The Growth of Communist Political Influence

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December 9, 2016
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September 2, 2000
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Approved For Releaske CIA-RDP79R00904A000200D10038-7 W W. The kowth SIC ? ( A; i The first eonaii ion of reads as followss The current political situation In Ontemaha is use to W interests. The 4uatemel an C==& Ws e*eroie~ a political influence far out of proportion to their small. ioel strength. Their in luence will probably continue to grow as long as President Arben$ remains in power. 2. This elusion tins ?alid. under the patronage of Arbens, Ccmm unist influence in Guatemala has grown. during the past year and will probably continue to grow. This growth is not the result of WW innovation, but of a year's fl her development along lines previously established. For example s There has been further development in the or- ganirastioni of rural workers as a political force under Conn ist influence and control (as was anticipated in the sixth conclusion of NIE.84). The Coeoalists have demonstrated a capability for the rapid mobilisation and asseth3y of considerable n m-bsrs of these workers for political demonstrations. Approved For Release 2001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000200010038-7 Approved For Release X001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000400910038-7 k. The C icts are p bab] also capable of mobilizing up to 20,000 of these workers as an armed militia available to support the regime in an. emergency. We cannot confirm reports of the existence of such a Para-militsrr forces but would consider it a logical development in the circumstances. There is good -won to believe that the required quantities of =13 era have been distributed and cached under the control of Coemmaist agrarian organizers. It is not apparent that this putative militia has received anpr appreciable mili,- tarr training. Even without such training, however, a substantial n n!1ber of rural workers, armed and organized, evert considerable political and military force. g. The Coniuuniists have strengthened their control of the pro-Arles political parties. The Caemunist Hsrtsy itself is small, but c rypto-Co> miste control. the other parties in the poro-Arbenz coalition and through them effectively control the political lit. of the country. g. There is good reason to believe that . nsdecisions on Guatemalan domestic and foreign policy are reached, not in the official cabinets but in a kitchen cabinet composed of form Cats and six pp fists. SECRET Approved For Release 2001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000200010038-7 Approved For Relea001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000200p10038-7 would require the active support of a major portion of the Y? The eighth conclusion of NXE.-86 reads as follows, The At p- is the amly organized element in Oustomaia s of rapid7,y and decisively altering the political si uticn. Although a quick change of attitudes is alvarq~s possible, there is no present reason to doubt the continued 2 oltr of the Army high oomsand and of most of the Azar to Arbeuz. The AzW under its prey leaders could not be expected to take revoluticcAmT AGOOD, Union they bec convinced that their persmnmi nowity and ing were tb='eateasd by Co?m ni t infiltration and domination of the Gover ent... 8. We consider the probable action of the At to be the critical factor in the situation. In modification of the second sentence of the quoted per, we not. certain i dfeatic ns of unrest, even of disaffection, among Army officers which suggest that the precondition for revolutionary action specified in the third sentence may be approaching fulfillment. G-2 (Colonel flennig), however, would reaffirm, the second sentence, stressing the watchful control which Arbenz .maroiees over the Army ocemaand, the considerations of personal advantage which bind key officers to the regime, and the disposition of the rank-sad-file to follow their leaders. This diffo ence is a matter of emphasis rather than of essential substance. All Approved For Release 2001/08/14 - -RDP79R00904A000200010038-7 Approved For Release 001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A0002OW10038-7 would agree that a revolutionary potential now exists in the Quatemnl an ArW, but that the Guatemalan Army is not likely to take spontaneous action against the Arbena regime. 9. The Cots will be concerned to neutralize the revolutianeycy potential in the Army. With the passage of time they may succeed In doing so by: (a) a gradual pnwge of dis- affected officers; (b) subversion of the enlisted del; (c) a gradual reduction of the military capabilities of the Army by the govern ent's failure to replace used weapows equipment, and as itian; and (d) f orther develoocment of a 0 mist.-ootro3led workers' 'a4-l tia as a cotimter.-balancing force. There are current inaicationa of action along these several lix:es. M129- aitign c4'Oka Mal TAM BoW , 10. The ninth conclusion of ME-84 rem as follows: ....The Governments of El S lvador, Imo, and Nicaragua... are fearful that the trend in tkiatemela will lead to Commd at subversion and social. upheaval in their own territories. They are ly giving serioro-s consideration to the possib~f effecting a political change in Guatemala through clandestine support of revolutionary action there. It is ht 2y unlikely, howver, that they would or could mount an open military Intervention in Guatemala. -5- Approved For Release 2001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000200010038-7 Approved For Release 2001/08/14: CIA-RDP79R00904A000~04010038-7 11. This oonelusion rwains valid. I'oapeetive 1 mil.i- taiy aid to tbewe co itries will take tie to become effective and is not lfoely to alter the situation substantially. To the extent that it reassures them regarding their security against ( temnlaa retaliations it m y embolden these countries to render clandestine support to revolutionary activities in Guatemala. Open military interVentAon would be a de ubttul advent- ture at best, all the mare so in view of Latin American sen- sitivity the sub f eat of intervention as recent des strated anew at the Caracas Conference. 32. The argent imbroglio between Nicaragua and Costa Rica has weakened Central American solidarity in relation to Ouatemsla. If long continued, it may oause costa Rica to look to Guatemala for support. The approaohimg election in Hone s presents opportunities for Guaten: San intrigue in that country and the possibility of an adverse change there. _6_ Approved For Release p79R00904A000200010038-7