Communism In Guatemala

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The basis America had for the downfall of Arbenz in power in Guatemala was, “We had to get rid of a Communist government” (SH, 120). Cullather writes about the four main reasons the United States needed to have Operation PBSUCCESS triumph. While subverting communism was the key point of the Operations in Guatemala, the geopolitical, economic, and institutional reasoning’s also, formed a strong incentive for the American government to over through Arbenz. Of the points the ideology of keeping communism at bay is the most important because it can be found in the other three. To the United States government leaders, it appeared that communism was using a country in “America’s backyard” to cause rebellion and deny American influence in the hemisphere…show more content…
The United States became very frightened of the Guatemalans land reform because it was “powerful weapon for the expansion of Communist influence” (SH,25). While a simple land reform may seem trivial the Americans saw the “events not in a Guatemalan context but as a global pattern of Communist activity” (SH,9). The land reform would not only weaken ties with Conservative landowners while increasing the power of peasant majority, but would also give Albenz and the communist aligned, Guatemalan Party of Labor, a lot of support (SH,25). When the United Fruit Company began threating the Guatemalan government the United States were upset because they were hoping to use the company to contain the spread of communism (SH,19). Instead America began to rely more on Armas and his rebel allies and other economic fronts to fulfill the operational need (SH,32). For instance, New York City businessmen in charge of oil supplies, shipping, and coffee exports, began pressuring the Guatemalans with fake shortages of “vital imports and cutting exports” (SH,41). When Arbenz learned the “intimate knowledge” of PBSUCCESS’s strategy and announced it to the public, the international press assumed it was a political ploy to cover up the…show more content…
Before Arbenz came to power Guatemala and United States business had a mutually beneficial environment (SH,9). The hospitable atmosphere was due to to Guatemala’s low cost coffee beans and limited business regulations and Americans boosting the economy with “investors, marketers, and railroad builders” (SH,9). The United Fruit Company, even had complete control over Guatemalan business controlling the railroads, electric utility, and the only port. The banana company had so much power in the foreign country that they were able to control the treatment of the 40,000 Guatemalan workers, taxes, and prices all with out government oversight (SH,10). However, in 1947, a new labor code was created giving industrial workers the ability to “organize and classifying estates employing 500 or more as industries” (SH,16). Workers beginning wanting higher wages and better treatment, so the United Fruit Company asked for the United States help (SH,16). To show how serious the company was about the foreign government meeting the companies needs they held Guatemala hostage they not only threatened to take their business else where, the banana company also gave money and weapons to Castillo Armas, a rebel leader (SH,18). Until the country could promised the company that the labor cost would go down, guarantee no wage increase for three

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