The New Guatemala Deserves U.S. Support

Report Americas

The New Guatemala Deserves U.S. Support

May 22, 1985 18 min read Download Report
K. Allen

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435 May 22, 1985 THE NEW GUATEMALA DESERVES U.S. SUPPORT INTRODUCTION Guatemala seemec to fascinate the United States in the late 1970s. The Carter Administration and the press focused intensive that Central American country. Indeed, Carter cut off U.S military assistance to Guatemala in 19

77. In recent years, much less attention has been paid to this nation of seven million spread along Mexico's southern border. And that is a pity, for Guatemala's leaders have initiated significant political reforms to propel their nation toward democracy. The army, meanwhile, has adopted a strategy for protecting the Indian population in the war against Marxist guerrillas. Guatemala's r e cent progress surely deserves as much attention now as its troubles did nearly a decade ago ly on reports of political violence and human rights abuses in I i Just last July, Guatemalans voted for a Constitutional Assembly, and the balloting was judged fr ee and fair by a host of international observers. Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in October 19

85. Even the United Nations has certified Guatemala's progress. A U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights issued a 1984 report citing improveme nt in human rights observance and refuting a number of allegations that the Guatemalan governinent of President Mejia Victores had committed atrocities. significant development was last month's peaceful settlement of a 13-month labor-management confrontat i on at a Coca-Cola bottling plant, proving that organized labor activism no longer is being systematically repressed.l I Another Stephen Kinzer At Embattled Guatemala Coke Plant, Peace Reigns The New York Times, April 29, 1985 2 I Current U.S. policy is a h oldover from the Carter years keeping Guatemala at arm's length. Surely this no longer serves U.S. interests in light of Guatemala's geopolitical importance in Central America. A resurgence of Guatemala's Marxist guerrilla movement could undermine the pro g ress toward democracy being made in neighboring El Salvador and encourage further subversive efforts in the region by Nicaragua and Cuba. destabilizing chain reaction in Mexico, already troubled by the disruptive presence of Guatemalan refugees and leftis t guerrillas on the fringes of its most productive oil fields.

Improvements in Guatemala's human rights record and its steps toward political liberalization should be supported by the U.S. Washington should provide economic and military assistance to Guate mala to support its transition to an elected civilian government. move to democracy but would aid regional economic development Economic assistance is needed, too, to'help the country weather balance of payments and foreign exchange problems, which are pa r tly caused by regional political turbulence. and development programs of the Guatemalan armed forces and the Committee for National Reconstruction for the highland Indian population should be bolstered by U.S. technical and material assistance. Security a s sistance in the form of training and non-lethal equipment is needed to secure the gains made in the guerrilla war and to support the Armed Forces' recent moves toward fuller respect for human rights and the democratic process It could set off a Economic g r owth in Guatemala not only would ease its The civic action FORTY YEARS OF POLITICAL STRU~GLE In the past four decades, Guatemala's politics have been insurgencies, the most recent aided by Cuba. Guatemala's political turmoil began with the 1944 revolution , mounted by reformists determined to remedy the injustices and cCrruption of the Jorge Ubico regime. As typically happens with such movements, the reformists lost control of events to a dedicated and well-organized group of communists with ties to Moscow. Growing communist influence in the administration of President Jacobo Abenz, elected in 1951 following the assassination of his anti-communist opponent, Chief of the Armed Forces Francisco Arana, alarmed the Guatemalan armed forces and Washington. Ronald M . Schneider, author of an early history of the Arbenz period, writes that "By the time the Arbenz regime was three years old, the Communists, through their relationship with the President, control of the labor movement, penetration of the bureaucracy and i nfluence over other revolu tionary parties were in a position to shape government policies to an extent greater than any communist party outside of .the Soviet orbit Ip plagued by polarization, weak institutions, and leftist guerrilla Ronald M. Schneider, Communism in Guatemala 1944-1954 (New York: Holt Rinehart Winston, 1959).

In June 1954, an exiled Guatemalan colonel, Carlos Castillo Armas, supplied by the U.S. and supported by Honduras and Nicaragua led a force of a few hundred men into Guatemala from Honduras.

