By Nick Cullather
In 1992, the principal Intelligence organization employed the younger historian Nick Cullather to write down a background (classified “secret” and for inner distribution basically) of the Agency’s Operation PBSUCCESS, which overthrew the lawful govt of Guatemala in 1954. Given complete entry to the Agency’s files, he produced a brilliant insider’s account, meant as a coaching guide for covert operators, detailing how the C.I.A. selected pursuits, deliberate concepts, and arranged the mechanics of waging a mystery conflict. In 1997, in the course of a short interval of open disclosure, the C.I.A. declassified the background with remarkably few sizeable deletions. the recent York occasions known as it “an astonishingly frank account . . . that may be a high-water mark within the agency’s openness.” this is that account, with new notes by way of the writer which make clear issues within the heritage and upload newly to be had information.In the chilly struggle surroundings of 1954, the U.S. nation division (under John Foster Dulles) and the C.I.A. (under his brother Allen Dulles) appeared Guatemala’s democratically elected leftist govt as a Soviet beachhead within the Western Hemisphere. on the C.I.A.’s path, the govt was once overthrown and changed through an army dictatorship put in by way of the organization. This e-book tells, for the 1st time, how a disaster-prone operation—marked through undesirable making plans, negative protection, and incompetent execution—was raised to mythical prestige via its nearly unintentional triumph.This early C.I.A. covert operation extremely joyful either President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Dulles brothers, and Allen Dulles concluded that the plain good fortune in Guatemala, regardless of an extended sequence of mistakes, made the enterprise a valid version for destiny operations. This e-book unearths how the legend of PBSUCCESS grew, and why makes an attempt to mimic it failed so disastrously on the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and within the Contra warfare within the 1980’s. The Afterword lines the consequences of the coup of 1954 at the next volatile politics and infrequently violent heritage of Guatemala.
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Additional info for Secret History: The CIA's Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954
The most sensational disclosure contained in the 1,400 pages of documents released along with this study concerned an aspect of PBSUCCESS that is not discussed in this narrative: agency plans to assassinate Guatemalan officials either in conjunction with the operation or in the event of its failure. " It provides a do-it-yourself guide to political murder. The documents also contain lists of Communists to be ``eliminated" after a successful coup. I came across none of the assassination documents during my research, not because they were withheld from me, but probably because of my own oversight.
The intellectual, socially concerned couple studied and discussed Guatemala's chronic economic and social problems, and in 1944 they joined the Revolution on the side of the teachers. As Defense Minister under Arévalo, Arbenz advocated progressive reforms, unionization, and forced rental of unused land. He and Mafia became friends with the reformers, labor organizers, and officers who made up the intellectual elite of Guatemala City. Arbenz remained close with friends from the academy, Alfonso Martinez and Carlos Enrique Díaz, and increasingly associated with members of the PGT, Carlos Pellecer, Gutiérrez, and Fortuny.
Total party membership never exceeded 4,000 in a nation of almost three million, a fact reflected in the party's weakness at the polls. Only four Communists held seats in the 61-member congress, a body dominated by moderates. Arbenz did not appoint any Communists to the Cabinet, and only six or seven held 23Gleijeses, Shattered Hope, pp. 134-142. Page 22 significant sub-Cabinet posts. Those few, however, occupied positions that made them highly visible to United States officials, controlling the state radio and newspaper and holding high posts in the agrarian department and the social security administration.