in Guatrmala City, where the opposition haseconomic strengthegree of political unity, has the government allowed effectiveresistance to survive. The government controls national politics by actively assisting Its supporting parties. It accomplishes this tn part by patronage, by its control over propaganda media, and bytransport, meeting halls, andequipment It canhas taken--more direct, even fraudulent, action through its control of the electoral system.spite theoretical legal protection forho revolutionaryhave, when thc situations dictated, declared parties illegal without cause and have exiled oropposition leaders. The principle ofof power in government has been contradicted by the recent action taken by the executive branch against the Supreme Court

Political events fromoSan accelerated Implementation of thcprogram and an increased dependence of the Arbcrtx administration upon communist-led mass support. In mld-lOTl Arbenx presented an Agrarian Reform Bill which was pushed through Congressommittee headed by Victor Manuel Gutiiirm, probably the country's number twosubsequently, the National Agrarian De-oartment, the administrative agency set up by the law. was allowed to become an instrument for the

' nI9SSnl kCdlSUlrstlO" janl tU

influence to obtain conrrsMdonat dlvnlual otl the Supreme Court who hadinn appeal ausinM trie goremmtnn im-utenientaUon of the Agrarian Reform law.

pursuit of communist objectives; late In the year, Im the congressional electoral campaign, the Presi-dent's office was Instrumental in forcing some not) communist, but progovemment, pollticsj element, to accept the Com<nunlst Party' into full political partnershiprogoveuiment electoral front Finally agrarian reform, strongly supported bycommunists and opposed by moderate and con servatlve elements, was made the principal issu-in the3 congressional election, whlcl resultedecisive victory for the progovern ment electoral front everywhere but In the depart ment of Guatemala. Thc progress of communist-and their labor followers continued when. In Feb ruary. President Arbeni obtained the dismissal o; the four members ol the Supreme Court for accept leg an appeal case against the execution of Um Agrarian Reform Law.

b.roRCEsSince in most Latin Amer lean countries the army has traditionally been tin decisivelor, the policy pursued byGuatemalan Government toward its armed force; is of special significance. The revolutionary law makers took cognisance of the past role of theand sought to limit its political power, on papei at least. Actually, however, no Guatemalancould survive without army support, and the consistent policy of the Arevak>Arbenx admin-'strations has been to retain such military sjpport by maneuver and favor.urther discussion regarding the armed forces, see below, underDefense Polii-ies)

Al thl* Unw the Comnwmtt Party chances Its name and becameGuatemalan Labor Parly tParfttfo OualxmalUco de' TVntxifn, POT).

c Puiilic reaction As ofhe most articulate groups Inthe bureaucracy, hut including the urban professional and business Interests, the rural large landholders, and the Catholicopposed the administration, while the working claws. Insofar as they were effectively led, generally tended to support tho present government. Public reaction to government policyowever, has varied In accordance with the general direction of the policy Only two Important domestic groups remained outside thc revolutionary movement atandholders who symbolized the traditional "feudal" societyestricted economy, and the Church, whose activities, already Beverly circumscribed by earlier governments, the new leadership was determined to limit. Of these two groups, Ihe landholders have shown lessresistance to government policies progressively directed against their Interests. They have become almost completely Ineffectiveoilttcal group. The clergy on the "ther hand has been more ag-




in resisting revolutionary leadership,since the communists have emerged totrong position In the government The Church, however, has been seriously handicapped by the lack of material resources and priests, and by the lackositive social program of Its own.

The urban professional, commercial, andinterests mltlally supported the revolution partly because it promised broad national economic development. However, the failure to adhere closely to democratic principles, thegiven to communists, the partiality shown to labor, and especially the recent rapidof the agrarian reform program have alienated many of the government's formermoderate supporters in the cities.

The positive reaction of the urban and rural working classes to policies increasingly geared to their material Interests Is probably less than might be expected. Although effective labor and political leaders, especially communists, can rally Immediate and local popular supportpecific Issue, such as land distribution, they cannot rely upon self-initiated, broadly coordinated, or sustained action. The majority of Guatemalans are still politically Inarticulate, are poor organisational material, and are not likely to appreciate more than the lmrr.rdi ale and personal consequencesolicy decision or its Implementation.

