UA Hlb'lUKIWlLKtVlhW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
The United States and
The United States and Guatemala
History Staff Center for the Study of Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency Washington,4
Chapter I. America's
Chapicrhe Sweet Smell of
Appendix A. PBSUCCESS
Appendix B. PBSUCCESS Organizational
odewords Used In
President Juan Jose
Jacobo Arbenzeader of4 revolution,ndand reform program thai
Thomas G.purveyor of concentrated
3 arranged for former DCI Walter Bedelljoin the company's board of
Jose Manuel Fortuny, leader of thelose friend of3
Eisenhower's Secretary of State, John Foster Dullesharedenthusiasm for covert action. Here the two brothersat Washington's National
Arbenz was in deep water inearning of the PBSUCCESShim. he decided to purchase arms from
Assistant Secretary of Slate Henry F. Holland nearly4 when he learned of serious security
The Liberacionisia air force on the tarmac at Managua Airport. [.
3 The rebel air forceof7 cargo planes,7 fighter-bombers, oneone Cessna ISO. and one Cessna
[ previews Castillo Armas's rebel forces. The force wasdescribed ashe Agency supplied money and arms, buthad no uniforms or
The SS Alfhem arrived at Puerto Burrios in4ons
Leaflet dropped onay. "Struggle With Your PatrioticWith Castillo
Armas leaves his headquarters on the night of the
Engaging the enemy in Guatemala. The rebels were lightly armedof Soviet
ural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera depicts John Fosterhands with Castillo Armas. Alien Dulles and John Peurifoyto Col. Elfego Monzdn and other Guatemalan officers whileload bananasnited Fruit
A year after taking power. President Castillo Armas chats with hisMendo/a. who served in the Uberaci6nista
Actual Invasion. Late June
This workast-moving narrative account of CIA's Operation PBSUCCESS. which supported4 coup ditat in Guatemala. This early CIA covert action operation delighted both President Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers by ousting President Arbenz and installing Colonel Castillo Armas in his place. In light of Guatemala's unstable and oftenhistory since the fall of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmane arc perhaps less certain today than most Americans were at the time that this operationold War victory.
It is tempting to find lessons in history, and Allen Dulles's CIA con eluded that the apparent triumph in Guatemala, in spiieong series of blunders in both planning and execution, madeound model for futureajor hazard in extracting lessons fromhowever, is that such lessons often prove illusory or simply wrong when applied in new and different circumstances. Nick Cullather's study of PBSUCCESS reveals both why CIA thought PBSUCCESS hadodel operation, and why this model later failed so disastrouslyuide for an ambitious attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs
Nick Cullathcr joined CIA and the History Staff inoon after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Illusions of Influence: The Political Economy of United States-Philippines, which Stanford University Press will publish this year. In3 he left CIA to take an appointment as assistant professor of diplomatic history at Indiana University This publication is evidence of his impressive historical gifts and of the highly productive year he spent with us.
hould note that, whilen official pubUcabon of the OA History Staff,wsin all of ourthose of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Central Intelligence Agency.
J. Kenneth McDonald Chief Historian
They would have overthrown us even if we had grown no bananas.
The CIA's operation to overthrow the Government of Guatemalamarked an early zenith in (he Agency's long record of covertclosely on successful operations that installed the Shah asIran- nc
Guatemala operation, known as PBSUCCESS. was both more ambitious and more thoroughly successful than eitherather thanrominent contender gain powerew inducements. PBSUCCESS used an intensive paramilitary and psychological campaign toopular, elected governmentolitical nonentity. In method, scale, and conception it had no antecedent, and its triumph confirmed the belief of many in the Eisenhower administration that covert operationsafe, inexpensive substitute for armed force in resisting Communist inroads in the Third World. This and oiher "lessons" of PBSUCCESS lulled Agency and administration officialsomplacency that proved fatal at the Bay of Pigs seven years later.
Scholars have criticized the Agency for failing to recognize the unique circumstances that led to success in Guatemala and failing to adapt to different conditions in Cuba. Students of4 coup also question the nature of the "success" in Guatemala. The overthrown Arbenz government was not. manyommunist regimeeformist government that offered perhaps (he last chance for progressive, democratic change in the region. Some accuse the Eisenhower administration and the Agency of acting at the behest of self-interested American investors, particularly the United Fruit Company. Others argue that anti-Communist paranoia and not cennomic interest dictated policy, but with equally regrettable results.'
'tjunicd in Picto Gleijewt. Shunned finite: The Cuu'emalan Rtvolummthe Untied Shaft*pnnccioiiUniveruiy
'Tin- principal oooki onmsij. Revolutionf Stephen ScHk-ufigvrKinicr. Bitter F'uti The Untold Sturyihe Americanm)aeturd Imntcmuc The CIA/ i'tiga
P<>lirr nJ(Au>nn Ufliver*uj: andhuttered
CIA records can answer these questions only indirectly. Theythe intentions of Guatemalan leaders, but only howperceived them. CIA officials participated in the process thatthe approval of PBSUCCESS. bui as their papers show, they oftenunderstanding of or interest in the motives of those in theState, the Pentagon, and the White House who made ihe finalrecords, however, do document the conduct of the operation,now AScncv operatives construed
the problem, what methods and objectives they pursued, and what aspects of the operations they believed led to success. They permit speculation on
whether misperceptions about PBSUCCESS led overconfident operatives to plan the Bay of Pigs. Chiefly, however, theyiew other historical accountsview from inside the CIA.
Agency officials hadim idea of what had occurred in Guatemala before Jacobo Arbenz Guzman came to poweristorians regard the events ofsenturies-old cycle of progressive change and conservative reaction, but officers in the Directorate of Plans believed they were witnessingnew. For the first time. Communists hadountry "in America's backyard" for subversion and transformationdeniedhen comparing what they saw to past experience, ihey were more apt to draw parallels to Korea. Russia, or Eastern Europe than to Central America. They saw events notuatemalan context but as partlobal pattern of Communist activity. PBSUCCESS.evolutionary process that had been in motion forecade, and the actions of Guatemalan officials can only be understood in theof the history of the region
Once the center of Mayan civilization. Guatemala had been reduced by centunes of Spanish rule to an impoverished outback when, at the turn ofhoffee boom drew investors, marketers, and railroad builders to the tiny Caribbean nation. The descendants of Spanishplanied coffee on large estates, fmcas. worked by Indian laborers. Coffee linked Guatemalaorld market in which Latin American. African, and Indonesian producer* competed to supply buyers in Europe and the Umted States with low-priced beans. Success depended on (he availability of low-paid or unpaid labor, and0 Guatemala's rulers structured society to secureheap supply of Indian workers. The Army enforced vagrancy laws, debt bondage, and other forms ofservitude and became the guarantor of social peace. To maintain
the uneasy truce between the Indian majority and the Spanish-speaking ladino shopkeepers, labor contractors, and landlords, soldiers garrisoned towns in the populous regions on the Pacific coast and along the rail line betweenCity and the Atlantic port of Puerto Barrios.'
When the coffeeadinostrong leader to prevent restive, unemployed laborers from gaining an upper hand, and theyuthless, efficient provincial governor. Jorge Ubico. lo lead the country. Ubico suppressed dissent, legalized the killing of Indians by landlords, enlarged the Army, andersonal gestapo. Generals presided over provincial
governments; officers staffed slate farms, factories, and schools. The Guatemalan Army's social structure resembled that of the finca. Eight hundred ladino officers lorded over five thousand Indian soldiers who slept on the ground, wore ragged uniforms, seldom received pay. and were whipped or shot for small infractions. Urban shopkeepers and ruraltolerated (he regime out of fear of both Ubico and the Indian masses.*
Ubico regarded the ladino elite with contempt, reserving hisfor American investors who found inongenial business climate. He welcomed W. R. Grace and Company. Pan American Airways, and other firms, making Guatemala the principal Central Americanfor United States trade and capital. The Boston'based United Fruit Company became one of his closest allies. Its huge banana estates at Tiquisatc and Bananera occupied hundreds of square miles and employed as many0 Guatemalans. These landsifi from Ubico. who allowed theree hand on its property. United Fruit responded by pouring investment into the country, buying controlling shares of the railroad, electric utility, and telegraph I; administered the nation's only port and controlled passenger and freight lines With interests in everyenterprise, it earned us sobriquet. El Pulpo. the Octopus. Company
Imea ofthnic Conflict jod ihc Guatemalanint6Gkije&Cf. Shauertd Hope, pp
could determine prices, taxes, and the treatment of workers without interference from the government The United States Embassyand until the regime's final years gave Ubico unstinting support.*
As World War II drewlose, dictators who ruled Central America through the Depression years fell on hard times, and authoritarian regimes in Venezuela. Cuba, and El Salvador yielded to popular pressure. Inspired by their neighbors' success, Guatemalan university students and teachers resisted military drills they were required lo perform by the Army. Unrest spread, and, inhe government was beset by petitions, public demonstrations, and strikes.oldieroungeneral strike paralyzed the country, and the aged, ailing dictator surrendered power to his generals. Teachers continued to agitate for elections, and in October younger officers led by Capt. Jacobo Arbenz Guzman and Maj. Francisco Arana deposed the junta. The officers stepped aside to allow the electionivilianacrifice that earned popular acclaim for both them and the Army. The Revolutionn December with the electionniversity professor. Juan Jose Arcvalo. as President of Guatemala.
Arevalo's regime allowed substantially greater freedoms, butessentially conservative. Political parties proliferated, but most were controlled by the ruling coalition party, the Partido Accidn Revolucionarianions organized teachers, railroad workers, and the few factory workers, but national laws restricted the right to strike and to organize campesinos, farm laborers and tenants. The Army remained in control of much of the administration, the schools, and the national radio. Modest reforms satisfied Guatemalans, and the revolutionary regime was highly popular. Most expected one of the revolution's military heroes. /Arbenz or Arana. to succeed Arevalo'
So sure was Arana of taking power that he laid plans to hasten the process- Inith the backing of conservative finqueros. he presented Arcvalo an ultimatum demanding that he surrender power to the Army and fill out the remainder of his termivilian figureheadilitary regime. The President asked for time, and along with Arbenzew loyal officers tried to have Arana arrestedemote ftnea. Caught aloneridge. Arana resisted and was killedunfight. When news reached the capital. Arantita officers rebelled, but labor unions and loyal Army units defended the government and quashed the uprising.ove they later regretted. Arbenz and Arcvalo hid the truth about Arana's death, claiming it was the work of unknown assassins. Arbenz had savedecond time, and his election to the presidency was ensured, but rumors of his role in the killing led conservative Guatemalans, and eventually the CIA, to conclude thai his rise to power marked the successonspiracy.1
'ibid,; Immrrnun, CIA in
'tbid.; Immermait. CIA ia GMMarffc
'Glei yeses, "The Death of Francisconurwil af UiM American Siuditt.
After the July uprising. Arbenz and Arivalo purged the military of Aranista officers and placed it under loyal commanders who enjoyed, according to the US Embassy, "an unusual reputation fornionssupported Arbcnz's candidacy, expecting him to be more progressive than Arevalo. The candidate of the right. Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes. lagged behind in the polls, and Arbenz would winandslide. Rightistsinal bid to usurp power in the days before the election. Alongewurged Aranista lieutenant. Carlos Castillo Armas,uixotic attackilitary base in Guatemala City. He believed Army officers.
inspired by the spectacle of his bravery, would overthrow the government and install him as president. Instead, they threw him in jail' Castillo Armas came lo the attention of then Januaryhen he was planning hisrotege" of Anna's, he had risen fast in the military, joining the general staff anddirector of the military academy untilhen he wasto command the remote garrison of Mazatenango. He was there when his patron was assassinated onuly, but he did not hear of the Aranista revolt until four days later when he received orders relieving him of his post. Arbenz had him arrested in August and heldrumped-up charge until DecemberIA agent interviewedonthe was trying to obtain arms from Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza and Dominican dictator Rafael Trujtllo. The interviewer described him asuiet, soft-spoken officer who docs not seem to be given toHe claimed to have the support of the Guardia Civil, the Quezaltenango garrison, and the commander of the capital's largestMatamoros He metIA informer in August and again in November,ew days before heandful of adventurersunic assault onear later. Castillo Armas bribed his way out of prison and fled to Honduras where he thrilled rightist exiles with stones of his rebellion and escape. He planned another uprising, telling supporters he had secret backers in the Army. This was delusion After the
"CWijeict.pe. pp Hi-83
July uprising. Arbenz was the Army's undisputed leader, and he look steps to keep it that way."1
Partisan and union activity had grown amic the freedom of the Arevalo years, creating new political formations thai later affected the Arbenz regime. The PAR remained the ruling parly, but rival parties were tolerated. The federation of labor unions, the Confederacidn General de Ttabajadores de Guatemalaeaded by Victor Manuel Gutierrez, claimed0 members. An infant union of campesinos led by Leonardo Castillo Florcs, the Confederacion Nacional Campesina de Guatemalaegan shortly after the July uprising to form chapters in Ihc countryside. Toward the end of Arevalo's icrm, Communist activity came into Ihe open. Exiled Salvadoran Communists hadabor school, the Escuela Claridad.7 and though harassed by Arevalo's police,ew influential converts, among them Gutierreznetime president of the PAR, Jos6 Manuel Fortuny.ortunyew sympathizers attempted to lead the PAR toward moreentrist majority defeated them. Shortly before Arbenz took office. Ihcy resigned from the PAR. announcing plans to formanguardarty of the proletariat based onhey called it the Panido Guatemalteco del Trabajo (PGT)."
United States officials' concern about Communism in Guatemala grew as Cold War tensions increased. Preoccupied by events in Europe and Asia. Truman paid scant attention to the Caribbean in his first years in office. The State Department welcomed the demise of dictatorships and found (he new Guatemalan Government willing to cooperate on military aid programs and (he Pan-American Highway. The FBI gathered dossiers on Fortuny and Gutierrez6 but found little of interest. Officers from the newly created Central Intelligence Group arrived in7 to take over (he FBI's job of monitoring Peronist and Communist activities, but Guatemalaow priority.
The Berlin crisis, the fall of China, and the Soviet acquisition of nuclear weapons89 made Agency and Stale Department officials apprehensive about Soviet designs on the Western Hemisphere. They reevaluated Arevalo's government and found disturbing evidence of
"Col Carlo* Castillo Anna* in Initial Stage oJ Orjamiing Armed Coup
"Plant of Col Carlos Castillo Armas lor Armed Revolt Against ihcobR. Go*'Plant (if Cot. Carlos Castilloo Overthrow
Guatemalan1nh 8QR-OI73IR.howed Hope.
Set if I
Communist penetration Guatemala's relative openness madeaven for Communists and leftists from Latin America and the Caribbean. The number of homegrown Communists remained small, but they heldpositions in the labor movement and the PAR. The State Department complained, listing the names of personse watched and removed from high positions, but Arivalo refused to act.efiance Embassy officials found inappropriateatin leader. "Wc would have beenwith any tendency toward excessive nationalism inepartment officials told the NSC. "but we are the more deeply concerned because the Communists have been able lo distort this spirit to serve their owr.hey saw other signs that Arevalo's nationalism had grownin his treatment of American companies, particularly United Fruit. *
United Fruit executives regarded any trespass on the prerogatives they enjoyed under Ubico as an assault on free enterprise. The company continued to reportraction of the value of its land and exports for tax purposes and initially found Arevalo cooperative and respectful. But United Fruit soon grew concerned about the new government's sympathy for labor.revaloabor code giving industrial workers the right to organize and classifying estatesr more asThe law affected many of the larger fincat as well as state farms, but United Fruitthe Embassythe lawthe companyiscriminatory manner. Workers at Bananera and Tiquisate struck, demanding higher wages and better treatment. Thehad never asked for or needed official support from the United States before, but now it sought to enlist the Embassy and the State Department to do its negotiating."
The State Department placed the Embassy at the service of the"If the Guatemalans want touatemalan companyis none of ourhe first secretary explained, "but ifan American company roughly it is ourhenproved insufficient, the company found lobbyists who couldcase to the Truman administration.ernays. the "fatherpublic relations."directed a
campaign to persuade Congress and administration officials that attacks on the company were proof of Communist complicity "Whenever you readFruit' in Communistnited Fruit's public relations
. Kibjj later explained.ipeakinj.ommunistii into dirficoli.es ai home, he ca* findell-paid job. and often
a public post of major responsibility ining to Allen Dulles. "Background Information onob.
"Depanmeai o! Stare.nrtitn Relations of ihe United
"GUijeses. Steue-ed Hope,nited Fruit euitomaniy vndcrreponed its productionercent of value. The company appraised us Tiquisate landillion, but Usvalue for tai purposes was just over SI million
director told audiences, "you may readily substitute 'United States.'" Thomas G. Corcoranthemain conduit to the sources of power. Described by Fortunepurveyor of concentratedCorcoranetworfc of well-placed friends in business and government.^
C.purveyor of concentrated influence.
"^arranged jor former DCI Walter Bedell Smith to join the company's board of directors.
aiming bureaucraticwhen an occasionalfound peculiarities in the airline's activities. United Fruit officials were impressed by his quick grasp of the situation. "Your problem is not withe told them. "You've got to handle your political problem
Corcoran met in0 with the head of the State Department's office on Central America. Thomas C. Mann, to discuss ways to secure the electionentrist candidate. Mann considered special actionHis colleagues saw Arben2 as conservative, "an opportunist"primarily with his own interests. They expected him to "steer moreiddle course" because his country's economic and military dependence on the United States required it. His ties to the militarywell. The Army received weapons and training from the United States, and although Embassy officials had only vague notions of itspolitics, they considered it free of Communist influence. The departmentow opinion of Arevalo's policies, but0 it watched
oil Piecioo* Fruit of ihc Revoluiioo* The. Themai P
McCaaa, Any (Sew. ppr fofc
Am"Correal USWilli rejaro iu uovernmem loan requeued by2.
for signs of improvemeni in the neworcoran searched for other officials who might be morewith the Agency's Deputy Director. Allen Dulles, on 9without approval from State, CIA evinced little interest."
Despite Dulles's procedural correctness. Agency officials were,more apprehensive about Guatemala than their counterparts atin the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) grewbout "the rapid growth of Communist activity inthe probability that Guatemala mayentral point for theof anti-USechnically part of CIA. OPCunder the direction of Frank Wisner. who reported to the SecretaryThe office had undertaken covert propaganda andin Europe8 and later expanded its operations toAmerica and Asia.
of OPC's Latin America Division included Guatemala ina pro-
gram to counter propaganda and subversion in areas wheremight strike in wartime. They received authorization to sendto enroll in Guatemala City's Instituto de Anthrdpdlogia yhe would try to find "suitable indigenous Guatemalan personnel"out projects devised by LAlobalincludedAlaska. While Guatemala's inclusion
indicated heightened interest in the potential for subversion there, it did not mark the beginningustained effort to deal with it by covert means. The projectudget of0 and it produced few results."
Even without official help. United Fruit could put Guatemala's feet to the fire. Bernays laidR barrage that sent correspondents from rime, Newsweek, the New York Times, and Chicago Tribune to report on Communist activities in Guatemala. Company officials encouraged Castillo Armas with money and arms, and the rebel leader began seeking support from Central American leaders and the UnitedIA officialhim in Mexico City in0 and judged his expectation of Army support fanciful, but admitted thai "if any man in Guatemala canuccessful revolt against the present regime, it will be he who will donited Fruit threatened Guatemalan unions and the government, warning that any increase in labor costs would cause it to withdraw from the country.urricane flattened pari of the Tiquisatc plantation inhe companyorkers without pay and
"State Department.i-tign ReUitiimt trf the UnitedI.
ent lo Guatemala Cty InU-
ould nol reopen until ittudy of the business climate. Courts ordered the workers reinstated, but Walter Turr.bull. (he company vice president, ignored (he order and presented Arbenz with an ultimatum. Unless the government guaranteed no wage increases for three years and exempted the company from the labor code. United Fruit would halt operations. To prove his earnestness, he suspended passenger shipping to ihe United Slates.*"
The administration's concern about the Arbenz regime had increased innd there is evidence that the Truman administrationthe company toard line. United Fruit's vast holdings and monopolies on communications and transit in Central America attracted (he attention of lawyers in (he Justice Department's antitrust division as earlynhey were preparing for court actionorce United Fruitivest itself of railroads and utilities in Guatemala when the State Department intervened.ational Security Council session. Department representatives arguedegal attack on United Fruit's Guatemalan holdings would have "serious foreign policyeakening the companyime when the United States needed it. The action wasuntil the situation in Guatemala had improved. It is often asserted thai the United States acted at the company's behest in Guatemala, but this incident suggests the opposite may have been true: the administration wanted to use United Fruit to contain Communism in the hemisphere.
The State Department remained ambivalent about how far it should go in putting pressure on Guatemala. Inhree months into Arbenz's term, the Department had seen no improvement. The President showed few indications of extremism in matters of policy, but he appointed several leftists to key positions. The slate newspaper and radio criticized United States involvement in Korea and ran stories copied from Czech newspapers. American companies got little help from the government in dealing with labor. The "ascending curve of Communist influence" had not leveled off under Arbenz, but tilted more steeply upward."
Department officials were increasingly concerned, but they wanted to avoid big stick tactics (hat could prove counterproductive. Guatemala might obstruct United States military and development programs in the area or charge the United States with violating the Non-intervention Agreement, an accusation thai would arouse sympathy throughout Latin America The Department decided to discourage loans and drag its feet on aid and construction programs for Guatemala, steps it considered subtle but
3ob SOKCl" MR.:
flan* of Col. CarlasiiHo Armas for Armed Revolt Aaainsi the
3 AgfPrc*cni Pol.lical Snuaiion in Guatemala and Pc-ible Dcelflpmcni*" Fif^igm Jtelwiiwiihr IMaaJ Start.:
Memorandum of Conversation. "PoMiblc anu trust suit by ihe Department of Justice Against the United Fruii2ecord^ of ihc Office of Middle Amcrtcao Affairs.ARA.oa 3
"Nines of ihc Undd td
unmistakable signs of Washington's displeasure. If Arbenz were ansuch moves might have induced cooperation, but the department's analysts misjudged the new President. Twice he had risked his life and career for democracy. His plans for development and agricultural reform were modest, but he was determined to carry them out. Stiffening resistance from the United States and United Fruit led him to reassess his assumptions,ore radical program, and find friends who shared his new opinions.
