ARBENZ' SPEECH DELIVERED AT 0310-0320 EST.
Workers, peasants, patriots! Guatemala is going through a hard trial. A cruel war against Guatemala has been unleashed. The United Fruit Company and US monopolies, together with US ruling circles are responsible for ellipsis. Mercenaries have unleashed fire and death, respecting nothing. We all know how cities have been bombed and strafed, women and children have suffered. We know how representatives of workers and peasants have been murdered in occupied cities, especially in Bananera. That was an act of vengeance by the United Fruit Company. We are indignant over the cowardly attack by mercenary US fliers. They know Guatemala has no adequate air force so they try to sow panic. They bomb and strafe our forces preventing operations. Today they sank a ship taking on cotton in San Jose. In the name of what do they do these things? We all know what. They have taken the pretext of Communism. The truth is elsewhere -- in financial interests of the United Fruit Company and other US firms that have invested much in Guatemala. Time will show if what they say is true, but there are those who claim that Guatemala is the cause of what happens. My Government has been called Communist in nature. We have used every means to convince world reactionaries that what US Government circles say is untrue. After thinking it over I have taken a great decision of great importance for our country. I have decided to quit power, turn the executive over to Carlos Enrique Diaz, Chief of the Armed Forces. All social conquest will be kept. I believe that democratic political organizations and all other popular organizations should give him full support. I ask this as my last act as governing man. I have had to fight in very difficult conditions. The sovereignty of a nation is not maintained without material elements for defense. I am thinking only of the people. I think it is my duty to contribute to save what we have gained. The military situation is not difficult, not at all. The enemy commanding barbarous mercenaries is incompetent, cowardly. We have seen this in the few battles fought. The enemy took Chiquimula only by air power. I took presidency with great faith in the democratic system, in freedom, in the idea that economic independence could be won. I still believe the program is fair. My faith in democratic freedom, in the independence of Guatemala has not been lost. Some day the enemy forces will be defeated. I am still a combatant of freedom and progress for my country. I say goodbye with sorrow, but firm in my convictions. These years of sacrifice and fight and the arguments of the enemy have not defeated me. Rather the material elements he has for destruction. Unless we do away with our powerful enemies' pretext Guatemala might be destroyed. I thank deeply for their collaboration the many good servitors of the nation -- the officials, public employees and especially the Civil Guard and Army. I thank you from my heart for the support of PAR, PRG, PRN, PGT, popular organizations like CGTG and CNCG. They have defended the wishes of the people. In my heart I do think I am making a mistake. Only the future can say. Let peace be restored. Let the gains be kept. With the satisfaction of having done my duty I say long live the October Revolution! Long Live Guatemala!
Arbenz declared "Deep within my conscience I do not think I am making a mistake. The day will come when there will be triumph for loyal Guatemalans under Colonel Dias."
After this resignation announcement, it was announced that the Guatemalan Constitution had been suspended.