C. Foreign policy

Guatemala's foreign policy is affected by theclose retouonshlps with neighboringAmerican republics, the geographical andposition which it occupies with respect to the United States, and the exigencies of recentpolitical and economic change.4 policy has been determined largely by the leftist and nationalistic character of the revolution and by the extremist leadership, including communist elements, of the revolutionary movement. This leadership has exacerbated the territorial dispute over British Hondurast hasolicy of support for political groups incountries holding similareftist, and nationalistic ideologies; it has emphasizedIndependence" and has struggledagainst -colonial" ties with the Unitednd in internationalOrganization of American States and theleadership has often produced something less thancooperation with the United States and the West

Personal government laominantof Guatemala; foreign policy, therefore, essentially reflects the views of the President and his close personal advisers. In determining poll cles. however, the administration is often sensitive to criticism from Congress.

d in- controversy

The Issue of British Honduras has become foropular symbol ol the struggle against "cctoualisni" Guatemalan claims to this territory go back to the period of Spanish rule, but nationalism has made the issue more important ln the present century thi titrations5tatement of Guatemalan sovereignty over the disputed territory was Included inll residents of British Honduras have been declared Guatemalan cituens. and nil British plans for the area, such as Including It as partaribbean federation, have beenopposed. Tbe Guatemalan press and radio have disseminated propaganda over the Issue, an undertaking In which many communist and pro-communist writers and speakers have cooperated enthusiastically. Propaganda exhorting resistance to the British authorities has also been spreadBritish Honduras. Guatemala has reasserted its claim at UN meetings, at the Inter-Americanfor the Maintenance of continental Peace and Security (Rio de, and at the Ninth International Conference of American Slates, among others. To gam intema-

solidtte anbloc composed ofwith anil-British territorial claims.Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela. Thesehave embarrassed the United States In IU handling of hemispheric problems and they have caused some resentment in Mexico, which could alsolaimart of British Honduras Ouatemalan Government tactics with respect to this dispute are not always dictated byand popular reaction to the problems but at times are determined by the need to divert public attention from domestic problems or deficiencies (sec this Chapter,nder Belize controversy).

Z. Middle America

Guatemalan administrations since4 have projected their leftist andcharacter into relations with Central American and Caribbean neighbors. Arevatn's for elgn policy featured Guatemala's active support of "democratic" elements In and Its opposition to oldhose of Somoza In Nicaragua and Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. During the arevalo regime. Guatemala broke off diplomatic relationships with the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in Middle America and with Peru and Venezuela in South America It gave refuge and employment to poltll-

s officials onlt



nxites from thou countries And supported the activities ol the Caribbeanooselygroup of political cxika and adventurers who engaged in several pint* against the dictatorshipsthc Dominican Republic and Nicaragua Only with the "democratic" Prlo governmentuba was lhe Arevalo administration able to maintain consistently cordial relations The overthrow of that government2 left Guatemalariend in the Middle American area.

0 Guatemala's activities in Middle America have been less aggressive This has bean due partly to Guatemala's recognition of itsI position and partly also to the effectiveness ol the OAS in safeguarding peace through thr In-irr-Amencan Treaty ol Reciprocal Assistanceat Rio de Janeirohe Arbenrhasew gestures aimed atGuatemala's relations with its neighborsIf not fnendly, relations have been restored with Nicaragua. In the latter parthen Irca! communists Impaired relations with Flnot only by their supportalvadoran communist movement but through their effort* to arouse Guatemalan public opinion against the neighborship imvcrnment, octleial pressured to silence them. Despite this evidenceore conciliatory policy, Guatemala continues lo harbor exiles from several Middle American eoun-Irvs and pursues its propaganda barrage against ii< neighbors. Of special ilgnlflcance la thr fact that thc Arbeni regime permits the communistsuatemalaase for operations incountries. Insofar as the interests of these communists conform to those of the government, they function in effect as an mstrument offoreign policy.