Arbenz, the PGT, and Land Reform
Agency reports described Arbenz ashe sonwiss pharmacistadino woman, heareercientist or engineer before his father's suicide impoverished the family and left him no alternative apart from the military academy. Hisand personal magnetism earned him the admiration of cadets and teachers alike, and he rose quickly to high rank in the officer corps. Ate married Maria Villanova, an American-educated Salvadoranrominent landed family. The intellectual, socially concerned couple studied and discussed Guatemala's chronic economic and social problems, and4 they joined the Revolution on the side of the teachers. As Defense Minister under Arevalo. Arbenz advocated progressive reforms, unionization, and forced rental of unused land. He and Maria became friends with the reformers, labor organizers, and officers who made up the intellectual elite of Guatemala City. Arbenz remained close with friends from the academy, Alfonso Martinez and Carlos Enrique Diaz, andassociated with members of the PGT, Carlos Pellecer, Gutierrez, and Fortuny. He had particular regard for the latter, whose intellect and wit he put to work in the election campaignriting speeches and slogans.11
The PGT contributed little to Arbenz's victoryut it gained influence under the new regime. Total party membership neveration of almost threeact reflected in the party's weakness at the polls. Only four Communists held seats inmemberody dominated by moderates. Arbenz did not appoint any Communists to the Cabinet, and only six or seven held significant sub-Cabinet posts. Those few, however, occupied positions that made them highly visible to United States officials, controlling the state radio and newspaper and holding high posts in the agrarian department and the social security administration. The party's principal influence came from Fortuny's friendship with the President. Arbenz's coalition disintegratedelection day into disputatious factions that offered no help amid the struggles with United Fruit and increasing tensions with the United States.
*'Gleijcses. Shattered Hope. pp.
/o'c Manuel Fortuny, leader of thelose friend of Arbenz
The President admired the undemanding, socially concerned members of the PGT and reliedon Fonuny's political skill. Their relationship grew closer as the two men workedommonAt Arbenz's direction. Fortuny, Pellecer, and Gutierrezroposal1ajor restructuring of property ownership in Guatemala. The PGT leadership's close ties to the President gave the party influence in Guatemala entirely out of proportion to its electoral strength. The land reform initiativethat influence and drew the President even closer to Fortuny. "
Arbenz's attempt at land reform established his regime's radical credentials in the eyes of
domestic and foreign opponents. Unable to obtain funding from the United States or the World Bank, lie hesitatedear, then on2 released, an ambitious program to remake rural Guatemala US aid officials considered it moderate, "constructive and democratic in itsimilar to agrarian programs the United States was sponsoring in Japan and Formosa. It expropriated idle land on private and governmentand redistributed it in plotsocres to peasants who would pay theercent of the assessed value annually. The government compensated the previous ownersercent bondsinears. The proposal aimed not to create Stalinist collectivesural yeomanry free of the tyranny of the ftnea. For Central America itadical plan, and Guatemalan landowners joined Nlcaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza in denouncing it. Conservatives feared (he program would release the Indians' suppressed hunger for land, with unpredictable consequences for ladtnos Historians have recently describedoderate, capitalist reform, but2 few loca! observers saw it as
'Schtctinfci and Kinzcr. Outer fru/i. of Conversation. Or. Robert
Alexander and Mr.oblcijcscs. Shattered Hope,.
anything other than an attack on the wealth and power of Guatemala's propertied elite, and by example, on the social order of the region."
The reform intensified conflict between the regime and United Fruit, drawing the United Slates into confrontation with Arbenz. The company's plantations contained huge tracts of idle land valued on the tax rollsraction of their actual worth, lnorkers at Tiquisate filed for expropriation0 acres. Other claims followed, and in3 the governmentuarterillion acres of company land appraised at just overillion. United Fruit claimed the actual value wasillion. The company and the US Embassy charged the government with discrimination, and the State Department pressed Guatemala to submit the matter to arbitration. The Department wasabout more than the company. Officials saws aopening for the radicalization of Guatemala. Communists would use land redistribution "to mobilize the hitherto inert mass of ruralestroy the political effectiveness of large landholders, and spread disorder throughout the countryside. The Department discerned that the law had originated in the PGT and had "strong political motivation and
Land reform stirred up conflict within Guatemala as well. Within weeks of passage, peasants organized to seize land on idle estates. Vagueness in the law and poor enforcement led to illegal seizures, conflicts with landlords, and fighting between rival peasant claimants. Pellccer. the PGT's peasant organizer, encouraged tenants to take land by force. Finqueros organized to resist and brought suit against the government. In3 as disorder reigned in the countryside, entrenched landedand peasant unionsureaucratic dcel in the capital. Acting on the landlords' suit, the Supreme Court declaredandalt to expropriations. Arbenz fired the justices, and afterours of debate. Congress upheld the President. Peasant leaders claimed victory. "One can live withoututierrez declared, "but one can't live withouthe decisive shift of power to Arbenz and ccmpesino unions aroused the animosity of powerful groups. Left without recourse, landowners struck directly at peasant organizations, shooting, hanging, or beating suspected agitators. Leaders of the Catholic Church criticized the disruption of the social order. The Army felt threatened by rural unrest and peasant organizers who petitioned for the removal oflocal commanders. The opposition remained Icaderlcss and divided, but escalating conflict over land reform left the populaceand bitter."'
^Immernun. The CIA im Cuatemuli.. Glcijefci. Shattered Hope..
xnzei. toner Frmn.andy. "Mo*p.GfcliJlMI. Shattered Hope, f> .Probable Oc*dopmciiU in9emrtpif therecoxP
The Agency Assessment
Even before implementation of land reform, the CIA saw Guatemalahreat sufficient to warrant action. Innalysts found that increasing Communist influence made the Arbenz governmentotential threat to UShe failure of sanctions to produce improvement in the Arbenz government disturbed State Department officials, who began to coniemplate sterner action. Agency officials had stronger views. Theyetermined Communist effort to neutralize Guatemala and remove it from the Western camp. They regarded sanctions as insufficient, possiblyand saw direci. covert action as the only remedy to Communist takeover.1*
Agency analysis saw no immediate dangerommunist seizure of powerut regarded the PGT as enjoying substantial and increasing influence. The party had fewerctive members and had failed to infiltrate the Army, railroad and teachers' unions, and studentAnalysts saw the party as disciplined and in "open communication with internationalt would seek to increase its control through the "coordinated activity of individualnd bythe state media to appropriate the slogans and aims of4 Revolution. It had powerfulArmy. United Fruit, large landholders, theanti-Communists had failed to coalescenited opposition. Analysts predicted the PGT would be able to keep its opponents divided and stigmatized, gradually eroding the potential foranti-Communist action.1*
Neither the United States nor United Fruit, Agency officials agreed, could undermine Communist influence with diplomatic andhe company surrendered to Arbenz's demands, it wouldictory to the PGT and the unions, who would then targei other USIf the company left Guatemala, it would injure the economy, but not critically. Arbenz would recover and in the process strengthen his lies to unions and the PGT. Analysis held ihat the United States was trappedimilar dilemma: economic and diplomatic sanctions would hurt the economy, but not enough to prevent Communists from exploiting the resulting disruption. State Department observers were lessrisis triggered by United Fruit's withdrawal or US pressure could induce Arbenz to align with the right. Pentagon officials sided with the Agency, and an NIE approved2low, inevitable deterioration of the situaiion in Guatemala.
Present Political Siiuai.onand Possible Develop men lit During
To CIA observers, land reformowerful weapon for theof Communist influence.ould weaken the power of conservative landowners while radicalizing (he peasant majority and solidifying its support for Arbenz and the PGT activists who led groups of campesinos in land seizures. If land reform succeeded, (housands of small farmers would owe their land and livelihood to the influence of the PGT. Ironically, the CIA supported the objectives of the Guatemalanbreakup of large estates into smallsome of its ownThe Agency, worried that feudal agriculture would allow Communists in the Third World to ride to powerave of reform, had tried for some years to change traditional rural social structures that itvulnerable to subversion. Q
3 hadon-Communist farm cooperativehe Directorate of Planslobalencourage small, independent landowners. In (he
J (he program0 peasantsach of whichredit union to help its membersJust as Agency officialsay to enlarge US
influence, they regardedenacing instrument of Communist penetration. Control made all the difference.
Agency officials consideredotential Sovie( beachhead in the Western Hemisphere.7he Truman administrationubtle understanding of the likely consequences of the Communist takeoverovernment outside of the Eastern Bloc. Officials recognized (ha( indigenous revolutionary parties received scant support and often had little contact with Moscow. Even so. they reasoned. Communist governments would likely takeas closing bases or restrictingwould shift power away from the United States and toward (he Soviet Union. By the onset of the Korean war this analysis lost nuance. Officials in the Stale Department, the CIA. and the Pentagon regarded all Communists as Soviet agents. John Peurifoy. who became Ambassador to Guatemalaxpressed the consensus when he observed (hatis directed by the Kremlin all over the world, and anyone who (hinks differemly doesn't know what he is talkinggencyassumed the existence of links between the PGT and Moscow. They scrutinized (he travel records of Guatemalan officials for signs of enemy contact and attempted to uncover (he workings of an imaginary courier nc(-work. These were no( manifestations of McCanhyite paranoia bu(ear
"House seicci Con Communis)gnuuut in Lull*d Cong.
shared by liberals and conservatives, academics, journalists, andofficials,oviet conspiracy aimed to strike at America in its own backyard."
Agency analysts saw the Guatemalan threat as sufficiently grave2 to warrant covert action. They began to look for State Department officials who shared their pessimism about overt remedies and to findin Central America around which toovert program. The Truman administration, however, remained divided over whether Arbenzhreat dire enough to warrant such strong action.2ndecision ledumbling paramilitary program that came close tothe anti-Communist movement in Guatemala.
The Agency and the Opposition
As Arbenz completed his land reform plans, the CIA began toIhe possibility of supporting his opponents. Agency officialsGuatemala was headed for eventual Communist takeover, and thatto act was rapidly passing. Without help, the Guatemalanwould remain divided and inert, enabling the PGT topower. Earlythe Director of
Jinntn asKec ine cntet of the Western Hemisphere Division. J. C. King, to find out whether Guatemalan dissidents with help from Central American dictators could overthrow the Arbenz regime. King sent an agent to Guatemala City in March to search for an organized opposition and find out whether CIA could buy support, "particularly Army. Guardia Civil, and key governmenting had lived in Latin America in
Intate Department officials welcomed Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza to Washington on his first state visit. American officials had regarded Somozaariah throughout, but now the dictatortate dinner and was escorted to meetings
"Romld Schneidei marched PGT records seized by ClA* and found no evidence o( fundi itansferi or correspondence with Moscow. Gleijeset. who examined the same records, and mier-rewed former Agency and Communis, officials, concludes ihat CIA and State Department fears about Soviet links were grossly exaggerated. Themade one contact wiifi (he Arbenz government, an attempt to buy bananas The deal fell througn when ihe Guatemalans could not arrange transport without help Oom Ur-iied Fruit Company Ronald M. Schneider. CommunismI9SI (New York:.leijesei. Shattered Hope,
by Maj. Gen Harry Vaughan. Truman's personal miliiary adviserSlate Department officials that, if they provided arms, he andwould take care of Arbenz. Al Vaughan'k urging. TrumanSmith to follow up. Smith dispatchedSpanish-speaking
engineer who joined the Agencyo make contact wjihand other dissidents in Honduras and Guatemala.^arrivedCity onune, the day before Arbenz enacted the agrarian
learned that Castillo Armas's rebels had financial backing
and Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo and
claimed support from Army units inside Guatemala. At the requestAmtSattle plan calling for
invasions from Mexico. Honduras, and El Salvador. The incursions would be coordinated with internal uprisings ted by Q
] The plotters
needed money, arms, aircraft, and boats,onsidered their plans serious and likely to proceed whether they received additional help or not."
Agency officials sought approval from the State Department before finishing plans to aid the rebels. King locaied arms and transport, anduly, he gaveroposal for supplyingnd Castillo Armas with weaponse recommended that Somoza and Honduran Picsidcnt Juan Manuel GAIvcz be encouraged to furnish airand other assistance. The proposal emphasized the Agency's minor role in the plot. The rebellion would proceed in any case. King warned, but without CIA help it might fail and leadrackdown"that would eliminate anti-Communist resistance in Guatemala. Allen Dulles, the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, met the following day with Thomas Mann of the State Department and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. Edward G. Miller, who told him theyew government in Guatemala imposed by force if necessary, but avoided direct answers when Dulles asked if they wanted the CIA to take steps to bring about that outcome. Dulles accepted the officials' vagueness as implying approval, but Smith wanted firmer backing. The DCI contacted
'Paul Cor. Claik. The Ut.ied Sutler endAVmshmhiWcticon
. pr IS7-isi:-iib SEEK-
. ftmg. of Convertaiinn with J"
. Bo. by I u>mt-
i.me* referred0 in* Cocumer.it a* 'f_feKj tourcct revealed Cat:
Under Secretary of State David Bruce and got explicit approval before signing the order2 to proceed with operation PBFORTUNE."
King proceeded with plans to supply arms to Castillo Armas- Hea shipment of contraband weapons confiscated by port authorities in Newistols,nachincguns,renades. Repackaged as farm machinery, they were scheduled to leave Newn early October, CIA officials encouraged Somoza ana uaivci: io icnd additional aid. but soon regretted doing so. Somnza spread word of the Agency's role in the rebellion amongofficials in Central America, and the State Department learned thai the operation's cover was blown.eeting with Miller in Panama. Sonioza's son, Tacho, casualty asked if the "machinery" was on its way. Other diplomats caught wind of the operation, and Secretary Dean Acheson summoned Smithctober to call it off.w
State Department officials had reason to hesitate. President Truman had announced in March that he would not seek another term of office, turning the lastonths of his presidency into what Achesonvirtualchesonlown operation would destroy ihe remnants of the Good Neighbor policy carefully constructed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The United States had pledged not loin the domestic affairs of any American state and had attempted to foster Pan-American unity throughout. Truman wanted to build on these policies in order to shield the hemisphere from subversion and to marshal support for the United States' global policies in the United Nations.7 Rio Pact created an Organization of American States (OAS) that recognized the obligation of each member to meet an armedon any other. With US support, the United Nations had given the OAS jurisdiction over disputes within the hemisphere. Latin American leaders cooperated with these initiatives and followed the United States' lead in the UN. but criticized the Truman administration for failing to supportdevelopment. They also remained alert for signs of backsliding on ihc nonintervention pledge. The appearance that the United Slates was supporting the invasion ofAS member state in retaliation for cxpropri-uting American property would set US policy backears. Once PRFORTUNE was blown. Miller wasted no time in terminating it.'
'"Chronology of Meetings Leading to Approval of
. Urnio Dulles. "Guatemalanuly
"I'acking lisi.O25A.] Memorandum for the.f_rK. Kcenrd...
'"Dou|;la(eanThe Cold War Years.New Haven: Yale Universityi
"linmcrmaii. ClA ia (iuuirmnln.: Kobcn Fcrrctl. Attenomistory.Nc*. Nnnnn.
PBFORTUNE's demise look ihe Agency by surprise, and Colonel King scrambledalvage pan of ihe operation and allow Castillo Armas to save face. He arranged for ihe arms shipmentroceed as far asf_
"}the Canal Zone and to remain there in case the project wereCastillo Armas was keptetainereek,to hang onmall force. Through the winter,wilight existence, neither dead nor alive. King remained inwith Castillo Armas throughto finance the rebelsrecaution in case rebellion brokeGuatemala.1'
Meanwhile, he began to test how far he could go without State Department approval. In November, he asked DCI Smith to allow him toier at the arms storage site in Panama,oat, and fly aof the arms to Managua "to (est our ability to move suppliesbymith approved ihe pier and the boat, but not the flight.lim budget. King (ried to develop means to transport arms to sites in Nicaragua and Honduras, wiih nearly disastrous results. The aged World War II transport he acquired left port only twice. On the first trip, its crewupposedly deserted island in Nicaragua for useupply drop, only to discover several hundred inhabitantsuspiciousOn the second, the boat's four engines expired in high seas, and (he US Navy had toestroyer to the rescue. In the end the boat was left to rust at its newly built pier."
Smith and King hoped tha( the new administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower would breathe new life into the project. Early signs indicated that the new President would be receptive to plans for coven operations. Eisenhower had promised during the campaign to retake thein the Cold War while reducing Federal spending, goals that made covert actionikely recourse.arch, the Assistant Secretary of Slate. John Cabot, asked Wisncr about the possibility of stepping up psychological warfare against Arbenz. but other members of the Department hesitated" Mann predicted (hat Guatemalan radicalism would soon be counteredonservative reaction. If Ihe United States allowed events to take their course, he said, "the pendulum in Guatemala would swingaul Nitze. head of the Department's Policy Planning Staff, worried ihat Guatemalan Communism would be difficult to contain and
"Ito King, "Arrangements to receive certain item* in the CanalOeiooer iVW..ingAmerican
0. Bos 69
Acting Chief. Western Hemisphere Division.iener, "Conversa-
iton iscgarOiag0. Boa 13
might spill over into neighboringith no certain mandate. Smith and King worked to keep the Guatemala operation alive until the newdecided what to do with it.
Castillo Armas showed little inclination
to launch his revolution without Agency support. King approved of hisHis greatest fear wasebellion would erupt before the Agency could lend it sufficient help. If the rebels failed, the Agency could lose its assets in Guatemala. Smith urged State Department officials toovert aid program before there was no one left to aid. He stressed the imminence of revolt and the sympathy of Central American rulers for the rebel cause. He exaggerated only partly. Somoza and Castillo Armas had no immediate plans, but Guatemala was rife with talk ofinvasion. The meager amounts of aid funneled in by the Agency persuaded some rebels that they had powerful friends and led them to take precisely the kind of risk King wanted to avoid.
Failure at Salamn
King's fears were realized on3 when Carlos Simmonsutile attack on the garrison at Salami andacklash that cost the Agency and Castillo Armas most of their usable assets in Guatemala. Two hundred raiders from nearby banana plantations seized the remote town of Salami and held it forours [
hile the raid's planners escaped abroad, the rebels wentand the Guatemalan Governmentragnet to round upsubversives. The failed rebellion
vercly impaired Castillo Armas's potential. The tatter's principal ally inside Guatemala was Cdrdova Cerna, leader of the most prominent anti-Communist organization, the Comite Civico Nacional Despite his ties to United Fruit, Cdrdova Cerna's reputationrincipled opponent of Ubico (he had resigned the justice ministry in protest) leni respectability to his resistance against Arbenz. After Salami, police raids crushed hisand he fled to Honduras, where he began intriguing to gain control of Castillo Armas's following. PBFORTUNEevere blow. The Agency lost all its assets inside the country and was left to deal withand fragmented exile groups."
In the wake of Salami. Agency analysts regarded Guatemalanwith even deeper pessimism. Opposition within the country, according tofad been reduced to scattered "urban elements" who were unlikely to join United Fruit and landholders in a
"Memorandum of Conversation. Thomat C. Mann. Paul H..
"Sc hie singer and Kinier. Bitter.
resistance inovemenL El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua wanted new leadership in Guatemala, but analysts considered outside intervention "highlyhe "only organized element in Guatemala capable of decisively altering the politicalhe Army, showed no inclination toward revolutionary action. Arbenz still had the power to break free of Communist influence, but the trend seemed in the opposite direction. "As long as President Arbenz remains in power the Arbenz-Communist alliance will probably continue to dominate GuatemalanAny increase in political tension inhe Estimate concluded, "would tend to increase Arbenz's political dependence on this alliance.""
As the State Department's apprehensions grew during the summert became increasingly receptive to proposals for bold action against Arbenz. In May. the desk officer for Central America. John M. Leddy. noted that "ihe trend toward increased Communist strength isand that Salami hadretexthorough crackdown on the opposition. Three months later the Bureau of Inter-American Affairsleak picture for the National Security Council. The Communists were using landprogram "designed to produce socialgain control of Guatemalan politics. The situation was progressively deteriorating. "Communist strength grows, while opposition forces areltimate Communist control of the country and elimination of American economic interests is the logical outcome, and unless the trend is reversed, isuestion of
State Department analysts saw few good options. US militaryor overt economic sanctions would violate treaty commitments and enrage other American republics. Covert intervention posed the same danger, if it were discovered. The policy of "firmad produced few results so far, and there seemed little chance that continuing or escalating official pressure would help. "Thisfficials"tests our ability to combat the eruption and spread of Communist influence in Latin America without causing serious harm to our hemispheren the minds of Eisenhower's aides. Guatemala put the newon trial. It represented "in miniature alt of the social cleavages, teasions. and dilemmas of modern Western society under attack by the Communistember of the NSC staff. "We should regard Guatemalarototype area for testing means and methods of combating Communism."
"Leddy io Cabot. "Relation* with1oreign Relations a] ike UnitedI9SS.SC Guatemala..
"Leddy to Cabot. "Relaiioti* with1ureign Relations oj the United; NSC Guatemala..
The administration was ready to meet the challenge. In the summerhe new President encouraged his advisers to revise (heirfor fighting ihe Cold War.eries of discussions, known as (he Solarium (alks. adminisiration officials explored waysulfill Eisenhower's promiseseize (he initiaiive in the global struggle against Communism while restraining the growth of (he Federal budget The resul( wasolicy known to (he public as the "Newl stressed (he needheaper, more effective military striking force that would rely more on mobility, nuclear intimidation, and allied armies The new policyreater emphasis on covert action. Eisenhower saw clandestine operations as an inexpensive alternative to militaryHe believed that the Cold War waseriod of protracted, low-level conflict. Relying (oo much on (he military would exhaust the economy and leave (he United States vulnerable. In his mind, findingresponses to Communist penetration of peripheral areas like Guatemala posed one of the critical tests of his abilityeader*
The new administration's Cabinet stood ready to pu( the "New Look" into effect. Eisenhower had elevated Allen Dulles to (heplacing (he Agency under the charge of its chief coven operator. The new DCI's brother. John Foster Dulles, had become Secretary ofevelopment (bat promised unprecedentedly smooth cooperation with the State Department, as did the appointment of Bedell Smith as Under Secretary of Slate. Under the new administraiion. key departments and agencies were headed by officials predisposed to seek active, covertto (he Guatemala problem.
