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Cryptonym: ESPARTO

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Unknown identity. A KUFIRE (Intelligence) dispatch on 10 March, 1954, mentioned that Kenneth S. Givloch (Birch O'Neal) was the case officer of ESPARTO and ESPARTO-1.
Another KUFIRE dispatch, on 9 April, 1954, stated that the case officer for ESPARTO and ESPARTO-1 was now Cyrus E. Burnette. The ESPARTO project had been transferred from Earle N. Bannister (probably John Doherty) to Burnette apparently "due to the fact Bannister is handicapped with other administrative duties. ESPARTO currently is assisting us in the shipping of various newspapers to LINCOLN (note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida)..." Two cables in late June of 1954 mentioned that ESPARTO was in contact with SUMAC-4, at the end of the democratically elected Guatemalan presidency of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.


03/02/54: Cable from Guatemala to LINCOLN, and Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: "1. Source reports signed letter dated 3 Sept 1944 sent to John Moors Cabot, thru WSBURNT (Guatemala) desk officer, by group opposing Ponce govt...9. Immediate source: ESPARTO. Eval B; original source, F; content: two."


03/10/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: Operational KUFIRE Tasks, PBSUCCESS: "1. In compliance with the instructions set forth in reference dispatch, there is being transmitted herewith in duplicate the first in a series of the 'Weekly KUFIRE (Intelligence) Operational Reports.' In order to meet pouch deadlines and to keep the last-minute rush on the pouches to a minimum, it has been decided locally to prepare this weekly operational report each Friday. Data set forth in each FT report will accordingly cover the period Friday morning through Thursday afternoon. 2. As will be noted, the name of the officer responsible for each FT has been noted on each FT. As additional FT's come to our attention, advice from your headquarters will be requested. Cyrus E. Burnette." - - - Page 4: ...FT/8: ESPARTO, ESPARTO-1: Responsible Officer - Kenneth S. Givloch (probably Birch O'Neal): Provisional operational clearance has been obtained for the utilization of these individuals and they are now being used to provide travel information. No progress has yet been made in obtaining their aid for the desired defection envisioned by this Field Talk."


04/09/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational: Specific - KUFIRE Tasks, PBSUCCESS: "Attached hereto is the fourth in a series of weekly KUFIRE Operational Reports. This particular report covers the period from 26 March through 5 April 1954. Cyrus E. Burnette." - - - Page 4: ..."PT/8: ESPARTO, ESPARTO-1: Responsible Officer: Cyrus E. Burnette: This project has been transferred from Bannister (probably John Doherty) to Burnette due to the fact Bannister is handicapped with other administrative duties. ESPARTO currently is assisting us in the shipping of various newspapers to LINCOLN (Note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) and it is hoped they are arriving more regularly and on time than in the past. ESPARTO-1 has been briefed by Burnette and the former has promised to keep us informed concerning travelers of possible interest. The security of the project is good, and the cooperation of ESPARTO and ESPARTO-1 is commendable..."


05/19/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "Nicaraguan Ambassador together with family and entire household departing for Managua on PAA Flight 501 May 19. Immediately prior to departure will call on Arbenz to advise latter officially that Nicaragua breaking diplomatic relations and that respective ambassadors being called home. Sources, ESPARTO B-2, ESPERANCE B-2..."


05/27/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "1. Taca Airlines prohibited from landing WSBURNT (Guatemala) morning 27 May. Aviateca lines grounded. Latest report from PAA to effect they not sure if will be allowed land. All lines report bad weather not reason. Meeting all airlines representatives and WSBURNT spokesman called by govt for 11 am 27 May. Source: ESPARTO, ESCHEL..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 174. 6/8/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/08/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "780. 1. Govt declared suspension constitutional guarantees at 4 a.m. 8 June. 2. This most drastic step taken in recent times by WSBURNT (Guatemala) govt. 3. Morning edition Impacto seized. 4. Declaration curfew possible. 5. Plane reported dropped leaflets over Quetzaltenango night 7 June. 6. Fear panic spreading in government circles and offices. Constant meetings govt high command with Fortuny ranking Commies attending. Fortuny allegedly successfully recommending policy appeasement toward ODYOKE (U.S. Government). Bannister (probably John Doherty) comment: Believe govt becoming desperate attempting shore up position. Suspension guarantees and subsequent activities repression may rebound govt detriment rather than benefit. Consider army key situation and believe army situation again becoming fluid. Flight ESODICS caused sensation showed army not whole heartedly supporting govt. Individual army officers griping at constant state alert and believed dissatisfaction could mount to point action if govt makes foolish moves in attempting keep afloat. Sources: ESPARTO, ESCHEL, ESPERANCE, ESCONSON–2."


