Intensive training for air and guerilla activity is currently going on in two parts of Guatemala - the Helvetia Plantation and Retalhuleu.
Intensive training for air and guerilla activity is currently going on in two parts of Guatemala - the Helvetia Plantation and Retalhuleu. The President of Guatemala, General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, has often spoken of his fears of an invasion from Cuba, and the recent military preparations are reported to be in readiness for this.
No Cubans - as Cuban Premier Fidel Castro has alleged - are being trained there for counter-revolutionary work in Cuba. Much of the training is under United States experts, as VISNEWS cameraman Sepp Riff discovered when he visited the Helvetia Plantation and Retalhuleu, Jan 19.
The air base at Retalhuleu was set up on land owned by the Guatemalan Ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Alejos. From the Helvetia Plantation, his brother Roberto - a close friend of the President - directs the nation's biggest independent coffee growing operation. Roberto has financed everything at the bases except the Army barracks at Helvetia. At the plantation, our cameraman found the U.S. Army instructor giving rifle lectures. Other Guatemalan soldiers were being instructed in anti-guerilla warfare and machine-gun firing.
From there, he flew to the base at Retalhuleu, where U.S. instructors were training Guatemalan pilots. Guatemala has broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba and charged Premier Castro with complicity in the unsuccessful revolt there last November. Opponents of the Fuentes regime, however, say the present military preparations are for an attack on Cuba, and are being planned and directed (and to a great extent paid for) by the U.S. And the U.S. Embassy remains silent on the subject.