Byhe administration stood poised to take action against Arbenz. Faltering policies late in the Trumanby the State Department's indecision and the Agency's poor(he deterioration of the situation in Guatemala and left the United States with fewer options. Guatemala no longer had an organizedthat could moderate Arbenz's behavior or offer the United States the possibility of peaceful change. American commercial interests, panicularly United Fruit, intensified conflict between the United States and the Arbenz regime and precipitated the disaster at Saiama. but played onlyhaping policy. Truman and Eisenhower saw Guatemala asto Communist pressures emanating ultimately from Moscow. The threat to American businessinor partarger danger to the United States' overall security The failure of PBFORTUNE, ined CIA officialseconsider
ater ventures against Arbenz
'Lcddy io Caboi. "Relations with)oreign ReluHmiIke Untied; NSC Guaicmala.
Reversing the Trend
A policy of non-action would be suicidal. since Che Communiii movement, under Moscow tutelage, will not falter noroals.
National Security Council.3
Reviewing the situation in Guatemala onhe staffNational Security Council determined that the Arbenza threat to the national security sufficient to warrant covenit. Eisenhower's "New Look" policy and the success cfoperation that overthrew Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq ofthe Agency's reputation to unprecedented heights, and the newgave CIA primary responsibility for the action whileto call on other departments for support as needed. TheBoard cautioned against relyingnoting that
was "to be used only to the extent deemed desirable by CIA.
and is to be kept informedtrict need-to-knowhe plans CIA developed in the following weeks reflected (he Agency's confidence in the tactics it had developed in the first six years of its existence. Despite the lack of hard information on Guatemalan politics and socie(y. planners were sure Guatemalans would responda(agems proven in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. What made the new operation truly appealing was that coven action tactics would be appliedrander scale,onger period, and for higher stakes than ever before.
J. C. King's Western Hemisphere Division staff began developing plans immediately after (he NSC decision. The operation's opiimisticthe high hopes of its planners.C
3 Hans Tofle.drafted an
outline of the Guatemala operation during the dramatic denouement of TPAJAX The covert operation shattered Mossadeq's Tudeh Party and gave the pro-American Shah unchallenged authority. The Iranian operation's chief officer found Secreiary ofohn Foster Dulles "almostenthusiastic" aboui (hehe Eisenhower administration
"Draft VSC Policy Taper..f <hr (Ajfaftf3
"Kermii Kooscvcii.inei.mtmturn (New SqiV. MeCiaw
this success as proof lhat coven action couldotent, flexible weapon in the Cold War. King's aides were anxious io prove it again in Guatemala. They brought considerable experience io the3 had been an intelligence officer m[ ^during lhc war and had joined the Agency as soon as it was establishede served as[
Jlbfie had tied his native Denmark1 andin Burma and China before quilling to
join the OSS. Impressed by his credentials. William Donovan placedcharge of an operation to rcsupply Yugoslav partisansecretHe eventually came toorce ofuerril-
lter the war he joined CIA andeputation
mounting behind-the-lines operations.3 heember ofand Paramilitary Operations Staff in the Directorate ofwho served with Army intelligence in Chile during the
war and afterwardS military adviser in Latin America, was chief of the DDP's Central America branch.**
The planners decided to employ simultaneously all of the tacticsproved useful in previous covert operations. PBSUCCESS wouldpsychological, economic, diplomatic, and paramilitaryinand Iran had demonstrated the
potency ofat discrediting an enemy and building support for allies. Like many Americans. USplaced tremendous faith in the new science of advertising. Touted as the answer to underconsumption, economic recession, and social ills,many thought, could be used io cure Communism as well.he Truman administration tripled the budget for propaganda anda Psychological Strategy Board to coordinatehe CIA requiredtraining for new agents, who studied Paul Linebarger's text. Psychological Warfare, and grifter novels like The Big ConBSUCCESS's designers planned to supplement overt
io Adj-juai General. "RecomnxncLM-oard or Legion ofMajor9oxPo*crs. The ManKepi ihe Secrets: Richard Helm and ihe CMA. flo. 2.
"Lod-ell HpaOlnc. General Wal,er Bedell Smuih as DirectorCentral Intelligence (Universityennsylvania Sue University.Paul Lincbarjer. PsychologicalWashington: Infamry Journalor de-lails of Agency instruction in psywar. see Joseph Burkholdcr Smith.old Warrior (New York; Cutnam's.
diplomaticas an OAS conference convened to discredit"black operations using contact! within the press, radio, church, army, and other organized elements susceptible to rumor,poster campaigns, and other subversivehey wereimpressed with the potential for radio propaganda, which had turned the tideritical moment in the Iran operation.*"
The planners* faith in radioropaganda weapon derived from their experience in other areas of the world, and it ignored local conditions that limited the strategy's usefulness in Guatemala. Only one Guatemalan inadio, and the vast majority of the0 sets were concentrated in the vicinity of the capital, in the homes and offices of the wealthy and professional classes. Agency analysts noted that "radio does not constitute an effective means of approach to the masses of agricultural workers and apparently reachesmall number of urbanommunist organizations eschewed radio and exercised influence through personal contact and persuasion. Radio, nonetheless,entralof the operational plan. Although Guatemalans were "not habituated" to radio, an analyst observed, they "probably consider it an authoritative source, and they may give wide word-of-mouth circulation to interesting rumors" contained in broadcasts.
jTbfte,considered Guatemala's economy vul-
nerable to economic pressure, and they planned to target oil supplies,and coffee exports. An "already cleared group of top-ranking American businessmen in New York City" would be assigned to put covert economic pressure on Guatemala by creating shortages of vital imports and cutting export earnings. The program would be supplemented by overt multilateral action, possibly by the OAS. against Guatemalan coffeeThe planners believed economic pressures could be used surgically to "damage the Arbenz government and its supporters without seriouslyanti-Communist
Planners had only sketchy ideas about the potential of two crucial parts of the program: political and paramilitary action. King's aidesthat to succeed the opposition would need to win over Army leaders and key government officials. They considered thehe onlyelement in Guatemala capable of rapidly and decisively altering the politicaln Iran, cooperative army officers had tilted thebalance in favor of the Shah. Planners felt PBSUCCESS needed
Jcncral Plan ofI Sopicmbcr
ioGuaieniala-Cencral Plan of. Box 5
similar suppori. bui they had few ideas on how to foment opposition.ormer officer, remained popular among military leaders. Castillo Armas had little appeal among his former colleagues, and his guerrillas were no match foran Army. Rebel forces suffered fromand low morale, and agents in Honduras reported that without help, the organized opposition would disintegrate by the end"
PBSUCCESS planners were disturbed by the shortage of assets around which toovert program. The Catholic Church opposed land reform and Arbenz. but was handicapped by its meager resources and the shortage of native priests. Foreigners were subject to deportation, and most priests avoided challenging authority Resistance among landowners was declining "due to general discouragement" after the failure of the Salami raid. The planners noted widespread discontent in both the capital and the countryside, but saw little prospect of stimulating disgruntledto take political action. Theassive opponentsproperty owners, laborers, and campesinos who shared few common goals. Castillo Armas's organization,roup of revolutionary activists,ew hundred, led by an exiled Guatemalan army officer, and located inemained the Agency's principal operational asset. In addition, some fifty Guatemalan students belonging to the Comite" Estudiantes Universitarios Anti-Comunistas (CEUA) had
he groupa newspaper, El Reoetde. Members who fled the country after Salami formed an exile group andeekly paper. El Combate, which was smuggled over the border These assets, the planners reported, did "not even remotely matchrained Communists."
While TPAJAX achieved victory in less than six weeks.planners warned that Guatemala would require more effort andThe Agency would have to develop from scratch assets of the sort that it had used inrocess thai mightear orreparation period followeduildup of diplomatic anapressure on the Arbenz regime. When pressure reached its maximum point, political agitation, sabotage, and rumor campaigns would undermine the government and encourage active opposition. During this crisis. Castillo Armas wouldevolutionary government and invade Guatemala. The plan was silent about what would happen nexi.
Trusting the Agency's proven tactics to generate results, planners saw no problem in their inability to predict how the operation would play out. Reviewing their work. Deputy Director for Plans Frank Wisncr remarked
"Repoit on Stage One PBSUCCESS, Anne. B. Friendly Aswii and
3OlOISA. Box i
"King to Dolle*.Plan ofIR.alio in Job.
that "ihe plan is staled in such broad terms that it is not possiblenow exactly what it contemplates, particularly in the lattere added lhat he did "not regard thisarticular drawback" since adjustments could be made as the operation unfolded. Kingong assessment phase during which specific goals and plans would be set, with periodic reassessments throughout Ihe life of the operation.*1
King and Tracy Barnes. Chief of Ihe DDP's Political and Psychological Staff, presented ihe planeptemberaymond Leddy. head of the Stale Department's Office of Middle American Affairs, and James Lampion Berry, the Department's liaison to ihe Agency. Department officials had given up on the policy of gradually escalating pressure. Leddy admitted lhat "prospects do not appear very bright" adding that "somework and some fundamental changes in the situation will haveccur"evolt could succeed. He and Berry reviewed King's plan in detail and agreed to go ahead.61
PBSUCCESS relied on the State and Defense Departments to isolate Guatemala diplomatically, militarily, and economically. In King's plan, the Slate Department wouldiplomatic offensive in the OAS to declareariah state and cripple its economy. State and Defense would work together to enforce an arms embargo and build up the military potential of neighboring states. The US Navy and Air Force would provide essential logistical support, maintenance, expenise. and training for paramilitary forces. Overt initiatives would create an atmosphere of fearful expectancy, which would enhance the effectiveness of covert action. PBSUCCESS wouldovernmcntwide operation led by CIA.**
llen Dulles authorized S3 million for the project and placed Wisner in charge. Wisner's Directorate of Plansexclusive control of PBSUCCESS, neither seeking nor receiving aid from other directorates. Robert Amory, Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) was never briefed, and Guatemala Station excluded references to PBSUCCESS in its reports to the DDI. The DDP carefully segregated the operation from its other activities, givingeparate chain of command, communications facilities, logistics, and funds. Wisner ran the operation in Washington, with Tracy Barnes servingiaisonin Florida. King, who had nurtured (he operation from its beginning, was pushed aside to giveree hand. "King was veryichard Bissell. the Assistant DDP, recalled later. "PBSUCCESS became Wisner's
"Wisnet to Outlet. "Prosram for6. BoxKing to Dulles.Plan ofI. Boxilliam L. Krief lo Raymond C. Leddy.epartment of Siaie Decimal Files (hereafier.S Naiional Archives. "King to Dulles.Plan ofI. Box 5.
Tlic Slate Department fulfilled its assigned duties, increasing aid to industrial and road building projects in Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, andpecial team of diplomats to assistfrom Central Americanhe group's leader, John Peurifoy, took over as Ambassador in Guatemala City ine wase. As Ambassador to Greece during its civil war, he coordinatedctivities on behalf of the royalists. An admirer of Joseph McCarthy, he shared the Senator's taste in politics. Whiting Willaucr and Thomas Whelan arrived at their ambassadorial posts in Honduras and Nicaragua inillaucr alsoongwith CIA. As one of the founders of Civil Air Transport, he hadthe airline's secret sale to the Agency" Whelan had developed strong ties to Somoza and was considered part of the team even without an intelligence background. The ambassadors reported to the CIA through former DCI Walter Bedell Smith, whom Eisenhower had appointed Under Secretary of State."
3CSIabusncd PBSUCCESS headquarters inTheoffered facilities for offices, storage, and
aircraft maintenance, and two days before Christmas, the operationFlorida, under the
cover nameIf asked, officers were to explain
that they were partnit that did
Code named LINCOLN, the headquarters soon became the center ot lever-ish activity asundred case officers and support personnel began the operation's assessmentnder his new title. Special Deputy for PBSUCCESS, issued orderseskfoot wall chart detailing the operation's phases and categories of action: political, paramilitary, psychological, logistics.1*
Gruff andenjoyed the loyalty of his
officers, who regarded himixture of respecthile most of the LINCOLN staff moved into new suburban tract houses in
3 *nd enjoyed the recreational advantages of one ofspent long hours*rid retired lateevening to his room atHe plannedguided it through its early stages, and managed its crises.was officially in charge, his decisions consisted of selectingdeveloped by f_ iMore than any otherhis personal stamp on fBSUCCESS.
"Raymond G. Leddy lo Ambassador Michael McDermott.ecords or the
Office of Middle American Affairs.,oxS National Archives.
"William M. Leary. Perilous Minions: Ctnt Air Tiiniajaft ond CIA Covert Operations in
Asia (University. AL: University of Alabama.
iscvision of it* ambassadorial team, see Gleijeses. Shattered Hope,. and
Immerman. CIA in Guatemala,
"Schlcsinger and Kinxer. Bitter Fruit,
A shortage of reliable information, rivalries among Guatemalanand failures of securityinitial efforts. Case officers participating in the assessment phase bemoaned the lack ofon Guatemalan Government ands shocked io learn that Guatemala Station had "no penetrations of tne PGT. governmentarmed forces, or labor unions."'5 Kermit Roosevelt, who directed TPAJAX had warned that if the Agency was "ever going to try something like this again, wc must be absolutely sure that people and army want what wen Guatemala there was no way to tell. Without sources inside theJcould only speculate on its tactics and vulnerabilities, and PBSUCCESS planners increasingly fell back on analogies to other Communist parties and revolutions, particularly the Russian revolution, in analyzing enemyut in its opening phases, the operation suffered more from the lack of information on its potential allies: the Army, regional leaders, and rebel factions.
Considering the Army critical toeededthe chancesomplete or partial defection by trie officerhe lacked sources. The US military advisory group inhad daily contact with officers, could come up with nothe personalities and politics of its advisees.'* The military appearedloyal to Arbenz. who rarely trespassed on its prestige orThe elite Guardia Civil, passionately devoted tof the country's best-trained and -equippedlurged his officers to learn more, and in December. Georgea retired major,
}wno ciaimea to Knowisgruntled faction in the officery January, hopes settled on Col. Elfego Monzdn. who purportedly talked ofutiny and boastedideut since the Station had no source close to Monzdn.C ot determine how to
"it Repori on Stage One5OIQ2SA,.
"Attempts io penetrate ihe POT were uniucccsful until veryhe operation and then atlow level"Penetraiion of ihe
D2SA. Boih Communist Parties, acting unocr the direction of thefolio" ihe ume generaleeking io capture free social mintitiiorngovernment*.'f_ "joocerved "Some operate openly and whenall are integral pan* of the world wide Communist elfon.'f.King,in CcniraJ1QIQ25A. BoaFrank Wisner. "Perfotmanee of the US Army- Million and Military
Aliacne tn.inter thoughtmightefused io cooperate on principle or out of reluctance to violate theagrccmen;. that the advisers wanted to help but
i'o- anvthmg beeautc they didn't socialize with Guatemalan 1'Repon on Siage One5, BoxGranger to King. "Psychological Barometer3SA. Bo* 98
arettaw (Vint Sccrctaiy of the Embs&ty) toiam L Kfieg6. Boar< t
also needed to know how to gain the support of Central
American leaders, and his staff struggled lo decipher the byzantine politics of tbe region. The largest and best armed of the Central American stales. Guatemala had traditionally sought tonited Central American federation under Guatemalan leadership. Neighboring states feared these ambitions, but disagreed over whether Guatemalareater threatictatorial or an antidictatorial regime in power. Somoza resented Guatemala's antidictatorial stance and eagerly supported Castillo Armas, whom he considered *
Somoza's support became essential to PBSUCCESS. and in earlyhe United States grantedong-sought security treaty, entitling Nicaragua to substantial military aid. Honduras and El Salvador enjoyed close ties to the United States but, unlike Nicaragua, theyorder with Guatemala. President Oscar Osorio of El Salvador and Juan Manuel Galvez of Honduras had mete ambivalent feelings about incitingeighboring slate. Both felt threatened by Arbenz's land reformmight spread rural and labor unrest throughout theand had good reasons to support Castillo Armas. Both, however, alsoabout the risks of supporting the rebellion. Guatemalan forces might invade Honduras or El Salvador in pursuitefeated Castillo Armas. In victory, the rebels might be equally dangerous, particularly if allied to Somoza. Rumors circulated that Castillo Armas had agreed to turnar of conquest after the fall of Guatemala City.emissaries found GSlvez and Osorioigh price for cooperating with PBSUCCESS. They wanted US security guarantees, military aid. and promises to restrain Somoza."
exico hadaternal interest in Guatemalan democracy, and PBSUCCESS planners feared that the government of Adolfo Rufz Conines, if sufficiently aroused, would comehe aid of its neighbor. In Mayufz Conines awarded Arbenz the highest honor givenoreign dignitary, the Great Necklace of the Aztec Eagle. Mexico responded to US pressure to cut arms supplies to the Arbenz government, but US diplomats estimated that the Mexicans would react strongly against further efforts to coerce or intimidate Guatemala. This Mexican attitude limited measures that could be taken overtly by the United States andthe need to maintain cover and deniability.*'
"Gleijeses. ShaneredBSUCCESS Headquarters. "Position of AnutasroSA.; LINCOLN lo DCI.. BoxINCOLN to DO.6obIO25A. SoxINCOLN lo Director.9. Box 6
"John Siephcn Zunes. "Decisions on Intervention'. United Stales Response lo Third World Nationalist" (Ph.D. dissertation. Cornell.
of! (ccr> also hadearn ihe politics of ilic ami-
Communist, opposition. News of ihe Agency's interest spreadGuatemalan oppositionists, and LINCOLN was soon inundatedfordova Cerna. Castillo Armas, and MiguelArbenz's opponent in0 election, vied with one anotherof the Agency-sponsored rebellion, fjebel movementsnited npposition. but nad difficultypretensions of ibe three contenders. Despite (laws. Castillothe best suited to lead the rebellion. The leader of the largestonly one with substantial paramilitary andhad an "above average" military record and enjoyed theof Somoza andgency officials regretted his lack ofbuireadiness to take the fullest advantage ofaid and assistance."'* Wiih ihe helphad been his
liaison since PBFORTUNE. Castillo Armas moved his rebels to two bases inf
ana draited plans tor an invasion. Castillolooliticalnd he instructed his agents to find out "just what ideas" ihe rebel leader had "along the linesolitical-economicAll they had to go on was the "Plan dehis manifesto, issued by Castillo Armas onague summons lo arms lhat denounced the "Sovieiizaiion of Guatemala" and pledged the rebels loovernment that would lespect human rights, protect property and foreign capital, accept the recommendations of United Nations economic experts, and explore forhen pressed, Castillo Armas confessed an attraciton loolitical programby Juan Peron of Argentina, bui he seldom spoke of how he would govern ine believed Guatemala's main problems would be financial, but he was reluctant to speculate further until he knew in what fiscal condition he would find the treasury. Case officers remained con-fused but drew reassurance from his unassuming receptiveness to advice. One interviewer was "amazed at his common sense, middle of the road views; ihis is no Latin American Dictatorhip."
. Kimj io Allen Dulles.eneral Plan of1Bo."Guatemalan7ob
.. Cau.lloeceived material tuppori from President Tiburcio Carta* Andino of Hondura-
"Allen (Mies tot landrogram PBSUCCESS General Plan ofobB. fin. $.
"El Plan rte
"For Pcron't philosophy. *ceel.ynn. "Peron* Ideolojy arc in Relai.on ioandV.irw of).:
r^ne-ma. io Owe! ofuatemala..J.. Bo. 99
Physically unimposing and with marked mestizo features.had none of the aspectaudillo, but Agency officialsas an advantage, especially in comparison with the leonineCastillo Armas's rival. Miguel Ydigoras Fuentcs.eneralarmy. Ydigoraseputationuthless enforcer oflaws, on at least one occasion ordering his troops to rapeand imprison iheirith his aristocrat's mienfor the Indian majority, most PBSUCCESS officers sawa public relations liability, "ambitious, opportunistic, andpassing on lo Headquarters Ydigor'tsta rumors chargingwith being an agent ofLfor reeducation andew liaison to theAfterdigoras was excluded frombut remained an operational and security hazard requiring
PBSUCCESSL ^officers had good relationspushed him to assume greater prominence in the rebelA formerheof the few centrist politicians of stature who had taken aagainst the growth of Communist influence Inofficers believed his reputation could compensateArmas's inexperience, although age, ill-health, and old tiesFruit disqualified him for supreme command. Withouthis own. r_
J In early February.
rought Castillo Armas to LINCOLN to sign an accorda provisional revolutionary committee known as
"thend formalizing the rebels' relationship to the Agency. CIA would funnel aid to the juntaictional organization of American businessmen called "the
As the Agency organized and assessed its assets in Central America, the State Department's diplomatic offensive began to take effect. By the end of ]hadraining
"imnicniiar. The CIA in Guatemala,
iguel Ydigorasdi'eocas lie.SA.
lo Chief. LINCOLN. "Debriefing* of
o Chief oi
Jin ihc Canalpilots for blackmade preliminaryto setlandestineinJohn
Foster Dulles, meanwhile,for Venezuela topecial session of the OAS in March to discuss the Guatemalane failed, however, to orchestrate an embargo oncoffee. Company executives told State Department officials that the sale of Guatemalan beans in highly competitive globalcould not be limited without drastic action thai would inflate coffee prices for AmericanDulles had more luck controlling the trade in arms and ammunition, in which the Uniied
Statesominant position. The US had restricted its own sales of arms to Guatemaland3 the State Department intervened aggressively to thwart all arms transfers, foiling deals with Canada, Germany, andy December, the Arbenz government could not purchase guns or ammunition of any kind, and the Army grew increasingly alarmed about the quantities of military hardware arriving in Nicaragua and Honduras.""
Arbenz became acutely aware of the threat posed by the armsin3 and prepared to take bold, desperate action to lift it. Conflict touched off by the land reform decree drained the Army's small arsenal and jeopardized the military's ability to fulfill its traditional role as preserver of order in thes the officer corps grew resentful
SA.d9anuary chrono file. Job
"Mceitng wiin KUFUSA.
"Peunfoyepartment of SiaJe.J. Foreign Relations of th* Uniied States.
