234. Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida1
Washington, June 24, 1954, 2330Z.
- We have been working with ODACID on plans for consolidation phase to determine circumstances under which PBPRIME would recognize a rebel government or would offer military or economic aid to a new regime. No authoritative conclusions yet reached and none likely to be until there is firmer indication revolt sufficiently successful at least produce situation in which rebels control considerable territory and sufficient forces to give them at least an even chance of overthrowing regime. In view fluid and preliminary nature ODACID views believe no useful guidance can be given you and understand no present ODACID plans for communicating on this matter with JMBLUG or SKILLET.
- As to immediate decisions, generally concur your instructions ref A on
question desirability establishment new regime and announcement names of
government members, believe must weigh two opposing considerations:
- Early action desirable in order increase air of legitimacy of rebellion and make semi-official support possible sooner if movement successful.
- Main danger this action that it will alienate army officers who either dislike Calligeris or simply prefer themselves control new regime.
- On balance we conclude unwise announce provisional government now for reason given ref A par 1A and because effect of such action on army unevaluated. Meanwhile if traffic can stand it suggest message to Bannister, Page, and JMBLUG inquiring if they believe establishment provisional government now would reduce chances of action against Arbenz by army officers.
- Regardless action by Calligeris believe desirable if contact re–established [name not declassified] by Page or Bannister to point out that if army moves decisively against Arbenz it rather than Calligeris will [Page 382]rule the country and to state that SKIMMER would support regime established by army even if it excluded Calligeris entirely. Well aware danger playing both groups simultaneously and naturally would greatly prefer outcome in which [name not declassified] and Calligeris combined forces. Nevertheless if sizable part of the army will really move it will be a stronger force than anything Calligeris has, except air power which we could control in a pinch. Line here proposed was suggested last sentence par 5 ref C.
- If you agree para 4 above you may wish send appropriate instructions WSBURNT.