Thc constitution3 formulated thc objective "to reestablish the Central American Union, oar-UsBjr or completely.opular and democraticnd thia has been one of the major policies nf the Arberia administration. The current protect was Initially sponsored by El Salvador, buttrue to Its traditional leading role withto union, has sought to assume direction of the movement It baa emphasised economic lndeand the strengthening of lhe position of Ontral America in international councils Mow-rrer, Guatemalan domestic policies appear to have wakened whatever chance there may have been fur progress toward confederation, for the other Central American countries, alarmed over these pnliciea. have indicated their Interest in usingmeetings to devise means to check theof communism in the area Guatemalademned this as meddling in internalith the result that further progress toward union ha* hogged down

With the exception of mild Irritation over the issue of British Honduras, Guatemalanith Mexico have 'leen fnendly. Ouatemala ha: long been receptlv to Mexican influence; indeed much of the think;og of the revolutioniststemmed from twi ntieth-century Mexican experi ence. tn addition. Guatemalan traders have four* it advantageous to develop ties between Qua terra lan labor andircles in Mexico. As previ ously staled, the communist-led Guatemalan labo eoniederatlon, IXiTG, is associated with Vlcenti Lombardo Toted ar.oshose headquarter! Is in Mexico City.

'nlled Slate-Guatemalan policy with respect to thi United Statesicture of contradiction and frus 'ration Ouatemala has long reengnlred that lti political and economic security are dependent upor the United States Economic ties have developec largely during the present century as lhe Unltec States became the chief consumer of the princl pal Guatemalan crop, coffee, and the principal sup pller of manufactures and of the capital for thi development of banana plantations,and public utilities.

4 there was no political resistance tc this position of dependency. The na Uon alls ticleaders.owerer. wantedi longer political voice In Inter national affairs.iding those Involving direct relations with the United Stales. The achievement ol their goals required anythingoderati lo an extreme challenge of traditional relation-ships; Irrenponslbl" leadership, with enthusiastic communist assistance, hasrendthc extreme. In Its assertion ofOuatemalan policy has focused. private Investment md has exploited long-standing popular resent men' against such holdingsompanies have been the main targets ofthe electric rower company. Kmpreta Etec-tnca; Pan American Airways; the United Fruit Company, and the International Railway ofAmerica. In which United Fruit has powerful influence. The United Fruit Company, whichGuatemala withf Its foreignbeen th" chief target or thl* campaign Thr attack has been made by means of propaganda, through organised labor, by direct negotiation to revise the basic contract between the government and the company, and most recently under the agrarian reform psrrjram Official and communist propaganda has consistently belabored thefor both real Jid fancied wrongs of the past and present The nimax of the fight wilh United Fruit camehen the government supported thc excessive demands of communist led labor.





government had hoped for, but did not gain, contract revisions with tho company which would haveeduction ol the time limit on tne company's concession and an increase In the amount of revenue paid by the company Theposition demonstrated notroad appeal to nationalism,alculated steploser political alliance with communist-led labor. Recently the Guatemalan Government has ordered the nrproprlatlon of morecres of United Fruit Company land In implmentaUon of the Agrarian Reform Law.

The combination of national policies andaction of the sort demonstrated against the United Fruit Company has. private Investment. Although few Guatemalans except communists would subscribe to evacuation. Interests, virtually all wouldigher price from large US. enterprises in Guatemala Thus, the demands of nationalism and politicaland the needs of the Guatemalan economy come Into unresolved conflict.

Guatemalan national policies have often been unfavorable. security Interests,eterioration In the relations between the two countries The Guatemalan Government has steadfastly refused to acknowledge that Itommunist problem and, exceptew brief periods, communists and procotnrnunlsUlocated In the official and govrrument-gubsi-Ulxed press haveree hand hi. foreign policy while they simultaneously supported Soviet policy In the conflict between the Soviet bloc and thecknowledged its United States In some respects, particularly for financial aid and material priorities in the case of politically important public-works projects like the Pen American and Atlantic highways, in other fields of cooperation It hasrtater degree of independence. US funds and technicians in Ouatemala, particularly those of the Institute of Inter American Affairsave long been engaged in research and training services in the fields of education, health, and agriculture. The present Guatemalan leaders, however, apparently prefer to seek technical assistance fromagencies instead of from the United States0 the US. educational mission wasriUcixed by th,teachers' union, lhe Union of Educational Workers of(Stndteato dede laf Guatemala,nd the government did not renew the contract of the mission.

