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Lecture 8

ENGL 583 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: United Fruit Company, Non-Aligned Movement, Bandung Conference

Course Code
ENGL 583
David Dolff

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20th October
While he is in important he wants to undertake land reform and to nationalize the oil industry. These
were popular back home. He has the support of most of the iran population and Iran parliament including
from the Iranian communist party. The British were unhappy about this. In 1952, they cut diplomatic
ties and put an economic embargo.
After that, the Americans see him becoming more dictatorial with the support of the communist party, it
might also have been an economic issue (are the Americans motivated by economic interest or
ideology ?).
Dulles plays a key role in overthrowing Mossadegh operation Ajax in 1953. The power
goes into the hands of the Shah. After this coup, the king becomes more a typical modern dictator.
The police in Iran : Savak. The Shah privatizes the oil industry. The Shah was reluctant in having
relations with the Americans.
Communism is by the point a mortal enemy, so everything that is communist should be stopped,
especially in Latin America. Both Iran and Latin America were referred as the Third World. The
Second World was the Soviet bloc, this informal empire.
1950s : time of change, “wind of change” european colonies are breaking up. There are a bunch of
new independent countries, everybody see that the world is going toward the break up of the European
Empire. The question is who is going to dominate the Third World among the new independent countries
and which side they will be on. Most of these countries are poor.!
April 1955 : Bandung Conference represented half of the world population. They declare the
desire to pursue the goal of building their countries. They develop into an organization : the non-
aligned movement. As a formal organization, they are a big flaw : some are industrialized, other not,
some are large, other not This is supposed to be a non-aligned movement but a lot of these countries
will have ties at one moment with one of the superpowers. This organization is quite a failure.
The US and Soviets are competing for power on the third world which will be a great part in
Eisenhower policy.
Latin America is particularly important and the best example of American intervention is Guatemala. It
is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. It is also one of the closest real life example of the
Banana Republic, reliant on these exports. Sometimes the military was overly in charge, they were
mainly the ones running the country, really tied to the landowning elite.
United Fruit Company : one of the rulers was Dulles. 1951 : Jacobo Arbenz Swiss immigrant,
moderate left. He takes over Guatemalan presidency with first ever suffrage election. Once he is in
power in undertakes significant land reforms : he is fairly moderate with this, he has the support of the
World Bank. of the land that is not being used should be given to redistribution. Lot of power and
wealth was into a very small elite : 2% of the population owned 72% of the land, a lot of this land wasn’t
The government would pay bonds to take the land : the bonds were based on what the owner said it was
worth paying taxes for.
These were fairly reasonable reforms. It was a big threat to large landowners.
Once he is in power he starts to move further from the left, he legalized the communist party. They
didn’t have a lot of power in politics though.
Somewhere it becomes too much for the Americans to take, with the support of the CIA, they staged a
coup in June 1964. They undo the land reform and there will be a major civil war. But at the time it was
seen as a major American victory.
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