A fugacious hope.
Guillermo Toriello

In January of 1954 I was ending my mission as ambassador in the United States and the others charges that was performing (Ambassador before the OAS and President of the delegation of Guatemala before the UN). I was sharing with my government the deeper preoccupation by the gloomy perspectives that the aggressive political of the State Department was announcing for my country. We had exhausted all the becoming understanding resources and our negotiations was dashed unfruitfully as compared to the intransigence of Mister Dulles and his collaboratives. We saw that they wouldn't give up from his part. Before that situation we believe that the only possibility that was remaining for preventing the development of the left plan that was being executing against Guatemala was to carry the issue directly to the United States President, and to discuss it wide and outspokenly with him. But in the United States it is very difficult, almost impossible for a Latin American ambassador, to be interviewed with the President or yet with the State Secretary, in contrast with what happen in our countries where any mission chief finds easy access to the dispatches of those high officials.

Those of who the Latin American ambassadors can see easily in Washington, are the sixth category personnel. These superintendents with the «mesas» of the different regions: «Mesa for Centroamérica» (Desk for Central America), «Mesa for Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia», etcetera, they are called in the State Department, «representatives of the offices of the different nations». But a hearing with officials of third and fourth category, as the secretary assistant or the secretary substitute assistant for Inter-American Affairs, needs a previous appointment, submited to a subsequent confirmation. Though I had insinuateed several times in the Department of State my desire of speaking with president Eisenhower, it resulted unfortunately that always, according to that told me by the officials, he was was «muy ocupado», too busy, you know... The boycott was evident. Sure of the fact that I would never achieve an interview by the conventional conductor, after a banquet in the White House that the President offered to the diplomatic body in December 15th, 1953, I took advantage of the opportunity to request to him a hearing. Hw as chatting with a group of ambassadors and I incorporated me into them. I asked him about his recent golf departures and he became enthusiastic relating us some anecdotes and adventures. When he was leaving, I discreetly approached me more to him and I exposed to him my desire from obtaining an interview and the difficulties that I had had up until now to achieve it. He indicated me that it would give instructions so that it would be agreed as soon as possible, asking me to made the necessary arrangements with the State subrsecretary, general Walter Bedell Smith, to who I would notify about the particular . Next morning I met this official who, deposited already by the President, indicated me that we would agree an interview in next January, beacuase mister Eisenhower was very busy, too busy, you know, with his vacation and other important matters.

During the second January week I recalled to Bedell Smith his commitment and he expressed me that the President was still very busy, but that he would try to obtain me the hearing as long as I had a previous interview with him (with Bedell mith), to explain to him the purposes of my conversation with Eisenhower. Though it seemed to me this was an exigency outside of place, I overlapped to my natural impulse of reject it, for the sake of the high interests that they were at stake. In January 14th I interviewed Bedell Smith. When I arrived to his dispatch I never imagined his links with the UFCO and less that in 1955 he would assume the President position of the same. I was introduced by one of his wealthy shareholders, John Moors Cabot, that as it has been already said was exercising the position of Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. As I knew about his partiality in the «Guatemala» affair, I requested him that let me to converse alone with the State Subsecretary. My purpose was in order to avoid Moors Cabot an embarrassing situation when I necessarily must to allude his connections with the UFCO, something that I had already pointed out to him in several occasions.

I found Bedell prevented and wrong informed about the Guatemalan reality. He had at hand the own State Department reports files about Guatemala and I could note that his approach of the situation was a direct consequence of viewed that unilateral and tendentious information. After half and hour of interview in which I made him a meticulous exposition of the corroborated facts with documentation and maps I had carried with me, Mister Smith attitude changed completely. At least thus it seemed to me in that ocassion. He shared the gravity sense of the situation that I was expressing him and he was in accord with a necessary readjustment of the operation conditions of the UFCO and the others USA's monopolies.

Two days after, January 16th, 1954, I was received by the President. I was again accompanied by Moors Cabot and this time stayed in the interview. If Bedell Smith gave me the impression of being little informed about the Guatemalan reality, the President was totally misinformed. It was clear that the UFCO personal have made him prey of the malicious propaganda. The only thing he knew was «the communist danger for the continent», «the red threaten», that was constituting Guatemala. In such circumstances I achieved to interest him with the statement that I made him/her/you about the struggle of surpass that was accomplishing our government in favor of the huge majorities. I made him history, I drew maps where I have previously labeled with color crayons the holdings of the ++UFCO, ports, docks and lands. He was very surprised when I discovered him the panorama of economic subjugation in which yankee foreigners monopolies had us and the conspiratorial activities in which they were pawned to crush the democratic movement, one of whose phases was precisely the gigantic libelous propaganda campaign that was making to appear us , wrongfully, as communist.

