202. Editorial Note

Castillo Armas launched his attack on June 18, 1954, at 8:20 p.m. after the “National Liberation Committee” had consulted with the “Assembly of the People” the previous evening, according to text prepared by the CIA for broadcast. In the radio broadcast the people of Guatemala were told: “At this moment, armed groups of our liberation movement are advancing everywhere throughout the country…. The hour of decision has struck.” The message stressed the indigenous nature of the “uprising”: “This is not a foreign intervention, but an uprising of the honest, Christian, freedom-loving people of Guat (sic) to liberate our homeland from the foreign intervention which has already taken place, from control by the Soviet Union which has made Guat an advanced outpost of international commie aggression, from rule by Soviet puppets.” (Telegram from PBSUCCESS Headquarters to the Broadcasting Unit, June 18; Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 6, Folder 2)

The attack, however, did not surprise the Guatemalan Government. At a meeting of military and political officials on June 15 Minister of Government Augusto Charnaud MacDonald “announced that government informed by ‘most reliable source’ that Col. Carlos Castillo Armas plans uprising to overthrow Guatemalan government between 18–19 June.” (Telegram from the CIA to the Station Chief in [place not declassified], June 18; ibid., Box 9, Folder 2)