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Cryptonym: RUFUS

Definition:
RUFUS was a cryptonym for Carlos Castillo Armas, the titular leader of the overthrow of President Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Castillo Armas also had the cryptonym of PANCHO, and the codename of CALLIGERIS.
Sources:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: Abbreviations and Cryptonyms

Page xvii: ..."RUFUS, Carlos Castillo Armas..." (Note: Castillo also had the cryptonym of "PANCHO," see previous page).

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 1. Editorial Note

"In April 1952 Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza visited Washington unofficially and told aides to President Harry Truman that he and Carlos Castillo Armas would be able to take care of the Guatemalan problem if they were furnished with military weapons. The prospective rebels had financial backing from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, as well as the United Fruit Company...A Central Intelligence Agency draft paper of September 4, 1953, provides a history of the early days of the Guatemalan operation. It states: 'In November 1951 the first of many meetings was held between Agency officials and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] to discuss Guatemala.' The memorandum goes on to recount that in early 1952, after a careful survey of anti-Communist Guatemalan revolutionary leaders, 'RUFUS,' an early cryptonym for Castillo Armas, was judged to be the only one with 'sufficient prestige, character, and ability to organize and lead a successful revolution.' The plan was reviewed and approved; a D-day of November 15, 1952, was selected, and other states in the region offered assistance. 'All went well until the shipment had actually left the warehouse en route to New Orleans. The Department of State refused an export license and at a meeting attended by the Under Secretary of State, his Deputy, the Assistant Secretary for Latin America, and representatives of this Agency, refusal of permit was sustained and a directive given that we were not to spark any revolutionary movement'"...

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 41. 8/17/53-Memorandum From the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division, Central Intelligence Agency (King) to Director of Central Intelligence Dulles

08/17/53: Memo from Chief, WHD to Director: Subject: Guatemala: ..."2. RUFUS is considered to be the most effective potential leader for a revolutionary effort. Necessary contacts with him have been made and extensive groundwork laid. Detailed plans, however, require review to determine their soundness in view of conditions altered during the past year and, particularly, to ascertain whether RUFUS still has the personnel essential for a successful operation. 3. Until July of this year it appeared possible that certain anti-Communist governments of the Caribbean would lend sufficient support in arms, planes and money to RUFUS to permit action. Strong interest was expressed, promises actually made, but broken at the last minute. Our clear instructions, since October 1952, have been to avoid any act which could be considered as 'sparking' the revolutionary movement, but to be prepared to assist. It is now evident that insufficient help will be forthcoming from the Caribbean for RUFUS to move. We are therefore faced with two alternatives: a. Accept the present situation, withdraw the financial support so far given to RUFUS and liquidate the mechanisms which have been set up to assist him. b. Through covert channels, supply RUFUS with all the arms, planes and money required for a successful operation, providing the review of his assets is positive..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 107. 2/27/54-Memorandum to Robert Ford of the Central Intelligence Agency

02/27/54: Memo to Robert Ford of the CIA: Subject: Brief for (REDACTION) so that he can include the information in his next letter to RUFUS: The Group is much disturbed over the relationship, and RUFUS’ lack of cooperation with Andres. Andres has been able to see RUFUS but once since 4 February and then only for a short period of time. RUFUS must co-operate fully, remembering that Andres is the Group’s representative in the field. In order for the Group and (REDACTION) to keep informed on what is going on, it is imperative for RUFUS to keep Andres fully informed so that he in turn can notify (REDACTION) and the Group, of any and all new developments. The Group and (REDACTION) will not be able to coordinate any aspect of the operation if RUFUS is acting on his own without notifying (REDACTION) and the Group. Only this week RUFUS sent sensitive material to (REDACTION) via his own courier. This is exactly one of the things security-wise the Group is trying to correct. Three failures in the past were probably caused by insecure methods of operation, and definitely the recent 'White Paper' was the result of an insecure courier. If the Group is going to continue lending aid to the Junta, the Group will definitely not permit what has caused failure in the past to continue in the future...The Group realizes that RUFUS has a tremendous job and is extremely busy, but he can never allow himself to be so busy as to be insecure and not to keep (REDACTION) and the Group, who are trying to help him, and supporting him, fully informed of all his actions and developments in the field. Because RUFUS is so busy, it is impossible for him to devote necessary time to details; and that is exactly where Andres, (REDACTION) and the Group can help him and advise him, provided they are kept fully informed."

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Contributors:
Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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