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Bernice Moore

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From: (Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko) Subject: Document

Cc: 72724.564, evica jfklancer,

jkelin MFERRELL, deanie cnjones I GRIGGS, JoeBackes 102707


Happy New Years!

Here is a lengthy document (36 pages) I think all of you would enjoy reading.

HSCA 180-10112-10479 NF 015106




DATE: 00/00/00












"E. Howard Hunt's Missing Report on the Kennedy Assassination"

Nixon: "...well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things."

Haldeman: "That's what Ehlichman says."

Nixon: "Of course, this Hunt, that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things...This involves these

Cubans, Hunt and a lot of hanky-panky..."

Nixon: "...just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, as he knows too damned much, if he was involved - you happen to know

that? If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing, it

would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to

make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs

thing which we think would be very unfornuate - both for the CIA and

for the country..."

Thus spoke President Richard Nixon in a taped conversation with HR Haldeman on June 23, 1972 - one of the earliest Watergate cover-up discussions. It was the release of the transcripts of those mysterious June 23rd Nixon/Haldeman discussions, on August 4, 1974, that led to Nixon's forced resignation four days later. In these June 23rd transcripts, the long awaited "smoking gun" had finally been found.

Yet, nearly two years after its release, the June 23rd tape is still the subject of intense mystery. It is on course clear that the tape showed Nixon criminally instructing Haldeman to have CIA Director Richard Helms use his Agency to impede - or quash - any further FBI investigative work into the five burglars captured during the Watergate break-in, and their financing of the burglary.

But beyond that, the questions still remain: what exactly were Nixon and Haldeman talking about? What was this mysterious business about protecting Helms, and about Hunt knowing "too damn much" about "the Cuban thing," that could "blow at anytime, if not handled the right way?

The city of Washington's extensive corps of veteran Watergate investigators - in the press, Senate and House, Justice Department, and elsewhere - still avidly ponder the meaning, or hidden meaning, of those strange Oval Office conversations on June 23rd. Among the people who might be expected to know something about it, the June 23rd tape is also seemingly a mystery - at least the way they tell it.

The Watergate Special Prosecutors say they have no idea what it is that Nixon and Haldeman were referring to in their mysterious conversation. Richard Helms had said (not too convincingly of course) that it is preposterous to think that Nixon and Haldeman had ever had to "protect" him from anything. HR Haldeman had said that he doesn't remember what it was that they were protecting Helms from - nor does he remember what "the Cuban thing" was or Hunt's apparent knowledge of it. Haldeman further suggests that John Ehrlichman probablyu knows more about it all. John Ehrlichman says he doesn't, though in his new "political novel" he writes about a President (not unlike Nixon) who blackmails a CIA Director (not unlike Helms) over a secret CIA Inspector General's report about CIA-connected assassination plotting.

John Dean has stated that he doesn't know what Nixon and Haldeman were referring to in their June 23rd conversations, and wouldn't hazard a guess. E Howard Hunt won't discuss the matter in any detail, and stands by his claim that he never threatened or blackmailed the Nixon gang at anytime.

Recently, Richard Nixon himself, in a carefully worded written response to the Church Committee's imquiries about the June 23rd tape, provided the most novel explanation to date. In his reply in ealy March, Nixon told the Senate committee that what he had "protected Helms" from was, believe it or not, author Victor Marchetti. Nixon stated that he had protected Helms by supporting the CIA's court battles to delete various information from author Marchetti's definitive book on the CIA. A Church committee staffer, in dismissing the ex-President's written response as "vintage Nixon," recently replied, "yeah and he also goes on to tell how he never had the CIA do much in Chile either."

Also in March, in a long interview with Charles Colson for Argosy magazine, Village Voice reporter Dick Russell asked the former Nixon counsel what he knew about the Nixon/Haldeman June 23rd tape. Russell, referring to the mysterious Nixon references to Richard Helms, and Howard Hunt knowing "too damned much" about "The Cuban thing," asked Colson, "could it have had something to do with the Kennedy assassination?" In response, Colson answered, "I doubt it. I really do. I don't think Hunt had anything to do with that."

E Howard Hunt may not have "had anything to do with that," as Colson said, but information which has only recently become available indicates that Hunt was, at the very least, quite interested in - and concerned about - the assassination of President Kennedy. This new information further indicates that a secret report about certain aspects of the Kennedy assassination (aspects particularly related to Cuba and Fidel Castro) was prepared by Hunt and his future Watergate burglar associates - nad was in fact circulated to Charles Colson and the Nixon circle as well as officials with the CIA.

