229. Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida1
944. 1. May be only our own emotional pendulum, but believe govt, which panicked 18 June, recovered 21 June, getting groggy again. PBPRIME newsmen say govt reps they deal with show renewed fear, jumpiness. SUMAC Chief of Protocol told press “there is too much fighting going on at Zacapa”, echoing SUMAC view govt cannot stand prolonged tension. Newsmen beginning feel anti-govt forces will win if they combine hanging on in north with dramatic acts in capital.
2. Govt not telling people anything. Army communiqués mostly propaganda, contain few facts, political not military in style.
3. Feel it significant govt has not tried stage mass rallies. STANDEL, Commies apparently fear take any action precisely among the masses whose support they claim. Also no real evidence workers being armed.
4. Have searched without result for signs Commies might be planning desperate, last–ditch stand. Possibility remains, but at present appears more likely alleged die hards will claim they never red when tide has turned.
5. General impression is one of spongy, shapeless, gutless govt people. Among these blind, myopic one–eyed man can be boss.
6. Where as dramatic strike against capital would have been less useful in last few days, believe time for it, in view forgoing, rapidly coming again. With wounded returning, rumors about front will thrive. If favorable to us, we should reinforce them with air strikes; if unfavorable, we should counter them. Suggest 24 or 25 June.
7. Know this hard to believe, but people sitting here like kids watching for 4th July firecrackers to go off. The popular imagination is fascinated by the idea of bombs. To people, bombs will signify force majeure, turn of tide they do not understand PBPRIME sophistication, humane concern. Recommend we speak to these kids in kids language––with a big bang.
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 91, Folder 6. Secret; Operational Immediate; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS. Repeated to the Director of Central Intelligence.↩