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Operation PBFORTUNE was the name of a contingency plan drafted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in 1951 that outlined a method of ousting Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz if he was deemed a Communist threat in the hemisphere. The plan was a precursor to Operation PBSUCCESS, codename for the covert operation that went forward successfully in 1954.

Although PBFORTUNE was officially approved on September 9, 1952, various planning steps had been taken earlier in the year. In January 1952, officers in the CIA's Directorate of Plans compiled a list of "top flight Communists whom the new government would desire to eliminate immediately in the event of a successful anti-Communist coup." Later, in April 1952, Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza García visited US President Harry Truman and said that if provided arms, he would collaborate with Guatemalan exile Carlos Castillo Armas to overthrow Guatemalan President Árbenz. After a CIA agent investigated the feasibility of such a plan, it was proposed that the CIA supply the needed arms and $225,000 to Castillo Armas, and that Nicaragua and Honduras should supply air support to the Guatemalan rebels.[1]

Part of the CIA plan called for the assassination of over 58 Guatemalans, and Castillo Armas agreed to collaborate with a request from General Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, to assassinate 4 additional Dominicans who were in Guatemala. Several other assassination plans continued after the termination of PBFORTUNE in October, 1952, when the CIA learned that PBFORTUNE had been discovered.

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  1. ^ Haines, Gerald. "CIA and Guatemala Assassination Proposals, 1952-1954". CIA Historical Review Program. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 

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