Communism in Guatemala, 1944-1954

Communism in Guatemala, 1944-1954

Communism in Guatemala, 1944-1954

Communism in Guatemala, 1944-1954

Excerpt

The years since the Revolution of 1944 in Guatemala present a number of challenging questions to the student of politics. None is more fascinating than the study of why and how a handful of relatively inexperienced Communists were able to seize the leadership of a national social revolution. In addition, the study of Communism in Guatemala provides a unique opportunity to gain important insights into the appeals, techniques, and program of Communism in Latin America.

The Guatemalan experience is particularly significant since it casts doubt upon the validity of certain widely-held generalizations concerning the relatively low vulnerability of Latin American society to Communist penetration. It has been frequently argued that the low level of industrialization, the strength of Catholicism, the decisive political importance of the army, the stubborn individualism of the Latin Americans, and the existence of a large Indian population clinging to their traditional way of life, particularly when backed up by the proximity of the United States, would serve as an effective bar to the growth of Communist influence in this vital area. This should have been especially true in the case of a small "banana republic" such as Guatemala, which was economically dependent upon the United States.

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