322. Telegram 617 From the Embassy in Nicaragua to the Department of State1 2

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  • Guatemalan Amb Arana’s Presidential Plans

1. Colonel Carlos Arana, Guatemalan Amb to Nicaragua since April 1968, told local press yesterday he plans return to Guatemala April 22 or 23 to initiate campaign for the presidency.

2. Arana was quoted as insisting that strict application of law and responsible court action could eradicate subversion and terrorism in his country. On guerrillas: “I would insist on granting them an amnesty and returning them to Guatemalan society, although I will not curtail measures to maintain order. If they are ready to accept their defeat, thereby saving their lives, it seems to me the best course of action if the contrary is the case, we will not hesitate to fulfill our duty”. Arana reviewed his platform including measures to lower cost of living, encourage agricultural production, and find new markets for Guatemalan products. Arana also reportedly said he would not abandon Guatemala’s claim to Belize.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 17 GUAT–NIC. Unclassified. Repeated to Guatemala City. In Airgram A–43 from Guatemala City, February 27, the Embassy reported at length on Arana’s political views and his nomination for the presidency on January 10 by the Movimiento Liberación Nacional (MLN). (Ibid., POL 14 GUAT)
  2. From Nicaragua, where he had been posted as Guatemala’s Ambassador since April 1968, Colonel Carlos Arana announced that he would run for the Guatemalan presidency in upcoming elections.