Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer

By Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer

Bitter Fruit is a finished and insightful account of the CIA operation to overthrow the democratically elected executive of Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. First released in 1982, this ebook has develop into a vintage, a textbook case of the connection among the U.S. and the 3rd international. The authors make huge use of U.S. govt records and interviews with former CIA and different officers. it's a caution of what occurs while the USA abuses its strength.

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Only benefits the owners who spend their profits abroad during trips or by the purchase of foreign luxury items or, as in the case of the United AN AGE OF REFORM 41 Fruit Company, the major portion of the profits goes abroad to foreign stockholders. 7 In August 1948, Arevalo formed a National Production Institute to distribute credit, expertise and supplies to small farmers. An effort was also made to register all lands officially according to ownership and use, thereby legalizing the murky "titles" which peasants had held for years but which were never recognized as genuine grants of possession by either the government or wealthy landowners.

Their most important result was simply to accustom ordinary Guatemalans to the fact that the institu- 42 BITTER FRUIT tions of government did indeed have the ability to function on their behalf. Arevalo's achievement was less to alter the social structure in any fundamental way than to consolidate democracy in Guatemala. Yet Arevalo was assailed almost from the first day he took office by pillars of the old order who feared for their place in society. In May 1946, barely a year after he became President, Arevalo was forced to defend himself in this fashion: You have heard the accusations of our common enemies.

The valuation of the land was to be determined from its declared taxable worth as of May 1952—a provision that deeply disturbed some targets of the law, especially United Fruit, which had undervalued its land for years in order to reduce its tax liability. 5 acres each. Most of those receiving the land would hold it for their own lives only, and would not be given legal title to it as a way of preventing speculation and resale of the land.

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