273. Editorial Note

The CIA Station in Guatemala strongly favored absolute U.S. support for Castillo Armas in opposition to the junta that he replaced. PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida generally agreed with those sentiments, but cabled the Station in Guatemala on July 6, 1954: “Entire political situation now in hands of ODACID.” The cable authorized the Station Chief to confer with Ambassador Peurifoy “to follow his instruction in event you are needed, otherwise leave entire matter in his hands.” (Telegram 4700 from PBSUCCESS Headquarters to the Station in Guatemala, July 6; Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 6, Folder 9)

In a discussion with White House Press Secretary James Hagerty on July 7, Secretary of State Dulles “recommended that the President say that this country was ‘taking normal steps to satisfy ourselves that the new Guatemalan Government was stable and was willing to carry out its international obligations.’” Hagerty concluded: “That is as far as Dulles recommended we go at this time.” (Hagerty Diary Entry for July 7, 1954; Eisenhower Library, Hagerty Papers, Box 1, A–71–79)

Telegram 049 from the Station in Guatemala, July 8, emphasized the political uncertainty within the country, lack of support for the junta, and Communist activities: “Five man junta has not enjoyed popular support but to contrary has provoked disquiet since anti-Commies fear situation unfavorable to them while Commies not being arrested began to swagger and talk of revenge. Some indications of plotting within army. … Party records still not found. Known Commies wandering streets, starting [Page 417]undercover activities, endangering stability of government which not proceeding with necessary vigor.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 146, Folder 1)

Telegram 08056 to the CIA Stations in [place not declassified] and [place not declassified], July 7, provided additional details about the continuing activities of the Communist Party in Guatemala. (Ibid., Box 9, Folder 5)