Though the Guatemalan army could have'halted the Armas forces army leader s refused to support Arbenz, who resigned on June 27 1954 Arbenz' resignation was followed by further political turmoil including the assassination of his successor, Carlos Castillo Armas, and violence ridden elections in 19

58. Guatemala was governed by military-appointed leaders until the 1966 election of Julio Cesar Mendez Montenegro, who attempted to curb the political role of the military and to "civilianize" Guatemalan society.

Montenegro launched a major counterinsurgency campaign, which broke up t he guerrilla movement in the countryside. The guerrillas then concentrated their terrorist activities in the capital which led to a spiral of political violence by the guerrillas and self-appointed vigilante groups In this period, a series of military off i cers ran Guatemala, coming to office through what are generally viewed as fraudulent elections. Discontent with the political system mounted. A cycle of political violence by extremists of the left and right, disapproval of the government's heavy-handed t a ctics against leftist opposition, and diplomatic isolation led a group of young military officers to stage a coup d'6tat in March 1982 fraud in the 1982 elections. What triggered their action was the apparent RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN GUATEMALA Ret i red General Efrain Rios Montt emerged as the leader of the 1982 coup and was declared President and Minister of Defense by the junta His public statements signaled a determination to adopt a more constructive counterinsurgency strategy against the guerril las, attack public corruption, and restore political freedom in Guatemala.

Rios Montt's initiatives in countering the guerrillas through amnesty for members of the guerrilla movement, civic action programs for the Indian communities, and changes in the arm y's tactics weakened the guerrilla movement consider&ly government measures, however, such as the establishment of special courts to try anti-government subversives and terrorists and the suspension of constitutional guarantees, did little to dampen inter national hostility.

Having failed to improve diplomatic relations with Guatemala's neighbors or mend its reputation abroad, Rios Montt was replaced in an August 1983 coup by General Oscar Mejia Victores. He moved quickly to restore constitutional guarantee s and abolish the special courts. The clearest sign of the leadership's determina tion to restore political freedoms was last July's election for a Constitutional Assembly. The new, 88-member Assembly has a mandate to draft a new constitution and legislat i on governing political parties and &e 1985 presidential election Other The July vote, certified free and fair by international Two' obseners was noteworthy because the turnout was estimated at over 70 percent of some 2.6 million registered voters centrist parties, the Christian Democrats and the new Union of the National Center, won 22 seats each in the Assembly. This indicates that there is a consensus on the need for reform." In a further break with the past, four Indians won seats in the new Assembly GU A TEMALA'S GEOPOLITICAL ROLE IN CEN!I!RAL AMERICA With its more than seven million inhabitants and a 9 billion economy, Guatemala is Central America's richest and most populous country. Staunchly anti-communist, and described by Forbes magazine as the "free enterprise linchpin of the floundering Central American Common Market" because of its tradition of limited state intervention in the economy, Guatemala should be the natural anchor for U.S. policy in Central America.b Guatemala's geopolitical importance i n Central America also should be a factor in U.S. policy considerations. Political developments in Guatemala, especially the outcome of the guerrilla insurgency and the current government's moves toward political reform, will have far-reaching repercussion s on four key situations in Central America 1) Territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize.6 As was demonstrated by the 1982 confrontation over the Falkland Islands, territorial disputes in Latin America, especial- ly those involving a European ally o f Washington, can damage U.S.-Latin American relations. This could be the case regarding the ongoing tension between Guatemala and Belize, a British colony (known as British Honduras until 1981 Stretches of the Belize-Guatemalan border are in dispute. two countries are sure to rise when Britain withdraws its 1,800- Tensions between the Guatemala Vote Clean sphere, Vol. 4, No. 21, July 24, 1984.

William A. Orme, Jr Guatemalan Indians Try Politics ,I' Washington Post July 12, 1984 Moderates Triumph Washington Report on the Hemi- 3 Allan Dodds Frank Guatemala: The Ultimate Price Forbes, May 10, 1982, p. 109 Belize formally gained independence from Great Britain in 1981, but due to a territorial dispute that dates back to the 19th century, Guatemala has refused to recognize its independence and claims two-thirds of its territory. Great Britain maintains an 1,800-man garrison in Belize to safeguard its new status, but the $50 million expense has led it to announce that its presence is for "an appropriate period o n ly sponsored talks between Britain, Belize, and Guatemala have broken down repeatedly U.N. 5 man garrison from Belize. Belize problem would enhance regional stability and remove a pretense for Cuba to intervene. The prospects for a negotiated settlement a r e brighter if the U.S. strengthens ties with Guatemala and can act effectively as mediator A prompt settlement of the Guatemalan 2) Consolidation of democratic pluralism in El Salvador and containment of Nicaragua The outcome of the guerrilla war in Guate mala could have repercussions for El Salvador and Nicaragua. Should the Guatemalan guerrillas defeat government forces, or hold onto substantial territory, the Marxist regime in Nicaragua would be bolstered.

