U.S. Policy in the Event of Guatemalan Aggression in Latin
1. If the government of any member of the Organization of American States
should, under Article 3, paragraph 2 of the Rio Treaty, request the
assistance of the United States to meet an armed attack by Guatemala,
and if the President should be satisfied that such an attack has
occurred, it is recommended that the President:
b. Direct that under Article 3, paragraph 2
of the Rio Treaty and to protect the security of the United States,
the armed forces of the United States, in collaboration with the
armed forces of other members of the Organization of American States
to the extent feasible, and unilaterally only as a last resort, take
military action to the extent necessary to counter-act the attack
and eliminate the danger to the state attacked.
3. The United States should take all practicable political steps to
ensure that the other members of Organization of American States are
prepared for collective action under the Rio Treaty to assist any member
of Organization of American States threatened by aggression or internal
subversion inspired by Guatemala.
4. Appropriate congressional leaders should be immediately informed of
the above policy.
5. The timing of public disclosure of the above policy should be
determined by the Secretary of State.
Secretary Lay, under a
covering note dated May 28, 1954, not printed, transmitted the
recommendations of NSC 5419
(paragraphs 5 to 9), adopted by the NSC subject to the changes set forth in NSC Action No. 1135–b, to the NSC as NSC 5419/1. Mr. Lay informed the NSC of the President’s authorization to
the Navy to halt Guatemalan coastal vessels, including foreign-flag
vessels suspected of carrying munitions of war, for cargo
inspection, and also the President’s reference to NSC 144/1, paragraph 18–b (see p. 10) regarding U.S. policy on
training the military establishments of Latin American nations.
President Eisenhower approved the recommendations in NSC 5419/1 on May 28, 1954, directed
their implementation by all appropriate executive departments and
agencies, and designated the OCB as
the coordinating agency.
*For text of pertinent
articles of the Rio Treaty, see Appendix. [Footnote in the
source text; appendix not printed.]
2On Sept. 3, 1954, NSC Acting Executive Secretary
Gleason, in a memorandum
to the NSC, not printed, stated that
the Council at its 212th meeting on Sept. 2, 1954, in connection
with action on NSC 5432, agreed that
the statement of policy in NSC
5419/1 “should be terminated as no longer applicable.” (NSC Action No. 1209) President
Eisenhower approved the action of the Council on Sept. 3, thereby
terminating NSC 5419/1. Mr.
Gleason informed the
Council that “policy relating to action against anti-U.S. subversion
or intervention in Latin America and to the application of
sanctions, including military action, in the event of threatened or
actual domination of a Latin American state by Communism” was
contained in paragraph 6 of NSC
5432/1 (see p. 83).