Blair Easton's Reviews > Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala

Bitter Fruit by Stephen C. Schlesinger
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U 50x66
's review
Aug 19, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: U.S. business interests
Read in January, 2007

Read this while traveling in Guatemala. Read along with "Confessions of an Economic Hitman." The author, Kinzer, has written another book called "Overthrow," and "Bitter Fruit," follows the same mechanism - protecting U.S. business interests abroad, under the guise of promoting democracy. 1950's. Guatemala had an historically oppressed and marginalized native Mayan population, and a state backed oligarchy of European heritage. Most of the land was owned by a few. One of the few was United Fruit - a U.S. banana company with huge tracts of land and railroad and port control throughout Guatemala and Honduras. In 1954, Arbenz, a people's leader, was elected. He began a land reform, which included expropriation of unused United Fruit land. Citing specious claims of Soviet weapons in Guatemala, the U.S. arranged a bombing of the capital, Guatemala City, and a small invasion force, to overthrow Arbenz. The book tracks the connections between United Fruit and the overthrow of Arbenz, in a climate of Cold War hysteria. It's dense reading.

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