Event Title

Vindication? Grounds for the CIA’s Intervention of Guatemala, 1952—1954

Session Title

Crime

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Gregory S. Crider, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of History

Description

The United States government’s motivation and reasoning for the Central Intelligence Agency’s coup of Guatemalan President Arbenz’s regime in 1954 was anything but precise. Through analysis of an evidentiary base that includes declassified documents, memoranda, interviews, and letters from the CIA, National Security Archives, and the Guatemalan government, these proponents of the CIA’s operation in Guatemala have been uncovered. The CIA declared that Arbenz and the Guatemalan government were under Soviet-Communist influence, and that immediate action was necessary to stop the spread of communism in Guatemala for national security reasons. The evidence behind this claim is nearly non-existent, and there is a significant amount of documentation that refutes it. The “why” behind the CIA’s coup, otherwise known as operation PBSUCCESS, does not coincide with the evidence of the Guatemalan events or people that the CIA utilized to provide justification for their actions. U.S. intervention in Guatemala in 1954 served as an example of America abusing its sovereignty over the Western Hemisphere in order to fulfill its own agenda throughout the Cold War.

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Vindication? Grounds for the CIA’s Intervention of Guatemala, 1952—1954

The United States government’s motivation and reasoning for the Central Intelligence Agency’s coup of Guatemalan President Arbenz’s regime in 1954 was anything but precise. Through analysis of an evidentiary base that includes declassified documents, memoranda, interviews, and letters from the CIA, National Security Archives, and the Guatemalan government, these proponents of the CIA’s operation in Guatemala have been uncovered. The CIA declared that Arbenz and the Guatemalan government were under Soviet-Communist influence, and that immediate action was necessary to stop the spread of communism in Guatemala for national security reasons. The evidence behind this claim is nearly non-existent, and there is a significant amount of documentation that refutes it. The “why” behind the CIA’s coup, otherwise known as operation PBSUCCESS, does not coincide with the evidence of the Guatemalan events or people that the CIA utilized to provide justification for their actions. U.S. intervention in Guatemala in 1954 served as an example of America abusing its sovereignty over the Western Hemisphere in order to fulfill its own agenda throughout the Cold War.