61. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Status of PBSUCCESS

1. The present status of PBSUCCESS is as noted below:

a. Personnel.

Present planning calls for utilization of the following field personnel:

[less than I line of source text not declassified], Guatemala

Chief of Station [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—[name not declassified] GS–15 vice [name not declassified] GS–14

Operations Officer [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] PP—[name not declassified] GS–14

Operations Officer [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] FI—[name not declassified] GS–13

Operations Officer [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] FI—[name not declassified] GS–13

Reports Officer [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] PP—[name not declassified] GS–9

Admin. Asst.—[name not declassified] GS–7

Secty. Steno—[name not declassified] GS–5

Secty. Steno—[name not declassified] GS–5

Commo.—[name not declassified] GS–7

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified], Guatemala

Operations officer, PP [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—Donald O. Hediger GS–7

Operations Officer PP [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—Eliot P. Razmara GS–9

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified], Honduras

Operations Officer FI [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—[name not declassified] GS–7

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified], Honduras

Operations officer PP [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—Jacob R. Seekford GS–12

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified]—Vincent C. Pivall

[4 names not declassified], TDY replacement for [name not declassified], Heddiger and Razmara are in place and operating.

[Page 123]

Seekford is on operational TDY in the United States now but is expected to return to Honduras shortly.

[name not declassified] is now at Headquarters but has not yet been released.

[name not declassified] is now at Headquarters with WH studying language and background. [1 line of source text not declassified]

[name not declassified] is scheduled to leave Caracas 28 October. [1 line of source text not declassified]

[name not declassified] is on duty in Panama. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]

[name not declassified] is at Headquarters on duty with WH. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]

[name not declassified] is at Headquarters on duty with WH. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]

Slots for [2 names not declassified], Pivall, [name not declassified] and [name not declassified] are all awaiting CIA internal approval of T/O for Project PBSUCCESS.

b. Military Assistance to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.

Action to provide assistance as outlined in the Guatemala General Plan of Action was delayed by lack of approval on the part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Leddy, ARA State, advises, however, that at the OCB meeting of 21 October2 action was taken to obtain JCS approval, that the JCS later reported favorably and that official notification from Defense to State is expected very shortly. Upon receipt of notification, State will initiate negotiations with Nicaragua. Negotiations with El Salvador and Honduras are expected to follow.

c. Official U.S. Pressure on Guatemala.

One aspect of the stronger, more critical attitude which the United States Government is taking toward Guatemala was manifested in Assistant Secretary Cabot’s speech of 14 October.3 This has received extensive press and radio publicity in Latin America and will continue to be stressed through PP field outlets.

[Page 124]

Newly appointed Ambassador John Peurifoy is expected to arrive in Guatemala on 29 October.

d. Economic Warfare.

As decided by DD/P and CWH, the Director of Security was requested to obtain background information on a group of key figures in business and industry who are judged to be in the most advantageous positions to provide technical guidance and operational support for EW operations directed against Guatemala. Completed reports from I&S are acted on as operational clearances for the purposes of PBSUCCESS. Studies have been completed on [14-1/2 lines of source text not declassified].

e. Psychological Warfare.

Operations in the field of psychological warfare have been developed in close coordination with the principal agent in this country, [name not declassified], who has been established in a safe house near Headquarters. Detailed planning has been materially advanced and developmental operations initiated both here and in the field. An initial sum of $30,000. has been provided [name not declassified] for operations during the months of October and November. Of this, $15,000. has been transmitted to RUFUS and the second $15,000. will be forwarded early in November. Expenditures are being based on the following breakdown:

Development of Intelligence Nets $ 8,000.
Development of Rumor Nets 4,000.
Subversion 10,000.
Production of Propaganda 5,500.
Contingencies 1,900.

Intelligence and rumor nets are now being expanded within Guatemala and in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.

An intensive study of opposition personalities has been initiated to determine their potential value to the RUFUS organization. In addition, key pro-government figures are being investigated with a view toward possible subversion.

The RUFUS controlled student bulletin Ceuage continues to be published in Honduras and distributed clandestinely in Guatemala. Production is 5,000 copies bi-weekly. Guatemalan government reaction has been marked by press denunciation and efforts toward suppression and confiscation.

A RUFUS controlled radio station in El Salvador has initiated broadcasting. Apolitical material is being used for the present while RUFUS agents check reception in various parts of the country.

[Page 125]

RUFUS controlled “committees” are being developed in Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua to serve the following purposes:

Preparation of propaganda and its introduction into Guatemala.
Provision of overt, controlled media for purchase of newspaper advertising space and radio time throughout Latin America.
Encouragement of Mexican and Central American support for the RUFUS campaign.
Diversion of Guatemalan government attention from the RUFUS group.