"Edward C. Calc. "Memorandum of Conversation Guilcmalan5ateig* Relations of ihe Uniied..
eet. "The British Connection How ihc Uniied Sines Covered us Tracks in4 Coup iniplomatic History. - Guatemala Siaiion) to WH Chief. "Guatemalan Procurement of Arms in Mexico. e .
icl of Station Guatemala to Chief. WH.)his was. of course, the embargo's iiicndcd effect. Internal eonflKi intensifiedof crisis and isolation the embargo was meant io convey,
repotted the Army's gtowing desperation.
and apprehensive. Arbenz learnedecond, more direanamanian commercial attache in Managua.Delgado. approached an aide to Arbenz and offered toebel movement led by Castillo Armas and secretlythe United States. Delgado carried messages between Mexico Citybases in Nicaragua and enjoyed the trust of CIA field agents.an apartment in Managua rentedFew people knew
more about the inside workings of PBSUCCESS For the next four months he workedouble agent, ferrying messages forf_ 3and passing their contents on to Arbenz."'1
ashionable Guatemala City restaurant onhe lunchtime crowd enjoyed the spectacleeated argument between Arbenz and his agricultural minister. Alfonso Maninez The only non-Communist prominent in the land reform movement. Martinezlose friend of the President. The scene touched off rumors that the two men had quarreled over land reform and the growing influence of the PGT. The next
'"Delgado worked for Somoia a* well. GfcEjOM,; Direcior.O25A. Bo*Report oo.5obBo* I
day. Martinez fled Guatemala, purportedly for Switzerland. The CIA Station chalked up the incidentemonstration of growing dissension within the government, but Headquarters suspected there was more to the story. Agents in Europe tracked Martinez from Amsterdam towhere he opened large bank accounts forto Prague. It soon became clear that the purported flight wasecret mission to buy Czech arms. Unknown lo CIA. PGT chairman Manuel Fortuny had met in Prague in November with Anionih Novotony, first secretary of the Czech Communist Party, to negotiate the purchaseons of captured Nazi weapons. Novotony had delayed, keeping him in Prague through most of December.ortuny remembered later, "that the Czechs must be consulting theinally, he was allowed to return to Guatemalaavorable response. Now Martinez had arrived to complete the deal."0
Over the next fewj staff learned of Delgado'switnessed its results. Shortly after Martinezhe largestsince Salamd rounded up scores of oppositionists,virtually the Station's only source close to die military. The
Foreign Ministry expelled Sydneyorrespondent for theTimes; MarshallBS correspondent; and anOn Thursday.earned thatCtomach ulcer and that secret cables kept in histo security procedures had fallen into the hands of Delgado.franticiscovered that the compromise had beengiving Arbenz "intimate knowledge" of rebel training bases,operationsairly accurate concept of the modus operandiOn Mondayisner. and King metthe damage and decide whether to go on with the operation orDespitethat the security breach "unquestionably has
provided the enemy with adequate information to deduce the officialof the US Government in Castillo Armas's operations plusdetails concernedhe officers decided to continueBSUCCESS had crossed the Rubicon. To Wisnerhe United States was too firmly committed to turn back.
"'Cleijeses. Shattered Hope.; Wallet Bedell Smith to American Embassy.Daniel Alfonso Martinez1amnei file. lobSI: Tranger io[ ^'Psychological Barometer6.ob
. Box 7.
ranger to LINCOLN, "Psychological Barometer0eporting; on Guatemala by Ne* York Times
Correspondent Sydney. BoxInterim Report on Stage Two.3
wan, BOX I.
irector to LINCOLN..O25A. Box 7.
Ironically. Guatemala's disclosure of the international plot against it reinforced the decision to continue with PBSUCCESS. Onndanuary, screaming headlines denounced the "counterrevolutionary plot" exposed by the government. Arbenz released copies of documentsSomozaNorthern government" and spelling out PBSUCCESS plans in detail. Reporters learned the location of training bases
uuatemaians wouta take tneir charges before the Unitedtaff glumly watched the flap unfold. As soon asQ Jcould walk, they ordered him to Washington for three days ofeports from Guatemala Station, meanwhile, indicated they had less to worry about than they originally supposed. The government, knowing the gist of PBSUCCESS messages but not possessing the originals, had forgedcrudely enough to arouse journalists' suspicions. The international presskeptical public dismissed Arbenz's accusationsolitical ploy. The Guatemalan public, the Station Chief reported, considered the charges "pureanifestation "of the fear and uncertainty prevailing in governmenthe American press took the same view, unanimously accepting the State Department's characterization of the chargesropaganda ploy designed to disrupt the Caracashe January revelations revealed how much the "plausible denia-biiily" of PBSUCCESS relied on the uncritical acceptance by the American press of the assumptions behind United States policy Newspaper and broadcast media, for example, accepted the official view of the Communist nature of the Guatemalan regime. In the springBC Newselevision documentary. "Red Rule inevealing the threat the Arbenz regime posed to the Panamarticles in Reader's Digest, the Chicago Tribune, and the Saturday Evening Postrightening picture of the danger in America's backyard. Lesspapers like the New York Times depicted the growing menace in only slightly less alarming terms. The Eisenhower administration's Guatemala policy did notree ride in press or in Congress. Inof editorials attacked the President's failure to act against Arbenz.the continued presence of US military advisers as evidence of official
P. Martin. Air AlllCkC, "Alleged IniemMional Pic* AcinicOI03SA. Bo.
""Trangcr lo Lincoln, "Psychological Baromeici
io Chief, Graphics Register.Red Ruleocumentary Film
B. Boa 70
complacency. Walter Winchel! broadcast stories of Guatemalan spiesother Latin American countries and urged the CIAgetwith thesehis line of criticism led reporters to hunt for signs of inertia, notecret conspiracy. When Arbenz revealed the plot. American newspapers dismissed itommunist ploy, another provocation to which the administration responded far too passively.'"
Assessing theJestimated that the operation hadonth through confusion and the delays involved in reassigning crypto-nyms and shufflinge rallied his dispirited troopseminder that "the morale of the Nazis in the winterust before their seizure of power inas ai all-time low ebb. The same thing was true of the French revolutionaries and of the Sovieton the eve of their success."'" His psywar staff tried to regain the initiative byountercharge supported by an elaborate fabrication. Onebruary, theyache of Soviet-made arms on the Nicaraguan coast to be "discovered" weeks later by fishermen in the pay of Somoza. The story was appropriately embroidered with allegations about Soviet submarines and Guatemalan assassinationhould have predicted, the press and public greeted the new allegations as skeptically as they had Arbenz's The story "did not receive much, if any. publicity in the Guatemalan press."'" The deception simply left anthat the region's leaders had carried their intriguing to dangerous lengths.
Despite good intelligence and decisive action. Arbenz failed to capitalize on the opposition's setback. Instead of rallying support for hishis January allegations only intensified public anxiety and raisedthat he wasretext for seizing dictatorialore critical failure was his inability to turn the charges of an international plotuccessful diplomatic initiative. Any hopes Foreign Minister Guillermo Toriello may have entertained of bringing charges before the
'"J. C. King to Duties. "Walter Winehell Broadcast.
'"Cleijeiei. Shattered Hope,. Immerrnan. The CIA in Guatemala, pp.to Operational LINCOLN
oo nf-viuoA. Ob*
"X Chief of Station Guaienula.1. Box
'"PBSUCCESS History.. BoxChiefSlll,on Guatemala. "KUGOWN/WASHTUB Publicity in Guatemalan9.. The deception, called operation waSHTUB. culminatedress conference by Somozaay at which reporters were tend thai the Soviet submarine had been photographed, but that no prims or negatives were available Glcijeses. Shanend.
hief of Siotion Guatemala. "Publicity in Guatemalan9lfl file,O75A. Boxec other items In file for the sometimes bizarre details nf ihc WASHTUB plot.
Organization of American Slates were dashed by John Fostet Dulles'* preparations for the Caracas conference. Faced with negative growth for three straight years. Latin American governments needed trade concessions and credit from the United States and they were ready to yield on the issue of Guatemala. The Secretary of State recognized that (he "major interest of the Latin American countries at this conference would concern economics whereas the chief United States interest is totrong anti-Communist resolution" against Guatemala, but he recognized that Guatemala's underdog status and the nationalistic pride of Latin diplomats would blunt this diplomatic advantage.'"3 March conferenceixed success. Dulles got his resolution, but only after Toriello's denunciations received loud, sustained applause. The Guatemalan foreign minister condemned the United States for encouraging boycotts anda propaganda campaign intended to tar his reformist regime with the epithete presented documents that "unquestionably show that the foreign conspirators and monopolistic interests that inspired and financed them sought to permit armed intervention against our country asoble undertaking against Communism.'" He accused Dulles of using Pan-American ism and anti-Communism as instruments to suppress the growth of democracy and industry in LatinHe said many of the things some of the rest of us would like to say if wene delegatehe pride Toriello's speech stirred in Guatemala City, the Station reported, was little consolation for the sense of gloom thatAfter Caracas. Arbenz and the PGT realized international opinion would not rescue (hem from the United States. Guatemala was alone. "Caracas had exposed herccording to one historian, "and the messages of support lhat poured in from politicians, intellectuals, and trade unionists of several Latin American countries were of little solace."
PBSUCCESS continued to be plagued by breaches of security,operation hadelentless momentum. In early April,discovered telephone bugs "simitar to the jobs thein the Embassy in Guatemalaicrophone concealed ininesidence,ap on (he telephone of oneassistant.'" Castillo Armas refused io sever (iesumberassi who flunked polygraphat mem-
bers of Castillo Armas's organization had taken classified papers giving
'"immerman. CM in.
'""Address hy His Excellency Guilleimo Torielio Garrido. Minuter of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, in Ihe Third Pienaiy Session. Tenth Jnlcr-Americanorielio file,.leijesei. Shoiwrd.
"Trangerto LINCOLN. "Weekly Psych Intelligence2. Box 99
. "id.ounter SurveillanceOI02SA. Box 70
a spy in Castillo Armas's organisation, may have passed on the locations ofand communications training bases Juan
offederate.expelled from the training program but remained in theattoo..
conclusive proof of official USA Nicaraguanofficer who helpedblack flights look asylum in the Guatemalan Embassy in Managua. Jacobenior Agency official, estimated that "die Guatemalan government is well into the details of PBSUCCESS and that they have decided to let the operation proceed undisturbed until they have prepared andrief forto the OAS."'" PBSUCCESS "in its present form appears to be ratherisner admitted. "Several categories ofhostile, friendly, andeither know or suspect or believe that the United States is directly behind this one and, assuming that it proceedsonclusion, would be able toery convincingenry F. Holland, the new Assistant Secretary of State Inter-American Affairs, frightened by tion be held upop-level flights onndpril whilehF_ nce again received the g
Preparing for Action
By early April.ompleted its assessments andan operational plan. LINCOLN case officers now felt they(he preparations necessary touccessful coup and the situation likely to prevail in Guatemala afier theompletion. Rejecting tactics aimed at merely severing Arbeni'i tienternational Communism, they aimed toadical, revolutionary change in
Keriiae't'erm for Inclusion2J.. Box 70
Wj y, and Meant of Improving Cover and Deception 'or SUCCESS8,,
^'Esicrlme io Q Things5j,SA.
Guatemalan politics. They sought the reversal of the Revolution oftermination of land reform, and the replacement of Arbenz with
liberal, authoritarian leader. Afterwards, theyrolonged period of dictatorial rule during which the regime would depend on United States aid andilitary coup offered the surest means to thisand he directed his psychological, political, and paramilitary efforts at intimidating the Army and inciting it to mutiny.
The final plans for PBSUCCESS called for drastic change. Theand rhetoric of the Revolution4 retained its appeal for many Guatemalans, and LINCOLN had briefly considered appropriating its themes. But by April they rejected the ideaenuinely fervent and lasting revolutionary movement can be based on the principal program of the incumbentt would be difficult to loosen Arbenz'swith the'bought, and it might not be worth theClaiming that Arbenz had betrayed the ideals4 weakened the argument for action "because we are only pleading for 'reform' of the present system and thereorld of difference between reform andCase officers also fell they needed more conservative (hemes to appealhe groups in Gua(emala most likely to take action against thethe Army, conservative students, and landowners. Attacks on landand other progressive measures would produce the best results with these groups. "Ourcabled agents in the field, is "that the revolution4 be declared
nitally considered incorporating Arbenz's agrarian reform "as originally conceived as pan of our politicalut he soon came to regard it as an instrument of subversion and instructed case officers to makearget of disruptive propaganda.'" "The Agrarian Reformhas provided the communists with weapons which may be useful as
their struggle for dominatione tolde urged
officers to use "all means at hand" to spread "slogans like 'Communist land is temporaryr somethingo promote the belief that "parcels of land received from the present government would constitute a
' [Chief of Station Guatemala. "Materials for Transmittal lo?SA. Box tOI. lo the September plan.f, lleft open the possibility that Arbem could be coercedelling Communiiu, fromSehlesinger and Kinrcr claim heribe bui was rebuffed by Arbenz's aides. There is no record of this in Agency archives,s not inconsistentJthmking in early Jaeuary By late March, however, the LINCOLN case officer saw no room for Arbenz in ihe post-PBSUCCESS government Bitter.
loo|ecncnj toere purely tactical. He thought Castillo Armassupport among cciflinejiinr by backing land reform. The key was to obtain theAlfonso Maninez, the reform's non Communist director. When this appeared impossibleMaich.L decided the land reform had to be destroyed."Agrar-
"X t- "Communis. Activities in Cenirall.
pioof of guilt in theBSUCCESS propagandists also spiead rumors that land reform wasrelude io collectivized agriculture, stale farms, and forced'relieved that the post-Arbenzshould avoid land redistributionolution to rural poverty, andshould foster the growth of light industry "to provide additional purchasing power to the residents of rural areas" and "make goodsto them at more reasonableIt is welle observed, that "raising the level of consumer consumption, the expansion offacilities and the general augmentation of prosperiiy is notood deterrent toward Communism, but also an effective method of producing
general political stability."'"
Before deciding on methods and strategies. f_ase officers carefully listed the goals of PBSUCCESS. beginning with the replacement of Arbenzoderate, authoritarianconsidered democracy an "unrealistic" alternative for Guatemala. "Prematureof democratic privileges and responsibilitieseople stillto patriarchal methods can only beejudicious combination of authority and liberty will have to governoncentrating authority in the personictator alsodingers.dvised against settingomoza-style dictatorship.
The executive power, without being paralizedust be sufficiently divided In order to provide inner balance. While this al first sight may seem toactor making for instability, it actuallyrotective aspect,it prevents the capture of the center of poweringle hostile blow.'*
A ruling committee, or junta, seemed to be thea six-month period of emergency rule followedilderof indefinite duration. The principal duties of the new regime wererovide stability, raise living standards, and ensure protection for
AsL ^envisioned it. United Fruit would receive greaterunder the new regime, but it would have to offer concessions in return. United Fruil and other American investments, he conceded,art of the American national interest and will be protected by the Uniied
ing. "Ccrfnirtunisi Aciiwoes in Cer.ua:1..
3io Tranger.Political-Economic Views io be Expressed During1..
Slates asut the "United States does not expect Americanto enjoy abroad immunities and privileges that would make forinstability or social injustice in other countries, because suchof course would be harmful to the over-riding AmericanAbovevanied the new regime to avoid the embarrass-
ment of retreating from victories won by Arbenz. United Fruit executives would have to understand that there would be no return to the status quo ante. They would have to pay taxes and submit to competition from Guatemalan companies. Labor unions, purged of Communists, would be protected.aw American capital as necessary for the newstability, he saw "no real reasonegitimate accord, satisfying (he interests of both, cannot be found between American companies in Guatemala and the Guatemalan
uld see few details of the future regime clearly, but onewas obvious: it would need American money. "Shortly after the Communists were defeated in Iran, the Iranian Governmente recalled. "Undoubtedly, the disappearance of the Communist regime from Guatemala will leaveertain economic and financial chaos which must be rectified by Americanhe newshould build its reputation by industrializing Guatemala and raising its standard of living. The World Bank hadevelopment program that should be pursued, but not in the tightfisted way of the past. "There is increasing recognition in American and other banking circles that thedevelopment of countries such as Guatemala cannot be undertaken and financed under strictly economice explained. "We realize that there must necessarilyertain wastage of funds because of local political conditions. We arc prepared to underwrite this wastage."'" But before PBSUCCESS could usher in the new dependent, undcrnocraticU would have to mobilize Guatemalan activists, strengthen Castillo Armas, and coax the Army to commit treason.
final plans included three areas of action: propaganda (oraramilitary, and political. Earlyhe Agency began aeffort to intimidate the government and convince Guatemalans that an active underground resistance existed. The CEUA student group, which
had been active since
'" Heaaeooung activist,group
countedembers in the capitalationwide network ofstudents ready to risk arrest for thehe exuberantof the CEUA students elated'.ired of theof Ydigoras and Castillo Armas [_
lose friend and
adviserfirst met members
Icpor, on Stage One PBSUCCESS, Anne* B. Friendl, Asseu and JjtWIluaL*
JJ. This ienuous pipeline conveyed alt of ihe plans, publicaiions, and schemes LINCOLN officers could devise."'
The students' propagandizing met with immediate and well-publicized success. In their opening salvo onhey hadnti-Communist stickers to buses and (rains. They leafleted public gatherings, sent fake funeral notices to Arbenz and Fortuny. andwalls with antigovcrnmeni graffiti.'" campaign in March and4 drew wide newspaper coverage. Students painted theArticlef the Constitution, which forbade internationalwalls in the city center. Newspapers recognized it as an anti-Communist slogan and described the constabulary's frustrated attempts to identify the culprits. The students sponsored an "Anti-Communist Hour" on Radio Intemacional. an independent station untilpril, when armed thugs burst into the station during the airing of the program, beat several broadcasters, and destroyed theirn some of theirCEUA received help from an organization of anti-Communistwomen, the Comae Anticomuniso de Locatorias de los Mercados de Guatemala, who spread rumors and passed leaflets among shoppers. The two groups distributed thousands of copiesastoral letter by Archbishop Marianorrellana callingational crusade againstase officers judged the outraged reaction of Arbenz's officials as indicators of success.
Encouraged by these victories. LINCOLN staffers spent hoursschemes for the CEUA students to carry out. The fake funeral notices were their idea, meant lo harass and frighicn top PGT officials. Throughout March and April, they bombardedw-ith suggestions for campaigns and themes, some useful others whimsical After the pastoral letter, they attempted to arouse Catholics with mailingshony "Organization
""Trangcr to LINCOLN. "Pathological Baromeicr7.R..
P Kennedy. Guatemalans Get AppealINCOLN. -Weekly Piych Intelligence6 April
. Boihe paaioral teller wj< ihe Church'* molt useful contribution to PBSUCCESS The Agency did noilrong tie to (he Catholic hierarchy in Guatemala
J io King.Catholic Church in..
of Ihc Miliumurportedly headed by members of iheprinted stickers readingommunist Lives Here" for theput onake newspaper clippings and articles fromCommunist publicationsavoritethe Stationuatemala resented thesebecause of the burdens they placed on field officers and theCEUA. Mailings had to be posted from outlying towns to avoidEach new scheme involved risks and cost lime that could be spentongoingcomplained that overworkamoebae" kept him from spending more than two hours onassignment in the last two weeks of March. He started holdingwiili f_ n his
Field officers also felt LINCOLN'S schemes aimed at thetargetingonstituency unlikely to beimed to "attack the theoretical foundations of the enemy"grounds that "the present state of things in the country is largelybyranger disparaged such appeals. Thetoldfto scare the Communists, not debate them.be designedntensify anti-Communist, anti-governmentandisposition to act;reate dissension,FEAR in the enemyith the backing
andT.Trangcr won his point. Abandoning the "lofty, lengthy tomes that appeal io the intellectualsychological efforts aimed, in his words, at "the heart, the stomach and the liver
As the psychological campaign wore on. CEUA activists grewwith the risks involved and the content of the materials they were asked to distribute. Some students considered the group's slogans too harsh andeeling for whichL ad little sympathy. "Wc are notopularity contest but ane fumed. The students' concerns also, perhaps, stemmeduspicion that they were being used. Field officers admitted they were using (he students as bait, in Tranger's words, to "invite complete suppression of overt anti-Communist, anti-government units and then use such suppression to demonstrate to (he people here and abroad the nature and seriousness of the menace and refute claims of "democratic freedoms.'" Ins CEUA began to suffer attrition through the arrest of its members, students became increasingly unhappy with the sacrifices they were asked to make. Byay. field officers reported thattudents were in jail, the others were afraid to work, and recruiting had fallen to zero. Bylandestine radio station
" [ lo Tranger. "Black Leiier from ihc 'Preparatory Commiuee lor an OrganizationMilitant3SA. Boi ranger.1, Box.
. Bo. 99
had been operating for three weeks and Castillo Armas was leafleting the capital from aircraft PBSUCCESS had moved from its propaganda to its
Agency propaganda operations succeeded in making Guatemala into the type of repressive regime the United States liked to portray it as. By late April, freedoms of speech and assembly had all but been revoked by official decrees and unofficial goon squads, which intimidated independent newspapers and radio stations into silence. Radio Universal, (he only openly anti-Communist radio station, closed after its offices were raided by goons and its owner placed under arrest- Opposition elements remainedowing largelyhe failure of Guatemalan policeake systematic arrests. Guatemala Station reported lhat the government's behaviora "desire to crush opposition activiiy together with what appeared toack of knowledge as to how to proceed mostn the ensuing weeks, the police would cast scruples aside and move decisively to suppress the remnants of the opposition.
Despite the intensive effort put inloonsidered it secondary to the political, or "K" program, which aimed to undermine Ihe Army's loyally to Arbenz and bring it over, whole or in pan. to the side of the rebellion. CEUA publications. El Rebelde and El Combate, carriedaimedilitaryeries of editorials drafted by LINCOLN in March for El Rebelde communicated the sense ofpressure case officers wanted the Army to feel. The first, entitledime toaised questions about whether the Army should continue its political neutrality. The second.ime iohreatened the Army witherrible fate if it continues on its presenthe series ended with "ATime torging officers to break their lies with ihe government and offer their services to the rebellion "if they wish to share in the triumph overgged on bystudeni activists stepped up the pressure on Army officers and their families with telephone harassment and minor acts ofS military advisers and Embassy officials joined the effort to spread fear and dissension among ihe officer corps, telling military leaders in unguarded terms that the United Stales could no longer tolerate Arbenz and would take drastic steps if the Army failed to act. "We were under enormousne Guatemalan officer remembered. "The US military mission
'"Pliydon to PBSUCCESS Headquaners. "Report on ESSENCE6..
LINCOLN. Weekly Psych Intelligence"
t joegarty.Letter ofob.
