56. Memorandum for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • PBSUCCESS
1.
[name not declassified] met with General Cabell at 1730 3 October 1953, at which time General Cabell raised the following points for consideration:
a.
Mr. [name not declassified] and Mr. [name not declassified] stated at a meeting with him earlier in the day that the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] could move 10 to 20 tons of hardware from Panama to New York as suggested, but felt that it might be wiser to move the entire 80 tons in one haul. This should be considered.
b.
Negotiations with Nicaragua for a military assistance agreement must be expedited with high priority. Could not Somoza be asked to pad his arms request to include the shipment for RUFUS? Ambassador Whelan is now in North Dakota and plans to return to Nicaragua next week. Mr. [name not declassified] knows how to reach him. In the normal course of events Whelan would not first return to Washington. He could, however, carry any necessary messages to Somoza. [name not declassified] pointed out that the plans for negotiation with Nicaragua [Page 116]have bogged down in Defense, as outlined by Mr. Leddy on 2 October. General Cabell stated that he would be glad to do anything desirable to correct this situation and requested that [name not declassified] advise him further in this regard on 5 or 6 October. [name not declassified] then mentioned that despite Somoza’s cooperation being essential to the operation, it was desirable to maintain the fiction of RUFUS’ having acquired his arms abroad without official U.S. assistance—a story which it would be difficult to sustain were Somoza asked to include RUFUS’ arms with a U.S. arms aid shipment. General Cabell agreed that overt U.S. intervention should be eliminated if at all possible. He mentioned that Somoza is now expected back in Nicaragua from his South American trip on approximately 10 November but that an earlier return is desirable to expedite both treaty negotiations and hardware shipment. Senator Capehart’s Committee is expected to arrive in Managua on approximately 25 October in connection with Export-Import Bank business. The Committee must first complete its business in Mexico. This might be used as a lever to get Somoza back to Nicaragua at that time. [name not declassified] feels that some arms for training and/or operational use should be in Nicaragua or Honduras now.
c.
[name not declassified] and [name not declassified] stated that Guatemala is now attempting to divide the Honduran Conservative Party while Jose Figueres, who has adopted Peronista ideas, is advocating and promoting expropriation as a Latin American policy. In view of these political factors we should be prepared to trigger PBSUCCESS earlier than planned should the course of events so indicate. We must also remember that Barrios Pena may seize the initiative, in which case we may have to ride in with him.
d.
After consultation with Mr. Leddy, [name not declassified] called General Cabell on 5 October and told him that contacts with Defense in connection with PBSUCCESS have been handled through Messrs. Kyes and Nash. Both of these gentlemen are expected to be out of town until 7 October. At the request of General Smith, Mr. Berry will contact Mr. Allen Dulles to request that this matter be taken up with Mr. Kyes at the OCB meeting scheduled for 7 October. General Cabell agreed that this would be the most effective manner of handling the problem.
[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 72, Folder 5. No classification marking. Prepared on October 5.