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Juan Jose Arevalo was known as the FDR of Guatemala. His supporters, known throughout the Americas as "Arevalistas", praised him for bringing democracy, free speech, and social services to his part of the world between 1944 and 1951 as Guatemala's first President. In exile in Mexico City, Arevalo was returning to the national stage by running for President a second time until a military coup ended his chances in March 1963.

Why was his family receiving death threats over the telephone and "poisoned" candy in the mail? Why were Cubans supposedly planning to bomb him? Why were the newspapers trying to ruin his campaign by running phony pictures with him alongside a Soviet general?

David Phillips, the CIA's chief of covert actions during this era, had won a Distinguished Service Medal, one of his agency's highest awards, for his work in overthrowing the Guatemala government. Throughout the early sixties, he was active in operations designed to undermine the FPCC. In early October, 1963, Phillips was transferred to become chief of Cuban operations and doubtlessly played a role in the decision to engage in mass polygraphs.

The montage photo is eerily reminiscent of a famous March 1963 photo of an armed Lee Harvey Oswald holding together in his fist the newspapers of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party. One of the only projects that those two parties were ever able to work together was in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which Oswald joined the next month. In one way, whether this photo is real or faked is immaterial. The photo was created to ensure that Oswald was seen as a person who could bring Communist forces together around Cuba with the power of the gun. That remains Oswald's image to this very day.

If those of us in the United States are serious about understanding our history in places like Guatemala and in Cuba, we will take action in the next few years to ensure that all of the documents about this era are fully released, including the names of the sources and informants. If that happens, we will learn a lot more about how "dirty tricks" affected US history as well as those in other lands. Write Congress and call on them to enforce the JFK Act by releasing all the documents and all the government's sources of information. When the American people are willing to take an unblinking look at ourselves and our institutions, the Kennedy assassination will no longer be a mystery.

- Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney and an antiwar activist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can be reached at bsimpich@gmail.com

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Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney and an antiwar activist in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Informants are paid to commit crimes and act as ... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Nov 26, 2009 at 10:33:46 AM
In late 1963 I spent a lot of time in the hospital... by KJ Nelson on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 11:10:06 AM
For those who get their information from other tha... by Richard Lee on Friday, Nov 27, 2009 at 7:35:19 PM
-Watch the YouTube video of the Secret Service 'st... by meremark on Saturday, Nov 28, 2009 at 1:20:05 AM
Forgive me, if this is old news to you."The first ... by Bob Druwing on Friday, Dec 4, 2009 at 3:09:45 AM