As will be seen from this information, and other long obscure Watergate data, a picture seems to be emerging which places the secret Hunt report on the Kennedy assassination at the heart of the feverish cover-up activities of the Nixon circle in the immediate days following the Watergate break-in of June 17th. Beyond that, as will be shown, it appears that several mysterious pieces of information regarding the Kennedy assassination may well have been a central topic of the earliest Watergate cover-up discussions held by Nixon and his men - taped discussions that were premeated not only by the strange references to Hunt, Helms, and "the Cuba thing," but also by variuous "gaps," of which the 18-minute erasure is the best known.

Watergate and the Kennedy assassination: the former, the most sinister and comprehensive conspiracy in the history of the American government; the latter, what a large majority of Americans believe is also a comprehensive and even more frightening conspiracy. (The recent CBS poll put the number at 65% nationwide). That the public at large (and a slowly growing number of legitimate investigators) still speculate about the possibility of some "connection" between the two most tragic and frightening events of recent time is perhaps inevitable.

American are of course increasingly conspiracy-minded, perhaps as they should be. Afer all, the disclosure last year by Seymour Hersh, of the Mafia and CIA's own special brand of brotherhood - complete with secret assassination conspiracies nt he early 1960's against Castro - is only just beginning to fade from dinner table conversation across the nation. Yet, the idea of some connection or relationship between the Watergate mystery and the circumstances of the Kennedy assassination does indeed seem somewhat far out. And, as is well know, the whole idea received a good deal of lumps last year, as a set of photographs circulate through the "underground press" that purported to show E Hoard Hunt and his Watergate burglar associate Frank Sturgis, disguised as hobos, at the scene of the Dallas assassination shortly after the fatal shots were fired. The Rockefeller CIA Commission went to the trouble of analyzing the photographs to show that the hobos earlobes, eyelids, cheekbones, etc., were not matchable with Hunt and Sturgis.

Still, at the same time, various bits and pieces of information - some samll, some not so small - remain. There is for instance the account by former New York Times reporter Tad Szulc, reagrding where E Howard Hunt may have been in late 1963. Szulc, who has written the only detailed biography of Hunt, COMPULIVE SPY, states that Hunt served as Acting Chief of Station for the CIA in Mexico City in August and September of 1963.

What makes the information interesting is that Lee Oswald made a still mysterious trip to Mexico City during that same period: September 1963. While there, the CIA conducted various surveillances of him, according to CIA documents reluctantl turned over to the warren Commission in 1964, portions of which have only been released to the public in recent weeks. The CIA Station there photographed a man they identified as Lee Oswald, coming out of a Communist Embassy - and subsequently was forced to admit that it was not Oswald shown in the photograph. The CIA said they had somehow made a mistake with the photograph, though no final explanation of the misidentification has ever been arrived at. While the CIA was never able (or, according to several Warren Commission staffers, willing) to explain this case of mistaken identity pertaining to Oswald, many Warren Commission critics have seized upon the mysterious episode as evidence that Oswald (or an imposter) was involved in a conspiracy in Mexico City, with possible links to the CIA. Interesting enough, E Howard Hunt himself, in a brief account in his 1974 autobiography UNDERCOVER, disclosed that the CIA did in fact use Dallas as a "backstop" location for changing the identities of CIA agents operatin in Mexico CIty. Hunt told of a CIA break-in at a Communist Embassy which he had coordinated during on eof his tours of duty in Mexico City. Hunt, whose personal handling of other burglary teams would later become only too well known, wrote that , "Before dawn the entry team had flown from Mexico to Dallas, where they changed identities and flew to Washington."

Also, last year, the New York Times disclosed that Lee Oswald had secretly been tape recorded by CIA phone taps when he placed calls to the Cuabn and Russian Embassies during his visit to Mexico City. What the exact subject of the Oswald calls was, and whether the CIA still retains the actual tapes (which were withheld from the Warren Commission) is not known. The CIA refuses to comment on the matter, as it does on all other matters relating to the Kennedy assassination.

