"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever." - Reagan, January 20, 1981

"In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. No More Vietnams can mean we will not try again. It should mean we will not fail again." - from No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Guatemala STD experiments and the overthrown Reds of 1954

I don't know all the details, alarming and discusting as they are (and I agree with President Obama's decision to apologize to the victims on behalf of the United States). but I do know a bit about the reaction
"Guatemala condemned the experiment as a crime against humanity and said it would study whether there were grounds to take the case to an international court.

"President Alvaro Colom considers these experiments crimes against humanity and Guatemala reserves the right to denounce them in an international court," said a government statement, which announced a commission to investigate the matter."

here is the problem
The experiments were discovered by Susan M. Reverby, a medical historian and professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., ...

From 1946 to 1948, she wrote in an article due to appear in January in The Journal of Policy History, Dr. John C. Cutler, a Public Health Service doctor, ran a syphilis inoculation project in Guatemala, co-sponsored by the health service, the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau and the Guatemalan government.

I don't believe the Guatemalan government has taken any responsibility for their part, or perhaps give recognition to those who liberated Guatemala from those responsible - the CIA in 1954.

At the time of these experiments, Guatemala was run by "Spiritual Socialist" Juan Jose Arevalo (President 1944-1951). Time writes that Jules Dubois, the Chicago Tribune's "veteran Latin America correspondent" had "reported as early as 1948 that the Arevalo regime was Communist-infiltrated". And as Time also writes, Arevalo had a big problem in the form of Strongman Jacobo Arbenz
In 1944, when dictator-ridden Guatemala was ripe for revolution, Arbenz, then working from El Salvador, helped mastermind the uprising. When "Spiritual Socialist" Juan Jose Arevalo assumed the presidency, Arbenz took over the job of defense minister. Last summer (1949) a crisis arose when Arbenz' revolutionary comrade, Colonel Francisco Arana, chief of the armed forces, began acting too big for his job. At a cabinet meeting one day, President Arevalo stared at Arana across the table and said: "There are two presidents here, and one of them has a machine gun."

Time speculated that he was referring to Arana, but it became clear later that Arbenz who held that shadow "machine gun President" when the leader of the 1954 freedom fighters Carlos Castillo Armas testified that
"The Communists concentrated first on the labor unions, of which they quickly gained complete control, "he explained. "Soon it became almost impossible to be elected to public office without the support of the unions . . . A teachers' union was formed, and before long almost every teacher in the country, in order to hold his job, had to teach the Communist doctrines . . . The Communists had political control of Guatemala by the time [former President Juan José] Arévalo's term expired [in 1951]. When their hand-picked candidate, Jacobo Arbenz, took office, they finally dared to come out into the open."

Earlier this year (2010), in an interview with the official newspaper of communist Cuba, an old Nicaraguan communist named Rodolfo Romero who was in Guatemala during Arbenz's reign confirmed that Arbenz turned Guatemala into communist base and insurrectionist staging ground teeming with reds from all over Latin America who were receiving shelter, training and Soviet supplied Czech weapons.

It was these reds and their controlled Guatemalan governments that took part in these experiments, and these are the reds that were brought down by the CIA and our Guatemalan freedom fighter allies in 1954.

I don't know all the details of the experiments yet, but I thought it would be worthwhile to preempt the inevitable self-rightous Commie/red squawking if nobody else is willing to do it. I hope that the Guatemalan government takes responsibility for their predecessor's role in this atrocity, just as the United States government has.

1 comment:

craguilar said...

Excellent post. I'm Guatemalan and I agree with your assesment.

Colom will not apologize for our own participation because he is a corrupt hack who has fashioned himself as Juan Jose Arevalo's ideological heir. He has too much invested in the myths of the Revolucion de Octubre to own up to its mistakes. He'd rather use the time-tested gringo-bashing technique to boost his own fading popularity.