The 1954 Guatemalan Coup Part 2

A declassified 1975 memo detailing the CIA’s role in the Guatemalan coup of 1954, released under the Freedom of Information Act. Public domain

United Fruit Company was Guatemala’s largest employer and largest single landowner when the October Revolution took place. It also controlled the railroad, the port and the utilities. And it feared that the new government threatened its business interests.

Here is the link we mentioned in listener mail:

Tracy's Research:

  • "Guatemala and Chile: Did the United States Pursue the Correct Policies Toward the Governments of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala and Salvador Allende in Chile?" History in Dispute, edited by Benjamin Frankel, vol. 1: The Cold War: First Series, St. James Press, 2000, pp. 123-133. Gale In Context: U.S. History, Accessed 19 Aug. 2019
  • "The United Fruit Company Instigates a Coup in Guatemala, June 18, 1954." Historic World Events, Gale, 2012. Gale In Context: World History, Accessed 19 Aug. 2019.
  • “Excerpted from Theodore Roosevelt’s Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1904.”
  • Casey, Clifford B. “The Creation and Development of the Pan American Union.” The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Nov., 1933).
  • Cullather, Nick. “Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954.” Stanford University Press. 2006.
  • Dulles, John Foster. “Guatemalan Crisis.” Guatemalan Crisis, Aug. 2017, p. 1. EBSCOhost,
  • Ebel, Roland H. "Castillo Armas, Carlos (1914–1957)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, edited by Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008, pp. 195-196. Gale In Context: World History, Accessed 19 Aug. 2019.
  • Gillin, John and K.H. Silvert. “Ambiguities in Guatemala.” Foreign Affairs. 4/1956.
  • Gleijeses, Piero. “The Agrarian Reform of Jacobo Arbenz.” Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Oct., 1989).
  • Inter-American relations; collection of documents, legislation, descriptions of inter-American organizations, and other material pertaining to inter-American affairs. Compiled by Barry Sklar and Virginia M. Hagen. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1972. Via Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library.
  • Kettle, Martin. “Clinton apology to Guatemala.” The Guardian. 3/11/1999.
  • Mirra, Carl. "Guatemalan Coup Orchestrated by CIA." St. James Encyclopedia of Labor History Worldwide, edited by Neil Schlager, vol. 1, St. James Press, 2004, pp. 405-407. Gale In Context: U.S. History, Accessed 19 Aug. 2019.
  • Moye, Laura. “The United States Intervention in Guatemala.” International Social Science Review. Vol. 73, No. 1/2, 1998. Via JSTOR.
  • Ruggiero, Raymond. “The Origins of a Democratic National Constitution: The 1945 Guatemalan Constitution and Human Rights.” Florida State University Libraries. Doctor of Humanities Thesis. 2013.
  • Schlesinger, Stephen and Stephen Kinzer. “Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala.” Expanded Edition. Harvard University. 1999.
  • Trefzger, Douglas W. “Guatemala’s 1952 Agrarian Reform: A Critical Reassessment.” International Social Science Review Vol. 77, No. 1/2 (2002), pp. 32-46.
  • Wilford, Hugh. “Regime Change in Guatemala.” From “The Agency: A History of the CIA.” The Great Courses Plus.

Topics in this Podcast: United Fruit Company, cold war, land reform, Decree 900, coups, communism, Espionage, Central Intelligence Agency, Latin American history, U.S. history, Hispanic and Latino history, Central American history