"'LINCOLN to Chief of Station Guatemala. "Telephone Team for Rumor
even hinted thai the United States would Invade.allmeans to impress on Army officers "ihe facts of life as far as they are concerned":
are in the United States sphere of influence.
they thinkeoples going to win in) they need psychiatric help.
they think that the US will never comehowdown,understand gringos. It might be useful to explain gnngos in theforeigners see them and point out lhat force is the follower ofthe American pattern.
they think that the Soviet Union can bail them out ofthey once more require psychiatric help.
they think that the Soviet Union will or even wants to bailit should be perfectly clear io them thai the Soviet Union isonly toiversion in the US backyard while Indochina isthai the Soviets will drop themurry when the going gets tough.
they are unhappy about being in the US sphere ofmight be reminded that the US is the most generous and tolerantgoing, that cooperation with ii is studded with material reward,the US permits much more sovereignty and irsdependence in itsthe Soviets, and so forth.
ad too few sources close to the Armynow it. these facts already weighed on the minds of Guatemala's military leaders. Deteriorating relations with (he United Statesrice on (he Army's effectiveness and prestige. Successivedenunci-aiions. the arms embargo, andthe officer corps with dread and suspicion. Officers could not tell who among their peers could be trusted, who would betray.reat number of (he officers are extremely unhappy about the Communists in the government and (he poor US-GuatemalanS adviser reported, but "none dares to speak ou( for fear of jeopardizing his personal security."
3 efforts to find and recruit disgruntled officers continued to come up short. An attemptribe Carlos Enrique Diaz, chief of (he Guatemalan armed forces, 3was particularly frustrated by
"'Diaz *aie approached while visiting Caracas ando change the present Guatemalanhe ailcmpi failed, possiblywas surprised to be recognized while traveling wtth his unstress.
King. -Col Carlos Enrique4.ingncr. "Approach to Col Carlo* EnriqueOI01SA. Boi 70
his inability to place an agent closeApril, LINCOLN case
officers obtained the help of [
3 who agreedeturn to Guatemala and attempt to JindDecn
among the officer corps and appeared "highly knowledgeablemilitary personnel targeted underhe arrived
in Guatemala City and had no trouble mixing with his old friends, but the results proved disappointing. Officers were happy to reminisce abouttimes but unwilling to discuss current politics. The genial3hesi-tated to pry, and he returned loeek later with nothing to report.'"
By May.il Apolitical program was in crisis. Case officersio believe the Army held the key io ihe operation's success and3 mule lead an Armyad no way to guideand hc realized that an abortive or mistimed
coup could ruin all of his careful preparations. Reluctantly, hewho replaced Tranger as Chief of Station in Guatemala in
April) to look for an opportunity toold approach. The stakesal'enate or endangerjButQ Jwastake ihc risk. He felt that the psychological campaign against thereached such intensity that ifcould make the approach dis-
creetly. ]could be cajoled or bullied into
J never intended for Castillo Armas's force to challenge the Guatemalan Army. Instead, it was io be used as another psychological weapon in the campaign to intimidate Arbenz and incite an Army revolt. He trained and supplied the small force to accentuate its propaganda (rather than military) value, stressing sabotage and air operations. In March,leet that came toozen aircraft at anairstrip near Puerto Cabezas. Nicaraguaase later used by ihe Bay of Pigsomoza purchased some of the planes fj
3 and received others under the military assistance agreement. Theyloaned to Castillo Armas and registered to
ing..hief of Station Guatemala. "SOCCER. Box
INCOLN to DCI.. Bo* 3.
A.. Guatemala Station to Director... Box II. Sec Guatemala cables to LINCOLN for4 in Boa II.
'"LINCOLN to SHERWOOD. UNC0.he air-craftin PBSUCCESS7argo plaoes.7 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers,S Ughtning fighter, one. and onen May. the tebcl air force movedicaraguan bate adjoining the Managua airport
St. Petersburg. Florida.'" For*L 3aircraft linked ihe
paramilitary and propaganda sides or the operation, enabling the rebels to strike directly at the government in full view of the entire city.
Since Castillo Armas could not furnish pilots, ihe Agency hired some on contract and transferred others from its proprietary airline in the Far East. Civil Air Transport.onth0 bonus for each successful mission. Willaucr roundedotley assortment of bush pilots, ex-military fliers, and expatriate barnstormers with names like
3The group leader was Q
J and King constantly worried about security and cover for the pilots, who might be downed at any lime, or. in ihe casebe bought by ihe highestxplaining the presence of pilots from China was tricky, and the cover story Kingnearly ended in disaster. The pilots, on annual leave, were to whoop it up in Miami and Havana "making the usual rounds of clubsose all (heir money, and fortuitously run into a
nsigncdl, "Questions arising from Sludy of? it Purchase ofnauthorized Landingn Honduras."
IIa. Job. Boa 70
"'Debriefing Report,Assistant Air Operations Officer,ob
""LINCOLN io Director.0. BoaRepon.INCOLN, present:
Mr. BarnesT nd Q essrsand
"Latin businessman" who promised quick money forew loads of farm equipment in Central America. Embassy officials had to intervene when suspicious FBI agents in Havana hauled the pilots in for
Meanwhile, Castillo Armas completed preparations for the invasion.
aboteurs in March.ield officers in mid-April,andful of communications specialists by mid-May. The friendly, taciturn American instructors, one trainee remembered, were known only by their first names, which were either Pepe orelays in the training program-particularly for radiothe scheduled invasion from mid-May into June. Most of the rebel recruits could not read, andinstructors complained of difficulties in getting across technical
At least one historian has made the claim that Castillo Armas's force was more fearsome than has generally been reported. Frederick Marks refers to them as small in number but "highly trained and exceedinglynd notes that they had "twenty-two thousand rockets, forty-five thousand rifles, four hundred mortars, and pieces of heavyFrom Agency records, it is clear the rebels possessed neither rockers nor artillery. Moreover, it is unlikely Castillo Armas's troops would have carried moreingle rifle apiece, since they were obliged to carry all of their food and supplies with them. The rebel army neverofficials at CIA Headquarters (Bissell later remembered it assmall andnd in the months before the invasion some in the PBSUCCESS hierarchy were beginning to have doubts about Castillo Armas's suitability foruatemalan officers' low opinion of him hampered the political program. Traccy Barnes consideredbold but incompetent man" who fantasized about rebellion but lacked the leadership to follow through onowever, strongly defended him. Castillo Armas "is the man and there will be no deviation frome told his case officers. "Any criticisms or doubts of him palcbefore the fact thai he now has both the manpower and the materiel to accomplish thee reminded critics that Castillo Armas would have "considerable technical assistance. He has the humility and decency to rely on advice, and his present advisors have his respect and
"Chief. WHD. to LINCOLN. "Operaiional Air Support
"T U'Final Repon on Stage Twp PBSUCCESS".
W Maiks III, "The ClA and Castillo Armas inew Clues to an Oldiplomatic History It: 69
with Richard M. Bissell.isenhower Library. Job. Bo. J.
'"PBSUCCESS Hutory. Job. Bo*.
confidenceufficient degree that he would no doubt rely on them for counsel when it comes to the question of whom he shall associate himself with both before and after
As the preparation phase drewlose at the end ofINCOLN staffersixed sense of elation and apprehension. Their propaganda efforts had shaken the Arbenz regime and heartened thebut the government's crackdown and the fatigue of the CEUAmade it clear the effort could not be sustained much longer. Paramilitary training had made great strides, but Castillo Armas's feeble forces and mercenary air force were still no match fortrong Guatemalan Army, if the Army stood by Arbenz.^ lans to seduce
" Chief of Sutton Guatemala. "Political-Economic View? ioU. It,QI07SA,.
the officer corps remained as tantalizingly promising but as far from summation as they were in January. The psychological pressure on the Guatemalan Government was reaching its maximum point. The time to act had arrived, yel it was still unclear how and whether success could be attained.
I think wc tend to overlook simply the massiveness of US power viewed from Arbenz'se knew how difficult it was even to jet two more aircraft down there and inhink it was easy for us to forget thai Arbenz felt himself up against (he might of the United Stales, and quite possibly the impact on him of specific events was that it may simply have persuaded him that the US was in earnest, and that if these means proved to be insufficient, then other stronger means would be used.
PBSUCCESS was ready by the beginning of May to placeon the Arbenzariety of instruments
at his disposal: propaganda, sabotage, aircraft, an army of insurrectionists, and the implicit threat of US military power. He used all of them tothe psychological distress of Arbenz and his officials. Even the paramilitaryArmas and hisa psychological ratherilitary function. As an Agency memofor Eisenhower explained, the operation relied "on psychologicalrather than actual military strength, although it is upon the ability of the Castillo Armas effort to create and maintain (he impression of verymilitary sueng(h, that the success of (his particular effort primarilyealing in the insubstantial stuff of impressions and degrees of intimidation, fj ]could not always measure progress, and it was difficult for even those close to PBSUCCESS to know what waswhether they were succeeding or failing, and why.
The Voice of Liberation
As Guatemalans turned on (heir short-wave radios on the morningheyew station weakly audibleart of the dial that had been silent before. Calling itself La Voz de la Liberation, itombination of popular recordings, bawdy humor, and
'**lmerview wiih Richard M. Biitcll,wighi D. Eisenhower Library, Job. Boa 5
""lmmerman. CM in Cuaitmala.
anti government propaganda. The announcers, claiminge speaking from "deep in thexhorted Guatemalans to resist Communism and the Arbenz regime and support the forces of liberation led by Col. Carlos Castillo Armas. The two-hour broadcast was repeated four times. For the next week the station broadcast an hour-long program..lthough only faintly and inteimittenlly heard in the capital, the stationity where open criticism of the regime had become dangerous for journalists and private citizens alike. Government spokesmen denounced ihe broadcastsraud, originating not in Guatemala but over the border in Mexico or Honduras. Most listeners, however, preferred to believe that brave radiomen, hiddenemote oui-post. were defying official censors and the police.
So began an operationf_ plater called the "finesteffort and effectiveness on thehe voices heardoriginated not in the jungle, or even in Honduras, but ina team of four Guatemalan men and two women
mixed announcements and editorials with canned music. Thesoldiers of their duty to protect the country from foreignwarned women to keep their husbands away from Communistand labor unions, and threatened government officialsCouriers carried the tapes via Pan American Airwaysthey were beamed into GuatemalaobileWhen the traffic in (apes aroused the suspicions ofofficials, the announcers moved tobegan broad-
casting liveairy3 site known as
SHERWOOD. At about the same time, the SHERWOOD operationits reception in Guatemala by boosting its signaly mid-May the rebel broadcasts were heard loud and clear in Guatemala City, and SHERWOOD announcers were responding quickly to developments in
the enemy capital.
To direct ihe SHERWOOD operation, Tracy Barnes selected aenterprising contract employee. David Atleenetimenewspaper editor in Chile. When Phillips arrived inin
March, one of the Guatemalan announcers explained that the target audience was mixed. "Two percent are hard-core Marxists;ercent are officials and others in sympathy with the Arbenzwo percent arc militant ami-Communists, some of them inhe remainder was neutral, apathetic, or frustrated,oap operahe objective, the announcer continued, was to intimidate Ihe Communists and theirand stimulate the apathetic majority to act. Initial broadcasts
"'LINCOLN to Guatemala Station.9.INCOLN to SHERWOOD..'Phillips, TJi* Nighi Waieh (New York. Ballaniine. p. 53
'"GuatemalampUined of pooi icception untilay LINCOLN to SHERWOOD,7.hi Waith..
would establish the station's credibility, setting the stage for an "Orson Welles type 'panic broadcast'" to coincide with Castillo Armas's invasion. The program would follow the lead of earlier PP efforts, combiningmisinformation with pithy slogans, and targeting "men ofparticularly thehe station's slogan became Trabajo,airia, work, bread, and country.
In Phillips' account of the operation, SHERWOOD was singularly responsible for the triumph of PBSUCCESS. "When the campaignhe observes, "the Guatemalan capital and countryside had been quieteek there was unrest everywhere."'" Scholars have generally given similar credit to La Vol de la Uberaeiin. but were it not for aturn of events the rebel broadcasters might have madeuffled impact. Two weeks into the operation Guatemala's state-run radio station, TGW, disappeared from the air.ind Phillips soon learned from Guatemala Station that TGW was scheduled toew antenna and that the government's only broadcast medium would be out offor threehrough an accident of timing SHERWOODa virtual propaganda monopoly during the most critical phase of operation PBSUCCESS. In late May. as Guatemalanstartling series of dark and portentous events, the largely illiterate populace turned to La Voz de la Liberacidn for news.
The Voyage of the Alfhem
But if SHERWOODaster stroke for PBSUCCESS. Arbenz riposted with an even bolder countermovc, long anticipated by CIAomplete surprise to the public in Guatemala and the United States. Onay. the Swedish freighter Alfhem arrived at Puerto Barriosthousands of tons of Czech arms. By clever deception, the ship had evaded efforts by the State Department and the CIA to stop or delay it. Following the Martinez mission, the Agency had carefully monitoredarms flows and the traffic in Guatemala's pons.pril. Wisner met with State Department and Navy officials to coordinategathering. They agreed to "take no action at this stage to deter or interfere with the shipment, but rather allow events to lake their course at
of Station Cuatemala. "SHERWOOD. Commeni on?ob.
'"Phillips. Sight3 Gjaremalaeekly "Psych Barometer Report*"odds with Phillips' version, claiming ihac ihe imnj tcrtafion caused by iheof the clandestine radio quickly wore"Psych"8. Box Guatemalan Radio8ob
least to the point when exposure would be most compromising lo the Guatemalans"'" The following day. Wisner learned from [_
3:hat the Bank of Guatemala had telegraphically0 through the Union Bank of Switzerland and Stabank. Prague, to the account ofzecho Agency official said so at the time, but the payment revealed the limits of the Communist Bloc'sto aid an ally in the Western Hemisphere. The Czechs would provide arms, butash and carry basis.'" Onpril, thereighter registered to the Swedish subsidiaryzech shipping firm, departed the Polish port of Szczecin bound for Dakar. West Africa, en route to Central America.,u
The State Department and the Agency worked frantically to stop the shipment, which they mistakenly believed was carried in another ship, the Wulfsbrook. registeredest German firm. Department officials tried
""Wisner to King. "Guaiemalao Acquisition of Iron Curiam. Boa 2*
Chief, WH, "Financial Position of.O25A.he Guatemalan Government was fully capable of paying cash, lis foreign cuircncy leseives4illion. LINCOLN to Chief, WH. "Financial Position of..and Kinier.ier Fnut p
ersuade (he German Government to order (he Wulfsbrook into port and sought help in canceling its insurance.'" The Alfhem meanwhileircuitous route to Central America.eek at sea. (he captain received radio orders to proceed to Curacao in the Dutch West Indies. In iheaniic. new orders arrived diverting himuerto Cortes. Honduras. Onay. just two days out of port, he learned his realand steered for Guatemala. The Agency had not relied completely on ihe Siate Department to thwart the shipment.ay. Wisncr sent limpet mines to the sabotage training bases in Nicaragua. By the time the Alfhem arrived off Puerto Barrios, however, its destructionicklish diplomatic problem. The State Department's fevered activity had alerted several European governments, shipping lines, and insurance underwriters of official US interest. If the ship were sunk, it would be impossible to deny
The arms purchase handedropaganda bonanza. Onay. the Slate Departmeni declared that the shipment revealed Guatemala's complicityoviet plan for Communist conquest in the Americas. John Foster Dulles exaggerated the size of the cargo, hinling chat ii would enable Guatemala to triple the size of its Army andneighboring slates. The press and Congress responded on cue. "The threat of Communist imperialism is no longerroclaimed the Washington Post, "it hashe New York Times warned that Communist arms would soon make their way along "secret jungle paths" to guerrilla armies throughout the Hemisphere. "If Paul Revere were livingepresentative Paul Lantaff imagined, "he would view the landing of Red arms in Guatemalaignal ioouse Speaker John McCormack spluttered that "this cargo of arms is like an atom bomb planted in (he rear of our backyard."'" These fulminations intensified the fears of many Guatemalans that the incident wouldonvenient pretext for US intervention.
The Alfhem incident helped break down Honduran objections toPBSUCCESS. The Gllvez government viewed (he shipmentajor labor conflict thai had broken ou( on Uniied Fruit plantationsay and spread throughoui the country. CIA officialsGuatemalan involvement, noting "an unusual amount of discipline" and the presence of Guatemalan labor organizers. They admitted, however, thai the strikers had (he sympathy of most Hondurans while the company
Leddy toulles, -'Action to prevent delivery of Ciecn Anns toSecords of the Office of Middle Amencan Affairs. General Records of the Depi. of State.. Boxianer to Lampton Berry. Policy Planning Staff. "Proposed DiveriionSSSA.ermii Roosevelt loT A.t.
had "practically noonduran officials needed no proof of Guatemalan complicity, believing all labor strife to be Communist inspired. Onay. Galvez asked the United States to prepare to land Marines if the situation should spin out of control. The Navy placed two warships in the Gulf ofastillo Armas helped by sending some of his men to provide muscle for thehe strike and the arms shipment persuaded Galvez that he had little to lose by helping PBSUCCESS.
In Guatemala. f_ ^propagandists worked to accentuate confusion caused by the landing of the Czech arms. Therrival intensified tensions in the capital. "The man on theuatemala Stationas) rapidly becoming convinced that "something" will soonightist and centrist members of the government party. PAR. called for the resignation of party leaders. CEUA studentsommunist coup. Fearing the new weapons would close the rift between Arbenz and the military. SHERWOOD broadcast rumors that the arms were intended not for the Army but for labor unions and peasant cadres.
This rumor turned out to be true. Arbenz and the PGT had intended the Alfhem shipment toecret, enabling them to divert some of the arms to workers' militias before giving the remainder to the Army. The Army, however, learned of the Martinez mission and closely watchedtraffic at Puerto Barrios for signs of the arms' arrival.'" Army units sealed off the pier as soon as the Alfhem docked, settingecurityaround the port area. Jose Angel Sanchez, (he minister of defense, took personal charge of security and transportation arrangements. The President had to give up his plans for arming militias. The weapons belonged to the Army now. and taking them away would only enrage the officer corps. Soldiers loaded (he crates, marked "opticallai cars for the trip to GuatemalaThe shipment consisted of large numbers of rifles, machineguns. antitankowitzers, mortars, grenades, and antitank mines. Some of the weapons had been used, and manywastika stamp on the metal pans. The antiquated artillery pieces had wooden
WHO. "Honduran Communist
3 "Honduran Public Opinion Favors Sirikcr*."
* vis * IU' Ml*fl MUM* iftvi) Vi| vitlltw pi.
7ob"A.'Cteiiejes. Shattered Hope..
'"LINCOLNI. Box 4.
""Gleijeses suggests ine Uni:ed Starei alerted ihe Army, but thisunlikely- Agency official! were themselves confuted aboui ihe arrival of the sh.pment. believing wool ihe lav minute lhat il could be prevented. They alto placed nohe Army,enctraied by Communist* Finally, the establishment of workers miliiias would have substantially helpedrogram break the military's allegiance io ihe government Gleijeses. Shattered Hope,
'"Wisner to Robert B. Anderson, Under Secretary of Defense, "Guatemalan Procurement of Aims From the Soviet1ob. Box 24
wheels. American military advisers, who received the first reliable reports, estimated that there was enough ammunition to last the Guatemalan Army
f_ 3ordered sabotage teams to destroy the Alfhem arms enthe mission provided the first test of Castillo Armas's forces.(cams were dispaiched to dynamile railroad trestlesBarrios and Guatemala City as military trains passed overgraduated from training programshey carried
(he best targets.
All three failed. The first, onay.harge that damaged an engine slightly. Shots from (he (rain slew one rebel commando, whose companions returned fireuatemalan soldier. Two other attempts, onnday either failed to reach ihe target or inflict damage.'* The arms reached the capital safely onh.
Arbenz had momentarily outwitted the Agency, but by so doing he removed the constraints on the Agency's ability to retaliate. Before the Alfhem incident. David Phillips observed, (here washance that Holland or another official in the State Department would pull the plug on PBSUCCESS. The arms shipment "clearly defined (he issue: Guatemala had received arms from Russia, thus Guatemala and Russia were playing footsie. From that point, there was no question of the nature of the target, only the question of how soon and in what manner it would be
The Alfhem incident touchedassive escalation of the US ef-fon to intimidate the Guatemalan Government. The Stateilitary assistance agreement with Honduras and began shipping planes and tanks to Tegucigalpa. Onay, (he Navyore daunting indicator of US resolve in operation HARDROCK BAKER, the sea blockade of Guatemala. Submarines and warships patrolled the seato Guatemala, stopping all ships and searching for arms. The task force was instructed to damage vessels if necessary to make (hem stop. Ships (ransiting (he Panama Canal en route lo Guatemala were detained
LINCOLN. "Information re Alfhem Arms
.ing io Dulles. "Quality and Future Disposition of
Arm Received by Guatemala from the Slip6.iincrio Holland. "Guatemalan Aims1, BoxIA hadketchy idea of ihe numbers ol actual armsirm idea of iheir3 pounds) andpproximately Si million)
"'Wisner. "Thoughts and Possible Courses ol Action concerning latest Developments incf the Alfhelra8BA. Boxee LINCOLN..nd'Debriefing Report, Vawd AHee Phillips,O25A.
and searched. Tbe blockade's blatant illegality madeowerful weapon of intimidation. The United States stopped and boarded French and British freighters in defiance of international law. France and Britain muted their protests in hopes that the United States would show similar restraint with regard to their colonial troubles in the Middle East. The message to Guatemala was clear; If the United States would violate freedom of the seas, it would not be stopped by so feeble an instrument as theclause of the Rio
PBSUCCESS. too. stepped up the pressure on the Army. Onay. one of Castillo Armas's warplancs flew low over the capital, buzzed the presidential palace and dropped leaflets in front of the headquarters of the presidential guard. The leaflets encouraged members of the Guardia to "Struggle against Communist atheism, Communist intervention. Communisttruggle with your patriotic brothers! Struggle with CastilloI suppose it doesn't really matter what the leafletsarnes acknowledged. The real message was conveyed by the plane itself, an intimidating weaponegion that had neveraerialIf they had been napalm bombs and not leaflets, we wouldn't be here to talk aboutne editorialist observed. Leaflet drops on successive days were widely interpreted as practice bombing
By the first week of June the population of Guatemala City expected an invasion any day. Ambassadors left town "on urgent orders" from their govcrnments. The labor union federation placed its members on alert against "reactionaryomoza severed diplomatic relations.une, the retired Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Rodolfo Mendoza Azurdia. fledmall planefj
In agony, the government and the PGTay out. Arbenz offeredonaggression pact and asked to meet with Eisenhower lo relieve tensions, but neither requestesponse. The PGT. meanwhile, had begun to disintegrate. After the Caracas conference. Fortuny had voiced concerns lhat the parly had gone "beyond what was realisticallydvancing its program to an extent thai endangered the state. He called forause in the agrarian reform, and urged Communists in high government positions to resign. Even as he did so. he was plagued by
Shattered Hope,o Graham L. Page.a...
hief of Station Guatemala. "Intended Leaflet3.
nierview by Nick CulUiher. lape recordist. Washingion. DC.3
(hereafiei citedecording on file in Ihe DCI History Staff Office. CIA.
self-doubt and the neai certainty that he was asking for too little, too late. Other leaders refused toropaganda attacks had whittled the party's membership down to an unmovable core, unafraid and prepared to follow the revolution to theews of Fortuny's resignation reached Agency officials in the first week of June, leaving them perplexed. Accustomed to dealing with iron-willedhey were unused to seeing an adversary flounder in the face of insurmountable problems and self-doubt.
