US, Central Intelligence Agency, Memorandum of Conference on preparations for coup in Guatemala, Washington, July 21, 1952 /1/


Washington, July 21, 1952.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 151, Folder 2. Secret. An attached routing slip addressed to the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division from Richard Helms (DD/P) dated February 5, 1962, reads: "I received this file today from Mr. Allen Dulles. I am sending it to you for appropriate disposition. Please insure that any important memoranda in this file are incorporated in the basic PBSUCCESS for the record."

MEMORANDA OF CONFERENCE, MONDAY, JULY 21st WITH MESSRS. M, M, AND J

I showed the draft of the cable we proposed to send and, with the deletion of the reference to DYMAROON, the cable was approved, after explanations on my part as to the identity of the pseudonyms and as to what we had been doing with KMEGGCUP in the field of psychological warfare. The second M spoke very highly of the effectiveness of this P.W. work which he said had been handled quite largely from the country to the North. He felt that these activities might well be stepped up.

I then referred to the three questions which had been put to the second M and which BS later had put to B. There was general agreement as to the desired result. The only question was whether we could play any part in achieving it without alerting anyone as to the source of possible aid. I said that the purpose of the cable was to remove any local people from any direct or indirect contact with the activities. I also said we were calling back an undercover contact man we had in the country to the South. He might return but we would decide that after a conference.

In reply to any inquiry I said that no cash had been made available and that I had some doubt as to whether this was needed in view of the intervention of certain rich parties, whom I identified. However, it was possible that we might lead Calligeris' men or cutouts to certain hardware which was available. All activities, with respect to the hardware, would be restricted as far as we were concerned to this country and handled through cutouts.

I pointed out that whatever happened in the country in question, people up here would be blamed and that the important thing was that the operation should be successful, if there was to be one. On this point I said that most of the experts seemed to feel that this was most likely. I recognize that for every hundred rumors of this nature, only one materialized; in this case, however, it looked as though something were likely to happen.

I emphasized that we realized the very sensitive nature of this activity and that it would be handled with the utmost care.

The first M then referred to the activities of a certain Col. Mara, his relations with S, and how he had flown to N with S and had apparently come back with a report on the situation in the country of our interest, which was in the hands of the Boss./2/ Whether this was prepared by the good Colonel or by S was not known. All this had come about after S had boasted at a luncheon with the Boss that with 600 pieces of hardware he would "knock off" A. Among others who were present and who knew all about this was S's man here in Washington. I suggested that this again was evidence that if anything happened, there would be plenty of other persons to blame for it.

/2/See Document 11. No record was found of Mara's trip to Nicaragua with Somoza.


Source: US, Department of State, Office of the Historian, Foreign Relations, Guatemala, 1952-1954. Accessed on 19 March 2008 at: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/ike/guat/20195.htm


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