77. Contact Report1
Washington, December 22, 1953, 3 p.m.
PLACE: Col. King’s Office
PERSONS PRESENT: Col King, [name not declassified], Mr. Leddy, [name not declassified]
- Mr Leddy brought along Ambassador Peurifoy’s cable on his six-hour meeting with President Arbenz.2
- Mr. Leddy mentioned that the US Ambassadors to Central America were to be recalled to Washington for a briefing in early January. He mentioned this so that CIA could indicate whether this briefing would seem inopportune, or whether CIA wished any specific points to be covered.
- Ambassador Toriello has asked to see President Eisenhower and will probably get the appointment. The President will be asked to “really pour it on”.
- Secretary Cabot has already told the Ambassadors of the three countries concerned that military pact negotiations are in the offing. This may compel State to make the matter public much sooner than previously intended.
- Ambassador Whelan is coming up. It was agreed that he should be allowed to know enough so that, if asked by President Somoza, he could give a quiet nod to Somoza’s support of RUFUS.
- Two Guatemalans, anti-Communist politicians, have been to see Mr. Leddy, offering to stage anti-Communist demonstrations at the appropriate time. It was agreed that clearances on the two should be started. Col King is having their written proposal copied for SD/WHD.
- Mr Leddy was briefed on the three Nicaraguan bases.
- Mr Leddy reported that State and Defense had agreed not to send to Guatemala the two added non-coms that Guatemala had requested.
- It was agreed that the US military missions would not be pulled out when the three military pacts were announced, but only when some striking progress was made on the pacts.
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 9. Secret.↩
- Telegram 154 from Guatemala City, December 17, printed in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. IV, pp. 1091–1093 (Document 20). A memorandum of conversation dated December 17, prepared by Ambassador Peurifoy, provided more detail of the discussion, including names of Guatemalan Communists and suspected Communists. According to this record of the meeting, President Arbenz’ wife, Mar’a Vilanova de Arbenz, was an active participant. (Attachment to dispatch HGG–A–532 from the CIA Chief of Station in Guatemala to the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division, CIA, December 21; Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 151, Folder 1)↩