73. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Guatemala; Conversation at State Department


  • Department of State
  • John M. Cabot, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter–American Affairs
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • [name not declassified]
I called on Mr. Cabot at his request at 4:00 p.m. today. He stated that he is going to talk to a group of coffee importers tomorrow,2 the assembly being arranged by Mr. Alborn3 (phonetics), one of their leaders. Mr. Cabot wants to ask them about the possibilities of stopping imports of coffee from Guatemala. He will not request them to do it, but will only inquire as to the possibilities.
Mr. Cabot requested that CIA, in some way, make it known to the highest Guatemalan government officials that he has been carrying on such conversations.
Mr. Cabot stated that he had heard that President Arbenz is in a tantrum about the situation into which he has gotten his country. There is even a report that he has offered to turn the government over to General Diaz. Mr. Cabot believes that the President and other high officials of the government may realize that the country can not stand up against the enmity of the United States and may want to change the regime to be more friendly to us.
Mr. Cabot thinks that this is the moment to start any operations that would make them worry. In addition to letting them know that he is talking with the coffee importers about cutting off their market for their principal product, he thinks that we might start some “poison pen” letters and other things to disrupt the morale of the higher officials.
[name not declassified]4
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 8. Secret.
  2. Presumably Cabot is in error; he met with the importers on November 25; see footnote 2, Document 72.
  3. Possibly Harry H. Allen, Vice President of the Otis McAllister Coffee Corporation.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.