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Glorious Victory?

Diego Rivera Guatamala
The above Diego Rivera painting Glorious Victory, portrays the US intervention in Guatemala where we can see Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas greeting Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who is holding a bomb with the face of Eisenhower, surrounded by bananas and dead boys.  To his left side US ambassador John Peurifoy with some military officers and CIA director Allan Dulles whispering to his brother ear.  On the right, the archbishop of Guatemala, Mariano Rossell Arellano, can be seeing blessing the act, while Guatemalan people protest.

Guatemala’s agrarian reform policy, started in 1952, was succeeding when it was subverted by a CIA-sponsored coup d’état (Operation PBSUCCESS) in 1954, thus perpetuating Guatemalan social structures and preserving the inequitable land distribution. Despite the way the agrarian reform ended, most authors agree that the policy was succeeding when it was subverted.  Click>here for the complete story. Click for the views of Network in Solidarity with the people of Guatemala.

According to Land Research Action Network,  less than 0.2% of producers possessed 70% of the land, with large areas of land used for production of agricultural exports. After more than thirty years of different government policies, the genocide of indigenous people and the peace accords of the 1990s, land access and distribution in Guatemala remains highly exclusionary.  Inequality in land ownership contributes to poverty in the region.

Durning the cold war era, there was “American concern about the possibility of a so-called “Soviet beachhead.”

Guatemala experienced 36 years of civil war from 1960-1996 before electing a representative democracy.

This post and yesterdays on Day of Truth make us wonder how often we may end up being on the wrong side of history?