From CGI member oldmaninthedesert. CGI is RMN's readers forum. Come join us!
I hope everyone had a safe and joyous Christmas yesterday,our day was wonderful and led by the grand kids,and all four of our grown children made their way to the valley. We continue now with the second part of Philip Agee's diary called 'Inside The Company'. We pick up the story just before he gets his first field assignment in Ecuador,in a town called Quito...
... Quito 9 December 1960
Emotions have overflowed. Today, my fourth day in Quito, I saw my first mob attacks against a US Embassy. I was late leaving the hotel and the manager warned me that rioters had already been stoning the Embassy. When I arrived only a small group was still chanting in front, but I entered at the rear and saw that many windows were broken during the earlier raids.
Throughout the day the station telephones were ringing as agents called to report the movements of the URJE-led rioters who returned to attack the Embassy a number of times. Araujo kept the police away, so the mobs could operate almost at will. I watched from the station offices on the top floor. Their favourite chant, as they hurled their stones, was: 'Cuba, Russia, Ecuador'. The Ecuadorean-North American Cultural Institute which is run by USIS and the Peruvian Embassy were also attacked, as was our Consulate in Guayaquil.
While the Embassy was being attacked almost all the Quito buses suspended service and gathered north of town where they began a caravan into Independence Plaza picking up loads of people along the way. The Plaza was jammed with thousands when the speeches began, which included attacks on the Rio Protocol by Velasco and his Foreign Minister. Araujo, for his part, called for diplomatic relations with the Soviets if that were necessary for Ecuador to attain justice. The crowd chanted frequent denunciations of the Guarantor Powers and the OAS. Later the Foreign Minister announced that two Czech diplomats will be arriving shortly to open the Czech Legation here.
Quito 14 December 1960
Attacks against the Embassy have continued but they now seem smaller and more sporadic. Police protection has been improved and there were even some Army units sent to the Embassy. Araujo was forced to send the police protection back by cooler heads in the government like Acosta. The riots spread to other cities, too, where bi-national cultural centres were attacked. More public demonstrations have been held, the largest of which was yesterday when a 'March of Justice' brought thousands again to the Independence Plaza. URJE continues to be the most important force behind the attacks although the marches and demonstrations are sponsored by a variety of organizations and are inspired mostly from civic motives.
Two important labour organizations have just been formed but for the time being only one is ours. In Guayaquil the ECCALICO agents who ran Miranda's ‡ campaign to defeat the PCE General Secretary, Saad, as Functional Senator for Labour, held a convention on 9-11 December and formed the Regional Confederation of Ecuadorean Coastal Trade Unions ‡ (CROCLE) as a permanent mechanism to fight the CTE on the coast, mainly in Guayas Province. Both of the principal-action agents, Victor Contreras ‡ and Enrique Amador ‡ are on the Executive Committee, Contreras as President. The ORIT representative was very helpful, especially in providing unwitting cover for our agents. The plan now is to affiliate CROCLE with the ORIT-ICFTU structure in place of the current Ecuadorean affiliate, the small and ineffective Guayas Workers Confederation (COG) which our Guayaquil base had been supporting.
In Quito the USOM labour division, whose main work consists of giving courses in free trade-unionism throughout the country, has taken the first step towards the formation of a national, noncommunist trade-union confederation. Under their direction during the first week this month the Coordinating Committee of Free Trade Unionists of Ecuador was established. This committee will soon begin establishing provincial coordinating committees which will develop into provincial federations. Eventually a national confederation will be established. The station plan is to let USOM direct these early stages and later, after the new Deputy Chief of Station arrives, we will probably move in on the formation of the national confederation. For the moment, getting Miranda in the Senate and forming CROCLE are as much as we can manage.