In any event, if Tad SZulc's information is correct, it would seem pretty certain that Acting Station Chief E Hoard Hunt would have been charge of - or certainly aware of - this CIA survielllance of Oswald in Mexico City. Hunt presumably also would have been privy to the CIA's files on (and conclusions about) the alleged Presidential assassin, much of which have still never been declassified and disclosed. (Much of this classified CIA material on Oswald is to remain sealed in a vault in the National Archives until the year 2039, seventy five years after the assassination. A House subcommittee is currently reviewing the circumstances of this unusual classification of documents).

Both Hunt and the CIa have denied Szulc's information about Hunt's alleged presence as Acting Station Chief in Mexico City during the Oswald visit. Hunt maintains that while he worked for the CIA in Mexico City on at least two occasions (including during the planning of the Bay of Pigs) he awas never there at anytime in 1963. While Hunt's CIA personnel records and registeries would seemingly shed light on this matter - as well as many others concerning his activities - the Hunt CIA records were completely withheld from the Ervin Watergate Committee in January 1974, and have also in large part been withheld from the Church Senate Intelligence Committee. A Justice Department official who once was denied access to a partial set of requested Hunt CIA records, has remarked, "They treat those Hunt files like they were the Hope Diamond. It's just incredible."

Getting back to the concept or theory of some kind of Kennedy assassination/Watergate connection, it can be said that there are some surface similarities. The alleged Kennedy assassination conspiracy obviously would have had a central purpose of killing Kennedy physically. The Watergate conspiracy had as one of its central purposes, killing a Kennedy politically. The JFK plot (if it was a plot) was aimed at criminally controlling who would be President - by removing John Kennedy from the White House. The Watergate plot in large part was also aimed at criminally controlling who would be President - by removing Edward Kennedy (and subsequently Edmund Muskie) from serious contention as Nixon's 1972 opponent. That Ted Kennedy, and Kennedy associates such as Larry O'Brien, were in fact viewed by Nixon circle as the prime targets for illegal surveillance, smear, and sabotage, is of course clear. The Nixon circle's obession over a Kennedy candidacy - "the Kennedy threat" as Nixon called it - is only twoo well know. Senate probers, including some who have worked for Senator Kennedy himself, still look back at the lengths to which the Nixon men were prepared to go to "stop Teddy Kennedy." At one point in June of 1971, apparently on the direct orders of Richard Nixon himself, HR Haldeman authorized John Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz (the crude forerunners of the White House Plumbers) to conduct 24 hours round-the-clock surveillance of Senator Kennedy's movements. According to the Ervin Committee's inquiry into the matter, Nixon and Haldeman's orders to put a tail on Kennedy hit a snag when Caulfield voiced his opposition to the plan. Caulfield cautioned his White House superiors that "someone might get shot" if Kennedy found out and notified the Secret Service that someone was mysteriously following him around. In another instance, which Ervin investigators only stumbled upon while poring over Ulzaewicz's travel vouchers, it was determined that one Caulfield-Ulasewicz "assignment" had even centered upon probing the circumstances of the death of Rose Kennedy's social secretary.

Such obessive suspicion about the Kennedy family, while largely fueled by Nixon himself, received major input from dirty tricks chieftain Charles Colson. After one anti-Nixon speech given by Ted Kennedy, a characteristically enraged Colson told associaes that he "might physically attack Kennedy" if they were in the same room together.

The fear of losing, particularly losing to another Kennedy, has been cited by sich disparate figures as Anthony Lucas, HR Haldeman, Norman Mailer, and William Safire as the single most definable Nixon trait that led (perhaps inexorably) to Watergate. Nixon having to defeat another Kennedy: it had about it such an awful sense of deja vu.

To those who study the two events, there must also sometimes seem a sense of deja vu to Watergate and the Kennedy assassination. As many of the Warren Commission critics saw it, the JFK assassination was quite a bit more than met the eye: the apprehended Oswald could not have acted alone or without guidance, there must be higher-ups involved, there were mysterious footprints all around, leading to an odd assortment of Cubans as well as shadowy ex-FBI and ex-CIA characters - with intrigue in Texas and Mexico figuring prominently somewhere within. Beyond that, an awesome federal cover-up, with the CIA being pressured to conceal the plot's true dimensions and the FBI withholding evidence of a wider conspiracy (with J Edgar Hoover even apparantly authorizing the destruction of a secret letter by Lee Oswald himself).

