Operation Washtub (Nicaragua)

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Operation WASHTUB was a CIA-organized covert operation to plant a phony Soviet arms cache in Nicaragua to demonstrate Guatemalan ties to Moscow. It was part of the effort to overthrow the President of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in 1954.[1]

On February 19, 1954, the CIA planted a cache of Soviet-made arms on the Nicaraguan coast to be "discovered" weeks later by fishermen in the pay of Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza García. On May 7, 1954, President Somoza told reporters at a press conference that a Soviet submarine had been photographed, but that no prints or negatives were available. The story also involved Guatemalan assassination squads. The press and the public were skeptical and the story did not get much press.[2]


  1. ^ Cullather, Nick (2006) [1999]. Secret History: The CIA's Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952–1954 (2nd ed.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-804-75467-5. 
  2. ^ Cullather 2006, p. 57, citing Gleijeses, Piero (1992). Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944–1954. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-691-07817-5. 

Coordinates: 38°57′06″N 77°08′48″W / 38.95167°N 77.14667°W / 38.95167; -77.14667