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Background • 1954 • Codename: Operation Success • Goal: To overthrow the government of Guatemala • Reasons behind the operation: U.S. government was convinced Jacobo Arbenz (president of Guatemala) was a communist (that is what the government states…)
Important People Involved: Guatemala • Jacobo Arbenz: Democratically elected president of Guatemala since 1951 • Policies included • Construction of a publicly owned port • Government-run hydroelectric plant • Land reform legislation • Col. Carlos Castillo Armas • Military leader backed by the U.S. in overthrowing Arbenz • Became President of Guatemala 7/8/1954 Jacobo Arbenz
Important People Involved: America • Economic interests: United Fruit Company (UFC) controlled most of the land due to banana production • President: Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorized secret bombings of Guatemala • CIA Personnel • Allen Dulles: Head of the CIA • Jack Peurifoy: Ambassador to Guatemala • Al Haney: field commander • Tracy Barnes: chief of political warfare • David Atlee Phillips: Voice of Liberation Dwight D. Eisenhower
Tactics Used • CIA funded an anti-communist student movement in Guatemala City • Bribed the military to overthrow Arbenz • Weapons embargo on Guatemala, so Arbenz could not get any guns • Leaflets dropped on Guatemalans detailing the negative aspects of communism • Psychological warfare (Psy Ops): Voice of Liberation
Overthrow and Aftermath • Arbenz was overthrown with the assistance of U.S. weapons (bombs, dynamite, hand grenades) • Arbenz’s people turned against him because he suspended civil liberties • Castillo Armas became president and was assassinated in 1957 • Guatemala had decades of unstable rule, repression, and death squads later on