chapter  2
4 Pages

Policy Options: Rios Montt and After

While Rios Montt remained in power, a broad range of policy options seemed open to US policymakers. One particularly attractive avenue was to initiate a modest program of economic assistance to the regime both as a means of rewarding what many observers viewed as constructive behavior and as a means of increasing US influence. The United States would establish contacts with guerrilla representatives while maintaining formal diplomatic relations with the military government. A guerrilla-led government, in contrast, would certainly not mimic US institutions, but there is good reason to expect, given the unique history and social makeup of the Guatemalan guerrilla movement, that it would imitate Cuba and the Soviet Union either. The United States, they urged, should become more actively involved in bringing about internal change in Guatemala--but on terms dictated by Washington.