And the Watergate, the proven conspiracy: the apprehended burglars could not have acted alone or without guidance, there must be higher-ups involved, there were mysterious footprints all around, leading to another odd assorment of Cuabns as well as shadowy ex-FBI and ex-CIA characters - with some Texans laundering of the break-in funds through Mexico figuring prominently somwhere within. Beyond that, an awesome federal cover-up, with the CIA being pressured to conceal the plot's true dimensions and the FBI withholding evidence of a wider cnspiarcy (with L Patrick Gray destroying secret files taken from the vault of E Howard Hunt himself).

In tracing the genesis of a possible connection between Watergate and aspects of the Kennedy assassination, the period immediately following the Watergate break-in is crucial, for it is there that the story begins to take shape.

The Watergat cover-up was only just being born as John Ehrlichman conferred with White House consel John W Dean on June 19, 1972, the second day following the capture of the five Watergate burglars. With Nixon and Haldeman still Key Biscayne following a secluded weekend in the Bahamas, and with John Mitchell and his top CREEP aides ensconced in the Beverly Hilton out in Los Angeles, there was considerable work to be done back at the White House. All the White House panic buttons were being hit by all the President's men.

Ehrlichman had phone Dean early on the 19th to check out the exact details regarding E Howard Hunt's service as a White House consultant. The FBI at this point was already hot on the trail of the mysterious Mr Hunt, due to the fact that Hunt's name and WHite House phone number were contained in both of the address books of burglars Baker and Martinez. In response to Ehrlichman's urgent call regarding Hunt, Dean in turn called Charles Colson, the President's Special Counsel, who had brouhgt E Howard Hunt to the White House. Colson informed Dean that hUnt had indeed been a "consultant" on Colson's notorious White House payroll. Dean states that although Colson confirmed Hunt's links to the White House, Colson "vehemently protested that he (Colson) knew nothing and had no involvement in the matter whatsoever."

Then, according to Dean, Colson mentioned somehting strange. According to Dean, "Colson also expressed concern over the contents of Hunt's safe."

And here the long murky story begins. White House consultant E Howard Hunt maintained a secret safe in his office in the Old Executive Office Building - Room 338. When the Hunt safe was eventually opened later that same afternoon of June 19th (following a joint decision by Colson, Dean, and Ehrichlman to have Secret Service and GSA personnel drill through its steel plate) several things became readily apparent. Perhaps first among these things was that the fledgling Watergate cover-up would soon - quite soon - have to substantially expand.

For in that safe were a number of things. A gun. A holster. And a blip of live ammunition. Of vastly more importance, however, was yet another clip of ammunition - in the form of various papers and classified files from Hunt's secretwork with the White House Plumbers. In addition to secret material relating to the Plumbers investigaiton of Daniel Ellsberg and various Hunt paper relating to his investigation of Chappaquiddick, were some forged State Department cables which Hunt himself had personally fabricated during a Plumbers probe into the circumstances of the 1963 assassination of President Diem of South Vietnam.

Now the story begins to move furhter. Information which has only recently come to light indicates that in addition to that last item about the Diem murder, the secret Hunt safe also contained information resulting from yet another Plumbers probe - into some of the circumstances of another 1963 assassination - the assassination of President Kennedy.

The story has obviously been a long time in coming. The first hint came in a little noticed NBC interview with Watergate burlgar Bernard Baker, pu together in April of 1974 by Robert Rogers and Edwin Newman. Barker told of a secret assignment that he and fellow Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis had conducted for their important White House friend and patron, Mr Hunt. Unfortunately, Barker garbled a key point in the interview, mistakenly referring to "the death of Bobby Kennedy" rather than the death of John Kennedy, which was the actual subject of this Barker/Sturgis assignment for Hunt.

Barker's April 1974 account:

ROGER (NBC): And in Miami we learned that Hunt and Barker conducted at least one interview - the results of which supposedly went to the

Central Intelligence Agency.

BARKER:Mr Sturgis said to me that he had some informationabotu some lady that had been at the home of the Castro family at the tm eof

the death of Bobby Kennedy and that she was telling some very

strange stpries, or very interesting stories, as he put it. I spoke

to the lady in Spanish and brought - took her - to Mr Hunt. Mr Hunt

personally examined her, in the sense that he questioned her, and he

took it down on tapes. Mr Hunt told me that he would be truing this

information over the old agency.

ROGERS: Were there any other operations of this sort going on?

BARKER: Not that I can remember.