A low-water markGuatemalan relations came Inhen the Arevalorequested the recall of the US Ambassador, alleging that he had Interfered In the country's internal affairs. Since then President Arbenz has professed friendship through diplomatic channels, without supporting this policy and action. Most damaginguatemalan relations has been the continued and active Guatemalan support of communist organ nation and activities, to the point of placing and protecting loadingIn the fields or education, propaganda, labor, and politics where they may influence policy (lor further information, see this Chapter,. In addition,0. private inleresU have been under the most severe economic andpressure encountered slnoc their entrance Into the country.

Hy appealing to nationalism the Artvalo Arbenz governments have been able lo rally elreeUvesupport for positions takenn Guatemala. On the whole, popular feeling has been directed against private companies,and not often against the US. Government or the American people In general For thiskind of attack the Guatemalan Government mayong-standing reservoir of resentment. com pan lea operating In the country. Most articulate Guatemalans, with the notableof some proadministration leaders, look upon the United Stalesriendly power,certain Important commercial andinterests are Jealous ol the economic Influence.n the country. Except where the communists havo made Inroads, the majority of the population probably holds no firm convictions with respect to US.-Guatemalan relations

1 Other countries

Guatemala's relations with countries outside the hemisphere are necessarily raniled by Its lack of political influence and by weak economic ties. The 'democratic" slant or the revolutionary regimes Is reflected In their refusal to recognise Franco Spain. The diplomatic post at Paris baaolitical plum sometimes given to an influentialcommunist or procornmunlst There islhat such officials nave used this position to cultivate European communist associations.recognise* Ihe Soviet Union but does not exchange diplomatic representatives with It. Such minor official relations as do exist are carried on through Soviet satellite missions In Mexico.

S. International organisations

Otiatomalan policies In the Organisation of American States and the United Nations show something of the nationalistic and leftistof lhe countryut not Into thc domestic growth of nalkmallatic and communist influence

In hemispheric and OAS affairs, althoughhas not oftenourse ol distinct



NIS 71


o Uic United States on matters ol broad international Interest, It has demonstrated Itson some Issues,80 Ouatemala, as noted above, actively supported the conspiracies ol the Caribbean Legion until OAS action forced It to desist. Guatemalanwith respect to the "antl-colonlal" Belize Issue has Jeopardised complete inter-American ratinca-tlon of the Rlo Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance. Other nations have refused to accede to areservation to this treaty which would seem to obligate thempecial way regardingclaims to British Honduras; lhe reservation provides that the treaty would constitute nnto Guatemala in asserting its rights over thc "Guatemalan territory of Belltc" by any means that it considers convenient and that Guatemala tuay, at any time, invoke the treaty with respect tn mat territory. This same reservation hat been attached to the Guatemalan ratification of the OAS cnarter. In further support of its "anti-colonial" stand, the official Guatemalan press has at times supported the Puerto Rican IndependenceFollowing thc outbreak of KoreanGuatemala subscribed to the Final Act of the Fourth Consultation of Foreign Ministers, which called for inter-American military cooperation, among other things; but it hasarrow interpretation of such cooperation and has publicly stated its unwillingness to send troops outside the Western Hemisphere, ouatcmaia's position on this question is not unique among the Latin American nations, but Its propaganda on the subject hastronger. slant than that of most of ihem.

