Guatemala, United Fruit Company, Fidel Castro discussed on On The Media
Iraq. Us-backed coups and invasions tend to follow three steps. The first thing that happens is that that country make some kind of a problem for an American corporate interest prize to impose taxes or it limits the amount of land they can own or tries to subject them to local labor laws and that company then complains to the US government. That's phase one then inside the American political process. The motive changes it morphs. Then we decide if country X is bothering an American company. It must mean that that country is an enemy of ours. So we're intervening for strategic reasons. That's phase two. And then phase three comes when it's time for us to explain why we did it to justify it. Then we forget both of those motivations. We say always another reason. And that was we did it to protect. The poor suffering masses in that country who are being brutalized. This is something that always works with Americans. We are a very compassionate. People are leaders know, this about us, the mother of all such interventions you believe was quite a Malla. So what happened in Guatemala in nineteen? Fifty four was a classic archetype of the way we operate, and what angers us the Guatemalan government finally in the late forties and early nineteen fifties became democratic the great injustice at that time in Guatemala was that although large numbers of people were living on the edges of starvation. United fruit company owned hundreds of thousands of acres that it didn't use. So under the Arbenz government in Guatemala in the early nineteen fifties. Congress passed a land reform law that required large landowners, principally United fruit to sell their unused. Used land to the government, which would then cut it up and divided up for peasant families, the outrage that United fruit felt course, through the White House, and led us to conclude the Guatemala must be a hostile enemy and that led us into the intervention, which overthrew the only democracy Guatemala's ever known in one thousand nine hundred eighty four look back at the results. A civil war began a few years later, and that's civil war lasted for thirty years. It's sickening on the face of it. More sickening. Still in the fact that the US press, the watchdogs of our government were leading the cheers. The United fruit company hired a very skilled propagandist. Edward burn as the father of public relations to persuade Americans that quantum Malla was their enemy. They started for Dusing films. Like one called why the Kremlin hates bananas. There is a very special reason why they must hate bananas in Moscow. United fruit has put to useful production, hundreds of thousands of acres of otherwise. Unproductive? Tropical lands Americans would slowly come to believe this fiction that some evil communist repressive regime had seized Watambwa and had proven its evil nature by bothering the United fruit company. They would bring journalists in groups down to Guatemala, and these journalists would just show up at wherever United fruit wanted to take them write down what the executives said. And then go back home. Report this as reality. The few people who tried to write that actually land reform was an urgent necessity and people were starving in Guatemala were marginalized and their reports were never allowed to reach the American people's. It was one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the press until we get up to the modern day and with ongoing consequences in the hemisphere. It was used as an example by the likes of Fidel, Castro and other revolutionaries in the ensuing decades as to American imperialism so during the period when our bins was in power in Guatemala in the early nineteen fifties, lots of progressive activists from all over Latin America were fascinated with what was happening in Guatemala. They wanted to go and see how does land reform work. How does labor organizing work one of those young idealists who came to Guatemala was chega Vara? He was there. Anyway. Witnessed the coup after the coup, he met Fidel Castro chain told him in the end. Here's the central lesson. We should learn from Guatemala. It is not possible in Latin America to impose a serious social reform program under the auspices of a democracy. Democracies are open societies the CIA will use that openness come in and crush you. So if we ever take power in Cuba, we have to crush all opposition we cannot allow a free press. We cannot allow free speech that became not only the template for Cuba, but the ideal because they saw the example of what the United States had done in Guatemala. Let's move ahead to some more recent history two thousand nine and Honduras. So in two thousand nine we had a president and under as a we didn't like, and the reason was he was friendly with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who we took as kind of the new Castro and the great enemy that we faced in Latin America. So we had him in our sights. And in the middle of the night military officers crashed into his house dragged him out in his pajamas and put them on a plane and sent them out of the country. We cheered and what has happened since. Then the government has become repressive? It has been reelected despite a constitutional prohibition on reelection. It has become one of the highest murder rate countries in the world, and the so-called caravans that are coming through Mexico towards our border are made up largely of Hondurans. This is not unrelated to our intervention there. And this intervention is not at the hands of the Eisenhower administer. None of the Ronald Reagan administration. It was the Obama administration secretary of state Hillary Clinton as President Obama said today, we have taken this position because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders. Whether they are leaders, we agree with or not Hillary Clinton applauded the coup in her memoir. She wrote a great paragraph, a wonderful thing it was and how we just allowed the Hondurans to choose their own fate as it started to go, really bad. I did notice that in the paperback edition of Hillary Clinton's memoir, she's taken out that paragraph. How does the Venezuela situation fit into your three stage template? First of all, I'm quite surprised in some ways impressed to see that our national security adviser, Mr. Bolton announced the other day that we are interested in taking control of the oil in Venezuela. We're in conversation with major American company. Now that are either in Venezuela. We're in the case of citgo here in the United.