ROGERS: Would you tell me if you could?

BARKER: That's a good question.

With the Ervin Commmittee then preparing to close up shop, Senate investigators never had the chance to follow up on Barker's story, intriguing as it was. There were several signigicant points to theC:\Users\Bernice\Documents\PHOTOS\Section 2\Hunt E.Howard\E.Howard Hunt's Missing Report..Sturgis.htm


Edited by Bernice Moore
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Kind of not relevant but it reminds me of this deleted scene from Oliver Stone's 'Nixon'.

Truly spine tingling.

Bernice I always enjoy your posts so much, thank you. You are a wealth of information.

thanks for the link and if i missed saying so,and i believe i did, a late but very welcome to the forum, and your posts are very interesting also, carry on..b don't you enjoy so much how often you hear or read ""they came up with nothing'' bull crappy... :ph34r::D

Edited by Bernice Moore
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Kind of not relevant but it reminds me of this deleted scene from Oliver Stone's 'Nixon'.

Truly spine tingling.

Bernice I always enjoy your posts so much, thank you. You are a wealth of information.

thanks for the link and if i missed saying so,and i believe i did, a late but very welcome to the forum, and your posts are very interesting also, carry on..b

There is Hunt's tape given to his son, St. John, in which he discussed the role of the CIA and LBJ in the Kennedy assassination. See below link.


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E. H. Hunt and Dulles with Banister had previously deposed Jacobo Arbenz, the President of Guatamala, in a bloodless coup in 1954. This same crew conspired against Castro and organized the attempt to accelerate the Bay of Pigs into an international crisis or another World War by asking JFK to call in the U.S. Marines and the Air Force which he refused to do as the Bay of Pigs invasion was failing. JFK later fired Dulles (and probably Hunt) just like Truman had fired MacArthur and Willoughby for their unauthorized attempts to cross the Yalu River to start World War III with the Chinese during The Korean War. The Allen Dulles and Willoughby-MacArthur forces joined together to eliminate JFK from the face of the Earth.

Jacobo Arbenz from the United Fruit history page:

Born in 1913 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala as a son of a Swiss immigrant that married a Guatemalan woman, Arbenz grew up as a member of the small Guatemalan middle class. His father committed suicide when Jacobo was still very young, likely because he was addicted to drugs. Arbenz, therefore, was raised only by his mother. The rigid structure the Guatemalan society offered few options for the local bourgeoise to climb the social ladder. So like many men of his generation, Arbenz chose his career in the military. He graduated as sub-lieutenant in 1935, and returned to the academy in 1937 as teacher of science and history.

By the time Arbenz was working in the Military Academy, Guatemala was under the dictatorship of Jorge Ubico, one of the most ruthless, dictators of Central America. Ubico was an admirer of Napoleon and he considered himself as some kind of re-creation of the Emperor in Central America. He ruled his country as a fiefdom with the tacit support of the traditional landowning classes. When he took power in 1931, he was not setting a precedent in his style of rule; Manuel Estrada, his predecessor, had not been less autocratic. Politics did not take center stage for Arbenz since he focused most of his attention on developing his military career, teaching in the Academy, and competing athletically in international competitions.

Arbenz indifference towards politics changed after he met Maria Cristina Vilanova during an athletic competition in El Salvador in 1939. Vilanova was the daughter of a wealthy, traditional Salvadorian family who always refused to accept the roles her society wanted for her in spite of her rigid Conservative education. Her parents wished her to become a secretary in one of her father's offices until she could find an acceptable husband, but this path was not in Vilanova's mind. She secretly read books on politics, and after traveling to Mexico shereturned with several classic works on Socialism. The large social inequalities of Salvadorian society shocked her and since very young she decided that she would try to change that. Soon after Arbenz and Vilanova met they decided to marry and Maria moved to Guatemala with her new husband. Once married, her views on Central American social problems began to have a strong political influence on Arbenz, and she introduced him to authors and theories he had never heard of before. During the first period of their marriage, they had many arguments over these political ideas and his reluctance for ideological commitment. Arbenz, however, became gradually more and more interested in the political and economic problems of the Guatemalan people. During this time Maria developed a strong friendship with Chilean Communist leader Virginia Bravo and the Salvadorian Communist exile Matilde Elena Lopez. These three women organized regular political discussions at the Arbenz family home and Jacobo learned more of Socialist theories. Additionally, they introduced to some people that would later help him in his political projects. It is said that during Arbenz political life, Maria Vilanova was more ambitious for his success than Arbenz himself. By the mid-1940s Arbenz was convinced that some changes were urgently needed in Guatemalan society.