Desperate, the regime lashed out at its internal opposition.une. Arbenz suspended civil liberties andoundup of suspectedPoliceersons in the first two weeks of June, holding them at military- bases. Many were tortured. Onune, one of the few survivors of the CEUA group found the mutilated and charred bodyn the cityarnes admitted that the net had
InformalJJ. Leddy file.. Bo. SI
losses" and suggested that ii be reorganized for ihe operation's final phase, but there was nothing left toomeetainees were killed and buried in mass graves in the regime's final days.
It was already muggy.une when
pulledriveway alongside abelonging to
J] wasn't used to the heat. He hadas Chief of Guatemala Station in early May. right at thethe rainy season, when the mornings broke hot and Ihe predictableshowers brought no relief.as breathing down his neckon ihe military defection project, thend
had opted for the coldest of cold approaches. He would go
house, ring the doorbell, and ask the man tooup. Minutes later,he bluntly explainedways calledhe time had comeo "get moving and take overThis was "the last opportunity for the Army to salvage itseven itsnodding in agreement. He
was ready to help, hehe would need some assistance in
reiurn. Arbenz siillreat deal of control over the officerIf Cas:illo
Armas would havestart the coup. That
would not be possible.The times called for courage, for
takingwould navc lo do "h'fg* for himself. The two men agreed to meet again the following
rogramaradox for PBSUCCESS.[the operation could not succeed without an Army revolt, but histo bully and frighten the officer corps inlo action left thedivided and cowed. No caudillo emerged to lead soldiersgovernment, and as the operation wore on it appeared less likelywould emerge. Earlyhe mosiHe had threatened to revolt: he was ambitious andvouched for his anti-Communism. When the time came,Jemanded more than he offered. Ai the second meeting, he told
hc had consulted^.
3 and ihe two had agreed thatpectacle of force" would be needed lo swing ihc Army lo the side of ihe opposition. Labor unions had organized progovernment demonstrations for the following day. If Castillo
"'Barfte* to PBSUCCESS6QI0JSA..
"Guatemala Static*. Ho. II.
Armas couldomb in (be infield of ilic hippodrome, (ear gasand buzz Arbenz's house, (he Army would act_con-
sideredeasonable request and promiseduitable dis-
I JBarncs, and Wisner were less willing toeak-kneed caudillo. An aerial display would prove US involvement, since few Central American governments, let alone rebel movements, could
ombing mission. [ a'r show wasand
instructed him io go over the facts of life one more timead other waysut pressure on the Army. In hisArmassoon be in competition, each trying to
topple Arbenz first. PBSUCCESS now had "two strings in its bow."Allen Dulles, Castillo Armas and his forces on the Honduranin the capital. Both options would be pursued
"since they do not become mutually exclusive until after the dispositionpresentven if Castillo Armas suffered setbacks, hiscreate the turmoil necessaryfailed. his rebellion would still immobilize the Armyto allow Castillo Armas to make gains in (he countryside.Castillo Armas's defeat orthere is
The invasion plan went into effect onune, (he day
made his cold approach. Divided into four teams. Castilloshock troops" arrived a( staging areas on the Guatemalan border near the Honduran towns of Florida. Nueva Ocotepeque, Copan. and Macuelizo. From these areas (hey wereroceed to the border, arriving near midnight onh. The plan called for four rebel bands to make five separateinto Guatemala in order io project the impression of an attackroad front andinimize (he chance thai the entire force could be routedingle enountcr. The largestoldiers, would cross the border near Macuelizo and attack the heavily guarded port city of Puertoroupebels would proceedase near Florida. Honduras, and march on Zacapa, the Guatemalan Army's largest frontier garrison. Castillo Armas wouldroupoldiers splx between base areas in Copdn and Nueva Ocotepeque These forces would seize the lightly defended border towns of Esquipulas. Quezaltcpeque. and Chiquimula before uniting and marching onmaller force ofoldiers would cross into El Salvador and invade Guatemala from the finca of(J
Fiom there they wouio MUCi the provincial capital or juuapa tci oaivador
"'Guatemala Stanon to.INCOLN lo5
had refused to allow Castillo Armas to invade from its territory, C
addition to these regular troops,rained saboteurs would fan out into the countryside ahead of the invading troops, blowing up railroads and cutting telegraphhe rebels were to avoid direct confrontation with the Guatemalan Army, which would unify the officer corps and leaduick defeat of the rebellion. Harassing raids in remote areas would enable the
""LINCOLN io Direclor.6OI03SA. Bo* 6.
rebels toorce intact while sowing panic in the capital and prodding the military to act. Rebel aircraft were instructed to avoid hitting military targets.
Evenour, the invasion degenerated from an ambitious plan to tragicomedy. Salvadoran policemen spotted the Jutiapa forceoad outside Santa Ana on the afternoon ofune and decided loook. They discoveredachineguns. rifles, and grenades hiddenagon the men were riding. The police arrested the entire group and threw them in the Santa Anaastillo Armas eventually got them deported to Honduras but without iheir weapons. Jutiapa was spared. Later thatthe Chiquimula force engaged in the first action of the campaign. Approaching the border near Esquipulas. they were surprised toorder guardustoms official stationed on the previously unguarded road. They captured the soldier and shot the customs official. He was the first Guatemalan
Dressedeather jacket and checked shin and driving awagon, Castillo Armas led his troops across the border8 June. At about the same time, his planes, in partial fulfillmentbuzzed the progovernmenl demonstrations at the rail-
road station in Guatemala City. SHERWOOD told its listeners that "there are reportsattle at Esquipulas, but we do not yetally of theastillo Armas led the Chiquimula detachment, the one thought least likely to encounter serious resistance. On foot, and encumbered by weapons and supplies, the rebels made slow progress, and it would be some days before they actually capturedew miles from the border.
Meanwhile.to demand the bombing of theWith the invasion under way.r^ven less inclined ioherivolous demand. He told Bisselt he was readyup onf^ ^heheving he could accomplish the Army'sor actual defeat through air to ground action supported byWisner and Bissell quickly brought htm back to reality. Theissue in our opinion will turn on the position taken by thethey warned. If ihe rebels attacked Army garrisons, theyonly in uniting the military behind Arbenz. And even if thebe intimidated into inaction, police units and laborround up the small rebel force with littleith onlyin its bow. PBSUCCESS would fail. "Our nexthould DCxcn a" possible influence to persuade the Armynext target must be Arbenz himself if they are themselves toihc Army acts it. not Castillo Armas will rule the
"LINCOLN io Director..LINCOLN to Director,ftOIQ25A. Box 6Signi Waich. p. 38
"Richard Biuell tot .A. Boxijner to
L .. Box 9.
'"Dulles io[. R1SA. Box 9
ntinucd lo negotiateJ whileJstepped up ihe air war. Onune, rebel planes blewailroad bridge at Gualin. Cargo planes dropped pallets of arms over the Guatemalanto persuade ihe Armyifth column was ready to rise against the government. Guatemala Station reported that ihe cily was "clearing rapidly. Cars, carts, (earing to outskirts. Fear, expectation emained stubbornly inert.
The initial panic generated by the invasion and air attacks wore off as Guatemalans realized noihing would happen immediately. Onh. Guatemala Station cabled that the government was "recovering itsCapital very still, stores shuttered. People waiting apathetically, considerarce, some even speculatingovernmentastillo Armas's invaders were not making the son of bold strikes needed to inspire terror in the capital. Onh his forces captured Esquipulas. barely ihree miles from Ihe border and defended onlymall policeolumnebels approaching Zacapa from the
"'LINCOLN io SHERWOOD.,uatemala Station to Director... Bo* II. "'LINCOLN to Director.1. Bo* 6.
weapons of Soviet design.
northeastmall garrison ofoldiers led by Lt. Cesar Augusto Silva Giron at the small town of Gualan. Without instructions or reinforcements from the larger garrison at Zacapa. Giron engaged the rebelshour firelight, forcing them to flee toward La Union,Gualan and Zacapa. Onlyebels escaped death or capture. The casualties included their commanding officer. The survivors reported that they had been "decisively defeated"uperior force.1"
The following day. the rebels' largest forceolossal defeat at Puerto Barrios. Twenty insurgentsoat on the waterfrontf their compatriots attacked the town from the east. Policemen and hastily armed dock workers rounded up the amphibious force and ran off (hewho fled across the border to San Miguel Correderos, Honduras, and refused to rejoin the fray. After repeated requestseport, the defeated rebels turned off their radios andheir loss cost Castillo Armas almost half his regular army. After three days in action, two of the invasion's four prongs had been turned back (one by the Salvadorannd one had been halted by minor resistance.
In an effort to recover. ^authorized ait attackscapital the following day. but the results were unimpressive. Aflyingeet, managed tomall oil tank onire that was doused in 20
described the attackpathetic" gesture that left the public with anof "incredible weakness, lack of decision, fainthearted
""Gleijeies. Shatlt'td Hope.; LINCOLN lo Direcioc. "Daily Silrep"7. Bo* 6.
INCOLN lo Director.8O25A. Bo*INCOLN to Director. "Daily Siircp3. Bo*INCOLN to SHERWOOD.2ob. Bo* 6
Attempts to use aircraft for propaganda advantage were hampered by Castillo Armas's persistent demands for air support. Ensconced at Esquipulas. he reported his situations as "very grave as result two pronged enemy attacks from Zacapa and from Jutiapa viaf he did not receive "heavy bombardment" on these fronts, he would be "forced to abandon
Challenge ai the UN
As Monzdn dallied and Castillo Armas faltered. PBSUCCESS faced another, potentially fata! challenge on the diplomatic front. Onune, the day of the invasion. Guatemalan foreign minister Guillermo Toriello petitioned the UN security council to intervene to stop the outsidehe blamed on Nicaragua. Honduras, and the United Fruit Company. Onune, the councilrench motion enjoining all member nations to refrain from aiding the insurgency. John Foster Dulles wasbut to save appearances he had to support the measure. Ont, Toriello asked the Security Council to take "whatever steps are necessary" to enforce thehe prospect that the council couldactfinding mission to Guatemala touchedlurry of meetings and phone calls between Wjsner, the Dulles brothers, Assistant Secretary Henry Holland, the President, and Henry Cabot Lodge, the US delegate to the UN. Eisenhower was ready to use the veto. The United States had never beforeecurity council resolution and the first use wouldrave propaganda defeat. Wisner argued that the United States shouldsome kind of an inspection mission and then try to control it. The US should get the OAS Peace Council designated as the body of first recourse. "Friendly" delegates from the United Slates, Brazil, and Cuba dominated the council. If the UN insisted on sending its own mission, the United States should direct it to investigate the "causes" of the rebellion,the Alfhem shipment, land reform, and the Communist influence inodge adopted this position, but Holland and other State Department officials remained apprehensive about international press
irector.8Q25A. Bo*Assistant Director for Current Intelligence, to A. Dulles.
"Sigeifieanec of the JuneN Security Council1.
"*Wisner. "Memorandum of Ideas Developed in Meeting in Mr. Murphy's Office Concerning Guatemalan1SA.isner to Holland.for Uie in Connection with Further Proceeding* in the United* Nation* and/or the OAS Pence Commission;2bid.;f
"Intelligence Provided Department of State Concern.Bg0bid.;
" ' ssistant Director Current Intelligence, to Allen Dulles,ofune UN Security Council1bid.
For much of the world, ihc spring4 seemed ioeal chance for rhe two superpowers to ease world tensions after eight years of Cold War. Stalin had died innd the new Sovietappeared less sinister and more ready to reach accommodations. Inhe superpowers met toettlement of the difficult Indochina and Formosa disputes at the Geneva Conference. In rheweeks, however, tensions did not ease, and some in the international press blamedsenhower administration for what was seenostSome generally pro-Western newspapers regarded Guatemala's plight as further proof that the United Slates hadeedlessly uuculentormer British Labor Government minister. Ancurin Bevan. not surprisinglyolumn headlined "Guatemalan Invasion is Plot lo Save Americanhich played prominently in The Times of India and other newspapers. On the morning ofune, CBS Newsegment on the adverse reaction in Britain, quoting an official who observed that "despite the United Fruit Company, the United States does not yet own all of Central America and theravdathe invasion as an attempt by the United States io rcignite the Cold War. USIA stations in Germany. Japan, and the Middle East reported the sympathy of the local press for Guatemala and the universal assumption of US complicity in the invasion. Even news organs unsympathetic tothe Iranian statewith certainty that the rebellion had US support. These reports made Slate Department officials nervous, and their jitters spread to thetaff wasthai the Guatemalans would makeenus in international forums that Henry Holland or other State Department officials would pull the plug."'
The Agency, meanwhile, took steps to ensure that coverage in the American pressavorable slant. Peurifoy met with Americanin Guatemala City to discuss "the type of stories they weret his suggestion, "all agreed to drop words such as 'invasion.'" The French and British consuls agreed toord with theirAgency officials had earlier managed to have Sydney Gruson. the New York Times correspondent, recxpelled from Guatemala. In the wake of the Alfhem incident, Arbenz allowed Gruson back into thetaff complained that after his return Gruson's reports parroted "Foreign Minister Toriello's statements regarding the Guatemalan position
"Vimer io Holland, "British Attitude Toward ihe Guatemalan3.
"For international press reaction see Bonn to USIA,he Hague to Secretary of Slate.ew Delhi to Secretary ol State,ll three in.untington D Sheldon io Allen Dulles.ofune UN Security Council1IA.C eunfoy to Willauer and Holland...
on Jinn purchases and denial of complicity in the Honduranpeculated that cither Arbenz haduid pro quo infor lifting the expulsion, or that Gruson was unwilling to risk offending Guatemalanecond time He plumbed Agency files and found thai two years earlier Gruson had attended parties in Mexico City at which Czechoslovak diplomats had been present. He took thisto Dulles, and the Director passed it on to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, publisher of the Times, who reassigneduring the battle for Guatemala, stories in the Times originated in Mexico City.
The Jaws of Defeat
Prospectsebel victory steadily dimmed after the defeats at Gitalin and Puerto Barrios.his staff, unable to influence the events on which the outcome of PBSUCCESS now seemed to depend, relayed daily reports to Headquarters detailing the dwindling fortunes of Castillo Armas's forces. Ond. the bulk of the liberacidniiiasat Esquipulas with (heir commander, while an advance partyChiquimula and traded shots with the Army barracks there. Remnants of the force defeated at Gualin and detachments from Esquipulas broke into bands ofoen and scattered among the small townsZacapa, Teculutan. Vado Hondo, and Jocoian. From these positions, the rebels could observe large numbers of government troops moving by rail to
Historians have debated the question of whether substantial numbers of sympathizers joined Castillo Armas's forces in thehere is no
epcnirtg oi Guatemala bjYork Timri Correspondent Sydney
SydneyJ A.. Harrison Salisbury has alleged lhai Dulles "deliberately deceived" Sulzberger in order to get rid ol Gruson. and lhalwas tooeporter He might spill then fadXriot worried about Gruson's investigative talents. He wanted ai ail costs to beep Toriello's version of events out of the newspapers during ihe UN debate, and he feared Gruson was more susceptible topressure than other correspondents Dulles claimed he did notourse of action io Sulzberger, and lhat "our interest in this indi riduai was only to pass on the informal ionad obtained about him and any action taken thereon is the responsibility of Mr Sulzberger" Denudes' Meeting.ulles papers. Job, BoxINCOLN to Director. "Daily Sitrep3A.
-Frederick Marks "The CIA and Castillo Armas inew Clues to an Old and other sympathizers who togethereal threat to the regular army.
doubt3sirategy relied on such reinforcements. The originalforce numberednd was broken into smaller contingents :hai would be outnumberedight withmall Guatemalan Army garrison. These original soldiers were intended to be the corearger force that would spontaneously rise and join Castillo Armas as he marched on the capital. Preparations were made for weapons to be airdropped to the swelling ranks. Agency records reveal that recruits did join Castillo Armas, and in substantial numbers, but only in places where the liberacidnistas met no resistance. Where the rebels were engaged in actual combat, no recruits materialized and the original force suffered high rates of desertion. Ont. Castillo Armas had asked for suppliesdditional men atis forces there and in Chiquimula eventually came toen. all receiving food and weapons from airdrops. In the vicinity of Zacapa, however, where regular Army units constantlyrebel bands, the number of insurrectionists droppedoetweenndhe recruits taxed the operation's overburdened supply system without allowing Castillo Armas to strike effectively at the enemy.
The Arbenz regime, meanwhile, laid plans to destroy Castillo Armas. The victories at Puerto Barrios and GuaUn gave Arbenz confidence that the Army would do its duty and crush the invasion. He asked Diaz to allow the rebels to penetrate into the interior of the country unopposed. Neither man feared Castillo Armas's ragtag army, but both considered the invasion partarger US plan toretext for direct intervention. Theytrategy designed to defeat the rebels withoutustification for landing the Marines. Onune, most of the soldiers of the Base Militar and the Guardia de Honor left by rail for Zacapa. where they were ordered to wait and engage the rebel army when it arrived- When Castillo Armas's scouts reached the outskirts of Zacapa. they found trainloads of soldiers and supplies arriving hourly in the already heavily occupied town. These war preparations masked the profound demoralization afflicting the officers responsible for saving the country. Like Arbenz, they feared USbut unlike the president, they placed little fauh in the ability of the United Nations to restrain Eisenhower. Sitting in Zacapa, they ruminated on the likely consequences of defeating Castillo Aimas, murmuring that Marines might already be landing in Honduras."*
'"LINCOLNirector.1. Box'Compare LINCOLN io Director. "Daily Sitrep3OI02SA. Boath LINCOLN lo Director. "Da.ty Stirep"9. Box 6.
irector.Mjrjes, Shanerri Hope,
The Communists were the first to warn Arbenz that the Army would not defend the government. OnGT official visited Zacapa and found the officers cowering in their barracks, terrified and unwilling to fight, fortuny reported the situation to Arbenz two days later. In disbelief, Arbenzrusted officer to speak to the field commanders. He returned with the same reportessage. The officers "think that the Americans are threatening Guatemala just because of you and your Communist
friends. If you don't resign, ihe Army will march on the capital to deposee predicted lhat if Arbenz did not act quickly, the Army wouldargain with Castillo Armas. Confirmation arrived later that day with the news thatan Chiquimula garrison had surrendered to the rebelsight.*"
Agency stations in Guatemala
never learned what happened atPeurifoy were con-
vinced thatJcould induce the Army to betray Arbenz. and 3remained in the capital, ignorant of the treason of his brother officers. ForF_ 3jrK* other Agency observers in Miami and Washington, what happened in the next few days seemed curious and magical. Just as the entire operation seemed beyond saving, the Guatemalan Government suddenly, inexplicably collapsed. The Agency never found out why. After the conclusion of PBSUCCESS. no one asked captured Guatemalanwhat happened in the regime's final days. Instead, an Agency legend developed, promoted by Bissell and other officials close to the operation, that Arbenz "lost his nerve"esult of the psychological pressure of air attacks and radion fact. Arbenz was deposedilitary coup, and neither the radio nor the air attacks had much to do with it. It was natural, however, for PBSUCCESS officers to feel these elements had been decisive. In the operation's last days, they were all lhat was left.
As Arbenz learned the horriblestruggled with setbacks of his own. Byune, he judgedailure and decided that the only remaining chance for success layilitary victory. "Army defection nowailerest ofe cablede ordered CAT pilots to attack military targets,previous orders to spare the Army while defection efforts were under way. Informing Dulles that "airpower could be decisive" in thedays, he asked for additional fighter aircraft. That day. the Director met at the White House with Eisenhower and Holland. The latter strongly opposed sending planes to Castilloove that would confirm US involvement andecurity Council resoluiion approved by the United States. Eisenhower listened io these objections and then asked Dulles what chance the rebels would have without the aircraft. "Abouthe Director replied.
"Suppose we supply thehe President asked "What would be ihe chances then?"
"*Orj| history interview with Richard M. Bissell.wiehi D. Eisenhower Ubra/y. Job. Bos S.
"'LINCOLN to Director.a. Box 6
"Abouiulles allowed. The President considered the answer realistic and gave the order to send two fighters. "If you'd saide later told Dulles, "I'd have saidnknown to both men. the chances of success were substantially higher. The Guatemalan Army had given Arbenz its ultimatum before the all-out air offensive
The aircraft had little apparent effect on the situation in the field. Pilots found most of their World War II surplus bombs failed to explode. Strafing produced the best results, but still failed lo prevent or delay the Army buildup in Zacapa. Rebel planes strafed troop trains, exploding the boilers of several. The troops, however, continued toward their destination on foot. Repeated strafing runs would scalier but not deter them. Bombing runs on Zacapa also had no visible effect on the concentration of forces there.inal attempt lo sput 3rcDe' planes successfully bombed the Matamoros fortress in downtown Guatemala City onune, touching off secondary explosions. J) continued to wait. With the gloves off. the mercenary aviators became overemhusiasiic in iheir choice of tor-gets. One dropped his loadritish freighter, the Springfjord, in port at Sanhis time the bombs exploded, sending the vessel to the bottom, an unfortunate incident for which the Agency later haday SI million in restitution.*"
f_ Qiugmented ihe air strikes with intensified radio propaganda, breaking into military channels and broadcasting stories of reverses at the front, without discernible effect. The capture of Chiquimulaomentary bright spot,ecognized that Castillo Armas owed his successes to the Guatemalan Army's restraint. If the Army moved, the rebellion would beJ-vomed. too. about Toriello's diplomatic offensive. Onh. heserious possibility that cease fire may be enforced soon and inspection teams seni" to Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. He instructed Castillo Armas to try to "obtain the most advantageous position prior to any cessation of
andate/orGarden City. NY. DouKeday and,.
