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Cryptonym: SUPERIOR

Definition:
SUPERIOR may possibly have been the cryptonym for Juan Cordova Cerna, lawyer for United Fruit Company in Guatemala, and supporter of Carlos Castillo Armas.
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
A dispatch in late April of 1954 stated that SUPERIOR had "promised that he would make the three anti-Communist deputies in the Congress available as mouthpieces." The dispatch also mentioned "the SUPERIOR-SKIDMORE complex." In addition, a memo on 24 May, 1954, commented on "the influence that pro-UFCO (pro-United Fruit Company) elements and individuals will have in the new government (REDACTION, SUPERIOR, etc)." Therefore, SUPERIOR was clearly at the very least a supporter of the United Fruit Company. Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1952-1954, Guatemala, included the definition of Cordova Cerna mentioned above: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=145047#relPageId=19
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916118.pdf

04/28/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to COS, Guatemala: Subject: KUGOWN: ..."5. Another matter in which we are interested is your evaluation of the capabilities of the SUPERIOR-SKIDMORE complex, with its ramifications. You have read the memorandum of conversation between (REDACTION) and SUPERIOR, and you are presumably able to observe SUPERIOR, SKIDMORE, SWEETBRIAR and others in action. Please advise us soonest what you think the potential of these people is. You will note that we have repeatedly recommended their use, perhaps in the illusion that they were more useful than they really are. 6. Specifically, since SUPERIOR promised that he would make the three anti-Communist deputies in the Congress available as mouthpieces, please advise what you think the chances of such an operation are. Does SUPERIOR have the necessary influence? Do the deputies have the guts? Will they stand for ghostwritten material? If so, what topics should our ghostwriting hit? How long should the speeches that LINCOLN (Note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) ghostwrites be?...Jerome C. Dunbar. JCD/JTN..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915753.pdf

05/02/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to COS, Guatemala: Subject: General - Operational: Specific - SUPERIOR: "1. LINCOLN (Note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) will obtain and forward the letter from (REDACTION) accrediting ESTIVAL to SUPERIOR as a personal representative of (REDACTION) as soon as possible. It will take longer than it ordinarily would because (REDACTION) is still at (REDACTION). He is (REDACTION) is still at (REDACTION) not returning to LINCOLN until 6 May. 2. SUPERIOR's surprise at the expansion of ESTIVAL's role is natural. Again, this surprise could have been avoided if (REDACTION). However, (REDACTION) prevented him from writing the necessary letters direct (through our channels) to SUPERIOR and LINCOLN therefore had to go ahead on its own without (REDACTION). 3. GUAT 439 is an example, again, of the problems raised by (REDACTION). We have seen very little of (REDACTION) since (REDACTION) and were therefore not aware of the arrangement for the meeting with SUPERIOR in mid-May. However, a contact in the last few days with (REDACTION) has made us aware of the importance that (REDACTION) attaches to this meeting. We have therefore sent you a cable requesting that you facilitate and expedite the meeting. 4. We regret the surprises and uncertainties caused you by the unfortunate fact of (REDACTION) and our subsequent loss of communications with him. (REDACTION) Jerome C. Dunbar. Distribution:...Jeremy T. Nutting..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915667.pdf

05/05/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to COS, Guatemala: Subject: General - Operational: Specific: Letter for SUPERIOR: "1. Enclosed herewith is a letter from (REDACTION) and directed to SUPERIOR. 2. In a separate letter to Francis T. Mylkes, (REDACTION) says: 'In the event that you do not have a direct contact, the letter for SUPERIOR can be handed over to ESCOBILLA, explaining to him for whom it is designated, for he does not know him by the name which is used therein.' Jerome C. Dunbar."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915649.pdf

05/05/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to Acting Chief, Withheld: Subject: General - Operational: Specific: Letter for Calligeris from (REDACTION) addressed to SUPERIOR: "1. Enclosed herewith is a carbon copy of (REDACTION) letter to SUPERIOR in WSBURNT (Guatemala). 2. (REDACTION) asked that a copy of this letter be sent to Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). LINCOLN (Note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) encloses an autostat copy for retention in your files. Jerome C. Dunbar."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915386.pdf

05/12/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to Withheld, Guatemala: Subject: General - KUGOWN: Specific - Operational Report - SUPERIOR: "1. The progress which you, especially (REDACTION) and (REDACTION) are making in activating (REDACTION) for our objectives, is most gratifying. Please commend both on our behalf and ask them to continue in this direction with all possible intensity. In addition to the items mentioned in both references, we are wondering whether (REDACTION) could not be used more directly to undermine communist predominance in the labor unions. This might be attempted less through publications, but through individual influence, exerted by appropriately placed (REDACTION) upon labor union officials who are practising Catholics and may be expected to listen to confidential advice from that side. 2. Reference A, paragraph 1: Please let us (and Headquarters) have several copies each of all the articles in question so that we may use them to stimulate either direct reprinting or the writing of similar articles outside Guatemala. We shall try to provide you with additional articles along the lines you indicate. However, we suggest that you should not rely entirely on our limited capability of providing complete manuscripts for the rapidly increasing number of our outlets but try to get as many articles as possible written by local talent, merely indicating suitable subjects and the kind of treatment we should like to see given those subjects. We are attaching a list of a few possible themes for (REDACTION) publications which you might wish to pass on to (REDACTION) for this purpose. 3. Reference B, paragraph 1: This seems a good idea. We agree that the publication must not be too long and that it would not be necessary to reprint the text of the (REDACTION) after all the wide distribution it already received. On other other hand, some introduction tying the texts of the (REDACTION) to the present situation is definitely needed...Jerome C. Dunbar."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915243.pdf