Ubico began to lose power in his country in the early 1940s. The US government, his main supporter until then, began to distrust him because of his lax attitude towards the German immigrant population in Guatemala. Nazi Germany was expanding in Europe and the US Government wanted a close surveillance of all Germans in the hemisphere. In addition, he paid little attention to the rising middle class that could not find a space in a country controlled by a land-owning oligarchy. The turning point for his regime came in the Teachers' Day Parade scheduled for June 30,1944. In this occasion, the teachers refused to march in the parade and demanded better wages for their work. They found a quick and strong solidarity from students and other groups who supported them in street demonstrations. This was the first time large scale protests against the government had occured in Guatemala's history. On June 29, the largest demonstration was organized in Guatemala City and it was composed of a large number of teachers and a wide range of middle class people of other professions. Ubico's responded by sending the Army and quelling the demonstration violently. Of the two hundred people who were killed and wounded, was a leader of the teachers' union movement, Maria Chinchilla, who immediately became into a national martyr for the anti-Ubico movement.

The massacre, however, did not stop a formidable opposition. A few days later, a group of 311 teachers, lawyers, doctors, and businessmen handed a petition to Ubico in which demanded that the demonstrators' actions were legitimate. Under these circumstances, and with the end of political support from the US, Ubico was forced to resign. Power was handed over to General Francisco Ponce. Ponce tried to give a more democratic facade to his government by calling Presidential elections. He choose himself as candidate, while the opposition picked Juan Jose Arevalo.Arevalo was a former school-teacher exiled in Argentina who returned to Guatemala to run against Ponce. Ponce soon felt threatened by Arevalo's popularity and ordered his arrest just a few days after Arevalo arrived. At this point, Captain Jacobo Arbenz and Major Francisco Arana decided to revolt against Ponce. The two young officers killed their superior officers in Fort Matamoros and distributed arms to some anti-Ponce students. They were quickly joined by other officers and attacked the pro-Ponce military and police forces. Their efforts were successful when Ponce and Ubico were forced to abandon the country and Arbenz and Arana created a provisional junta with businessman Jorge Toriello, and promised free and democratic elections.

Under the junta rule the Guatemalan Bar Association wrote a new liberal constitution. It contained many new provisions: Censorship ended, the presidents could not be elected for two periods in a row, men and women were declared equal before the law, racial discrimination was declared a crime, higher education was free of governmental control, private monopolies were banned, workers were assured a forty-hour labor week, payment in coupons was forbidden, and labor unions were legalized. Arevalo won the first elections and attempted to begin an age of reforms in Guatemala.

Breaking with the past was not an easy task for Arevalo. In 1949 Major Arana, one of the men who rebelled against Ponce, was killed in what many people considered a product of a rivalry between Arevalo and Arana, or Arbenz and Arana. The assassination, however, did not stop Arbenz from running in the 1950 presidential elections. His rival was Manuel Ygidoras, a friend of Ubico's, who accused him throughout the campaign of orchestrating Arana's death. These accusations did not impede the triumph of Arbenz with 65% of the votes for him. Arbenz took power in March 15, 1951.

Arbenz began his government with several innovative projects. First, he pushed for the construction of a government run port to compete with United Fruit's Puerto Barrios. Second, he attempted to break the International Railways of Central America's (IRCA) transportation monopoly by building a highway to the Atlantic. Third, he planned to build a national hydroelectric plant to offer a cheaper energy alternative different from the American controlled electricity monopoly. Finally, Arbenz was the first Guatemalan President to consider an income tax, something that faced a strong opposition at the Congress.

Beyond these ambitious development and economic programs, his biggest dream was to push agrarian reform in Guatemala. In his opinion, he saw Guatemala's unequal land distribution in a predominantly rural society as the main obstacle to economic development. He saw this latifundio system as a backward legacy of colonial times and justified his project by arguing that it was the only way to create a real capitalistic society. He said that the country needed "an agrarian reform which puts an end to the latifundios and the semi-feudal practices, giving the land to thousands of peasants, raising their purchasing power and creating a great internal market favorable to the development of domestic industry."

