Intensive training for air and guerilla activity is currently going on in two parts of Guatemala - the Helvetia Plantation and Retalhuleu.
AIR SHOT..Flying over terrain to airstrip at Helvetia.
CU Pilot at controls
AIR VIEW... airstrip.
NEARER AIR VIEW..ditto.
CU Controls pan to landing strip as plane lands.
SHOT FROM PLANE...group of soldiers on airstrip.
CU Guatemalan flag.
SCU Roberto Alejos on left, talking to Guatemalan officer.
CU Roberto Alejos.
LV PAN FROM..jungle to troops preparing meals.
CU Large pot of beans being cooked.
SV INT..U.S. Army instructor gives rifle lecture.
LV Instructor hands rifle to soldier seated with others.
CU Instructor gives lecture.
SV Soldier with rifle.
LV PAN EXT..soldiers being instructed in anti-guerilla warfare.
SV Soldiers look on, pan to two soldiers running across open country.
NEARER V..soldiers run from open country to cover.
SV Soldier prepares machine-gun.
CU Soldier fires machine-gun.
CU Machine-gun firing.
LV Targets being hit.
SV U.S. Officer in white shirt explains to troops how to make small bomb.
SV Group of soldiers.
CU PAN..soldiers look at anti-guerilla posters.
CU Soldier smiles.
CU Anti-guerilla poster.
SV PAN..Plane takes off from Helvetia airstrip.
SHOT FROM PLANE..ditto.
INT. PLANE COCKPIT..
AIR SHOT..Retalhuleu air base.
LV Control tower on air base.
CU Inscription "Torre de Control Retalhuleu" etc.
SV Airport building sandbagged.
LV PAN..three B.26 planes on airbase.
SV U.S. instructor and Guatemalan co-pilot into cockpit of B.26 plane.
SV Starting up plane's engines.
THREE SCENES OF..B.26 planes taking off.
Initials EHR/V/PB AHS/PB
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Background: 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.