Guatemala has also demonstrated ilsand brought up the "anti-colonial" issue in the United Nations, where, although generallyto broad and important Western policy, it hasoorer record of cooperation with tne West than most other Latin AmericanOn issues proposed or supported by thc United States Guatemala's voting record In the United Nationsigher proportion of both abstentions and negative votes than other Latin American countries. However, most of thesehave been determined by considerations of national interest rather thanesire to oppose the United States or to support thc Soviet bloc. Upon the outbreak of the Korean conflictJoined with the rest of the Latin American nations In supporting UN resolutions concerning Koiea, and it later voted for the UN Unitingace resolution. Despite this action, Guatemala has let It be known that it would not Implement that resolution. Moreover, during the sixthon of the General Assembly, Guatemala was the unJy Latin American country lo vote with thc

Soviet blocesolution, supported by thr United States, to postpone the question of Chinese representation for the duration of the Paris session Foreign policy concerned with broad interna' tlonal issues and organization is noty the majority of Guatemala's population, whlcr Is essentially uninformed and provincial. It if likely that even most of the articulate sectors oi the population, except the communist and pro communist leaders, have relatively little concern for issues and problems other than those concerncc wilh thc Middle American area ond the United

D, National defense policies

The national defense policies of Guatemala ar< based on the needsmall underdeveloped country with weak neighbors Thc armed force; are designed primarily to preserve internal ordei and to defend lheagainst attack by an> neighboring Central American country. They an also capable of limited offensive operations agalns'ation. The armed forces consist of thi'. the air, and the nations police or Guardiaeparate quasi military organization.

The revolution4 provided new oppor tunlUes for army officers, most of whom came from the middle class. The officers are trained Inilitary Academy lEsvuelalUclilassical education in military science.anks of thc army are largely filled by conscription from the Indian peasantry. Thc morale andof both the army and the police are good.

For advanced training and much of itsthe Guatemalan military has been dependen; upon the United States. Both. Armyir Force missions have been well received. Only recently, because of inability lo obtain equipment from the United Stales, has the Guatemalanought to make purchases In thc European market.

Historically the Guatemalan Army has playeddecisive role in national politics. In an attempt to prevent the President from using theersonal instrument and lo make Itn character, the 'onstltutlon5ystem ofnd balances for the selection of military leaders The President remains Con -mander in Chief of lhe Armed Forces. The Mlnli -ter of National Defense, appointed by the President Is responsible for the logistic and administrative support ot the army. However, the Chief of He Armed Forces, who exercises direct control, isby Congress. The attempt to avoid mil -tary dictatorship by Increasing the power of tie legislature over tho armytrong,legislature, but this Is not the case In



where, for all practical purposes, the political structure la dominated by the executive.

During the Arevalo and Arbenz administrations the Guatemalan Army haa generally supported the constituted government The new military officer elite was In close political and, to some extent.alliance with the leadership of4 and therefore hasentedin the present political order. The Arevalo administration could not have survived without solid military support, andivilian, was succeeded1 by Od Jacobo Arbens. one of the most prominent of the revolutionary army officers The new military officer class has been treated well. Aside from their political prestige. Guatemalan army officers receive substantialbenefits, Including those of an extralegalsuch as the importation, duty free, ot salable consumer Items. This Is particularly true of the favored officers of tbe group stationed In and about the national capital. Those so placed arc observed carefully, however,ign of defection usually leadsransfer to an Isolated rural post.

Despite tne fact that the dominant officer group in tho Guatemalan Army haa often been described as noncommunist or even anticommunlst, the group haa not become sufficiently concerned over the growth of communist influence in Guatemalan poutlca to organise against It The enlistedhave been promised land by government and communist propaganda on agrarian reform. As ot3 there was no evidence as to the effect of these promises.

The army has not fought an international war and has notajor Instrument of foreign policy In the twentieth century. During the Arevalo administration Guatemalan militaryparticipated In Caribbean Legion activities, but they have not done so9

There has been little or no public reaction to the role of the army In Guatemalan national life. Conscription,ource of popularln many Latin American countries, has, in recent history, offered no problem InThe extent to which the poltlicallyopposition to the present administration may hold the army responsible for their dissatisfaction cannot be determined.

E. Comments on principal sources

Reports from official US- sources have provided the basic data for all Subsections. Interviews with government and nongovernment personnel In the Held added material and assisted especially In the Interpretation of policies and trends. Sources were adequate and reliable for most aspects of this Section. The lack of published works on Guatemalan political development* In the past decade constitutes the major deficiency ln types of material available. An outstanding exception to this is The Economic Dnxlcpmenl ofeport by the International Bank forand Development,hich was used In the Subsection on Domestic policies, Economic

Original document.

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