05/16/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to Acting COS, Guatemala: Subject: General - KUGOWN: Specific: Miscellaneous editorial materials: ..."2. We leave it to your judgement how to utilize these materials best. We would like to point out, however, that item 'a' may be given to a Catholic publication, whether through ESSENCE or through SUPERIOR...(REDACTION) Jerome C. Dunbar."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 163. 5/24/54-Memorandum From [name not declassified] of the Central Intelligence Agency to the Deputy Chief of Plans and the Chief of Plans, Central I

05/24/54: Memorandum from Withheld to Deputy Chief of Plans and Chief of Plans: Subject: Consolidation of New Guatemalan Regime: "1. The task of consolidating the new Guatemalan regime falls into two parts: a. Duties devolving on the Guatemalans. This is currently being discussed with (REDACTION) and will be covered in a later memorandum. b. Duties devolving upon ODYOKE (U.S. Government). These form the subject of the present memorandum. 2. The duties devolving upon ODYOKE are...c. Coordination of UFCO Action. Immediate conversations should be initiated with the UFCO, with a view toward coordinating ODACID (U.S. State Department) and UFCO action in the consolidation period. Specifically, UFCO should be advised that ODACID will not support UFCO requests with diplomatic notes during the early months of the new government; while it was necessary and proper for ODACID to support UFCO against a Communist government, it will be improper for ODACID to make the same demands of an anti-Communist government. Likewise, UFCO should be asked not to mortgage the political viability of the new regime by pressing its claims too soon. Rather, as JMBLUG (John S. Peurifoy) has recommended, UFCO should await the call of the new government to a joint parley in view of the influence that pro-UFCO elements and individuals will have in the new government (REDACTION), SUPERIOR, etc.) the UFCO should be able to await and join in such a parley with equanimity. It may be advisable for the parley to agree to turn over the Guatemalan-UFCO dispute to an impartial commission, chosen by the parties to the dispute. It may also be advisable for the new government to levy promptly the increased taxes that the UFCO has declared itself willing to pay; then the issue of compensation for expropriated land can be masked by the tax 'victory' of the new government; compensation might actually be made in the form of taxes lower than they would be otherwise. Action: ODACID..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923107.pdf

05/28/54: Courirer dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: KUGOWN Operational Report: Ref: GUAT 623: "1. ESCOBILLA informed Razmara that in his opinion it will not be possible to induce the Church to take part in the formation of a labor movement at this time. 2. According to ESCOBILLA, the Church encouraged the formation of the Union Nacional de Trabajadores Libres (UNTL). An unidentified Basque priest had been assigned this task by the Archbishop, but after the government crack-down on the UNTL and expulsion of its leaders the priest was assigned other duties and the Church decided to suspend any further activities in the labor field until a more propitious time. ESCOBILLA understands that a group of (REDACTION) Jesuits specially trained in labor matters will be brought into the country if and when a government favorable to the Church is established. 3. ESCOBILLA added that the Church's reluctance to take a more active part at this time is conditioned by Constitutional provisions forbidding it to mix in labor or political matters. 4. Despite the negative results of this attempt to inspire Church action in the labor field, we still feel it possible to arrange for some positive steps even though it probably will be necessary to conceal the fact and the nature of the part that the Church might play. SUPERIOR appears to be the only other person that could undertake to establish contacts in Church circles at this time. ESTIBAL will be instructed to investigate all possibilities as soon as SUPERIOR returns to WSBURNT (Guatemala). (REDACTION) George L. Tranger."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000922819.pdf

06/02/54: Memo from C/PP to C/P: Subject: PP activities within next 10 days: ..."3. Pending activities...e) SUPERIOR is supposed to return to Guatemala during the next few days and to resume his efforts (REDACTION)..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000922742.pdf

06/04/54: Memo for the record from C/PP to C/P: Subject: PP - Labor Operations: ..."5. (REDACTION) in the labor field are...c) Catholic Church contacts in the labor field, to be obtained primarily by SUPERIOR, are at the moment mostly wishes and promises. Recent reports indicate that the Church does not want to expose itself by interfering with union activities..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000921889.pdf

06/16/54: Air dispatch from LINCOLN to COS, Guatemala City: Subject: General - KUGOWN: Specific - (REDACTION) - Catholic Support: ..."3. If nothing worth while has been undertaken yet to mobilize more active (REDACTION) support for PBSUCCESS, it may be late, but perhaps not yet too late to do so right away - if necessary, even in SUPERIOR's absence. We realize the difficulties opposing such action, but we also realize that the WSBURNT (Guatemala) government, confronted with mounting domestic and external difficulties, can ill afford to plunge into a conflict with the Church at the same time. Such simultaneous 'warfare on many fronts' would also be quite contrary to well-established BGGYPSY (the nation of Russia and Russian connected operations) practises...Jerome C. Dunbar."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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