Arbenz's agrarian reform was approved in 1952 with the Decree 900 which empowered the government to expropriate uncultivated portions of large plantations. Farms smaller than 223 acres were not subject to this law. Nor were those of 223-670 acres which at least two thirds cultivated. Farms of any size that were fully worked could not be expropriated either. If the government decided to expropriate it would reinburse the landowner with twenty-five-year government bonds with a 3% interest rate. The valuation of the land was to be determined from its declared taxable worth as of May 1952. The expropriated lands would be distributed only to landless peasants in plots not bigger of 42.5 acres each, and the new owners were not allowed to sell them or gain profits through speculation. The new owners would pay to the government a rental fee of 5% the value of the food produced, when living in an expropriated private land, and 3% if they were farms confiscated from the German immigrants during WWII.

The Agrarian Reform managed to give 1.5 million acres to around 100,000 families for which the government paid $8,345,545 in bonds. Among the expropriated landowners was Arbenz himself, -who had become into a land-owner with the dowry of his wealthy wife- and his later Foreign Minister, Guillermo Toriello. Around 46 farms were given to groups of peasants who organized themselves in cooperatives. The project did not go as smoothly as Arbenz wished. Some radical members of the Communist Party encouraged some peasants to invade lands before they were legally distributed to them and these squatters clashed with the police. The biggest obstacle to Arbenz' agrarian reform, however, was the opposition of the United Fruit Company.

United Fruit Company had been present in Guatemala since its was incorporated. Minor Keith, one of the founders of the company, bought lands and built railways in the country beginning in the late nineteenth century. The company had received generous land and communication concessions from the rulers prior to Arbenz, and this allowed it to control banana exports. Bananas were one of the two main exports of Guatemala, together with coffee, and United Fruit became one of the largest landowners of the country. Although the company made investments and improvements in transportation, communications, housing, and export infrastructure, some Guatemalans saw it with great suspicion. In fact, during Arevalo's government he took advantage of this unpopularity to support the banana workers who were striking for the benefits of the newly-created labor code. The company owned 550,000 acres in the Atlantic coast, from which a 85% was not cultivated, so it became into Arbenz's agrarian reform main target.

The expropriations of United Fruit lands began in March 1953 when 209,842 acres of uncultivated land were taken by the government which offered a compensation of $627,572 in bonds. One month later the US Department of State complained to Arbenz demanding a $15,854,849 compensation for one of the two sized lands. While the Guatemalan government valued $2.99 per acre, the American government valued $ 75 per acre. The Guatemalan government did its valuation by using the information provided by the tax forms filled by United Fruit itself and, according to this information, this was the actual value of the land. United Fruit contered this argument by claiming that it had tried to raise the tax value before, but was prevented to do so. The US government believed this version and endorsed the company's claim. The Guatemalan government refused to pay that amount and continued to expropriate United Fruit's lands in October 1953 and February 1954 offering the company a total of $500,000. This standoff led to worsening diplomatic relations between his country and the United States which saw his initiatives as too radical. United Fruit main shareholder, Samuel Zemurray endorsed an anti-Arbenz campaign in the American media and the U.S. Congress in order to show President Arbenz as a Communist threat in the Western Hemisphere.

Arbenz also faced strong internal opposition by conservative landowners and some members of the Army. Among the latter was Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, a man who never stopped suspecting of Arbenz' participation in Arana's murder and who had gone into exile after Arbenz took power. Castillo prepared a rebel army in Nicaragua with the total support of that country's President Anastasio Somoza. In the meantime the Eisenhower's administration increasingly criticized Arbenz policies while the American media continued showing Guatemala as the foothold of Soviet expansion in the Americas. Additionally, after the strong pressure by US Secretary of State, Dulles, the Organization of American States resolves to condemn "Communist infiltration in the Americas."

Castillo received a strong financial and logistic support from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to prepare his Army in Honduran territory to attack Guatemala. The CIA's involvement had been approved by Eisenhower as a way to stop what they considered a spread of Communism in the Americas. CIA's director was Allen Dulles, brother of the American Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. In June, 1954 the troops of Carlos Castillo crossed theHonduran-Guatemalan border and began their attack against Arbenz government. By this time not only was Arbenz internationally isolated but he had also lost much support from his own army and peasant population. Young Argentinean doctor, Ernesto Guevara (later known as "El Ché), attempted to organize some civil militias along with several members of the Communist Party. However, most of the Guatemalans felt they were in a very weak position compared to the invading Army, after they heard from a clandestine radio that reported a larger invading army and the bomber that dropped some bombs around Guatemala City. The demolarized population simply resigned to be defeated by Castillo.