Further Cuban and Nicaraguan subversion in the r egion would be encouraged. On the other hand, definitive defeat of Guatemala's armed insurgency could dampen the enthusiasm of El Salvador's guerrilla movement, much as the successful U.S. intervention in Grenada did, and even discourage Cuban support for Marxist insur gencies in Central America. It also would be a major setback for the Nicaraguan Marxists' plan to spread their revolution through- out the region 3) Implications for Mexican stability i Despite the leftist rhetoric that pervades Mexican fore i gn policy statements, the government of Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid is clearly concerned about the security of Mexico's guerrilla-infested, 584-mile border with Guatemala.7 A 4000-man quick reaction force was formed in 1982, in the words of a Me x ican official to defend the country's southern border and lucrative oil fields against a possible spillover of Central America's turbulent guerrilla He clearly was referring to the Guatemalan guerrilla insurgency dilemma for Mexico's ruling Institutional R evolutionary Party or PRI activity into Mexico could seem to tarnish the PRI's llrevolutionaryll credentials. Just how sensitive the Guatemalan question is for Mexican policy makers is apparent from the vivid contrast between southern oil fields, where th e Mexican state of Chiapas shares a I I I I Guatemala's 'Marxist guerrillas also pose a serious political National security concerns about an overflow of guerrilla In the last few years, additional troops have been sent to the region military maneuvers hav e been conducted in the southern states, and military officers have replaced civilians as governors for Chiapas and Tabasco.

Marlise Simons Mexico Trains Quick Reaction Force Washington Post February 2, 1982.

See Esther Wilson Hannon Mexico's Growing Prob lems Challenge U.S Policy," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 373, August 16, 1984, -and R. Bruce McColm Mexico: The Coming Crisis Journal of Contemporary Studies, Vol. VII, No. 3, Summer 1984 for analysis of the Mexican political situation 6 its vocif erous pro-revolutionary stance regarding El Salvador and Nicaragua and the extreme caution of rare official pronouncements regarding Guatemala.lO 4) U.S.-Guatemalan relations and the Contadora process.

U.S.-Guatemalan relations were friendly until 1975, wh en the U.S. halted shipment of military equipment to Guatemala to allay British fears of a Guatemalan invasion of Belize. Guatemala turned to other supply sources for equipment and training, but the U.S. decision soured U.S.-Guatemalan relations grew as t h e U.S. Congress increasingly tied foreign assistance to human rights practices in recipient nations, especially under Carter Administration foreign policy decisions. In March 1977 Guatemala unilaterally renounced its military assistance agreements with th e U.S., citing the congressionally mandated annual human rights reports as unacceptable intervention in its .internal affairs Resentment by the Guatemalan government over the 1975 episode The chill between Washington and Guatemala has thawed somewhat as a r esult of the Reagan Administration!s efforts to provide some military assistance to Guatemala. Washington, moreover, has sought to avoid public criticism of Guatemala.. For its.part, the Guatemalan government distrusts Nicaragua's Marxist Sandinista regim e as much as, if not more, than Washington does. Yet the still cool U.S.-Guatemalan relations impede cooperation between the two on regional matters. In the Contadora negotiations on a Central American peace treaty especially, Guatemala veers away from the U.S. and backs Mexico's pro-Sandinista stance. Guatemalan dependence on Mexican oil and Mexican cooperation in controlling border guerrilla activity give Guatemala significant short-term reasons for aligning with Mexico. Improved U.S.-Guatemalan relations , however, could prompt Guatemala to take a more balanced position in the Contadora negotiations THE GUERRILLA MOVEMENT The current guerrilla insurgency in Guatemala has been rebuilt from an earlier, smaller movement that was largely defeated by the armed f orces in the late 1960s. Survivors of that movement visited Cuba, North Vietnam, and other Marxist Third World coun- tries and then, in 1972, founded the EGP (Spanish acronym for the Guerrilla Army of the Poor). By 1980 it was strong enough to lo See Adol fo Aguilar Zinser Mexico and the Guatemalan Crisis, in The Future of Central America: Policy Choices for the U.S. and Mexico, Richard R.