" tUntignedl to Leddy.eddy file..he blame for thii incident can be disinhuiedide front Somou told PBSUCCESS pilots at Puerto Cabesas onh lhat the Springfjord was unloading fuel and arms (in fact, it was loadingombing tun on San Jose's fuel tanks was scheduled for that day. andfj
^ be Agency officer in charge, did notIhe pilot "specifically IPmdanyauthority to bomb ihe British vesseliscussion between^ Tin Florida, and Batnes, at Langley, overof international shipping would further ihe economic warfare objectives ofThey finally decided not to awhonie the bo**tig "atut by then theairborne. LINCOLN to Director. LINC9. Bo*to Director. "Surep"SA. Boxto Director. "Strep No.6. Bo*to Director. "Srtrep"5. Bo*to Director. "Sitrep". Boa 6
Although Guatemalan troops remained quartered at Zacapa garrison. Castillo Armasrowing threat from police and armed peasants. Onune, nearly all of the widely dispersed rebel units radioed pleas for air strikes against armedhe following day. Castillo Armas mounted an attack on Ipala and was turned back. Hestrong column" moving from Ipala to Quezahepequc to sever his line of retreat fromlthough he wasuerrilla campaign. Castillo Armas conceptualized his position in conventional terms, and sought with his tiny army to seize and occupy territory. His response to an attack on any of his "fronts" was to demand an air strike, Agency officials tired of these demands and of the rebel commander's preference for frontal assaults on populated areas, which usually ended in disaster. Bissell and Wisner wanted the rebels to remain in the' countryside, broken into small contingents that would strike and melt away in true guerrilla fashion. In that way the rebels could keep the Army occupied while eliminating the chance of losing their entire forceingle disastrous encounter. Onune, Bissellto try to get Castillo Armas to change tactics.1"
There was no need. Castillo Armas's troops had done their job. Onune. Arbenz had summoned his Cabinet, party officials, and union leaders to inform them that the Army was in revolt and that the only hope was to arm the populace. Diaz and union leaders agreed to cooperate, but the following day no citizen army materialized. Union members had previously fought for the government alongside' the Army, but theof fighting both the Army and Castillo Armas was too daunting. SHERWOOD was broadcasting that columns of rebel troops wereon the capital.andful showed up to ask for arms, but there were none available. Diaz reneged on his promise. He was closeted with Sanchez, Monz6n. and other military leaders plotting to seize power for themselves.1"
Peurifoy met with the plotters on the afternoon ofune and learned that they planned to take power that night. They promised to "move immediately on seizing commie leaders and sending them out of theut they refused to deal with Castillo Armas, and asked
'"LINCOLN to Director.6.INCOLN to Director,SA. Box'Biiiell lo..hanered Hope.
Peurifoy toease-fire. The Ambassador wanted Arbenz oui but he did not intend to "become part of another Mihailovich-Tuoe did not "trust the Army leaders, either on anti-Communism or on keeping faith with the United Stales. They are collaborators with Communism and must pay penalty in form Castillo Armas assumption ofe remained silent, allowing the colonels to think they would be allowed to take power with USmaximum air show" over Guatemala City for the following afternoon.'"
That evening0 Arbenz announced his resignation. He wasover executive power to Colonel Diaz, he explained,m certain he will guarantee democracy in Guatemala and all the socialof our people will beThe enemy who commands the bands of foreign mercenaries recruited by Castillo Annas is not only weak but completely cowardly" as was proven at Puerto Barrios and Gualln. He expressed full confidence that, with the Army united behind Diaz, the rebels would be quicklye had notiaz hadhim that an"Mihailovich-Tito deal" in Peurifoy'sbe reached that would allow the Army to coopt and thenCastillo Armas. By turning over power to the military, Arbenz hoped to salvage most of the gains of4 revolution while defeating theand defusing US opposition.
Moments later. Diaz took the mierophone and proclaimed that he was seizing power in the name of the Revolutionnd that the Army would continue the fight against Castillo Armas. "We have beeneurifoy cabled Headquarters. Diaz, Sanchez, and Monzdnunta thai retained in power most of the Arbenz Cabinet. When Peurifoy asked if they would negotiate with the icbcls. the junta leaders "evaded all issues, praised their own anti-Communism, slandered Castillohey warned Fortuny and other Communist leaders to seekin foreign embassies. Peurifoy cabled Washington to "urgentlybombing Guatemalaombs would persuade them
That nighthad arrived in
Guatemala City for the denouement, decided to do some persuadingown.0 in the morning, they called on Dfaz io give him anon the facts of life.hegan to spell out the importance of
lo Wiltauer. GUATISobA. Boi 11
'"LINCOLN io Director. "Daily Siirepft.
'"Sebleiineer and Kiiucr. Bint' Fruit,.
"'GBMcmala Suum lo Director... Box 6
acting quickly against theintenuptedhe explained, "you are not convenient for AmericanDiaz had lo hear it from Peurifoy himself,ew hoursAmbassador confirmedinterpretation of American foreign
policy. The colonel grudgingly stepped aside.
With Diaz out of the way. Peurifoy decided the Agency ought toand allow the State Department to negotiate with GuatemalanHe asked Wisner toittle talk" withwhoan "outstanding job" but needed now to "reiire more to theOnune. Wisner sentfessage knownas the "shift of gearsith hostilities concluded andin sight, he observed, the Station should concern itself with"for which this Agency is more strictly responsible andThe time had come "for the surgeons to step back andto take over thell questions of policy and mattersbe handled overtly should be dealt with by the Staleofficials would stay on to collect captured documents andactivities in support of CastilloBSUCCESS
In theays after Arbenz's resignation five successive juntas occupied the presidential palace, each more amenable to American demands than the last. Peurifoyunta that included both Castillo Armas and Monz6n. Substantive issues like land reform disappeared after the first two coups, and discussion centered on ways to satisfy the pride of the two military groups. Castillo Armas wanted to march into Guatemala City at the head of his men. Monzdn refused toriumphal march and insisted on being allowed to remain in officeonth before ceding power to Castillo Armas. Peurifoy and President Osorio presided over the talks in San Salvador. Anxious to arrest the few Communists remaining ai large. Wisner dismissed Castillo Armas's demands as "dangerousPeurifoy bullied and cajoled untiluly, the two men signed the "Pacto de Sanombined Army-liberacidnista junta.'"
Wisner cabled his congratulationserformance that "surpassed even our greatesteurifoy "can take great comfort and satisfaction from fact lhat his accomplishments are already well known and fully appreciated in all important quarters of government" But it was
"Teurifoy to Leddy..
'-Wisner io Chief of Station Guatemala..obIQ25A. Boxleijeses, Shoiiered Hope,; Wisner lo Chief of Station Guatemala City.. Box 9.
'"WisnerChief of Station Guatemala City... Boi 9
ompleteeek of chaos had allowed leading Communists to escape. Many took refuge in embassies.T, went to see Fortuny, the former head of the PGT, at the Mexican Embassy and found him aman, unable to speak. As heoung attache stopped himuestion, "does this mean the Uniied States will noiommunist government anywhere in theut on his hat. "Draw your owne said, and walked ML
The Sweet Smell of Success
What we'd give to have an Arbenz now. We are going to nave to invent one. but all the candidates are dead.
US State Department1
PBSUCCESS officers concluded their business andhe Voz de la Liberation went off the air theand David Atlee Phillips packed its mobile transmitter for shipmentStates. Incollecting files and preparing to
closeHe ordered Guatemala Station to destroy documents
pertaining tos Frank Wisner had said, it was time for the Agency to return to the tasks for which it was "peculiarlyut the Agency would never be the same after PBSUCCESS. The triumph showed what could be accomplished through covert action, and its lessons, learned and unlearned, would have ramifications for years to come.
The Agency's initial jubilation gave way to misgivings as it became clear that victory in Guatemala had been neither as clear nor asas originally thought. In Latin America, the Eisenhower administration came under heavy fire for its actions, and Guatemalaymbol of the stubborn resistance of the United States to progressive, nationalistCastillo Armas's new regime proved embarrassingly inept. Itsand corrupt policies soon polarized Guatemala andenewed civil conflict. Operation PBSUCCESS aroused resentments that continue, almostears after the event, to prevent the Agency from revealing its role.
After sending his "shift of gears" cable. Wisner turned his attention to finding ways to exploit the victory of PBSUCCESS. The defeat of Arbenz not only boosted the Agency's reputation in Congress and the
""Quoted in Marlise Simons. "Cuwmala: The Cominganitn.
"'Cyrus Buraene to J. C. King. "Plot by Atbcni Government Againat United Fruit.obI02SA.
administration, ilhance to expose Soviet machinations throughout the hemisphere. Wisner was anxious not to allow anyto pass. Amid the ruins of Arbenz's government lay prizes worthdocuments, defectable Communists, and openings for propaganda. Wisner tried to seize what he could.
In early July, he sent two
the Counterintelligence Staff, to Guatemala City tosnatch jobwhile the melon was freshly burste hoped tothat would enable the Agency to trace Soviet connectionsLatin America and identify "people who can be controlled andto further USn addition, he thought the capturedconclusively prove the Communist nature of the Arbenz regime.the projectarriveduly along
wo-man State Department team. They discovered that theand offices of labor unions and police organizations had al-
ready been plundered systematically by the army and unsystematicallyand street urchins.wnoew days earlier,
had bought secret police documentsmall boy. Party andoffices stood unguarded, their doors and windows broken, withdocuments lying on the floor in heaps m
With the help of the Army and Castillo Armas's junta, the teamocuments, but most of what it found had only "localew of the papers concerned "the aspects that we are most interested in. namely the elements of Soviet support and control of Communism inor did the documents identify individuals vulnerable to exploitation.chneider, an outside researcher who later examined the PBHISTOKY documents, found no traces of Sovietand substantial evidence that Guatemalan Communists acted alone, without support or guidance from outside the country."'
The operation produced enough material toooklet distributed to the National Security Council, members of the Senate, and otherofficials. It contained photographs of Arbenz's library of Marxist literature, Chinese Communist materials on agrarian reform, pages.from Mrs. Arbenz's copy of Stalin's biography, evidence that Arbenz had tried to purchase arms from Italy, and various letters and cablesstrong pro-Communist bias" Wisner wanted mote incriminating material, but the brochure was sufficient to impress the NSC staff."*
Chief RQM.OIS. to Wtsner. "Mechanics for Exploitation of Gsaiemalan
alv IvSa Job
1Counterinielligen.ee Staff. "Report on Activity in
'"Schneider's Comwmim inaj based on PBH1STORYounterintelligence Staff C, "Documents Obtainedriel. Preliminary Sampling of the Docun>entary Evidence of Comitiunist Infiltration and Influence in8.
Apart from documents, the Agency also had an interest in two other remnants of the AibenzAlfhem arms and the assortment of political refugees encamped in embassy compounds around Guatemala City. After the United States provided Guatemala with military aid. Castillo Annas offered to sell the Czech arms to the Agency in order to raise money io purchase aircraft. Agency officials were initially intrigued, but when military advisers surveyed the equipment they found it obsolete and in poor condition. Logistics warned that the arms could be easily traced, and the Western Hemisphere Division advised that it could think of no use for them. Allen Dulles declined the offer."*
Wisner and Barnes initially regarded the presence of severalgovernment and party officials in the embassies of Mexico,Salvador, and Chileropaganda opportunity. In early August,to have Castillo Armas's junta attempt to deport the asylum
ers to the Soviet Union. If the Soviets agreed, it would confirm the former regime's relationship with Moscow and remove Arbenz and his cronies from the hemisphere. If they did not. Wisner beamed, "then wc have another excellent propaganda gambit, viz: 'Sec what happens to Moscow's unsuccessful agents and0 The scheme proved impossible to execute. Guatemala had no diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union,equest required Moscow's cooperation, which was not forthcoming Wisner remained fond of the idea, but by the beginning of September. Assistant Secretary of State Henry Holland was trying to get Mexico to turn former Guatemalan officials over to the junta for trial. Mexico's Embassy held the most distinguished cohort, including Fortuny and Arbenz. Holland tried to persuade the Mexicans to accept the "principle that the traditional benefits of asylum should be denied internationalut they would have none of
State and Agency officials now began to regard the asylum seekers"troublesome and unsettledhey worried that,
Communists would be allowed free passage to Mexico City, where they could plot their return.seless worry. Ihe PGT members who wished to stay active in politics remained at large, unmolested by Castillo Armas's police, who concentrated on arresting thousands of peasants who tried to remain on the land granted them by. The PGTactive underground until the,ore proficient
""Wisner to Dulles, "Uiiliiaiion of ihe Alfhem Arms Shipmeni to4ith aitachmems.BA.
"Wisner to Holland. "Proposal of Combined Department cf State ant! CIA fc* Action lo Explou Asylee Situation inobA,'Holland to J. Fosier Dulles. "Asylee Problem in0.
King. "Guatemala. Conference with Messrs Leddy aad) August,
Guatemalan police force arrested, lonuied, and killed Victor Gutierrez andther leaders, sewed their bodies inio burlap sacks and dropped them in ihe ocean from an army transportastillo Armas, embarrassed by the deposed president's continued presence in the capital, allowed Arbenz free passage io Mexico one insistedinaland ordered Arbenz to be strip searched at the airport. For the nextears Arbenzeripatetic existence in France. Uruguay. Switzerland, and Cuba, returning finally to Mexico where1 he drowned in hisortuny also went to Mexico City, where he still lives.
In mid-August. Eisenhower summoned the operation's managersWhite Houseormal briefing. There, before ihe Cabinet.Nixon, and Eisenhower's family,[ hillips,
Dulles. Barnes. Wisner. and King explained the operation with maps and slides. The audience listened respectfully. Ai the end. the President asked how many men Castillo Armas had lost. "Onlyriefer lied. Eisenhower shook his head;endeed, it had been incredible. Had the Guatemalan Army crushed Castillo Armas ai Chiquimula. as it easily could have done, investigations would have uncovered the chronic lapses in security, the failure to plan beyond the operation's first stages, the Agency's poor understanding of the intentions of the Army, the PGT. and the government, the hopeless weakness of Castillo Armas's troops, and the failure to make provisions for theof defeat. All of these were swept away by Arbenz's resignation, and PBSUCCESS went into Agency lore as an unblemished triumph. Eisenhower's policymakers drew confidence from ihe belief that covert action could be usedonvenient, decisive final resort.
Over the following years, the Eisenhower administrationactions toovernment in South Vietnam and supportseparatist movement in Sumatra. Inhen theto overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, it reassembledteam inBarnes, and
Phillips all look leading positions in operation JMARC. an operation designed ioliberated area" in Cuba. As originally conceived, the area wouldadio propaganda operation like SHERWOOD andocal point to which opposition elements could rally. Like PBSUCCESS. the operation reliedebel army of exiles and air support from World War II-era aircraft manned by Cuban and American pilots. It
"The number of opposition casualues (atas ihe total number of casualties) is
but Agency file* indicate lhatere killed at Puertonothert Gualan
In addition, lomeembers of the civilian Opposition were killed in Guatemalan (asis be-
foie the fall of Arhcnz.
wasopy of PBSUCCESS. but an improvement built around theof the Guatemala operation that had been considered effective:and an insurrectionaryhe operation underwentbefore ending in fiasco at the Bay of Pigs, but these elementscentral to the plan. Afterwards, many of those involved in thelinked the success in Guatemala with the failure at the Bay"If the Agency had not had. Howard Hunt, awho served in both PBSUCCESS and JMARC, later observed,would not have hadven after the Cuban disasterits strategies. PBSUCCESS continued tohadow onLatin America. "The language, arguments, and techniques of theone analyst observed in, "were used in Cuba inIhe Dominican Republicnd in
Even before the afterglow of the White House briefing wore off. the Eisenhower administration had reason to question whether PBSUCCESS had delivered an undiluted victory. Agency and State Department officials were shocked at the ferocity of international protest after the fall of Arbenz. The London Times and Le Monde attacked the cynical hypocrisy behind America's "modem forms of economichile in Rangoon protesters stoned the AmericanN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold charged that "the United Slates' attitude wasat variance with the [UNJhe British Foreign Office found German newspapers "surprisinglyven ones "no! usually hostile toritish officials considered John Foster Dulles's gloating remarks after ihe coup as virtually "an admission that (hewas an outside
Whitehall soon put aside its initial disgust and helped unruffle European fcaihers. Foreign Office officials were ready to lodge complaints over the naval blockade, the Springfjord incident, and the failure of the OAS investigation teamet closer than Mexico City. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, however, persuaded them thai foibcarancc in thismight be rewarded when Britain needed to quell the nextin its empire. "I'd never heard of this bloody place Guatemala until I
""Simons.4 Some have claimed an eves longer shadow lot PBSUCCESSBSUCCESS case officei. wrote6 lhat "i; is painful io look on as my Govertmcn: repeals the mistake*hich it engaged me ihtny-rwo yearsave grownnly wish my Government would do ihe same '*oemnger. "Toe Company. Then andhe P'ot'tsnvt.. 50
"Rangoonecretary of State.obI02JA.
"'Mters. "The British
wu io mye growled. Britain helped cover up the Springfjord affair andwhite paper" that ratified the Agency's version of events. Eisenhower, however, felt no obligation to return ihe favor in kind, as Churchill's successor learned two years later at Suez.1"
In Latin America, the Arbenz regime's demise left an enduring legacy of anti-Americanism. In Havana. Santiago, Mexico City. Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro, large crowds gathered to burn the stars and stripes and effigies of Eisenhower and Dulles. "Societies of the Friends of Guatemala" sprang up to keep alive the memory of American imperialism and Guatemala's martyrdom. The State Department was "frightened by reactions allccording to then Agency official reported that the demonstrationsurprising and embarrassing influence of Communists on publicaniel James, the influential editor of The New Leader, predicted that "in death the Guatemalan parry may prove toigger asset to the Kremlin than in
This was an overstatement, bui victory over Arbenz proved toasting propaganda setback. Resentment even found artistic expression in the work of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, who depicted in fresco Peurifoy and the Dulles brothers passing money to Castillo Armas and Monzon over the bodies of Guatemalan children. Several Mexicanreproduced themong the crowds that spat and threw vegetables at Vice President Richard Nixon7 were signsthe suppression of Guatemala. For Latin Americans determined to change their countries' feudal social structures. Guatemalaormative experience. "The Guatemalaccording io one historian, "shaped the attitudes and stratagems of an older generation of radicals, for whom this experience signaled the necessity of armed struggle and an end to illusions about peaceful, legal, and reformisthisincluded Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, who learned from Guatemala's experience the importance of striking decisively againstbefore they could seek assistance from outside.
While PBSUCCESS succeeded inovernment, it failed to install an adequate substitute. Agency officials might have felt more sanguine in their victory if Castillo Armas had been an able leader. The
,nWisoer. "The Friends of9.leiieses. Shanered Hope,.
on 'Lessons of Guatemala" by Dantel98 A.
'*"Yo No Micoio! Griumpacio,; Lux: La RtvittaTrabajadorei (magaune of the Mexican EleciriQani5Uuotuical Huiory of Modern Central America
invasion's disastrous setbacks dispelled all illusions about his capabilities, and US officials had low expectations at the outset of his presidency. Even these proved optimistic. Hopes that he would align himself with centrist and moderate elements were dashed within weeks, as the new junta sought out the only elements not tainted by ties to the Arbenz regime, the aged and embittered retainers of Ubico. Castillo Armas named Jose Bernabe Linares. Ubico's hated secret police chief, to head the new regime'sforces. Linares soon banned all "subversive" literature, including works by Victor Hugo and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Castillo Armas completed his lunge to Ihe right by disfranchising illiterates (two-thirds of thecanceling land reform, and outlawing all political parties, labor confederations, and peasant organizations. Finally, hepolitical statute" that voided5 constitution and gave him complete executive and legislative authority.
These depredations worried John Foster Dulles less than the newchronic insolvency. Castillo Armas cameower just ascoffee buyers, convinced that prices had risen too high,buyers strike" against Central and South Americanew months later. Guatemala felt the first effectsear-long drought that devastated the com crop The new regime opened its armsmericanbut the only takers were Mafia figures *ho joined with Guatemalan Army officers in opening gamblingeanwhile,
and Kinzcr. Ciller Fruit,bid..
Amcfican "promoters, carpetbaggers and others" raised expectations in Guatemala Cityarge US aid package would be easy to get. Castillo Armas surprised the State Department's Thomas Mann in Septemberequest0 million in aid. including plansillion national highwayhe Department had planned to giveillion in grant aid and to ask the International Monetary Fundillion loan for road development, fearing that higher levels would provoke other Latin countries to submit requestsy the end of the year, it was apparent that each country had entirely unrealistic expectations of the other The United States wanted Castillo Armas toiscally responsiblewhile Castillo Armas recognized that his claim to authority rested on his ability to deliver goods from the United States.
Guatemala quickly came to depend on handouts from the United Slates. The government's foreign reserves droppedillion at the end3 (when ii was easy for Arbenz to spareillion for Czech4 million in5t this point, thecould no longer borrow internally. Capital flight, black markets, and other signs of approaching bankruptcy discredited the regime. Wisnerof "the inability on the pan of the Government to realize sufficient revenues tohen aid and multilateral loans ran out. the State Department offered to help Castillo Armas obtain private loans, but the Agency worried about the propaganda ramifications of making its client beholden to New York banks and recommended against it. In April. Holland increased his request for grant aid from S4 millionillion. The following month, the National Security Council, determining that the "collapse of the present Guatemalan government wouldisastroussetback for the Unitedecided on an aid packageillion w
The Eisenhower administration had to underwrite an increasing Guatemalan deficit aggravated by corruption and mismanagement.ad observed, the United States was prepared to subsidize some wastage, but the scale of corruption surprised US officials.t the height of the corn famine. Castillo Armas granted several formericense lo import corn in returnersonal kickback
-Memorandum of Conversation. ArabKudor Norman Aimotar. Hollaed. Mann.e'ftn JntWimntied9
"'Memorandum oi Conversation. "Currentuatemala and Projected Aideign Relations of Ihe United,.J
"'Wisner to Alien Dulles.economic0OI22SA.