Arbenz himself was hard hit when the invasion began. When he realized that any kind of resistance would only bring more deaths and little success for his movement he decided to announce his resignation over the radio. In his dramatic speech he claimed that:

"They have used the pretext of anti-communism.The truth is very different. The truth is to be found in the financial interests of the fruit company and the other US monopolies which have invested great amounts of money in Latin America and fear that the example of Guatemala would be followed by other Latin countries.[...] I was elected by a majority of the people of Guatemala, but I have had to fight under difficult conditions. The truth is that the sovereignty of a people cannot be maintained without the material elements to defend it.[...] I took over the presidency with great faith in the democratic system, in liberty and the possibility of achieving economic independence for Guatemala. I continue to believe that this program is just. I have not violated my faith in democratic liberties, in the independence of Guatemala and in all the good which is the future of humanity..[...]" (quoted by Schlessinger & Kinzer, 1990: 200)

After Arbenz handed power over to his friend Colonel Carlos Diaz he asked for asylum in the Mexican Embassy. The President's attitude disappointed many of his followers who expected more dignity and courage of their leader. Diaz government ended when Castillo's forces controlled most of the Guatemalan territory. After his triumph, Castillo and his allies organized a new government in a meeting in San Salvador, and Castillo was named President. Eisenhower recognized this new government as the legitimate Guatemalan government immediately, and Castillo reversed the Arbenz reforms. His main targets were the Agrarian Reform Law and the legalization of union activities. In July 19, 1954, he created the National Committee of Defense Against Communism and decreed the Preventive Penal Law Against Communism to fight against those who supported Arbenz when he was in power.

After his defeat Arbenz began a difficult life as an exile. He and his family travelled to Mexico and then to Switzerland, where Arbenz hoped to get the residency as the child of a Swiss citizen. However, the Swiss government told him he could only stay in that country only if he renounced to his Guatemalan citizenship, something he refused to do. When they were forced to leave, they went to Paris, where he lived under a constant watchful eye of the French police. After one month living there he was offered asylum in every Soviet-bloc country, so he chose Czechoslovakia for considering it the most cosmopolitan country of Eastern Europe. However, the Czechs did not welcome him and he had to move to Moscow with his wife, while their children studied in a school for foreigners 400 miles from the city. The Arbenz family could not adapt to Russia and did everything to go back to Latin America. The only country that accepted to give him asylum was Uruguay, only if he promised not to take a job, not to become involved in politics, and to report to the police once a week. He accepted the conditions and lived in Montevideo from 1957 to 1960.That year, the new Cuban President Fidel Castro invited him to live in Cuba and he accepted immediately. He had turned to drinking to relieve his problems and life in Cuba did not improve his fate. He was having serious personal and family problems and disliked the way Castro was managing the revolution. In addition, he felt irritated when Castro warned the US against any kind of intervention by saying "Cuba is not Guatemala." But, by that time, his main problems were at home. His eldest daughter, Arabella, refused to follow him and decided to stay in Paris studying to be an actress. She always was a rebel in the family and was a critic of his father insistence on educating the children in exclusive private schools in spite of his socialist discourse. She also irritated her Soviet teachers by refusing to join the Communist youth organizations. Later, when traveling with her boyfriend around Latin America, Arabella had a strong argument with her boyfriend in a restaurant in Bogota, Colombia. During the fight she pulled a gun from her purse and killed herself in front of him. Arbenz was devastated by the death of his twenty-five year old daughter and lost the little interest that still remained in him in politics.

In 1970, Mexico gave him permanent asylum. One year later, he drowned in his bathtub. He was fifty-eight. After his death, his wife Maria Cristina Vilanova returned to El Salvador to make peace with her family and to settle in that country. Her enthusiasm for politics decreased as well as her political radicalism. When the civil war broke in El Salvador, she left the country and moved to Paris.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: William Griffith, "Jacobo Arbenz" in Helen Delpar (ed), Encyclopedia of Latin America (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974); Stephen Schlesinger & Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit (New York: Anchor Press, 1990); Thomas McCann, An American Company: The Tragedy of the United Fruit (New York: Crown, 1976)

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