268. Memorandum From [name not declassified] of the Central Intelligence Agency to the Deputy Director for Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (Wisner)1

RE

  • Control in Guatemala

It became increasingly evident to those members of PBSUCCESS who were in close contact with Calligeris during the period leading up to D-Day that he was not an intelligent individual, lacked administrative ability and was easily penetrated and influenced. In conversations with LINCOLN Senior officers this was a subject of much concern and discussion and it was recognized that some control would have to be maintained over him so that his future government would not fall flat on its face. After discussing the aforementioned with the WH Division they recommended that Wellbank, presently residing in San Salvador, be considered as the person to attach to Calligeris to furnish the necessary control and guidance.

Your attention also is being called to the fact that one of the conditions for [name not declassified] to return to the group in May, was that the group take a more realistic look at the limitations of Calligeris and adopt a stronger position in controlling him.

I feel that our endeavoring to control [name not declassified] thru Page may cause us to alienate Calligeris who undoubtedly will be following all of [name not declassified] actions and contacts on a constant basis. Furthermore [name not declassified] has not indicated any ability to wield influence; on the contrary, he has reached his present position through the process of elimination. We never have had any control over his actions nor has he any reason to be obligated to us at the present time. I recommend strongly that we make up our minds what phase of the govt we are planning to back and follow this course inasmuch as the Latin mind is so suspicious and with such a talent for intrigue that they will perceive immediately our two-pronged device which to them will be very apparent and we will find ourselves in the position where we will be playing both ends against the middle when actually there is nothing in the middle, and so will really be playing against our own interests. In Latin America you always have two powers: The party that is IN power and the one intriguing to GET IN. We are IN power and I [Page 413]believe that we should take all steps possible to remain in that position and you won’t accomplish this by trying to back two horses.

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 154, Folder 1. Secret. A handwritten notation at the top of the memorandum reads: “Mr. Bissell Recd 7/5/54.”