Allen Dulles.S position wild retard io Government
loan requeued by7.'Holland to Under Secretary of Slate Herbert Hoover.0oreign RelationsVoited
. Uniied Nations officials inspected the corn and found itand unfit for consumption. Shoitlyuatemalannewspaper exposed the scandal,opy of ihe canceled check used to bribe ihc president. Castillo Armas responded byolice crackdown on his critics."*
Opposition io the regime grew more vocal as the second anniversary of the liberation approached.orkers booed government speakers off the platformabor rally and cheered former Arbcncista officials. In early June, embassy officials reported that the Guatemalan Communist Party was "well on its way towardithcells assuming effective leadership of the opposition. Onune, government agents firedrowd of student protesters marching on the presidential palace, killing six and wounding scores more. Castillo Armasstate of siege" and suspended all civil liberties. The US Ambassador stressed to the president "the importance of publicizing, with supporting evidence, ihe events as partommunisthe United States Information Agency (USIA) agreed to help. Holland met with Guatemalan officials and "suggested that in dealing withtear gas was effective and infinitely preferable to
Quelling unrest, however, proved more difficult than finding the right propaganda slant. After another year of escalating violence between theand the authorities, Castillo Armas was assassinatedember of the presidential guard. USIA dutifully portrayed the killing as another Communist plot. The Liberator's death opened the way for elections, whichlurality for Ortizentrist candidate. Followers of the defeated nominee of the right. Ydigoras Fucntes. rioted, and the Army seized power and invalidated the election Inuatemalans voted again, and this time ihey knew what was expected of them. Ydigoras wonlurality, and shortly after taking office declared another "state of siege" and assumed full powers."*
Amid the convulsions of. Guatemala's political center, which had crcaied the Revolution4 and dominated politicsanished from politicserrorized silence. Political activitybecame too dangerous as groups of ihe extreme right and left, both led by military officers, plotted against one another. In Iheroups began operating in ihc eastern part of ihe country, and6 the United Stales responded by sending military advisers and weapons,ycle of violence and reprisals thai by ihe end of ihe decade
and Kinder. Diner fruit,
"Hollandoreign Relations of ihe United.
of Conversion, Holland andru; Salaiar. Ambassador ot Guatemala.oreign Relations of the Untied.nd Kir.zer. Bitter Fruit,
claimed the livesS Ambassador, two US military attaches, and as many0 peasants.he Army stole another election,another generation of young Guatemalanseek change Ihrough intrigues and violence. Increasingly, Indians and the Catholichad formerly remained aloof fromwith the left, isolating the Army on the far
Ironically, by attaining its short-termJacobothwarted the long-term objective oftable. non-Communistopes lhat Castillo Armas wouldoderate, reformist regime and follow the instructions of US financial experts were destroyed by the same process that had placed the Liberator in power. Because Arbenz and the PGT had advocated and implemented progressivetacticalneeded to direct his appeals at the groups most hurt by land reform and other progressive policies. Moderate elements disliked parts of Arbenz's agenda, but were repelled by the bitter disaffection of the opposition. Resentful landowners and partisans of (heegime were the rebels' natural allies, and Castillo Armas, as their leader, acted as broker between these "men of action" and the United States.
During PBSUCCESS. US officials had reason to believerightist tendencies would be offset by his openness to adviceUnited States. Case officers found him malleable and receptive ioBut, as the Stale Department soon learned. Castillo Armas'sto CIA had been dictated by his circumstances. As presidenthe wasetter position to press the demands of hisconservative land barons and political opportunists. WhenSlates failed to provide enough aid to satisfy these groups.was forced io appease them inys. through graft andThe United States' heavy stake in Castillo Armas's successleverage in dealing with him. State Department officials were unablewith the juntauid pro quo basis because theyUnited States would never allow Castillofail. In Guatemala. US officialsesson they would releamIran,and other countries: intervention usually
produces "allies" that are stubborn, aid hungry, and corrupt.
The United Fruit Company did not profit from victory. Castillo Armas restored many of the company's privileges, bui ihey were worth less than before. The more affluent American consumcis ofless fruit per capita, and independent companies cut into United
"'The increased-uake, decreased-leverage paradoi isfey Leslie Gelb and Richard Beru in Thef Kevtom. Tke System Worked (Washington Brooiiag*.
Fruit's share. The company's profit margin dropped4 percent04 percentnd share prices, which peakedellhe company courted environmental disaster by experimenting with pesticides and selective breeding. Taller, moretrees turned out to be more vulnerable to hurricanes, and winds felledillionear8hemical agent used toanana blight killed predators that kept insect pests in check. By the end of, the company faced higher costs and declining yields*"
Political setbacks compounded these disasters. To improve relations with Latin America, the State Department demanded that the company grant higher wages, not just in Guatemala but throughout the hemisphere. Once Untied Fruit's usefulness to PBSUCCESS was at an end, the Eisenhower administration proceeded with its suspended antitrust action, and8 the companyonsent decree divesting it of itsin railroads and marketing operations. Thomas Corcoran's heroicand the addition of Walter Bedell Smith to the board of directors5 failed to turn the company around. Smithoston-bred. Harvard-educated corporate leadership described by Fortune asunimaginative, andoo rigid and conservative towith the company's multiplying difficulties.1"
United Fruit continued to decline during, and2 sold the last of its Guatemalan land to the Del Monteew years later, the company merged with Morrell Meats to form United Brands, but the merger failed to stop the slide.ear in whichillion and came under Federal investigation for5 million bribe to the Government of Honduras. United Brands'Eli Black, smashed out the window of his comer office in ihe Pan Am Building and jumped to his death. Two years later, two New York real estate developers bought tbe company and managed torofit.nited Brands was purchasedincinnati-based insurancecompany, American Financial Corporation, which owns it today. Thanks to Americans' changing diets, banana importing has once againprofitable, and L'nited's Chiquita brand hasajority share of the market. The company's Tropical Radio division (which once employed the Salami conspirators) ventured into the cellular telephone business in thend now dominates the mobile phone business inatin American
Soiow. "Tbe Ripe Piobteoo of Uniied. "W.
Grigfby. "The Wonder Is Thai It Worti aiorbes.; "Uniied Brands* Hidden Chums for Carlonune.erry Hanson. "Ripeorbes.6
The Siory Unfolds
Today, most of the siocy of PBSUCCESS is available in published accounts. In Latin America, scholars and journalists assumed USin the Guatemalan affair from the outset, but in the Uniied States the details of official involvement came slowly to light in. During the Eisenhower administration, the Agency took pains to cover its
J'" But after Eisenhower and Dulles left office.
references lo the operation began appearing in open sources.
Whiiing Willauer. in public testimony before Congress, revealed that he
had been partpecial learn of ambassadors sent to Central America to
aid an Agency-sponsored plan to overthrow Arbenz. He further testified
lhat the Agency had trained and equipped Castillo Armas's forces.
Thiuston B. Morion. Eisenhower's Assistant Secretary of Slate for
Congressional Affairs, boasted of his role in PBSUCCESS on television
while campaigning for ihc Senatehe following year. Eisenhower.
odium with Allen Dulles, conceded that "there was one time"
when "we had to get ridommunist government" in Central
e told the story of how Dulles had come to himequest
for aircraft for the rebel forces. That same year he repeated the story in his
memoirs, Mandate for Change, and Dulles provided additional details in
3 study. The Craft oft about the same time.
Ydigoras Fuentesemoir in the United States in which he
described the Agency's involvement while concealing his own role in the
David Wise and Thomas B. Ross put these pieces together inexpos* on the CIA. The Invisible Government, which devoted aioflew with ihe rebel air force,
described his own experiences with considerable embellishment.
Agency was disturbed by the book's revelations, and DC! John McCone tried unsuccessfully to get Wise and Ross to make changes. McCone raised
Wise andon. The Invisible CwWCork: Random..
Bho-er. Mandate fatarden Otj.teday and.ulles. The Croft of Intelligence fUa*m. Weideafieid and.ulle* revealed no sources or methods but made it clear that the Uniied State* had been involved.
noowever, io the Guatemala chapter, which, he said, described events "before myike Eisenhower. Dulles, and Willauer, he regarded the operation, afterears,ubject that could now be discussed, so long as names and places remained unmentioned.
Amid the push for increased government accountability in, leaks by former Agency employees continued to outnumber officialThe Pike and Church committees, which investigated CIAineast incommenting on the Guatemala operation, but ex-CIA officers continued to fill in the details. Inichard Bissell told John Chancellor on national television that "the whole policy-making machinery of ihe executive branch of the government wasith CIAeadingoonan Associated Press reporter, Lewis Gulick. decided toew Executive order on declassification (Executive) by requesting documents on PBSUCCESS. His request,as the first declassification inquiry received under the new order, and since it camerominent media figure. Agency officials knew it could not belightly. Nonetheless, after reviewing the documents. DCI Richard Helms denied the request in full.'* David Alice Phillips, who was then the chief of the Western Hemisphere Division in the Directorate of Operations, argued that exposing the Guatemala materials would "only stir more Hemispheric controversy about CIA when our plate overflows already in the wake of C
3 Gulick appealed, but the Interagency Classification Review Committee, chaired by John Eisenhower, son of the formerbacked up the
Former Agency officials, meanwhile, continued to tell their stories. Publishersopular genre in CIA memoirs. In. Howard Hunt disclosed his role in the psychological and paramilitary aspects of theour years later. Phillips described the SHERWOODart of PBSUCCESS that had not previously received press attention, in an account copied almost verbatimebriefing report that is stillany more officials told their stories to Richard Harrisormer Agency official who was working
""Transcripl of conversation beiween DO McCone. Ljman Kirkpainck. David Wise, and Thomas Ross..UoiitledO25A..
""Angus MacLean Thuermer. Assistant to the Direcior. to Lewis Gulick...
"'Phillips io EaccBtive Assistant. Directorate of Ope rations. "Proposed Topics for Unclassified7.
"Thuermer to Marvin L. Arrow* mil h. Associated Press Bureau Chief..-
**E. Howard Hunt. Undercover: Memoirsun Ameilian Secret Agenl (New York: Beikelcy.. "Phillips, The Vfatek.
iography of Alien Dulles. Smith missed his publisher's deadline, and0 he showed his uncompleted manuscript lo two Newsweek reporters. Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer. who were workingook on Guatemala.
In their pursuit of documents, Schlesinger and Kinzer tested the limits of the newly amended Freedom of Information Act.ongress substantially strengthened6 Act. giving scholars ainstrument for extracting documents from government agencies. When CIA denied their request, the two journalists took the Agency to court with help from the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project. The lawsuit caused the Agency to collect all of the available documents on the operation and place them in, the collection on which this history is based. The suit also revealed the operation's name. PBSUCCESS, to the public for the first time. CIA won the court action, and no Agency documents were revealed. Schlesinger and Kinzer, however, used tbe Act to obtain documents from the Departments of State and Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These documents, and the revelations of former American and Guatemalan officials,the story told in their book Bitter Fruit and the more scholarly studies on PBSUCCESS that have appeared since.'"
In announcing CIA's new "openness" policy, made possible by the end of the Cold War. former Director of Central Intelligence Robert M. Gates in2 included PBSUCCESS along with3 Coup in Iran and the Bay of Pigs, as covert action operations whose records will be reviewed for declassification by CIA's new Historical Review Group. Although this new Group's work on its own priorities was delayed by legislation later2 that required CIA (and all other agencies and departments) to review all their records relevant to the assassination of Presidentennedy, the review of the PBSUCCESS records is now scheduled to begin
Although the opening of CIA's records on4 operation may well revive old controversies and criticisms, il will nevertheless at last allow the Agency to place this episode firmly behind it. Releasing the Guatemala records should symbolically separate CIA from the kind of actions it once considered crucial in the struggle against world Communism. Moreover, these documents will reveal not only the Cold War pressures, but also the restraining power of multilateral accords like the OAS treaty, which nearly prevented covert action despite the consensus of high officials supporting the operation. Finally, and perhaps mostdisclosing information about this formative and still controversial incident in intelligence history will show that the United Slates can honestly confront the painful incidents in its past and learn from iis experience.
'Phillips. Tht fright Watch,.
j?AfeE % LEFT "BLAU^
Col. Francisco Arana. Guatemalan armed forces chief, assassinated.
Thomas Corcoran. United Fruit Companymeets with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. Thomas Mann, to suggest action to oust Guatemalan President Juan Jose Arcvalo.
assignedrrives in Guatemalastablishes contact with
Arbenz elected president. Arbenz inaugurated.
United Fruit Company warns employees that any increase in labor costs would make its operations in Guatemala uneconomic and force it to withdraw from the country.
Windstorm flattens United Fruit's principal Guaiemalan banana farms at Tiquisate; United Fruit later announces it will not rehabilitate plantation until it has completed study ofof Guatemalan operations.
Fruitiquisate employees, refuses to comply with order of Inspector General of Labor to reinstate the suspended employees.
OctoberTurnbull. Vice President of United Fruit.
gives Arbenz ultimatum. United Fruit will not rehabilitate plantations without assurance of stable labor costs for three years and exemption from unfavorable labor laws or exchange
Fruit announces reduction in passenger ship service to Guatemala.
Labor Court of Appeals rules United Fruit must resume operations at Tiquisaie andmployees back wages.
egins receiving weekly reports from Castillo Armas.
enacts Agrarian Reform Law.
Allen Dulles meets with Mann to solicit Siate Department approval for plan toArbenz.
Distribution of land under ihe Agrarian Reform Law begins.
DCI gives approval for PBFORTUNE.
Pan American Airways setilcs three-roonth-old strike in Guatemala by raising wagesercent.
Guatemalan Communist parly opens second party congress with senior Arbenzofficials in attendance.
Workers at United Fruit's Tiquisate plantation file for expropriation0 acres of United Fruit land.
Gualemalan Communist party, PGT, legalized.
Congress impeaches ihe Supreme Court for "ignorance of the law which shows unfitness and manifest incapacity io administer justice" after the Court issued an injunction againsiseizures of land.
Guatemalacres of United Fruit land.
. "Uniied Stales Objectives and Courses with Respect to Latinarnsdrift in the area lowaid radical andregimes."
Salami uprising Abortive rebellion touches off suppression campaign against anti-Communists in Guatemala.
Nauona! Security Council authorizes covert action against Guatemala.
adviser IO K'ng' submits
"General Plan of Action" for PBSUCCESS.
Peurifoy. new US Ambassador, arrives in Guatemala City.
Manuel Fortuny flies to Prague iopurchase of arms.
DDP Frank Wisner approvesand recommends acceptance by DCI.
Allen Dulles approves general plan for PBSUCCESS. allocates S3 million for the
ecemberLINCOLN Station opensf_
Martinez, head of the Agrarian Department, "flees" to Switzerland. Proceeds io Prague to negotiate arms deal.
Guatemalan Government begins mass arrests of suspected subversives.
Guatemalan white paper accuses US ofinvasion. Reveals substantial details of PBSUCCESS.
Gruson. New York Times correspondent, cupelled from Guatemala by Guatemalan Foreign Minister Guillermo] Wisner. King meet to decide whether io abort PBSUCCESS due io white paper revelations.
Guatemalacres of United Fruit land.
Caracas meeting of the OAS opens.
Dulles speaks to Caracas meeting.
Torielio rebuts US charges.
OAS voteso condemn Communism in Guatemala. Secretary of Slate John Foster Dulles briefed on PBSUCCESS.
Paramilitary training program graduatesuatemalan sabotage trainees.
Guatemalan Archbishop Marianorrellanaastoral letter callingational crusade against Communism.
Wisner briefs Assistant Secretary of State Henry Holland on PBSUCCESS. Holland, shocked by security lapses, demands top-level review of project.
Black nights suspended pending top-level review of PBSUCCESS.
John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles give (_ e "full green lighi."
Paramilitary training program graduateseadership trainees
La Voz de la Uberaciin. Operalion SHERWOOD, begins broadcasts.
Paramilitary training program graduatestrainees.
SS Alfhem docks in Puerto Barrios with cargo of Czech weapons.
Commando raid on trainload of Alfhem weapons. One soldier and one saboteur killed. Further sabotage attempts onnday. All fail. Official Guatemalan radio goes off the air to replace transmitter. Does not restari broadcasts until mid-June. Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Guatemala.
US Navy begins Operation HARDROCK BAKER, sea btockade of Guatemala.
Arbenz rounds up subversives, netting nearly all of Castillo Armas's clandestine apparatus.
Arbenz offers to meet with Eisenhower to reduce tensions.
Col. Rodolfo Mendoza of Guatemalan air force defects to El Salvador with private plane.
Victor Manuel Gutierrez, secretary general of the Guatemalan trade union federation,pecial meeting of farm and labor unions to urge them to mobilize for self-defense.
Sabotage teams launched. Invasion forces moved to staging areas. Chief of StationQ makes cold approach
requests bombing of Guatemala City racetrack as demonstration of strength.
0 hours, Arbenz holds mass rally atstation. Buzzed by CIA planes.0 hours. Castillo Armas crosses the border.
ours, bridge at Gualan blown up.
Esquipulas captured. Rebels defeated at Gualin.
Largest rebel force suffers disastrous defeat at Puerto Barrios.
Matamoros Fortress bombed. ChiquimulaCIA planes strafe troop trains.
Arbenz capitulates. Castillo Armas attacks Zacapa, is defeated and falls back to Chiquimula Agency plane bombs British freighter at San lose
Diaz, Sanchez, and Monzdn form junta5 hours. Refused to negotiate with7 dropped two bombs0 hours.
Monzdn seizes junta, requests negotiations with Castillo Armas. Zacapa garrison arranges cease-fire with Castillo Armas.
Wisner sends "Shift of Gears'" cable, urging officers to withdraw from matters of policy.
Monzdn and Castillo Armas meet in Honduras to mediate differences.
SHERWOOD ceases broadcasts, begins
ulydocuments recovery team. PBHISTORY.
ommunist-related documents in Guatemala City.
1 SeptemberAnnas assumes presidency.
PBSUCCESS Organizational Chart
Director of Central IntelJigence
Director (or Plans
Psychological/ Political Operaaccts
Special Deputy PBSUCCIiSS
decern Hemisphere Diviswnf_ *-
Organizaiion proposed. Kingemo io Allen Dulles.Plan olIJ. lobR.also in lob.
Codewords Used in PBSUCCESS
Castillo Armas, rebel leader
informant affiliatedMexican union ORIT.
JMBLUG KMPAJAMA KMROGRAM
KUCLUB KUFIRE KUBARK
Mexico City Panama
John S. Peurifoy, US Ambassador
Operations aimed at intelligence andAfteredirected at military defections.
Codewords Used in PBSUCCESS
PBSUCCESS Headquarters [_
US Embassy FBI
United States Air Force United States Government Castillo Armas The United States
Training base for radio operators
radiobroadcasting program begun on
Whiting Willauer. US Ambassador to Honduras
TheIA cover organizationCastillo Armas.
Arbenz. President of Guatemala
WS BURNT WS HOOFS
astillo Armas's politicalheaded by Corddva Ccma.
Florida. Honduras Carias Vicjas. Honduras Entrc Rios. Guatemala Asuncion Mita Gualan
Director of Central Intelligence. Executive Registry Records.R. CIA Archives and Records Center.
.. CIA Archives and Records Center.
. CIA Archives and Records Center.
Directorate of Operations Records.. CIA Archives and Records Center.
.. CIA Archives and Records Center.
General Records of the Department of State. RecordS National Archives and Records Administration.
Records of the Office of Inter-American Affairs.. RecordS National Archives and Records Administration.
Interview by Nick Cutlather.ashington.
DC. lapc Recording. DCI History Staff. CIA.
Articles and Books
Braden, Spruille. Diplomats and Demagogues. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington
Castillo Armas. Carlos. "How Guatemala got rid of themerican Mercury,.
Clark. Paul Coe. The United States andevisionist Look. Westport:
Dulles. Allen. The Craft of Intelligence. London: Weidenficld and
Dunkerly, James. Power in theolitical History of Modern Central America. London:
Eisenhower, Dwighi David. Mandate for. Garden City. New York: Doubleday and
Fauriol. Georges A. and Eva Loser. Guatemala's Political Puzzle. New Brunswick: Transaction
Ferrcll. Robert H. Americanistory.d. New York:Norton and
Fried. Jonathan L. et at. Guatemala In Rebellion: Unfinished History. New York: Grove
Gelb. Leslie H. and Richard K. Belts. The Irony of Vietnam: The System Worked. Washington, DC: Brookings
Gleijeses. Piero "The Death of Franciscourning Point in the Guatemalanournal of Latin American Studies.
Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the Uniied
. Princeton: Princeton Universiiy
Gordon. Max.ase History of US Subversion:" Science and Society.
Handy.he Most Precious Fruit of the Revolution':Agrarianispanic American Historical
ea of Indians'- Ethnic Conflict and the Guatemalan
Hitchens. Christopher. "Minorityhe Nation, July. 8.
Hunt, E. Howard. Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent. New York:
Immerman. Richard H. The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention. Austin: University of Texas
"Guatemala as Cold Warolitical Science
Jensen, Amy Elizabeth.istorical Survey. New York: Exposition
Richard Allen. "Impact of the United Fruit Company on the Economic Development ofn Studies in Middle American Economics, ed. by Richard A. LaBarge, Wayne Clegern. and Orio! Pi-Sunyei. New Orleans: Tulanc
Linebarger. Paul. Psychological Warfare. Washington: Infantry Journal8
Manz, Beatriz. Refugeesidden Wan The Aftermath of Counterinsur-gency in Guatenutla. Albany: State University of New York
Marks, FrederickHI. "The CIA and Castillo Armas inew Clues to an Oldiplomatic History.
Martinez, Pedro. "Lessons of the Guatemalanorld Marxist.
McCamant. John F. "Intervention in Guatemala: Implications for the Study of Third Worldomparative Political Studies.
McCann. Thomas P. An American Company: The Tragedy of United Fruit. New York Crown
The British Connection: How the United States Covered its Tracks in4 Coup iniplomatic.
Montague. Ludwell Lee. Central Waller Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Payne. Walter A. "The Guatemalan: AnThe Pacific Historian
Petersen. John Holger. "The Political Role of University Students inh.D. dissertation. University of
Phillips. David Atlee. The Night Watch. New York: Bailantinc
Rabe. Stephen G. "The Clues Didn't Check Out: Commentary on 'The CIA and Castillo Armasiplomatic History.
Roettingcr. Philip C. "The Company. Then andhe Progressive.. SO.
Schneider, Ronald M. Communism in. New York: Frederick A.
Schlesinger. Stephen and Stephen Kinzer. Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Garden City: Doubleday and Company.
Simons. Marlise. "Guatemala: The Comingoreign Policy
Smith, Joseph Burkholder. Portraitold Warrior. New York: G. P. Putnam's
Wise. David and Thomas B. Ross. The Invisible Government. New York: Random
US Congress. House Select Committee on Communist Aggression. Communist Aggression in Latindd
Zunes, John Stephen. "Decisions on Intervention: United States Response to Third World Nationalisth.D. dissertation. Cornell