Re: Bitter Fruit (multiple posts)
Sun, 3 Aug 1997 16:26:44 -0400

From: Maggie Jaffe (

Dear Sixties People and Marty:

Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer's *Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of
the American Coup in Guatemala* call the CIA's "Operation Success" an
"invasion," and even cite incidents of CIA pilots bombing Guatemala City.
Of course, they had plenty of support from the Guatemalan army. Jacobo
Arbenz, like Salvador Allende twenty years later in Chile, was reluctant to
purge his military of the more right-wing elements. Personally, I think
that Maria Vilanova, the attractive and high-powered wife of Arbenz, also
got under the skin of the big boys. I don't mean to suggest that
chauvinism was solely responsible for the Guatemalan coup. Rumors about
her were that she was more devoted to communism than he, which was, by most
accounts disinformation. Yet even Schlesinger and Kinzer describe Vilanova
this way: "[she] skillfully manipulated on behalf of her husband's career
and sometimes seemed more ambitious for him than he was for himself" (104).
"Skill, manipulation" and "ambition" are not very attractive traits,
especially in attractive women.

Years ago, while my husband and I traveled through the northern Guatemalan
highlands, we noticed a half-rusted billboard clearly from the 50s which
designated the site as one of Arbenz's farm "cooperatives." It was a
poignant moment. Looking back at my experiences in Latin America, my
naivet=E9 seems hardly believable even to myself. We were also in Nicaragua
in 1978, exactly one year before Somoza was toppled by the Sandinistas. I
kept wondering why we didn't see any young men or women in town, just small
children and the very old. Little did I know that they were most likely in
hiding, imprisoned or disappeared.


From: <>

maggie jaffe asked that i send this to the list

Really they can call it whatever they want but i hardly think this
operation qualifies as an "invasion" per se. I don't think the actions
of a few contract pilots and whatever else was done by cia assets in
the army is in the same class as Germany invading Poland, Germany
invading Russia, D-Day, the U.S. build-up in Vietnam, the Cambodian
"incursion," North Korea crossing the 38th parallel, even the Bay of
Pigs, etc. There was more silence and stealth to the operation in
gutaemala. By this reasoning then we invaded Nicaragua based on the
presence of cia contract pilots (hassenfuss).

What is of more interest in what happened in Guatemala than playing
semantics with what the operation was is the fact that many of the
principles in the operation from the cia -- e. howard hunt, david
atlee phillips (maurice bishop?), etc., -- all played pivotal roles in
the Bay of Pigs and have high profiles in the Kennedy assassination
and cover-up (and, in the case of hunt, watergate).

david phillips was cia station chief in mexico city when oswald
supposedly visited there; anotnio veciana told hous investigators that
he saw maurice bishop, his case officer, and oswald together in dallas
at some point prior to the assassination. he also helped artists
produce a drawing of maurice bishop that looked a lot like
phillips. veciana is one of the founders of alpha 66. for his pains he
took a bullet in the head (he survived) and got a prison sentence on
what he claimed were trumped up charges. he has been a little more
reticent these days.

hunt as eduardo was a major player in the Bay of Pigs and then also
moved to the mexico city station. some believe him to be one of the
tramps arrested in the trainyards behind dealey plaza following the
shooting. (the resemblance is triking). he lost a libel case several
years ago over claims that he was in dallas by liberty lobby in a
stroy it ran concerning allegations by marita lorenz. he said he was
not; the jury did not believe him. he said he was home; but the
testimony he gave concerning his children nailed him to the wall. they
did not remember him being home as he claimed over the weekend of nov
22-24. watergate? who knows what that was about. the washington post
was used just enough to get nixon but not enough to get to the truth
of the matter. now all we have is an area of silence j"sst like the
assassinations. there is a strong possibility that bob woodward was an
agent for naval intelligence.