Fagen and Olga Pellicer, eds Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1983) for a detailed discussion of confli cts within the Mexican government on its Guatemalan policy. operate in six highland departments of Guatemala. In contrast to its predecessor s 'failure, the EGP adopted .a "prolonged wart1 strategy, operating in the remote highlands and living off the Ind ians, while also using them as a shield against army attacks.

At a 1980 press conference in Havana, the EGP announced a merger with three other armed groups,ll arranged by Nicaragua's Marxist leaders, to form the URNG (Spanish acronym for Guatemalan Nation al Revolutionary Union l1 See Sol W. Sanders The 'battle for Central America' may be in Guatemala,"

Business Week, March 22, 1982, p. 50 There is substantial evidence that Cuba and-Nicaragua provide training and weapons for the Guatemalan guerrillas. This is clear from the testimony of captured guerrillas and of Miguel Bolanos, a Nicaraguan defector who had been a Sandinista intelli gence officer. trained in special Nicaraguan camps established for the purpose and that the Sandinistas have shipped arms to Guatemala across the Mexican border. l2 stated that she had been trained in Cuba and Nicaragua.13 The Background Paper on Central America, released by the U.S. Depart ment of State and Department of Defense in 1983, further documents Nicaraguan ties to th e Guatemalan insurgency, noting that ''several vehicles captured at the safehouses (in Guatemala City, April and July 1981) bore recent customs markings from Nicaragua Bolanos reports that Guatemalan guerrillas were A defector from a Guatemalan rebel group FIGHTING THE INSURGENCY Under President Rios Montt, the Guatemalan army adopted a new counterinsurgency strategy. Recognizing that the allegiance of the vulnerable civilian population of the highlands was the key to quashing the insurgency, the government launched a broad program of both security and development assistance for Indian communities. Its purpose is to suppress the insurgency, protect civilians in the areas of conflict, and improve the Indian popula tion's standard of living.

The Plan of Action for the Areas of Conflict (PAAC) was launched in July 19

82. It resettles internal refugees who have abandoned their homes and villages, either in fear of the army or because of guerrilla coercion. The program first provides food clothi ng, and work to the refugees. Then it returns them to their original villages or settles them in newly built communities lx Louis S. Segesvary, Guatemala Issues Series, Vol. VI, No. 3, (Washington, D.C Georgetown University A Complex Scenario, CSIS Signif i cant 1984 p. 32 Prensa Libre. Januarv 9. 1983. interview with Edear Giron Castillo.a I government and private sector assistance is available for agricul- tural development and infrastructure. Finally, the government builds schools, clinics, churches, wate r-supply systems, and roads.

Rios Monttls PAAC, or "beans and riflesll program, organized local civil defense patrols, under the direction of the depart mental army command. Usually including all men aged 18 to 55 and numbering altogether about 900,000, th ey guard roads, patrol villages, protect crops, and alert the army of suspected guerrilla activity: A guerrilla document captured in 1982 by the Guatemalan army confirms the deterrent effect of the patr01s.l~ United Nations report states that "The securit y they provide particularly to remote communities, enables the .population to continue living in their traditional villages, whereas the army could not possibly.provide such protection.Ill And a HUMAN RIGHTS IN GUATEMALA Two recent reports that have examin e d alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala, as well as methods for reporting such inti dents, are the United Nations Commission of Human Rights 1984 Report on the situation of human rights in Guatemala, and Guate mala A Complex Scenario, by Louis S. Seges vary, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Both conclude that reports of human rights abuses in Guatemala at times have been seriously distorted or misconstrued by observers.

Segesvary notes, for example, that Amnesty Internatio nal's July 1983 Special Briefing, which was very critical of the Guate- malan government, was not based on first-hand investigation in Guatemala, but relied on information supplied by Ilopposition groups.Il These included the four main Marxist-oriented gu errilla organizations and often unidentified foreign journalists If Segesvary also notes that Amnesty International generally does not report terrorist activities carried out by guerrillas, even when the guerrillas claim credit for them.

