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Cryptonym: ESPERANCE-1

Definition:
Unknown identity. A cable on April 2, 1954, stated that ESPERANCE advised that ESPERANCE-1 was his representative in sales equipment to DAN, and they both had frequent contact with Mario Sosa, who generally handled purchases.
Status:
Unknown
Discussion:
Mario Sosa was described as the Communist chief inspector of the Departamento Agrario Nacional. ESPERANCE was a former U.S. Air Force officer. A cable on April 6, 1954, stated that "ESPERANCE-1 approached by WSBURNT (Guatemala) pro commie to determine ESPERANCE willingness procure planes for WSBURNT, fly WSBURNT leaders to exile in case coup." This was also referred to in the first cable mentioned above. A dispatch on May 6, 1954, stated that "ESPERANCE-1 has been a loyal and effective tool for the carrying out of ESPERANCE's activities and we plan on continued use of this valuable sub-agent. He is best for spot assignments and will continue to be used directly by ESPERANCE." Earle N. Bannister (probably John Doherty) was the case officer for ESPERANCE.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916705.pdf

04/02/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: PBSUCCESS RYBAT: RE: GUAT 286 (IN 33648): "1. Mario Sosa, commie chief inspector Departamento Agrario Nacional, approached ESPERANCE-1 asking if ESPERANCE had been (REDACTION). When ESPERANCE-1 replied affirmatively, Sosa asked whether ESPERANCE-1 believed ESPERANCE willing earn 'some big money' by flying out govt people in case outbreak trouble. Sosa hinted he willing discuss standing retainer fee with ESPERANCE. 2. Sosa also asked ESPERANCE-1 ascertain from ESPERANCE if possible deliver de Havilland jets. Said ODYOKE (U.S. Government) may have changed attitude WSBURNT (Guatemala) since Berlin conference. Said WSBURNT has 2,000,000 dollars cash in PBPRIME (U.S.) for this purpose. Eval: C 3. 3. ESPERANCE advises ESPERANCE-1 is his representative in sales equipment to DAN and both of them have frequent contact with Sosa who generally handles purchases. B 2. 4. Have instructed ESPERANCE listen if approached by Sosa and attempt delay commitment but if pressed agree rather than break off contact. 5. Request priority reply your views re para 4..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000136070.pdf

04/06/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: PBSUCCESS RYBAT: LINCOLN SITREP WEEK 29 MAR-5 APRIL: Page 3: ..."FT/24: ESPERANCE-1 approached by WSBURNT (Guatemala) pro commie to determine ESPERANCE willingness procure planes for WSBURNT, fly WSBURNT leaders to exile in case coup..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916063.pdf

05/03/54: Dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational. Specific - ESPERANCE: HGGA-1005:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915714.pdf

05/03/54: Dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: Unintelligible: Pages 3-4: "D. ESPERANCE, as previously reported in HGG-A-1005, encountered certain difficulties on his recent trip to Jutiapa. It is believed, however, that these difficulties were successfully overcome and that he is not regarded with suspicion. In line with our need for EEI data, ESPERANCE has been traveling extensively by jeep and passenger car, both of which belong to him. It is believed that this arrangement is favorable for the time being. E. Through ESPERANCE I arranged for the printing of 250 cards of the non-existent Weaver Lumber Company and ESPERANCE-1, by presenting one of these cards which always bears considerable weight locally, has been able to rent under a fake name the automobile which Razmara is currently using. This car was turned over to ESPERANCE by ESPERANCE-1 and was subsequently turned over to Razmara in a secure manner. I talked the matter over with Page (probably Henry Hecksher) and he agreed to the necessity of purchasing another vehicle, which can be done in the name of this non-existent Weaver Timber Company. At the time the original purchase was made, it appeared likely that the automobile in question would be needed for the King Program and therefore Page authorized that this vehicle be purchased with funds allotted to that program. It now turns out that the vehicle probably will not be needed for the King Program but will be made available to Razmara. F. ESPERANCE has also rented in a phony name a cottage on Lake Amatitlan. Still another cottage is being rented by Bannister (probably John Doherty) in his own name and in that of Burnette and Tranger (John Doherty). Eventually we hope to have approximately 4 or 5 cottages on Lake Amatitlan since the surroundings and cover of this lake are such that surveillance of individuals going to some cottage and then taking off in a boat is extraordinarily difficult if not impossible...Earle N. Bannister."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923572.pdf

05/06/54: Dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational. Specific - KUFIRE Tasks, PBSUCCESS: "Attached hereto is the fifth in a series of Weekly KUFIRE (Intelligence) Operational Reports. This particular report covers the period from 6 April 1954 through 5 May 1954...Cyrus E. Burnette." - - - Page 3: "FT/24: ESPERANCE: Responsible Officer: Earle N. Bannister (probably John Doherty): During the period under review, ESPERANCE continued to be the most valuable and versatile agent asset of this station...Authorization to pay ESPERANCE-1 up to (REDACTION) per month was also authorized. ESPERANCE-1 has been a loyal and effective tool for the carrying out of ESPERANCE's activities and we plan on continued use of this valuable sub-agent. He is best for spot assignments and will continue to be used directly by ESPERANCE..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 156. 5/20/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

05/20/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "605. Re: DIR 01050. (2). 1. Available sources tending indicate many WSBURNT (Guatemala) army officers, though as soldiers glad receive arms, have grave misgivings about recent shipment. Among reasons for misgivings are: A. Has dramatically demonstrated closeness of govt to Soviet. B. Fear that present mission will be replaced by hordes of Soviet or satellite instructors who might do anything including displacing even the WSBURNT officers. C. That shipment is shocking evidence that Soviet and Commies intend completely take over WSBURNT. D. That ODYOKE (U.S. Government) cannot tolerate situation and will be forced take drastic action with terrible consequences to WSBURNT. 2. We will try exploit uneasiness by rumor, black propaganda, etc. 3. Indications are many officers would turn against govt if strong dramatic anti govt action starts. 4. (REDACTION) told ESQUIRE night 18 May that SMILAX (Colonel Enrique Parinello de Leon, Guatemalan Army Chief of Staff) now approachable. B–2. Sources para 1 and 3 ESPERANCE, ESPERANCE-1, ESPERANCE-3. Eval: B–3."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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