06/14/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT INTEL: "1. (REDACTION) furnished following advise to SUMAC (Guillermo Toriello Garrido) at latter's request for counsel: That SUMAC not attend forthcoming Montevideo conference, that SUMAC resign immediately. ESPARTO (REDACTION) B-3. 2. Following info from ESPARTO probably came originally from (REDACTION) (see GUAT 826) (IN 17473): Arbenz agreed resign if army accepts certain conditions including that only 'foreign' commies will be molested. Army group spearheaded by (REDACTION) striving force issue immediately and take over prior to Arbenz answer. Feeling within group is Arbenz stalling, that his conditions impossible to meet, he will refuse resign. Eval B-3..."


06/16/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: "1. Beginning 1800 hours 15 June La Aurora Airport sealed all night. Cadillac Sedan with GUAT license plate number 1 accompanied by approximately 30 private and army vehicles suddenly appeared hanger number 1 WSBURNT (Guatemala) Air Force. Several cases removed from car and placed in hangar. IDEN of occupants unknown. 2. At 2245 hours same night two AT-6's took off from airport together with one DC-3. AT-6's returned later alone. 3. Morning 16 June PAA Brownsville Texas radioed PAA here advising PAA planes would now over-fly GUAT. By noon one flight had over-flown. Beginning 1300 hours normal schedules resumed, planes now landing. Source ESPARTO B-2. Comment: It is believed possible AT-6's were escorts for DC-3 which may have had as passenger wife of Arbenz. This merely supposition."


06/26/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "1. Matamoros bombing had instant effect. City panicked, people ran for cover stores closed. Matamoros area heavily guarded by armed troops, so inspection of damage impossible. 2. SUMAC-4 told ESPARTO night 24 June that STANDEL-1 (Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz) in jail, SUMAC-2 (Lt. Colonel Jose Angel Sanchez Barillas) drinking so heavily he needed medical care. STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) dealing directly with SMILAX (Colonel Enrique Parinello de Leon) to run army. SUMAC-4 said govt cause lost but had no idea who would take over or how. 3. After bombing rumor strong that army will move tonight. 4. Unidentified lieutenant deserted from Hank (Zacapa - Guatemalan base) told NTPLUME charge Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) ground and air power terrifying. WSBURNT (Guatemala) soldiers who would like to desert do not for fear being shot as they try. 5. Psych peak being reached again. SHERWOOD (Note: CIA radio broadcasting program based in Nicaragua begun on May 1, 1954) allegedly promised new bombing tonight. If true, please hit national palace and finish the job. 6. Scattered firing in city right now. 7. Just RCVD: Name of Lt para 4 is (REDACTION)."


06/27/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "1. ESPARTO was with SUMAC-4 this AM, when SUMAC-4 was summoned to STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) office. SUMAC-4 said he being considered by STANDEL to replace SUMAC-2 (Lt. Colonel Jose Angel Sanchez Barillas). 2. This afternoon ESPARTO briefly saw SUMAC-4 again. SUMAC-4 said he did not get job because unacceptable to army. STANDEL was white and nervous, but said he would prefer suicide to surrender. MTG was to discuss army command reorganization but ESPARTO got no details. After MTG ranking officers agreed to force STANDEL resignation within 24 hours. STANDEL-1 (Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz) and SUMAC-2 not among plotters. EVAL: ESPARTO B2, SUMAC-4 F3. 3. SUMAC-4 now at brothers home. Wishes enter some embassy tonight as 'visitor.' JMBLUG (John S Peurifoy) arranging (REDACTION), through other embassy may be finally chosen. 4. We will pick up SUMAC-4 at 2030 and debrief him thoroughly before delivery to any embassy. Will advise as soon as possible..."

Gavin McDonald

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