The next operation, dubbed PBSuccess, was drafted within the CIA on November 12, 1953. The objective was “To remove covertly, and without bloodshed if possible, the menace of the present Communist-controlled government of Guatemala,” and “To install and sustain, covertly, a pro-US government in Guatemala (“Program for PBSuccess”). The covert completion of the objectives was necessary to provide possible denial of US or CIA participation in the coup. On May 24, 1954, the US Navy began Operation Hardrock Baker, a sea blockade on Guatemala, followed by the invasion of Armas’s forces on June 18. On June 27, Jacobo Arbenz resigned as Guatemala’s president and Castillo Armas was installed as the new leader on September 1. PBSuccess was claimed a success and terminated.
After the coup, the CIA began collecting documents left behind by the Communist government. After examining over 500,000 documents, the CIA concluded that only a small fraction of them had actually been valuable, and that there had been no ties to Moscow from Guatemala (Mylkes). This meant that the Arbenz had been acting without any Russian influence and that there was no reason to fear a Russian front in the western hemisphere through Central America. However, this also further enforced the reasoning that the US was concerned about the issue of communism rather than the cultivating land of the United Fruit Company.
The CIA’s motives in intervening in numerous foreign issues may seem to diverge from its initial purpose of repelling communism. Portraying the CIA’s actions as choosing the economic interests of America over the popular government installation of another country portrays them as a meddlesome American pestilence, but in the popular cases of Iran and Guatemala, communism emerges as a strong reason at the time for interference. The tyrannical Mossadeq used communists to his advantage to fight against his political enemies, and the government of Jacobo Arbenz was believed to have close ties to Russia, posing a threat to the US, justifying the use of covert operations within foreign nations.