The RUFUS symbol-slogan, “God, Country, Liberty” is at present being publicized throughout Guatemala through the Ceuage bulletin. In preparation for the more intensive campaigning to come, 600,000 symbol-slogan colored stickers and 1,000,000 smaller stamps have been prepared and are ready for shipment to RUFUS.

A book, “I Accuse”, written by RUFUS to present his aims and plans for the future is ready for printing. As advance propaganda, 600,000 colored stickers have been prepared for distribution at the appropriate time.

In Mexico, the non-RUFUS controlled Committee for the Liberation of Guatemala continues to produce its bi-weekly bulletin for distribution within Guatemala and to a selected mailing list in other countries. It has also prepared and distributed 30,000 comic books. Since it appears that distribution of both bulletin and comic books has been faulty and since the material contained therein has been criticized for obvious falsehoods and inaccuracies, [name not declassified] plans to visit Mexico in an effort to arrange improved coordination, distribution and editorial effort. [name not declassified] intends to offer the Mexican group a part in his overall plan and, if proper control can be established, will provide financial support. If not, support will be withheld from this group.

A staff agent in Guatemala under unofficial cover has contacted an officer of the RUFUS affiliated (CEUA–Comite Estudiante Universitario Anticommunista) and through him had distributed 106,000 window displays, handbills and stickers in Guatemala City and in 123 outlying towns. He plans to continue this distribution on a bi-weekly basis.

A staff agent from Mexico has completed a fact finding tour through Guatemala, British Honduras, Honduras and El Salvador and reports that RUFUS is highly regarded as a potential liberator, that various potential support groups exist in Guatemala and in neighboring countries. He reports strong evidence of RUFUS’ internal organizations being intact but seriously discouraged and in danger of premature action motivated by desperation. [name not declassified] is aware of this condition.

A field memorandum has gone to [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] reemphasizing the importance of the anti-Guatemalan campaign [Page 126]and offering supplementary financial support, news articles, photographs, cartoons and themes to encourage through our covert media, hemisphere wide KUGOWN support of the objectives of PBSUCCESS.

As an aid to RUFUS production of propaganda in the field, procurement of three Gestetner machines (simple, rugged, multilith type devices), three mimeographs and three tape recorders has been initiated. One tape recorder has been turned over to [name not declassified].

In order to check on RUFUS’ activities and on the activities of other anti-Communists, Station Guatemala has been directed to take the following actions:

Transmit all rumors re Arbenz officials, the Guatemalan Army, revolutionary activities and Communist activities.
Prepare a weekly “psychological barometer” report on local conditions.
Make a continuing study of morale factors among students, laborers, army officers, enlisted men, government officials, farm owners, and business and professional men.
Prepare a list of the 25 most dangerous Communists and pro-Communists with information appropriate for use in character assassination.
Forward copies of all anti-Communist propaganda to Headquarters with details of distribution and reaction.
Provide Headquarters bi-weekly with negatives and captions illustrative of miserable living conditions in Guatemala.
Prepare an operation designed to ridicule the October National Fair.

f. Intelligence.

FI activity on the part of Station Guatemala has continued on a normal basis while production on the part of the RUFUS group has increased materially. Significant data has been received regarding Guatemalan Communist and pro-Communist activity both internally and externally. Stress is being laid on obtaining factual material suitable for use as evidence of Kremlin intervention in the internal affairs of Guatemala and of Guatemalan intervention in the affairs of friendly nations.

g. Paramilitary Action.

An initial shipment of approximately 15 tons of arms and ammunition is now ready for shipment from [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and subsequent transshipment to RUFUS at [place not declassified] Nicaragua. Requisite arrangements with the Munitions Control Board and Customs have been completed. Necessary maintenance can be performed conveniently and legally [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. This material is intended for use by RUFUS in his Nicaraguan training center and to test facilities for clandestine introduction of arms into Guatemala.

[Page 127]

2. WH has not yet been advised of the essential appropriation for PBSUCCESS having been obtained from the Bureau of the Budget.

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 76, Folder 2. Secret.
  2. See Documents 58 and 59.
  3. Cabot spoke before the General Federation of Women’s Clubs on “Inter-American Cooperation and Hemisphere Solidarity.” While applauding moves toward social reform in the country, he added: “But when we are resisting Communist aggression and subversion all over the world, no regime which is openly playing the Communist game can expect from us the positive cooperation we normally seek to extend to all of our sister Republics. We know indeed that despite its hypocritical appeals on behalf of the underprivileged, communism does not give a snap of the fingers for the welfare of the masses. It will liquidate them or send them to slave labor camps by the millions to advance its tyrannical power.” For the full text of his speech, see Department of State Bulletin, October 26, 1953, pp. 554–559.