He was profoundly contradicted about the overdone privileges that those companies were enjoying, as well as the connections that were existing between the UFCO and the State Department. When he could, Cabot interfered in the conversation and made to see to the President that there was existing in Guatemala a Communist Party, the PGT, the one which was publishing the daily "Tribuna Popular". To such reasoning I explained him that that fact was very certain and that for the first time in our political history there were operating all the parties, of all the tendencies that, in a word, were wanting to exercise the democracy precisely, as well as was making it the United States, where there was also a Communist Party and was publishing a newspaper, the "Daily Worker". President Eisenhower, with this appointment, became a little violent, and said definitive: «if I could, I'd send to hang all the comunists». I remained thunderstruck before his brash remark, and I continued on my explanations about the conduct of the companies. It was difficult to him to believe that the companies did not pay taxes and that some of their contracts had force until the year 2009. With a fearful naivet'e suggested me to discuss any arrangement process with the ambassador Peurifoythat when the arrival to Guatemala. Naturally - at least that was my impression - the President didn't know, until that moment, nothing about the «Operación Guatemala» in which was participating his own State Department and his Ambassador in my country.

I must express him my radical skepticism about that perspective, and I saw him deeply rattled when I made him know that it would neither have a loyal understanding through the State Department, since the own State Secretary, Mister Dulles, was, nothing less, member of the attorneys company of the UFCO (Sullivan & Cronwell), and that Mister Moors Cabot (present there), and his family, they were important shareholders of the same company. Cabot became livid and with broken voice: «I am no longer shareholder since I have passed all my actions to my daughters», and I intervened saying the President that the situation was not varying, since the interest of Mister Cabot were the same. The President must have found logic and comprehensively my reasons, because he proposed that, in that case, a mixed commission was formed, impartial, of Guatemalans and USA citizens, nominated by the respective governments, to discuss in the highest flat the problem of the monopolistic companies in Guatemala and every other subject that could gave cause for friction between the two countries. I expressed him that in principle I was agree with his very important proposition.

For a moment, first, and then by some few days, I was thrilled due to the perspective of the fact that thanks to the intervention of President Eisenhower and to the accomplishment of his initiative - the mixed commission - it would be avoided that the left plans of the State Department and their followers continued forward. Unfortunately very soon I must convince myself of the fact that the good intentions of the United States president were that, and nothing else. There was no way they could stop the bulldozer of the aggression that was under way. All had been a fugacious hope.

Guatemala accuses the conspiracy

Meanwhile, the conspiratorial plan for the navy aggression was going on its course. January 29th ,1954, the Guatemala Government revealed to the world all details about the state of the warlike preparations against the nation. It exhibited abundant material tests and even crusade correspondence between agents of the conspiracy. The general quarter, the center of mercenaries training and the armaments deposit, were in that date in Nicaragua with the aid of Somoza. The Government of Guatemala denounced the facts, from which were detached that it had already been implemented and that it would have to be very next to its consummation the aggressive UFCO - State Department - CIA plan. Discreetly, in spite of having exceeded knowledge of the reality of the «Guatemala Operation» and its entertaining, the Government of Guatemala did not formulate any accusation against the Government of United States. Which were the reasons of this Government of Guatemala attitude? Well, simply there was an innocent waiting for the president Eisenhower's promises of conferring (mixed commission), and undoubtedly his knowledge of the facts could put a brake to the turbid purposes of the Department of State. But Eisenhower was crossed of arms.

Before the Guatemala's accusation, Mister Dulles could not disregard that opportunity to "carry water to his windmill", misrepresenting the facts and libeling the country. It had been scarcely produced the sober and medate accusation of facts on the part of Guatemalan government, when Mister Dulles - unctuously - became indignant (January 30th, 1954) protesting the accusation (?) made by Guatemala against the Government of United States and assuring maliciously that «the States United consider the expedition of that untruthful accusation, made with immediate precedence to the X Inter-American Conference, as a communist effort in order to obstruct the labor of that conference and to injure the inter-American solidarity, that so vital is for all the nations of the hemisphere». (After spreading to the world this untruthful and cynical affirmation, the «austere hero of democracy and defending of the american solidarity», with his brother Allan, were planning the next pumps and plane shipments to Honduras, for the agressor group.) The intent of invasion of Guatemala, June 17th, 1954, would come to to demonstrate little time after that the Government of my country was saying the truth and that Mister Dulles was lying, simulating a distress that he was not feeling to conceal his unconfessible purposes.

Taken from:
Guillermo Toriello Garrido, "Tras la cortina de banano", Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana, 1979.

Most recent revision: May 19, 2002