Dr. Jorge Garcia-Granados (1900-1961) was involved in the 1944 revolution which overthrew the Guatemalan dictator Jorge Ubico. He became Guatemala’s Ambassador to the United States, and the country’s representative at the formation of the United Nations. He was a member of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.
Garcia-Granados became or way strongly pro-Zionist. He was strongly anti-British, an attitude which was connected to Guatemalan claims on British Honduras.
He was one of the UNSCOP members most in favor of partition, with a continuing UN trusteeship until there was some political stabilization. Any other road, he thought, would lead to disaster. He felt great sympathy for the Jews as a result of the World War, felt great admiration for what he saw as Jewish development (agricultural, industrial and cultural) in what he viewed a basically barren land, and felt an understanding for the Jewish terrorists (namely the Irgun, and Menachem Begin, whom he was able to meet under cloak-and-dagger circumstances) based on his Guatemalan experiences. He could not understand the Arabs, believed that they were too much under the sway of the Mufti, and believed that they didn’t really care about the land in the way that they maintained that they did. He was therefore very unsympathetic to the Arabs’ overall position.
Guatemala was the first country to announce its recognition of Israel, by Garcia-Granados in the UN immediatly after the proclamamtion of the state. Guatemala was also the first country to open an embassy in Jerusalem, under the same Garcia-Granados. Later, under international pressure, the embassy was moved to Tel Aviv.