142. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to Certain CIA Chiefs of Station1
49462. 1. Background: During past month Guat Govt overtly and covertly eliminated all vestige free radio. Radio Voz de la Capital ceased broadcasting after personnel attacked by masked persons. 5 April, Oscar Conde, opposition radio commentator, was arrested on return from Caracas. April reports from inside Guat indicated all anti-Commie programs were clandestinely jammed by Guat police. Roberto Vizcaino, owner of Radio Continental, which also broadcast anti-Commie news, was forced out of Guat and station turned over to Commies for use. (Disposition to “Tribuna Popular” Commies rumored.) On 21 April, Radio Internacional was invaded by five masked, armed men and all staff was tied, one brutally beaten and all equipment destroyed. Station had been broadcasting “anti-Commie hour” sponsored by “student anti-Commie assn.” Last week, Radio Telefunken canceled news program on grounds program contained “political thoughts”. On 1 May, Guat Govt openly informed all Guat stations that Article 37 of Congressional Decree 372 requires all privately owned radio stations to record and submit all broadcasts re national or international politics to Guat Min of Communications within 24 hours prior to broadcast. Recordings be reviewed by Guat Minister Charnaud MacDonald and be returned in “due course”.
2. Brief of May 5 special to New York Times by Paul Kennedy follows:
Guat Government has officially acknowledged existence clandestine radio station broadcasting anti Communist material. Matter was brought to attention of government by Commie controlled Confederacion General de Trabajadores de Guatemala which claimed it had learned station located in San Marcos Department of Guatemala near Mexican border. Police, however, subsequently stated belief it behind Honduran border, according government statement station called “voice of liberation”. This given in context of reference to many Guat Govt acts suppressing freedom of speech, e.g., actions censoring and suppressing radios and newspapers.[Page 278]
3. Request implement and sustain above story. Emphasize station came up soon after repression free speech by government and speculate it may be manned by Guat radio personnel who joined forces opposing government when they received advance warning of government repression.
4. Play following variations. Original information re location station within Guat altered by police for following reasons. (1) They cannot stand admit strength of opposition within country. (2) Government desires mount provocation against Honduras to cloak possible overt acts against Honduras.
5. Suggest LINC require regular reports from PBSUCCESS stations in order enable WH stations sustain story. Since story will probably be self generating to some extent, WH stations authorized interpret along lines: (1) Station within Guat. (2) Represents first indication strength of groups opposing Communist controlled government. (3) Government reported planning confiscate private radio receivers; people buying up spare receivers to have one in hiding.
6. Request weekly cable summaries info LINC describing coverage, interpretations, and local reactions.
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job-01025A, Box 8, Folder 12. Secret; Routine; RYBAT; JMSWAG. Drafted by [name not declassified], cleared by King and [name not declassified], and approved by Wisner. Sent to [8 places not declassified] and repeated to PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida.↩