The U.N 1984 Repqr t on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala, prepared on the basis of the Rapporteur's extensive travel throughout Guatemala, also reveals that reports of a number of alleged government abuses were unfounded. There had been, for example, widely carrie d stories of a Guatemalan army massacre of civilians. After extensively researching the incident, the U.N. Rapporteur concluded that the story is total fabrication and had not been previously checked by any outside reporter before its publication.Il As for the grisly reports that the l4 Segesvary, op. cit p. 11 U.N. Report on the Situation of Human Rights 'in Guatemala, E/CN4/1984/30 p. 28. 9 army had bayonetted children, he says 1 saw for myself the army does not carry bayonets nor are,their weapons of a t ype to which a bayonet can be fitted.11

16. The U.N. Rapportur, investigating such allegations as government concentration camps and the army's scorched-earth practice, found no evidence to support either claim.

Probably equally false have been the report s that Indians have voluntarily gone over to the guerrillas. There often is little that is voluntary about the Indians' actions. The guerril las have coerced the Indians by destroying their crops, burning homes, and murdering community leaders. Villagers w ere threatened with death if they tried t0.escape.l' those returning to their abandoned communities, the U.N. Special Rapporteur concludes This pattern, with insignificant varia tions, was recounted by many different groups, often' newly arrived over a la r ge geographical area.111s Having interviewed many of I ECONOMY Guatemala's economy expanded rapidly in the 1970s, consoli dating its strong position relative to other Central American economies. By year's end 1979, GNP reached $7 billion, and debt service represented 2.2 percent of exports of goods and services, one of the lowest ratios in Latin ~merica Economic conditions, however, have deteriorated in the past four years. The annual average growth rate of 6.7 percent in. 1976-1978 sank to zero in 1981 an d declined in 1982 and 1983.

Unemployment now runs at about 20 percent with annual inflation at 50 percent. Internati.ona1 market factors, such as severely depressed coffee, cotton, and sugar prices and a sharp decline in demand from Guatemala's trading pa rtners in the Central American Common Market, contributed to this abrupt economic reversal.2o But regional political instability, politically inspired terrorism, and the ongoing guerrilla war also have been important factors. Private sector spokesmen note that private investment in Guatemala was high until the Marxists came to power in Nicaragua, undermin- ing confidence in U.S. regional policy and prompting fear of Nicaragua's export of revolution. They also point to the travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department in August 1981 as a deterrent to economic recovery l6 Ibid p. 13. l7 eaecent visit to Guatemala. this writer heard firsthand accounts of guerrilla recruitment tactics from a community leader in El Buen Samaritan0 and a newly arrived refug ee from Acul.

Inter-American Development Bank, Economic and Social Progress in Latin America, 1982, p. 262q.

The CACM absorbed about 30 percent of Guatemalan exports U.N. Report, p. 11. lU 10 Government corruption and mismanagement in recent years also ha ve contributed to Guatemala's economic slide and capital flight. Exchange controls and taxes on imports and agricultural exports have weakened the private sector. The Mejia Victores government's April 1985 announcement of further tax and interest rate hik e s were vigorously protested by civilian leaders After nearly provoking a coup, the measures were rescinded.21 for tourism, substantial natural resources, a diversified indus- Despite its .problems, Guatemala has outstanding potential 21 Guatemala Withdraw s Unpopular Tax Proposal Washington Post, April 13 1985 trial base, and a tradition of private sector-led growth.22 Its prospects for recovery are good if investor confidence is regaihed and the private sector freed from unsound government intervention.

U.S. ASSISTANCE TO GUATEMALA Economic U.S. economic assistance to Guatemala has grown from 10.8 million in FY 1981 to $73 million appropriated by Congress for 19

85. These sums, of course, are dwarfed by those for Costa Rica El Salvador, and Honduras. The i ncreases are much needed given Guatemala's economic recession and the estimated 300 million price tag for the government's development programs in the country's remote rural areas.

Guatemala needs more aid than it is receiving from the U.S In FY 1985, the Reagan Administration requested $35 million for Economic Support Fund ESF) aid, but Congress appropriated only 12.5 million ESF assistance is designed to help the private sector weather supplier credit constraints during economic down turns, and it also g ives the government some flexibility to settle balance of payments difficulties. The Administration also failed in its request for a $81.1 million commodity credit guaran- tee for Guatemala under the Commodity Credit Corporation. This was blocked because G uatemala's standby agreement with the Inter- national Monetary Fund was suspended in May 1984, even though Guatemala has never been in arrears in this program. The White House and Congress thus should make increased economic aid to Guatemala a priority fo r U.S. Central American policy. As a zp The Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala City, under the' direction of its founder and president, Manuel F. Ayau, has contributed powerfully to an understanding of the vital link between political and economic freedoms through its required courses on the meaning and operation of a free society. 11 start, a larger ESF appropriation and approval of the commodity credit guarantee would contribute substantially to economic recovery in Guatemala.

Military U.S. military assi-stance has been withheld from Guatemala since 1977, on the basis of a congressional finding of Ira consis tent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights situation suggest that a modest amount of U.S . military assistance to Guatemala should be approved Important changes in the Guatemalan human rights The Reagan Administration is seeking 10 million primarily for spare parts for helicopters, communications equipment, and trucks, rather than for lethal e q uipment.23 This assistance is critical to the armed forces' ability to help protect civilians in the conflict zones It would enhance communication between civil defense patrols and army units and allow army reinforcements to come to their aid more readily . Such logistical support for the civil defense patrols would not only increase their deterrent effect, but also reduce the casualties when rural villages and communities are attacked.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS The U.S. should State clearly its interest in Guatemala's move toward demo cracy and stress the importance of the presidential elections planned for 1985 to improved U. S Guatemalan relations.

Encourage Guatemala to negotiate a settlement with Belize on their disputed border.

Extend a commodity credit guarantee through the Commodity Credit Corporation and an Economic Support Fund allocation to Guatemala. Both are especially helpful to the private sector, and therefore contribute to Guatemala's economic recovery. Assistance through the ESF also will be helpful to the president elected this year, who will likely inherit balance of payments difficulties.

Continue granting Guatemala assistance from the U.S Inter- national Military Education and Training program IMET a professional military exchange program that promotes a better understanding of the U.S..political system and demo zg Recent press reports that the Administration was requesting $35.3. million in military assistance for Guatemala inaccurately included the $25 million requested in Economic Supp ort Fund aid as military assistance. 12 cratic institutions among foreign military officers. Guate- mala was excluded from the program from 1977 until last year, when Congress approved $300,000 for its participation.

Review conditions inside Guatemala to determine whether it is necessary to continue the U.S. State Department travel advisory, which discourages Americans from visiting Guatemala.

Provide military assistance to Guatemala under the Foreign Military Sales program, to allow its armed forces to bu y spare parts for American-made equipment and transportation and communications gear. Such equipment is vital to the army's defense of civilians in scattered villages in the conflict zones and use of information provided by the civil defense patrols.

Prov ide economic and technical support for the development of civic action programs, such as the "beans and rifles1 program, in the Indian-populated highlands of the western departments. The Inter-American Foundation would be an appropriate channel for such a ssistance.

Promote closer contact between U.S. organizations and asso ciations and such pro-democratic groups and institutions in Guatemalan society as churches, labor unions, cooperatives, I business associations, and universities. This should include I s cholarships and exchange programs from the Agency for I International Development for Guatemalan students to study I in the U.S. I CONCLUSION Internationally isolated because of its past dismal human rights record, and locked in a draining war with a fore i gn-supported Marxist guerrilla insurgency, Guatemala is now seeking political and social change. Even without significant U.S. assistance Guatemala has restrained political violence, established an open political environment for elections, and checked its Marxist insurgency. Such progress, the cornerstone of U.S. policy in Central America, should be acknowledged and supported in Guatemala To ensure coq$inued progress, the U.S. should provide more than diplomatic backing for political reform, which is vulne r able to the twin pressures of economic recession and guerrilla warfare. Economic and military assistance would help Guatemala build upon its political progress and give the new government the capacity to provide security and development assistance to its isolated Indian population. U.S. interests and policy in Central America combined with Guatemala's improved record, make this package of U. S. assistance timely and appropriate.

Virginia Polk Policy Analyst


K. Allen